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Pretty cool huh? I know it’s a cruddy cellphone picture but you can’t argue with:
The top medal is the 5th Anniversary medal of the Disneyland half marathon.
The bottom medal rack filled with Coast to Coast medals for people who have done at least one race at Walt Disney World (half marathon or full marathon) and the Disneyland half marathon. Alas those races have to be in the same year which is where the financial pressure builds.
But as you can imagine having obtained the top medal I eventually want one of the bottom ones.
I promise the race recap is coming but I thought I’d leave you with the pictures first.
According to my race ticker I’m 2 months and 4 days away from the Marine Corps Marathon. Two years ago the idea of doing a 1 miler was crazy to me and here I’m about to go 26.2. I still haven’t fully wrapped my mind around that one but I’m thinking the plane ride to DC will help.
In other news remember when HZ did the Little Rock 5K last year? It took me over a year and six 5K races before I beat her time from that race. I’m not saying that to brag I’m telling you that because for all my half marathons (I just finished #9 and #10 will be Labor Day weekend) I’m still pretty slow.
I think it’s important to point that out.
I know a lot of you visit this page from time to time out of curiosity and maybe longing.
13.1 miles seems a LONG LONG way for the big girls. I know because the first race I ever wanted to do was this one:
That’s 13.1 miles though the Disneyland, and Disney’s California Adventure Theme Parks, through the city of Anaheim around the field at Angel’s Stadium and back to the Disneyland Resort area for the finish.
The starting line was less then a half marathon distance from the house where I grew up. It might as well have been on Mars.
So I missed out on
Note the word Inaugural. Every race only has one of those and I missed this one in 2006.
Then I missed it again in 2007 and 2008.
By 2009 HZ and I had a deal and I’d already gotten one race under my belt. So I signed up because I’m a Disney geek and I’ve ALWAYS wanted this medal.
But the closest I got to that action in 2009 was:
And boy was that really depressing.
$120 down the drain for the race (the mouse is expensive)
$8 for parking (the mouse is expensive)
And STILL NO MEDAL! It remains the only race I never showed up for because:
1) I knew I couldn’t finish
2) My ankle and knee were alternately wonky from something stupid I’d done while training
The blogs I wrote are HERE and HERE. While I did my best to sound like a good sport about it but I was pretty angry with myself.
That being said allow me to introduce:
The 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon Medal. Why is it shaped like a 5? Because it took me five YEARS before I could register for this race knowing I can walk/jog this thing and still finish within the time limit. Granted, the first 3.5 years didn’t count because I wasn’t active but you get my point. So I’m racing for the 5th Anniversary finisher’s medal. And when they hang this thing around my neck I’m going to grin, and cheer, and try not to kick myself for missing out on the first 4 years of medals. (Oh come on you all know I’m obsessive compulsive by now).
But you know what? I will have this one. I’ll have #5 and be living proof that it’s never too late to get your ass up and active. It is never too late to talk to your doctor about starting a walking program. It’s never too late to set a goal for yourself, even if it’s just a small one.
Disneyland half Labor Day weekend
Marine Corps Marathon on Halloween. Ooh rah!
Want to know where I was Sunday, May 30th?
Lets try this word association-style.
Why YES! I was in Brentwood, California whose residents have spent the last 16 years rolling in wealth and trying to live down their notorious former neighbor. (It has been 16 years how scary is that?)
For those too young to remember, or anyone who was too busy playing professional beer pong during that time period click HERE and read the lengthy “legal history” to mend that gap in your cultural literacy.
Anyway, OJ was chased by the cops whereas I got to run past them.
So the good news was I got to run the city streets for 3.1 miles. The bad news is that it was my first race where I actually RAN since the beginning of March. And that kind of break is never pretty.
Let me just stop complaining and give it to you in pictures right?
Okay I have to share this one because it freaks me out. This is the ground at the VA where I parked. What the heck are those holes? Are they snake holes? Are they gofer holes? Am I about to score a free game of whac-a-mole? Yes, these are the things I think about 20 minutes before a race. I’m not really much for profound thoughts at 6:30 on a Sunday morning.
Anyway, I finally tore myself away from these freaky mysterious holes and took off for the starting line.
And this is the first thing I saw when I got to the race:
Now any true runner will tell you this is a fabulous and welcome sight. Note there is NO LINE. That means you if you have a nervous bladder you don’t have to worry about getting in lines three times.
Anyway, I like to call this area the Olympic Village. I like telling running buddies “hey I’m heading to the Olympic village, I’ll catch you at the start.” It sounds so much classier then “I gotta pee. Again.” The truth is I only suffer from nervous bladder when I see exponentially long lines at the pre-race porta potties. Seeing no line made me realize I was guaranteed not to have to pee and that makes me feel like a winner right there.
So instead of lingering I went straight to the check in and picked up my treats.
With the exception of the shirt and the $10 off Dick’s Sporting Goods (Best swag ever!), all the other items were from the race expo. It was an excellent expo for a 5K.
I ran my treats back to the car and headed for the starting line.
It was quite a nice patriotic touch for Memorial Day weekend.
Then came the race
See all those runners? They’re trying not to make eye contact with the guy in the cop car on the right.
Anyway, these are all the people that smoked past me. Including the short kids in the middle. But that’s okay because I have:
And therefore I’m happy.
Not all 5Ks give out medals. Actually most 5Ks don’t give out medals which is a stinking shame because a little bling at the end of a sweaty distance never hurt anyone.
All in all it was actually a lovely race experience and I plan to do it again next year (provided they have a medal of course).
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
I just completed my first double race weekend. I did a 5K on Sunday and a half marathon on Monday. I was mostly untrained. It was actually kind of ugly but it was nowhere near as ugly as my first race ever last year. Realistically I didn’t have to stick it out for the race but you know what? I like running. I like walking. I like jogging. Most importantly, however, I like FINISHING.
Think about it. How many things in your life do you ever really finish? You finish a job at work and there are 25 more waiting for you. Or you do an errand at home but your list is still three pages long. When you finish a race that’s it. Finito. They hand you a medal, give you a backslap (okay not really) and you leave with the confidence that you can now eat whatever you want and not feel guilty about it for the day. That’s a pretty fabulous feeling.
I’m blogging about both of them but here is something pretty to look at in the meantime.
Please note we started this blog in 2008. October of 2008 to be exact. It started out as two friends whining about being fat and lazy. And races. And being Lazy. And medals. And diets. And medals.
Are you noticing any repeats here?
The operative word has become medals. At least in my view.
So you can imagine my shock, excitement and dawning horror when I discovered this little gem.
Photo taken from a really awesome site called 26.2 marathon medals
Meet the 2009 LITTLE ROCK Marathon Medal. You’ve all heard of Little Rock right? It’s famous for a couple things. Wallyworld. A sax playing former president. And HZ!
Looks kind of cool huh?
The 2009 Little Rock Marathon finisher’s medal is black zinc alloy and is 7 1/4 inches long and 6 1/4 inches wide. The medal features the 2009 circus theme and weighs in at a pound and a half. The medal features the race’s signature globe, race director’s kiss and the “race for every pace” motto.
Dude. I want that frickin’ medal.
And how is it we’ve been at this for almost a year and a half and I never knew the biggest racing bling in America is in HZ’s hometown???
If I live through LA 2010 I’m heading for Little Rock in 2011. HZ I hope your couch is really comfy. I won’t even mind Ruby farts.
So I have one of
to add to
And the race course? The one they originally described as
Changed considerably without notice. My previous blog map was the updated trail but reality looked like:
The race course was something like 13.3 according to my GPS watch. I forgot to mark my location at the finish line so 14.67 includes all post-race walking until I got to my car. That didn’t include the extra 2 miles I walked in the morning going from my car to the race, then back to my car and back to the race which would make it 16.67 miles overall.
All in all not a bad day. My feet are fine. My muscles are pleasantly sore but it’s not excruciating and I think I’m finally getting the hang of this race thing! Next step? Solve the shin splint problem!
Running a race is a lot like a final exam. You can’t just show up and expect to pass unless you’ve put in some kind of effort.
Some people prepare for months and sleep deeply at night secure in their efforts.
Others realize 24 hours beforehand that 80% of their overall grade is riding on this sucker and panic commences. This can include all night cram sessions. Cheat sheets. Sleep for these people is rare if not impossible the night before their big event.
While I fit in neither of these categories, I do take some time the night before every race to set out my gear, pack some snacks and generally prepare myself.
It’s a little hard to do that when all you can hear is
Particularly when your drive home from your race expo involved a lot of
As much as I’d like to pretend I could stick out an entire half marathon in those kinds of weather conditions there is just no way. Maybe if I was a full scale runner. Maybe if I wasn’t a total wimp. Maybe if hell froze over.
So why didn’t I just throw in the towel last night?
Because my friend Joan posted her 2009 medals not too long ago and I was a little jealous.
And then yesterday my friends Stephanie and Greg posted a picture of their Christmas tree.
How awesome is that tree!
And now you see why I was unwilling to give up on today’s race.
Darkness wasn’t going to stop me.
Rain wasn’t going to stop me.
Not even Frodo himself was going to stop me from my quest for shiny objects.
So driving past Angel’s stadium in the dark didn’t faze me.
And arriving to wet pavement didn’t faze me.
Neither did stormy skies.
But then there was a miracle! By the time I reached the starting line the skies has cleared up and I was greeted with:
Well, October came and went and I finished another race. It wasn’t until this week that I received my reward. Let me tell you if you thought waiting for Christmas morning was painful as a kid, waiting 4 weeks to receive a medal you went 13.1 miles for is pretty excruciating!
Still without further ado *drumroll*
I would also like to take this moment to quote my buddy Steve.
A lot of people run to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.
– Steve Prefontaine
I’d like to believe it takes a decent amount of guts to show up and do a half without prior training thanks in large part to multiple stupid injuries.
Heck my feet are still peeling from the blisters. How is THAT for sexy?
So on that note I’d like to leave you with a profound thought for the day courtesy of Gatorade.
You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face.
Someone hand me a damn towel baby, because I just ADDED A RACE for 2009. I’m doing the Los Angeles County Inaugural 1/2 marathon (inaugural bling baby!) on December 13th. It’s in
23 days: 11 hours: 38 minutes
from the time of this post
My blisters haven’t fulled healed from October but I’ve got new shoes, new insoles and new socks (the gear issue is another post) and I’m determined to cross a friggin’ finish line in time to actually receive my medal on race day.
They say three is the charm right?
apologies in advance for the poor image quality…
I’d like to announce the arrival of a lovely surprise
Why yes you DID see that correctly.
I know, it makes me want to giggle.
Yes, I have FINALLY received my medal. I’m sure the people at Surf City have been hoping for this day for the last three weeks since I’ve emailed them four times.
Email 1a-1d: Numerous messages asking why my finishing times were not posted.
Email 2: When can I anticipate receiving my medal?
Response: 2-3 weeks
Email 3: Am I on the list to receive a medal?
Why did I ask the last question? Because their hi-tech method of listing all the names of people who did not get a medal was a stack of plain white printer paper. I think I have a right to be a little paranoid.
The best part? the day I got the medal I was wearing a teal shirt and it matched the stripes on the bling PERFECTLY.
They call it “The Happiest Race on Earth” at least that’s what it says on the bottom of the medal you score for managing to finish the course in under 3:30. As far as I’m concerned the jury is out.
All I know is I saw this
It is SHINY
And I like shiny. The question is do I like shiny more then chocolate? carbs? and incessant portion control? because that’s what I’m signing up for.
HZ and I had a conversation the other day. My bottom half is 2 sizes smaller then hers. Her top have is 3 (or more) sizes smaller then mine. I suspect that’s what allows her to run with less frustration then I do. The top heavy thing stinks and the tummy doesn’t help.
So somewhere in the middle of all this I have to do major major MAJOR core work. If I could lose 20-30 pounds around my waist before September’s race it will make a HUGE difference for me. So that’s my goal. I’m also optimistic enough to think if I lose the 20-30 and running becomes easier the other 20-30 (*cough* 40) will come off faster. That’s my theory and I’m holding on to it for dear life.
So here is what I know: I am about to sink $120 on a race. On a race that will last less then 4 hours and doesn’t even get me free tickets into Disneyland park. WTF?!
Am I crazy? Probably
But I also know something else. I am cheap. And by cheap, I mean CHEAP. The reason I did the Surf City and didn’t just chicken out? I did it because I’d paid $80 for that and my ass was getting $80 worth of dixie cups of water and vitalyte to make up for it. Oh, and I wanted the damn medal.
Well here I am again. If I were spending the $50 that some of the SoCal races cost I might be able to talk myself out of that. It would cost me nearly $50 in gas to get to the race, after all. But there is no way you can ignore a dent like $120. That and I want medals. BIG SHINY MEDALS. Disney has definitely cornered the market on that one.
So here I go, I’m signing up for two races. The Disneyland half (which I have to run. God help me!) and the Long Beach half (which I can walk with my buddy Sabrina. WOOT!)
Between those two races I’m in for $170 not including the new shoes I’ll need between now and then, and the fortune worth of Clif bars, Gatorade and iTunes (what if that one new song is the difference between me crossing the finish line or not!).
I’m going to need a second job to pay for my new healthy lifestyle. Good grief.