Alright my brunching babes – welcome to the first #NERDGIRLSONTHERUN link up!
We finally made it to the half marathon – the main event, the battle of Yanvin, my walk through the cave of Degobah… just kidding it wasn’t bad at all.
Seeing as how I was conquering the half I set my alarm a little bit earlier than the previous days – a whole 10 minutes earlier. My alarm went off at 3:40am and today it was just me getting up at dark:thirty. As always, my gear was packed and clothes were laid out. I even slept in my compression socks and shorts. I was downstairs and ready to get on the bus by 4:00am – but this made no difference in the end as the bus made more hotel stops for the half than it had for the 5K and 10K. I knew I had plenty of time and I am not the person who needs to get there an hour early anyway. I fueled with my usual Gatorade (for sugar and electrolytes) and these new Granola bites that worked really well for me.
I was in corral C for the half so knew I was pretty well situated in the middle of all the runners. We stood in the corrals for what seemed like forever and (sorry TMI) I knew I was going to have to pee. Typically the first porto’s have crazy long lines, but I saw at the 10K the day before that the barrier was broken down for a set right across the start line and headed to those. Done and done – no line – moving along.
I ran a strict :30 to :30 pace and was holding strong at 14 minute miles. Again this course got a bit crowded at points, especially near the hydration stations. I stopped for a quick castle pick, as always, and kept making my way through the course. I took my time to enjoy running through the parks since Disneyland races are front loaded to make sure I could re-focus myself when I hit the streets of Anaheim.
I got so much love from people for wearing my 501st shirt and in true Mallory fashion, a matching sparkle skirt and hair bow! People from other garrisons stopped me to say hi, and our fellow teammates could easily cheer each other on. Oh and I some how missed the Speeder Bike stop in the 10K – obviously I had to stop for this photo opp.
Once we left the parks, I quickly re-focused and got down to run. I am probably one of the few people who do not mind down and back courses, which this race features. I like being able to see the fast guys coming back down.
I knew my 501st and Rebel Legion friends were at mile 8 and I just kept pushing myself to get to them. I was at mile 8 and was thinking where are they… Finally around mile 9 I saw all my fellow 501st members, as well as the Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs. A HUGE THANK YOU for coming out and cheering for us on – you truly make this event!
High fives and selfies with my Star Wars crew gave me some much needed energy (oh and that gel helped too) and I picked up the pace. In the middle haul of the course I ran into some friends and met the nicest lady who I spent a mile chatting DVC with – the hard stretch between 9 to 11 flew by. Mymom was camped out around mile 11 with some Red Vines and the sign I made for our Ground Pounders. I pulled over to chat with her then kept going. Some of my fellow Ground Pounders stopped to snap a pic with the sign!
Before I knew it Downtown Disney was in my sights and I was coming in for the finish! The mix I was running too perfectly timed my entrance to the with the Star Wars score. At mile marker 13 I stopped to snap a pic and put away my phone and headphone… I like my finish line picture to look nice – ran on for .1 more miles to an amazing finish.
3:13:10 was my timed chip finish which I am pretty proud of! Last year I finished in 3:23 with no character stops so I will take those 10 minutes I shaved off and smile. I am slowly getting back to where I was time wise and will keep pushing on to improve.
Overall, this race weekend gave a huge boost of confidence as a runner. I tackled 22.4 miles over three days, with improved times, and I felt great afterwards (which is a very important sign).
We finished the rest of the day at the parks where we actually got to ride a lot of rides and took a bunch of pictures. We had an amazing meet up with our friends in the Stormtrooper Crew.
We ended the weekend with a great dinner with Napa Rose and said our goodbyes. Juli and I will be running the Princess Half Marathon in February, but we would not see Chris until we take on the force again with the Dark Side race in April at Disney World.
I can’t wait to read what my fellow #NERDGIRLSONTHERUN have to say and share my next running adventures with you!
Be sure to join our #NERDGIRLSONTHERUN link up!