First - the Expo.
Moments before I arrived at the Expo, my running buddy, Vera L. had texted me to find Jeff Galloway. After I picked up my bib and commemorative lapel pin, I walked up to the Ballroom. The first booth I asked the gal if she knew where I could pick up my swag bag. I noticed she had a Galloway shirt on and asked where Jeff was at. She points to the man next to me! And Jeff Galloway says to me, "that's me!"
I was so happy to meet the man who got me through the LA Marathon (before I had my multiple pit stops). I explained to him our strategy for the Half and he advised me to pull back because of the heat.
Here is our picture -
I moved over to pick up my swag bag and commemorative poster. Now, I have two posters. 1) LA Marathon 2) Disneyland Half
I then moved through to find my friend at iFitness Belts. They were the official belts of the Disneyland Half. You all know I have been using these belts for over a year and half. I won't use or recommend any other belt. In fact, I still had my belt attached to my backpack from the Blue Moon event. She asked me to go to the main booth and meet the Owner. Which I did and we had a great chat.
I also stopped by the Clifbar booth. KT Tape was SO busy (yay!) I couldn't stay to say "hi"
So wonderful to meet the people behind the products that I love and endorse.
Found my friend Shawna W (she just finished her first 100-miler 2 weeks ago) and then it was time to leave. I am not one to stay long at Expo's. I get what I need, see the people I need and leave.
That evening, while walking my dogs - I tweaked my ankle. I applied some additional KT Tape and iced it well.
Things go as well as I had hoped for, before we left the hotel. Daisy Mae was have "issues" again and that meant I was going to have to change my post-race plans to get back to the hotel to check on her. But, the good news is my ankle had NO pain. The one downfall, I was tired. I didn't feel very alert.
I met up with running buddy, Vera L. and we walked to Corral A. We were starting at the same time as the Elites. Here is Vera and I waiting in Corral A.
We were ready to get that PR for her! SO ready!
Gun went off and I was OFFICIALLY running my long-awaited Disneyland Half Marathon - YES!!!
A brief run through the streets of Anaheim and back into the Park we went - first, through California Adventures. Staff & Characters were lining the street. Then, we moved onto Main Street USA. I had to hold back the tears as I stared down the Street that brings me to tears, everytime I see it.
Half way up Main Street - I heard "Charlene!" I turned around and a runner waved and said, "I am Jessica!"
LOVED seeing runner friends on the course!
Making our way on the back side and then coming up around Thunder Mountain - the ROAR of the crowd was amazing. Made it through Fantasyland, by the Carousel and running through the Castle. Oh gosh, I held back the tears again. Then around the other side to Small World. I stared at it as long as I could. Little did I know, when I was 3 years old in 1964 that 47 years later, I would be running a Half Marathon right in front of it. My heart pounded...and not because of the race! Then, onto Tune Town and through the backlot and onto the streets of Anaheim.
I was warned by so many that there was a hill at Mile 4-5. Ummmm, it was a bump to an overpass. No big deal. Vera and I laughed.
As we reached Mile 6 - I started to feel very fatigued, I still had not gotten into my pace. I told Vera - GO...keep going...you have a PR to get, don't worry about me. She knodded her head and kept going. I kept her within 10 feet of me until Mile 7. I felt a pull on my ankle. Knowing that Vera was looking strong...and didn't NEED me to get that PR, I pulled back to save my ankle so I could finish and not hobble to the end. I was NO finishing this race in a bad situation.
I was getting fatigued. It's been plaguing me since April. Legs were heavy and it was hard, but my pace was solid around the 8:30. Couldn't complain.
Came up on Muscle Cars lining up the streets around Mile 8-9. That was great. The Anaheim community really comes out in force for this event.
As much as I LOVED running through the Disney parks - but, my favorite part was Anaheim Stadium. Coming into the tunnel I could hear a ROAR of people. I thought "what in the world?"
I never knew there would be people in the stadium, cheering us on. To hear the crowds was unbelievable and they were there to cheer us all on. I could of done circles around that stadium for my entire race.
Coming up on Mile 11, the ankle was tightening up, so I pulled back my pace even more. Nothing to warrant for me to stop - but I did slow down to protect my ankle the best I could. I have St George Full in a month. I have to protect that race, I am running in memory of my Mother-in-Law! :)
Mile 12-13.1 - I ran and just kept a steady pace. When I turned the corner to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto at the Finish Line I smiled and was crying. I had done it. I had ran my dream event. It wasn't even close to my personal best - but I finished in a respectable 2:00:17. I wasn't overly thrilled with my time, but oh well.
|At the Finish|
When I stopped, the ankle immediately tightened up. I started to limp and next thing I know, the medics are swooping me into A WHEELCHAIR. That was really embarrassing! I told them I wasn't INJURED, I just needed a good rub down and some ice. But, as wonderful as they were (thank you!) they insisted I go to the medical tent. I told the medical tent the same thing and they sent me on my way for the self-serve ice bags (love that!) I knew if I could keep it stretched out and get some ice on it...I could work it back into place. It was only a strain, I was convinced of that.
I finally got my medal in my hand. Not since my first Half Marathon in 2010, had I been SO happy to have a Half Marathon medal.
I finally connected with my husband and he was able to get me some ice packs as I sat on the ground. After I worked out the kinks, I was able to stand and pose with Ladybug's ball, my Disneyland Medal and my Ladybug Love Run Virtual medal.
Can you see how happy I am?
I was giggling most of the morning. I FINALLY GOT MY DISNEYLAND HALF MARATHON MEDAL!
Now...it was time to wait for more friends to Finish.
First came, Dave Mari. The poor guy was so cramped and sore & I was favoring my ankle- we couldn't do our traditional X jump photo - so we did a FAKE X jump photo
More friends (but forgot to get pictures..yikes!)
And then Shawna W. and Michael H. finished. Shortly after that, Louie and Terri Perez. Louie and Terri are new advocates and customers of my sponsors product, I had to wait for them. I am thrilled to report that Terri was able to runt he entire race without ANY pain, for the first time in 4 yrs - a MAJOR accomplishment! Another life transformed because of raising Glutathion!
|Louie, Terri, me, Shawna and Michael|
As I sit here - days later, I am still smiling about this event. While it wasn't a PR - it was my Personal Best Experience! I can't wait for next year and the year after & the year after....
My friend, Vera? Did she PR? OH, HECK YES! She did! (and somehow we didn't get a picture, post race!) So proud of her!!!
It was Magical!
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored Brand Ambassador for RobKellerMD.com
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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