2013 Disneyland Half Marathon and Dumbo Double Dare Challenge

50657650099The 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon and second part of the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge was going to be a difficult run for me. I was scared, not because I didn’t think I would finish, but because I was afraid my body would give out.

I was not trained sufficiently. I had just come off major surgery and I wasn’t running with any of my “running buddies.” My husband was concerned that lack of personal race support would be my downfall. I thought that lack of personal race support would force me to “man up” and put on my big girl panties and rise to the occasion.431

Unbeknownst to him, I didn’t share with him my own insecurities because I didn’t want him to know how scared I was. I didn’t want him to know that I was concerned that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want him to know that there was a chance he might have to pick me up at the hospital. I kept telling him that I would take it slow and I would finish, it wouldn’t be spectacular, but I would “make it happen” and he better be waiting for me at the finish!

411So I quickly got rid of my negative thoughts. Negative thoughts cannot help you in any way. I made up my mind to be so freaking positive on my run that I would force a smile through grit-teeth.

My Tips for the Mind:

  1. Suppress the negatives: The negatives are going to raise their ugly little heads, so redirect your thoughts. Find other things to concentrate on. I focused on the other runners – what they were wearing, cute outfits, costumes, etc. I focused on the crowd support. I focused on anything but myself and the miles just flew by.435
  2. Have a “Mantra”: I try to have a different mantra each run because they are all different. At Disneyland mine was “I am strong.”
  3. Break Up the Millage: When you break the run up, it is not so overwhelming to your head. The Disneyland Half Marathon is basically 4 runs. 1.)The first 4 miles in the park. This is filled with excitement, characters and the miles go fast. 2.)Then the middle part – miles 4 through 9. This is in the streets of Anaheim and there is plenty of crowd support to help you through! 3.)Angel Stadium – running around the bases!!!! 4.)The last 5K – from the stadium to the finish!466
  4. Smile through Grit Teeth!: I have no idea why this helps, but if you just smile, you just seem to feel better!
  5. Keep Focused: I put on my blinders, blocked everyone else out and just “ran.” I tried to stay true to the 2 minute run/30 second walk intervals, but when I needed the extra time to take a rest, I took it!

484My 3rd consecutive Disneyland Half Marathon and first Dumbo Double Dare Challenge went off without a hitch! I kept my focus and determination throughout the race. My low point was the hissy fit with major expletives coming out of the Angel Stadium. I had lost my footing and twisted my ankle, but I shrugged it off and kept running.

My Disneyland Half Marathon Race Highlights:

  1. The Team runDisney meet up prior to the race
  2. Being interviewed with runDisney TV’s Dennis Marisco
  3. Stopping at all the character stops in Disney California Adventure & Disneyland Park
  4. Running in the beautiful California weather (they said it was hot & humid, but it was normal for a Nutmegger).514
  5. Running through Angel Stadium – a highlight close to running through Sleeping Beauty Castle
  6. Stopping, hugging and kissing my family before the finish of the race!

I finished the Disneyland Half Marathon with a finish time of 3:01:33 – not too bad for stopping at all the character stops and having a bi-lateral mastectomy 4 weeks earlier! The moral – believe it and you can do it!

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