Tinkerbell Half Marathon Part 1

They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. As it turns out the journey of 13.1 miles also begins with a single step! Less than two weeks ago Danny and I found ourselves in Anaheim, California preparing for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. In all fairness “preparing” may be an overstatement because I can tell you exactly what we did to prepare for the entire half marathon. We:
·         Signed up for the race
·         Downloaded the Jeff Galloway Tinkerbell Half Marathon training plan
·         Completed a 10k to be placed in not the last corral
·         Completed a 5k for fun
·         Bought our running outfits
·         Bought Clif blocks and Clif gels

Yep, that was pretty much it and as you can see we didn’t exactly get many training runs in. I was a little worried to say the least. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I got chaffing in weird places? How many blisters should I expect on my notoriously blister-prone feet? Would I be completely exhausted after? What if I was too sore to walk the next day?

I decided to set my worries aside for a little while and enjoy the parks before my self-imposed torture – did I say that? I meant before the half marathon. We arrive on Thursday afternoon and spent the next two days hopping between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Let’s be honest, the best part about running at Disney is vacationing at Disney.

Carpet leading to the packet pick-up
We arrived at the Expo/packet pickup a few minutes before opening on Friday morning to long lines outside of the Disneyland Hotel and decided to check out the expo first. The expo was a little smaller than expected but it was still nice to see different running products and the race merchandise. As the expo portion began filling with people we realized that most of the crowd that went to packet pick-up was probably finished and making their way into the expo. We headed out of the ballroom area that housed the expo and into the parking garage of the Disneyland Hotel where the pick-up was located. Despite being in a parking garage Disney managed to make it look a little classier with decals and carpeting.

Jeff Galloway
Packet pick-up was super quick taking us each about 5 minutes. We then went back upstairs to the expo to collect our shirts and hear Jeff Galloway speak before heading back to the parks. Of all the things that we did or didn’t do to prepare I think hearing Jeff speak was the most helpful and reassuring. He reminded us to pace ourselves at the beginning and save our energy for later in the race when we will need it more. He also addressed one of my major concerns about what to eat before the race. I followed his advice and had some water before the run but held off on eating anything until I felt like I actually needed something. This advice is certainly not followed by all before a race which I understand but since I had not done any long runs or runs this early I was not sure what would work best. This method seemed to really work for me. Overall, I highly recommend taking in some of the guest speakers that runDisney arranges at the expo. Not only did I receive helpful advice but it also helped replace my nervousness with excitement.

Danny trying to get a picture "with" Jeff
Galloway during the expo
The next day, Saturday, Danny had arranged for us to go on the “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” Tour through Disneyland which was a 3 hour walking tour around the park. The tour was listed as 3 hours but there was quite a bit of sitting involved including about 30 minutes for lunch and a few rides so the time on our feet was not very intense. I don't want to go too in-depth about the tour as Danny is going to write a recap for the blog and I don't want to give anything away! After the tour we retired to our hotel and took it easy for the rest of the day in preparation for the next morning. As our last official act before becoming half marathoners we got dinner with Danny’s cousins Debbie and Sandy who live in the LA area. It was really great to see them and catch up and have them wish us luck.

Up next: the big race!

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