Got some good news today to continue the positive momentum of 2014. The waivers are now available for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and I discovered that Brad and I have graduated to Corral C! Woo-hoo! So what does this mean to the non-runners out there? Basically it means we’re getting faster. When you sign up for a runDisney race you have to provide your estimated finish time. For logical and logistical reasons they organize the corrals with the fastest in the front and the slower folks bringing up the rear. We have been in Corral D for every singe race since we started 4 years ago, so this feels like a significant leap forward. Corral C out of F! Not bad.
Now all we need to do is get Brad healed before race day. Poor guy got hit with the flu last weekend and a temp of 103! Scared the crap out of me. Seems he’s on the mend as of today, so please send prayers of healthiness his way, and prayers of immunity mine.
Nursing my sick fiance all weekend really helped me keep up with my New Year’s Resolutions. I cooked a new recipe (Hot and Sour Cabbage Stew with Tofu. Yum!). I made dinner two nights in row. I bought groceries. I cleaned the kitchen thoroughly including doing all of the dishes. I cleaned the cat box myself. I made the bed (whenever Brad wasn’t relegated to it). And since I couldn’t sleep in said bed with my germtastic fiance, I spent the evening in the living room, on the couch, catching up on my first book of 2013, “The Alienist.” All of that and I still managed to squeeze in my 11 mile run yesterday. Kind of a supergirl weekend for me. Hopefully I can keep it up!
In other Tinker Bell news, I’ve been trying to think of a costume for the race. I feel compelled to stay within the Neverland realm, but I don’t want to dress up as Tink yet again. I kinda sorta really want to go for Tiger Lily, but something about it just feels wrong; in the same way that the song “What Makes the Red Man Red?” is now painfully wrong when you watch/hear it. A white girl dressed up as a cartoon representation of a Native American? I just don’t know.
She is my second favorite character in Peter Pan after Tinker Bell. Maybe I’ve just become overly sensitive after years of working in Human Resources. I figure it’s better to be sensitive than totally offensive. Though this does spiral me into all kinds of questions about racism and racial stereotypes. If I had brown skin and I dressed up as Tiger Lily people would probably not bat an eyelash. But that’s kind of weird too, isn’t it? Just because someone has brown skin it’s acceptable? Let’s say that someone is Latina or Indian or Filipina, that doesn’t make them any more Native American than me. Is it perhaps worse that all brown skin people may dress up as other brown skin people because they are lumped into one acceptable group of “brown-skinned people?” No. I think that’s terrible. So following that logic, the only group of people who could acceptably dress up as Tiger Lily are actual Native Americans. That also doesn’t seem right since it is in fact a cartoon, and a caricature, and not an accurate representation of Native American culture, so to relegate the costume to actual Native Americans almost makes it seem like the presupposition is that Tiger Lily is a valid representation of a Native American girl. Since she is not, since she is a cartoon, since she is complete fantasy, shouldn’t anyone of any color acceptably represent her? One thing I love to see in the Disney parks, actually, is how the characters tear through racial boundaries especially among kids. I see little white girls dressed as Princess Tiana and little black girls dressed as Ariel. A blondie dressed as Mulan, and a girl with bright red hair dressed as Snow White. Girls dressed as pirates, boys dressed as, well, pirates. I’ve yet to see a little boy dressed as a princess though I’m hopeful the day will come when that is not taboo. If a little girl can dress up as a boy pirate and no one bats an eyelash, a little boy should be able to dress up as a fairy princess and no one should care. And if you care, what you’re saying is that dressing “like a girl” is somehow shameful but dressing “like a boy” is universal. I get very passionate when it comes to gender stereotypes as they apply to children because I’ve seen the shame that plants and seeds when a little boy is told to “act like a man,” whatever that means. Girls can be tomboys and they’re cool. Boys act like girls and they’re “prissy.” Drives me crazy.
Wow. I really went off on a tangent there didn’t I. What I’m trying to say is, if I had a little girl; a little blonde fair-skinned girl; and she wanted to dress up as Tiger Lily for Halloween. What would I do? Would I encourage her to learn about real Native American culture instead so she knows the difference? Ok, well maybe she does that and then tells me she wants to dress up as Pocahontas. Or Sacajawea. Wouldn’t I want her to be able to dress up as such interesting historical women? I just don’t know. I guess I’ll find out when I’m a parent.
Anyway, back to my dilemma!
With my obvious confusion on the subject, limited time (the race is Jan 19), and my lack of confidence to dress as Tiger Lily despite my love of her, I’m leaning towards this guy:
Gotta love Smee, in all his bumbling tomfoolery. I’ve got a soft spot for the klutzy guy in a perpetual state of clueless. Not to mention this costume could translate very easily into running clothes.
What do you think? Are you team Tiger Lily? Or Team Smee?
Registration for the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon is now open! In true runDisney fashion, after just one day the race is already 87% full (at the time of this posting Wednesday morning). Don’t miss out, and don’t over think it. Just sign up! Chances are it will fill up by the end of the week. The registration fee is a bit steep, but fellow runDisney fans will concur, it’s worth it. Sign up today!
I realize it’s been 2 months since the Tinker Bell Half Marathon but what can I say, better late than never? I always intend to do these incredible, inspiring, reflective, life-changing race recaps but the task becomes so daunting that I put it off and never get to it. Hence, nothing gets done in my life. So, in an effort to do things I say I’m going to do, I’m going to go ahead and write my race recap anyway because you know what, I had a great time and I’d like to share.
As is often the case, the race was not without its hiccups and challenges. The hectic holiday season (especially hectic this year) made training rather difficult and because I thought I was going to run/walk with my Mom and not worry about a PR, I wasn’t too concerned about a strict training regimen. It was only a couple of weeks before the race that my Mom decided she wasn’t going to be able to run with me. *Gulp*. Guess I should have trained harder, since now it looked like I was going to run with my fast fiance and our rather fast friend Chris, who was taking my mom’s place.
Sometime around the new year I realized another potential road block to Neverland. It was flu season. So far I had escaped unscathed, as had my fiance; but we got our hopes up too soon. Right after New Year’s Brad went down in battle. The flu got him good. He was out of commission for a solid 3 weeks. I grew paranoid about so many things.
A) His health and well-being. I became concerned his illness was turning into pneumonia and stubborn man that he was, he refused to go the doctor.
B) My own health and well-being. I mean, I can’t NOT kiss the guy for three weeks!
C) The race. Whose idea was it to schedule a half marathon during flu season. Curses!
About a week before the race, it happened. I started to feel it. The tickle in the back of your throat and the general ooginess that lets you know you’re being preyed upon by an unwanted bug. I’ve never fought off a cold so hard. Never drank so much water and OJ. Never took so many vitamins. Never slept so much. I don’t know if it was the copious amounts of echinacea and vitamin C or rather my strong will to race, but something got me through. I got sick, but never full blown. I was bad for about a day and half and started to feel better about 3 days before the race. Still, my immune system was obviously compromised and I had a half marathon to run. How I would reconcile those two things, I had no idea.
Chris, Brad, and I drove down to the Health & Fitness Expo the day before the race to pick up our bibs. Brad came with us armed with an ample dose of magical thinking, hoping there was a way he could still run. That pipe dream was soon dashed. Poor baby was still so sick, and obviously really frustrated that he was completely out of commission. Come on people, you know those runDisney races aren’t cheap. When you pay for that, you want to run it. As we left the Expo he admitted defeat. He wouldn’t run.
I turned to Chris and realized, it’s just him and me now, and gosh darnit, we WERE going to run tomorrow and we were going to have fun!
I had made reservations to stay at a hotel that night since the race started at 5:00 am. Just too difficult to drive down from Venice that early in the morning. Suddenly it dawned on me. A joyous long weekend of running in Disneyland with my mother and fiance had devolved into a night in the Travelodge with this guy:
The room smelled like pine sol and cigarettes and Chris had to sleep on a roll-away that barely fit in the room. What can I say? The universe is unpredictable. The important thing is, this makes a pretty good story now, and the MOST important thing is, we had a great time.
Got my running costume all ready the night before. Ok, so it’s not the most original costume choice in the world for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. I was sick! I had other things on my mind!
On the shuttle to the start line. SO early.
At this point Chris became aware that he was pretty much the only dude on the bus. I reminded him it was a “woman focused” event. He found the male/female ratio intriguing to say the least. (I love the look on the girl’s face right behind him, to the right. Classic)
At the starting line!
A sea of runners. Always majorly impressed by the turnout at runDisney events!
Getting some encouragement from Minnie and Daisy.
I LOVE all of the signs that the chEAR squad and spectators hold up along the course. This one had to be my favorite!
After this we were off and running. I’d never run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon course before and it was significantly different than the Disneyland Half. I had to admit, jury was still out on which I preferred. In the Tinker Bell Half you spent the first mile running up Disneyland Drive and then around Ball Rd and back down Harbor. You ran a solid mile and half before you even made it into the first park. I do think there’s a benefit to that because it delays gratification a little bit and builds up the excitement for running in the parks. It also made me feel like I was in the parks longer before we headed out onto the streets of Anaheim. Getting that big hill on Ball Rd out of the way in the beginning when we were running on excitement and adrenaline was also a major plus. In the Disneyland Half you hit that hill just as you’re leaving the parks, which is a downer unto itself. To be greeted by a huge hill as you’re leaving? A challenge to say the least.
When we turned into the resort, we ran into a mysterious tunnel.
I tell ya what, this place never ceases to surprise me. I know those parks backward and forward, and I had no idea this tunnel existed. I have to admit, it was a little bit creepy; especially since it was still totally dark out. Ominous!
After that we finally ran into Disney California Adventure. The first thing we did was run through Paradise Pier. They had the lights and fountains going for World of Color and it was an inspiring sight. A perfect kickoff to this race. The sun STILL hadn’t come up so the fountains and lights looked gorgeous.
Since I was feeling a bit ooky from my cold, I had decided that I wasn’t going to push myself in any way on this run. The goal was to have fun and to finish. That being the case, this was the perfect race to stop and take pictures! Each time we stopped to take a picture with a character Chris basically made it sound like I was subjecting him to torture, but I knew he secretly loved it. How could you not?
With Mary Poppins and Burt. Chris is a penguin.
Stealing a pic with the Peter Pan characters. Even I could admit the line for this gang was ridiculously long, so we just sneaked in the back and slyly pointed in their direction.
Me and Miss Bell
Love this one! Two of my faves. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. And here you can get a shot of Chris’ EVIL compression socks. Aren’t those rad? Meanwhile I look like a doofus in my 3/4 pants and black compression socks. I don’t care though. Gotta have my compression!
This had to be around mile 3 or 4 and yes, it’s STILL dark out
Running through the castle!
Disney custodial is all about the runDisney. And we THANK YOU Disney custodial!
We made our way through the rest of DCA and Disneyland and I have to say, it was more fun than the Disneyland Half course through the parks. I don’t know if it was that first mile and half we burned before we even got there, but it really felt like we were in the parks for so much longer than the Dland Half. We approached mile 6 as we finally left Disneyland!
Then we were off on the streets of Anaheim. At this point Chris took off ahead of me. He was training for the LA Marathon and wanted to keep his pace up. I was still icky and just wanted to finish. I struggled at certain points along the rest of the course so I decided to employ the run/walk/run method to make sure I reserved enough energy to make it to the finish line. I have to tell you, that was the first time I’d ever officially run a sizable distance doing run/walk/run and I felt awesome! I couldn’t believe how good my time was considering I was under the weather. It’s basically magic. I don’t know if I’ll do it all the time, but I will say that when I finally do get around to running the Walt Disney World Marathon, I’m calling Jeff Galloway.
Let’s talk briefly about the course. I’m really split on my opinion of the Tinker Bell course vs. the Disneyland Half. There are pros and cons to both so in the end they probably come out evenly matched. The pros of the Tinker Bell half were that it was definitely more scenic. You ran through some rather charming residential neighborhoods and a really nice shopping area of Anaheim that I didn’t even know existed. On the Disneyland Half you spent a ton of time on the big, I’m sorry to say ugly, boulevards of Anaheim. The major pro of the Disneyland Half however was that you got to run through Angel Stadium. That was one of my absolute favorite things about that race, even though it’s where I bit the dust last year. It’s hard to leave behind the energy of the parks, but getting to run through a crowded cheering baseball stadium at mile 9 and see everyone’s faces on the Jumbotron gave all of us runners the exact burst of energy needed to finish the race. If the Tinker Bell course ran through the stadium, it would be better hands down. HOWEVER, I’m glad it doesn’t. I’m glad that the Disneyland Half Marathon course gets to distinguish itself by having that treat.
Getting close to the finish! Unfortunately by way of that creepy tunnel.
One more mile!
Both feet off the ground!
At the finish line with Minnie. Don’t you think this should be an ad for runDisney?? I think so 🙂
I was so excited to get my thermal blanket. You just don’t feel like a distance runner until you get an astronaut blanket.
I really couldn’t believe how fantastic I felt finishing this race. Sometimes it pays to give yourself a break, do what you can, and re-calibrate your goals to what you can actually accomplish. If I hadn’t gone easy on myself for being sick and insisted on pushing to meet my average pace for a half marathon, I would have made myself seriously ill, and very likely wouldn’t have even finished. I cut myself some slack and the running Gods rewarded me with a beautiful new medal to add to my collection.
I don’t even remember my final chip time or my splits and I’m not even going to look them up because I’m not worried about it. Sometimes it’s ok just to run.
After the race I met up with Chris who also had a really great run. First thing on our minds? Breakfast! We ate at Catal in Downtown Disney. I hadn’t eaten there in years and I must say, their brunch was amazing! I had the smoked salmon hash.
Chris had shrimp grits, southern boy that he is.
After that we headed home. Unfortunately no time for fun in the parks this trip. With a sick fiance at home and my own immune system pushed to the max, what we needed was sleep.
Thanks to runDisney for another great event! My bank account however has quite a beef with you as I think I’m now addicted to another race. BUT, the price of admission is worth it to have so much fun while staying healthy.
Did you run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon this year? How did you do?
Now that my deep searching of soul and life confessions are out of the way, it’s time to get back to business, the business of running! We have to get to Tahiti! The Tinkerbell Half Marathon is in 51 days and I know that if I don’t get motivated to train, my mom won’t either, and we ARE running this race together.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to ever deal with a little (or a lot) of anxiety, am I right? For me, there are a few things that calm my nerves. A heartfelt talk with someone I love, a warm cup of tea, meditation… and running. Running grounds all of the crazy thoughts that tend to shake around in my brain during a panic attack. Those endorphins don’t hurt either. What gets you out of panic mode? We neurotics have to stick together and share our survival tips!
In other news…
Brad is seriously whooping my butt this month with the mileage count:
Becky? Not so much…
Will definitely be stepping up the mileage next week.
In all seriousness though, everyone, thank you so much for reading yesterday’s post. I actually wrote that post over a week ago but it took me that long to get up the nerve to publish it. I’m relieved that it’s out in the universe! I have no idea what exactly lies ahead, but I’m discovering the meaning of faith, and I have faith that the journey looks promising. Your outpouring of love and support means more than you’ll ever know.