Happy National Running Day! (and a long overdue race recap)

Since this is way overdue I’m using National Running Day as my motivation to recap my most recent races, the Tinker Bell 10k and Tinker Bell Half Marathon (aka the Pixie Dust Challenge) held in sunny southern California Mother’s Day weekend.

I signed up for these two races way back in August 2014 for the sole purpose of earning my Disney Coast to Coast Medal which requires a person to run an official Disney race (at least as long as a half marathon) in Disney World (FL) and Disney Land (CA) in the same calendar year. Having already run the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2015, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon earned me my Coast to Coast. And because the more medals the better, I also decided to run the Tinker Bell 10k held the day before the half marathon because that earned me another medal for completing what Disney termed, the Pixie Dust Challenge (running the 10k and half marathon the same weekend).

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We arrived in California Thursday evening and were soon nestled in bed due to a long day of travel.

Morning came all too early but we had a pretty good night of sleep and lazily made our way to find some breakfast. The race expo opened at 10AM so we made our way towards the expo while wandering through Downtown Disney on the way.

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I found packet pick-up, signed the necessary waiver and collected all my loot (3 tech t-shirts, one for each race plus the Pixie Dust Challenge shirt, woohoo!!). Once that business was taken care of we made our way to the expo. The expo was great, as I assumed it would be since Disney is known for their great race expos, so we found ourselves spending some time stopping at all the booths seeing what they had to offer. Unfortunately it wasn’t a place that Owen could run around due to the high traffic and tight space so we made some stops but made our way quickly through without spending too much money. It was probably good that we had him in tow, otherwise I would have bought a lot more! I walked out with just an official Pixie Dust Challenge car magnet to go along with the Walt Disney World Marathon magnet I had picked up back in January in FL.


The remainder of Friday was spent exploring around Disney, sitting in the pool hot tub and finding a grocery store so we had some breakfast and lunch food in our hotel room.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early, though in this case the time change worked in my favor. The race started at 5:30AM meaning I needed to be up and out of the hotel room around 4:30AM. Luckily for me 4:30 west coast time felt like 7:30 east coast time so I was up and ready to go without a problem! Owen was also awake so Harrison planned on heading out to spectate the race which ran right past the hotel, talk about convenient!

I’m not usually one to eat breakfast first thing in the morning but I knew I needed to eat something before heading out the door so I scarfed down a banana and brought along a fruit/veggie smoothie to have on my walk to the start (~ 1 mile from the hotel) and while waiting for the race to begin. I made it to my corral with about 20 minutes to spare (I was in corral A, woohoo!) so I sat down and stretched trying to keep everything loose before the race began.

Going into the 10k I had hopes of setting a personal record (PR) for the distance but with traveling and whatnot I wasn’t sure if I could still pull it off. I knew it was going to be very dependent on what my legs were feeling like, how the crowds were and if my stomach was going to cooperate. I had run three 10k races previously (not counting the 10k at the end of the Lake George Olympic distance triathlon) and my best time of the 3 was the first one I ran in 2010 where I finished in 53 minutes 53 seconds which works out to roughly an 8 minute 40 second mile. Having raced a (speedy for me) 5k back in April and my continued training I thought a PR was possible.

Sorry for getting sidetracked, let’s get back to it, shall we? So I made it to my corral, I finished my smoothie, did some stretching and was ready to go. Soon enough we were singing the national anthem and counting down to the race start. The guns went off and we were on our way!

I started out feeling really good and decided I was going to give it all I had to PR which meant not stopping for any pictures. While that made me sad, I knew I would be running the half marathon the next day and would have plenty of photo ops.

IMGP8197Just past mile 1 I saw Harrison and Owen cheering for me which put a huge smile on my face and helped me through the remainder of the race. The crowd support for the whole race was awesome, we ran through both parks and only had a few quiet stretches through the entire race which definitely helped keep the mind off the running pains creeping in! As I neared the end I realized a PR was going to be close so I gave it all I had crossing the finish line in 52 minutes 40 seconds. I shaved 1 minute 13 seconds off my previous 10k time, I was so happy about that!

After the race I got some water and PowerAde, had my picture taken and wandered back to the hotel room where Harrison and Owen were waiting for me.

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I’ll recap the rest of Saturday in a later post but let’s stick with the running theme and discuss the half marathon now.

Having set a PR during the 10k I decided that the half marathon was going to be all about having fun and getting pictures taken along the course. The morning started out exactly like the day before and soon enough we were on our way. I don’t have a lot to say about the half other than it was a ton of fun. Instead of gabbing away I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.




     Overall the Tinker Bell race weekend was so much fun. I am so thankful for my husband who supports me through all these races and takes me on crazy race vacations. Having him and Owen there to cheer me on was great, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a support crew during a race, I loved every minute of it.

I’ll be back to share more about our vacation, but for now, enjoy the day. And get out there and run!

 

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