Category Archives: Half Marathon

Upcoming Race Schedule

If there’s one thing I know for sure about myself as a runner, it’s that I love to race.

Racing is the reason I started running in the first place way back when, and once I finally married the ideas of competitive racing and running as a hobby, it was like a match made in RB heaven.

Put me in coach! I’m ready!

Racing makes me feel like an athlete . It makes running more than just exercise or a “calorie torcher” (btw I HATE that expression.) And racing provides a very tangible measurement to log your progress, successes, etc. Sure, some races are just fun—like this one—but for me, I really prefer to actually race when the opportunity presents itself.

When you’re marathon training, spontaneous racing becomes a little tricky. It’s a good way to gauge your fitness, but you don’t want to overdo it or set yourself back in training. I’m currently not training for a marathon, so I’m pretty excited to use this winter to pencil in some short distance races. Sorry paychecks, my Christmas present to myself is coming in the form of registrations and tech shirts.

Here’s a look at some of the races I have on the schedule:

Mustache Dache 5k

Along with every other blogger/runner in Seattle, I’ll me showing my facial hair pride (what?) at this humorous pre-Thanksgiving race. And as silly and fun as the premise of this race may be, I’m having this bug-out issue with it for some reason.

Yes it’s just a 5k, and yes I don’t need to try and run fast every race, but ever since my last 5k where I PR’ed without intending to, I feel this 5k pressure of sorts. 5ks also just scare me because my pace is so much faster than what I’m comfortable with, and we all like to keep our comfort zones within reach. So, I don’t know if I have “goals” for this race per se, but I think I’ll just try to run fast and hold on.

PS: Brunch afterwards bloggers?

Seattle Half-Marathon

Again, I think this is another event where a ton of people I “know” will be running, which makes it exciting. It’s also going to be the first half-marathon I’ve actually raced in nearly a year and a half. My last half was Disneyland, which was really just a for-fun race, and so now it’s back to business.

Sort of.

To be honest, I’m a little scared of this course, and while I’m anxious to go for a very ambitious half-marathon time goal, I’m not sure this is the time to do it. It’s a tough course, and since Tacoma, I don’t underestimate the effect a hard course can have on race expectations. On that note, screw you Tacoma.

So, I think for the Seattle half I may go for a new PR (my current is 1:46) and see how I feel. My half PR was run when I was much slower than I am now (at the time I thought it was a fluke), so I’m interested to see what else I have in me. We’ll see.

Christmas Rush 10k

Nicole let me in on this little $10 secret, and I’m so excited to run another 10k. Fun fact: when I first started running (other than running track), a 10k was my first race. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a blast. I like this distance a lot more than 5ks—less puke-inducing but still fast enough to feel like a race. No goals really yet for this race—but I’m excited for it.

Yukon Do It Half Marathon

This little race in Port Orchard might be the ticket to my lofty half-marathon aspirations. It’s a smaller race, but such a beautiful course and still all the bells and whistles of a race (bibs, time chips, medals, etc.) It’s also on December 30, and I love the idea of closing the year with a half-marathon.

That’s all for now! Who knows, another one might pop up—but for now I’m pretty psyched for this schedule. It seems that November and December have turned into racing season for me, and I love it!

As for this weekend, no racing, but some running and seasonal fun as well. We have a “Family Thanksgiving” feast with some of our friends on Saturday night, and I’m planning a beautiful, cold 16 miles for tomorrow morning. Winter running, I love you so.

 

Now, please tell me which of YOU are running any of these races! Let’s meet-up 🙂

Disneyland Half-Marathon Race Report

Chances were that I was going to have a fan-flipping-tastic time at the Disneyland Half-Marathon. I wrote all about how obnoxiously tickled I was to be doing the race, and after the fact—it’s pretty safe to say that overall, my expectations were definitely met.

But let’s start at the beginning—because what’s a race recap without expo and pre-race details?

On Saturday, BF and I made our way from Pasadena, CA (where we were staying) to Anaheim to get our race packets at the Disneyland Hotel. This is about where my Disney-themed excitement really began and lasted until our final farewell to the park on Sunday afternoon. Typical expo scene—plus a boatload of Disney-themed running things, music, DJs, etc.

BF has a toothpick in his mouth, he doesn’t just look creepy normally.

Sorority pride in the form of exercise headbands! I didn’t buy one, but I appreciated the gesture.

The best part was the option to SEE the finish line.

I actually have never seen a finish line before the end of a race, and although I consider the finish line to be sacred ground, it was definitely fun to see where the grand finale would take place the next day.

If you read my post on Friday, you know that I really didn’t have high ambitions in terms of actually “racing” this race. I never intended on taking it too seriously, plus with peak weeks for Chicago afoot, it was the best decision to lay-off in terms of speed and effort during this race. Needless to say, I wasn’t nearly as nervous come race morning as I normally am.

It’s 3:45 am!!! No one has ever been up this early!! Let’s take a photo!

BF and I were both in Corral A, which was very nice, and we managed to do the whole wake up-drive-arrive-park-porta potty-corral-wait thing like champs. We had enough time that we weren’t stressed out, but we also only wait for the race start for about 10 minutes.

BF DON’T HATE ME FOR POSTING THIS K?

After the National Anthem played, FIREWORKS went off (yes, at 5:45 in the morning) and with the shot of a gun, we were off!

The race course was designed to highlight both the Disney parks as well as Anaheim, and it showed. I knew this race was bound to be impressive (both due to Disney’s reputation and the first born child fee it cost to get in, but I wasn’t expecting quite the spectacles we were given.

To start off, there were spectators nearly the entire race. And not just one or two “Go Mom!” signs…like, crowds of people lining the course, cheering everyone on. And not only general fans—there were cheerleaders, volleyball teams (weird?), bands, even a rally of old-time cars honking their horns. It was mighty impressive, and there’s something so great about getting your name called out even if it’s by a stranger.

We started off going through California Adventure, winding our way through the park. All the lights on the attractions were on, so it was really easy to see everything and everyone. It was at this point that there started to be characters along the course, which was highly entertaining. They were all definitely in character in terms of the mannerisms. Oh, and just about every princess was there EXCEPT for Belle. She was probably too busy reading and being an independent woman.

Mid-run photo fail. But you get the idea.

After leaving California Adventure, we headed into Disneyland for a run around all the different lands. It’s surprising how much smaller Disneyland feels when A) you aren’t 7, B) you’re running through it, and C)there aren’t hoards of people to meander around. Perhaps my favorite part of the race was when we ran down Main Street toward the castle. I got all kinds of giggly and we stopped for a photo.

Dark shot…but you get the idea.

At this point, the course was still decently crowded. I normally don’t mind crowds too much, but with BF and I staying together the whole time, all the weaving was a little annoying. But relatively speaking, everything was still well and good, and without a goal time—we really didn’t mind the bunching.

When we left Disneyland, we were around mile 5 or so and for all I knew we hadn’t really been running at all. BF and I were clocking a cool 8:50 pace or so, and I was so distracted/enthralled with the whole thing that it barely felt like a race.

The next 5 or so miles took us through Anaheim toward Angel Stadium. These miles were definitely less scenic than the rest of the course, but the race did a good job of making sure there were still groups cheering along the way. There was even an authentic mariachi band and Spanish dancers which was great.

There had been a few rolling hills at this point but really nothing significant. It was flat mostly, and it felt like a course someone would choose for their own run, if that makes sense.

Around mile 10 we came into Angels Stadium which is where the real cheering began. The stands were piled with all kinds of people cheering, and it was really encouraging to run into a professional ballpark feeling like the competitor. We ran nearly all the way around the warning track of the field, and they projected all the runners on the big screen by the scoreboard.

We were starting to realize at this point where some of the enormous registration fee went…

{BTW I took a video of the stadium crowds, but WordPress wouldn’t upload it. Sad.}

You might be wondering exactly how I/we were feeling at this point. I know race reports are typically filled with minute-by-minute details of when every Gu was consumed and when each calf began to cramp. But honestly, I have never felt better during a race. I almost felt like I was on an easy recovery run rather than an actual half marathon, and by Mile 11 I felt it might as well have been Mile 3. I did have, by the way, only two cups of water and no Gus during the race…and I choked on both cups. Still a skill I need to learn.

Now, it would be a lie to say that BF felt as good as I did. He was in pretty high spirits up until this point in the race, but around this time his endurance started to wane. We both expected this—so it wasn’t surprising, but let’s just say someone was not very excited about all of my “Look at that!”s and “I love this!”

However, he went almost two weeks without running at all (severely rolled ankle) and it wasn’t until two and a half weeks ago that he actually even started running again. He maxed out mileage at 8.5 miles last week, and although he was pretty confident he could finish the half—he knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

And although he was definitely feeling it around Mile 11—I was in awe of him. After very little endurance exercise, clocking 8:50 and below miles consistently is pretty damn awesome—especially when that’s only slightly above what he does when he’s in great shape. He was a rockstar.

We picked it up a little bit toward the end, and I asked if he wanted to hold hands across the finish line. He was game, and as we approached the end both of us were getting so excited and we picked it up a lot. Once the finish line was in sight, I knew we’d finish in under 2 hours (which wasn’t even a goal) and..behold, Mickey and Minnie were at the finish line! So, despite my hand-holding idea and BF’s compliance, the poor boy was left holding his hand out unheld while his Disney-freak girlfriend scurried over to Mickey and Minnie for her euphoric finale.

The photos are hilarious, and in the end we did hold hands across the finish line, but not before I got to slap those big gloves of love.

1:56!

For a race with no goal other than to go slow and have fun (and stop and take pictures!) this wasn’t too shabby. Mostly, I was just impressed that BF was able to pull off such an impressive display without much training.

And as for me, the race might as well have been 5 miles. It FLEW by, and I credit that to going slower than normal but also how much fun it was to see and hear everything going on. I LOVED not wearing headphones for this race, and it was really nice to be able to chat with someone the whole time. I’m not convinced these strategies would work in an actual goal race, but for a race with no agenda—it was perfect.

Ignore Mr. PhotoBomb in the background.

Finishers!

Disney Half-Marathon success!!

I loved this race, and after a quick baby-wipe bath and change of clothes, we were ready for a day at the park. That’s a post for another day…but I’ll show you how it started off:

Mickey waffles!!!

Going to the Minnie and friends BUFFET breakfast was perhaps the best idea I’ve ever had. Refueling from the race and prefueling for Disneyland at its finest.

The heaviest/coolest medal ever. We wore them all day.

Have you ever done a Disney race? What did you think of it? Did you dress up? Were you up as early as we were?

Excitement Overload

I am 24-years-old. I am a fully-functioning adult. I pay bills, I do dishes, I can change a tire, and I have a real job with a 401k plan.

And yet, I’m currently sitting at my desk, listening to Disney music, and my legs are shaking with excitement. My brain is scheming on various ways to affix a crown to my head while running and whereabouts to put temporary Mickey Mouse tattoos.

Yes, it’s here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disneyland Half-Marathon. AKA: Everything I love in life is about to happen all at once. ALL CAPS EXCITED, PEOPLE!!

I know, I know…nearly every runner gets all giddy excited about the prospect of running through the happiest place on Earth. It’s perfectly normal—the child in us gets to tag team with the runner in us for 13.1 miles of magic.

But, my elation about this race is on a whole other level. It’s over-the-top, some may say unhealthy, and most would say obnoxious. I am the quintessential Disneyland kid: I was SUCH a princess when I was little, I worshipped all the Disney leading ladies, and to this day I can sing just about every song there is, word-for-word. Needless to say, a trip to Disneyland for me—as a 24 year old—is equally as exciting as it was when I was little. Friends of mine who have gone with me have said that they never really knew me until they saw me in Disneyland—in my primal element of giggles and a huge toothy grin.

Four years ago with Minnie. Besties.

Have I scared you away yet?

If not…thanks, you’re the best.

Obviously, the idea of running (aka my favorite activity in the world, see:every post I ever write) combined with Mickey, Splash Mountain, and Sleeping Beauty’s castle is just about too much for me to handle. I’m a little worried I might actually combust from sheer euphoria during the race. I will probably have the best races photos I’ve ever taken, though, seeing as I will have a constant obnoxious grin on my face. Or tears of joy—one way or the other. There’s also a chance a lot of gallant leaping will be involved too.

Point blank: I am so stupid excited for this weekend I can’t even contain it.

And BF? What a trooper that boy is. He is fully aware just what he’s dealing with in terms of his 24-turned-6-year-old girlfriend, and so far he seems well prepared. We’ve been to D-land before together, twice in fact, and he was such a great companion both times. He himself is a big fan of the park (let’s get real…if he wasn’t we would have some serious issues), and so I’m pretty sure he’s really excited himself.

Super cheesy pic from way back when I wore my ponytails on one side of my head.

So, considering I always have a well-thought out, down-to-the second pacing plan and goal times in mind—I’m sure you’re wondering: Hey Robyn, what’s your race plan?

The plan? NO PLAN! We are going to do this race super easy and casual. I’m not wearing headphones (a first!) and I’m going to carry my phone to take pictures. Hello…um, there are characters lining the course, some of which I have never in my life been able to get photos with. Watch out Belle…you might get tackled. But you still need to pull it together for a picture with me.

JK I have a pic with Belle already, you really think Mom was going to get away with not letting her little baby meet her idol?

So the plan is not to have a plan. We want to have fun, enjoy the whole thing, and not stress about PRs or negative splits or whatever. The other thing is that Mr. BF is recovering from a bad twisted ankle from a few weeks ago, and although his injury has recovered…his endurance has waned a bit. My plan, then, is to help keep us at a comfy pace and distract him with all of my sobs of joy. I’m dedicated to staying with him the whole race, and if I know BF as well as I think I do…I’m pretty sure he’s going to finish no problem. If we can get in under two hours, that would be cool, but I’m not worried about it. There’s a good chance this will be my slowest half to date, and I really don’t care.

Sure, I’m a little itchy to race since I know I could do well if I pushed it, but even if that were an option…it probably wouldn’t be the best one. With peak weeks coming up and a marathon in a little over a month, going balls-out in a half wouldn’t be the best idea for me. Maybe for some people—but I’d rather use it as a relaxed training run and keep up with my schedule rather than risk injury and need extra recovery time.

So, from now until 5:45 AM on Sunday, I’ll be busy packing, flying, expo-ing, carb-eating, listening to Disney Pandora, and trying to get some sleep because as we all know…sometimes the promise of Disneyland leads to insomnia.

Have a great {long} weekend!!!

If this isn’t the picture of readiness for a flight to Disneyland…I don’t know what is.

Post-Script: Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, not Disneyworld. Those who disgree, meet me out back after school.

Are you racing this weekend? Long run? No run? Labor Day Plans?