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Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend – Part 3

HERE IT IS: the big Tinker Bell Half Marathon recap! I’ve been looking forward to writing this post since I ran the race on Sunday 🙂 It all started with a 3AM wakeup call. The first thing I noticed upon waking up were my sore legs from walking around California Adventure. How the heck was I supposed to run 13.1 miles when I was already in some physical pain? Plus I didn’t train for the race at all. I mean, I ran a few miles here and there, but literally nothing over 5 miles since the last half marathon I ran back in September. So, basically, I was nervous… but very determined!

20140121-121633.jpg I took a pre-race mirror selfie to calm my nerves, ate two granola bars, and walked to the starting line with Sara. It was easy to forget about running such a long distance when I was wearing a super cool costume.

20140121-122121.jpg Sara and I checked our bags, snapped the above photo, and headed to our corrals. I was in Corral A, based on a faster half marathon time from over the summer. It felt great to be the first group to start a race! I’m not the fastest runner, so I definitely took my Corral A placement as a compliment 🙂 Overall, the Tinker Bell Half was THE fanciest race I’d ever done. I certainly paid for what I got (t’was pricey), but… wow. There were some fireworks, a fancy big screen at the starting line, and an impressive goody bag. My favorite part was running in costume; there were so many fairies!

20140121-123158.jpg I could have taken more photos, but I was SO focused on my running. Originally, my plan was to walk a ton and wait in line for some photos with different Disney characters. That plan didn’t exactly work out… I forgot how competitive I can be when it comes to running. The first 10 miles felt easy; I kept a slow and steady pace. I wound up only stopping to walk through water stations and to take this ONE picture of the race (bad blogger…).

20140121-125635.jpg I drank both PowerAde and water at almost every aid station, ate Sport Beans at mile 5, and ate a citrus Clif Shot that they gave out at mile 8.5 (it was actually really delicious). This fueling plan always worked well for me in previous races, so I stuck to it for the Tinker Bell Half. At mile 10, my legs and feet started to HURT. Somehow, my pace became faster despite the pain I was in at that time. I could see light at the end of the tunnel and couldn’t believe I was running a half marathon without training. Honestly, I had done it once before, but that time I maxed out at 8 miles in training instead of five 😛 The spectators were going nuts over the last mile and I increased my pace even more. I was actually having fun! Crossing that finish line was the biggest relief for my legs, and gave me a huge ego boost. I doubted my ability to finish the Tinker Bell Half successfully, which is why I didn’t talk about it much on the blog. However, I made it through in 2:18:28, which is my slowest half marathon time EVER, but only by one minute! WITHOUT TRAINING. My body is capable of more than I ever thought! No matter how many times I cross a finish line, I am always reminded that I can do so much more than I believe I can. All I had to do was go out and try.

20140121-130008.jpg Now that I finished the Tinker Bell Half, I’m ready to tackle a training plan and actually PR my next race: The Shamrock Shuffle. Stay tuned for a post about my training plan, which I hope to start NEXT WEEK 🙂