No better way to kick of 2016 than a trip to Disneyland…
unless it’s a trip to Disneyland to run the Star Wars Half Marathon!
(note: I am finally sitting down to write this a few months after I came back!)
I will have to say that this trip came at the perfect time. On Thursday, when I flew out of Milwaukee, it was 10 degrees outside.
When I stepped off the plane in Orange County, it was 65! You will not hear me complain about the weather!! While friends of mine back home were posting pictures of running on the frigid temperatures, I was living in capri’s and t-shirts!
First stop – Packet pickup and the expo! I was really glad to make this stop on Thursday, before most people arrived for the weekend. There were virtually no other people in line and I was in and out in a matter of a few minutes with my race bib. Heading up stairs then for the expo!
I probably could have spent 5 hours wandering round the expo, checking out all the goodies, shiney things and apparel, but I really did need to find some food! So that won out over shopping for the evening!
Friday morning started out early as I headed to Downtown for the start of the 5k. Even though I wasn’t running, it was awesome to get down there and be part of the excitement.! Since I also needed to get in some miles, I found out that from the south end of Downtown Disney to the far north end near the parking garage was a half mile. I am sure that I got more than just a few odd looks from those walking to the race, of from the Disney employees that were working and select points thru town and I kept running past 🙂 in the end, I hit 3 miles right before the 5k started! All in all, it was a productive morning!
After the race and a shower, it was off to the parks for the day! Yes, a 1 day park ticket is about the equivelent of highway robbery, but when you are in Anaheim for the first time in 18 years, (and didn’t get to go to Disney on that trip) you go to Disney!
The nice part about getting to the parks early, the streets aren’t all that crowded! Plus, when you are not lugging kids and everyone else around with you, you can avoid long lines but hitting the single rider lines!
To make a trip to California even better than just being able to run at Disneyland? Finding out that a dear friend from college currently lives less that 5 minutes from your hotel! After 20 years, it was amazing to be able to catch up with Amy over lunch and coffee on Saturday, promising that it would not be 20 years before we saw each other again! (We actually saw each other again in February when she was in MI visiting her dad and we made the trip up to see them!)
Finally, Sunday and race day was here! When you wake up at 3am to get to the start line and look at your weather app in California, you don’t expect to see 38 degrees! I had been on the fence about what to wear it was time to make a decision! Temps were not supposed to get much over 50, so I opted to go with the (heatgear) capri’s and lightweight long sleeve shirt under my costume.
At the start line at 4:30 am! Time to make it happen!
After spending Friday walking through the parks all day, it was completely different to see them in the dark! The entire park was lit up and there were awesome photo ops throughout the entire park. Of course, the best ones were with the Star Wars Characters!
Each time I stopped, I did stop my running watch as I wanted to get a more accurate idea of how much time I spent running. In the end, I spent about a half hour waiting for photos with Chewie and R2, but it was so worth it!
Not sure how I managed it, but I timed my run through the park just right that the sun was coming up as I was running through Radiator springs! Ok, not quite the same as actually running through the majestic areas along Route 66, but it’s a close second!
What an experience! Traveling across the country to run a half marathon, explore new cities, meeting so many new people was so worth the adventure! I couldn’t have asked for a better race to kick of my 2016 race season!
I was at the airport in LA bright and early Monday morning to fly back home. Happy to say it was a quiet uneventful flight home but a nice way to relax and reflect on my adventure! I feel so blessed to have been able to take this opportunity and run with it (pun intended!) Some days, I think my family is convinced that I am completely crazy… there may be some truth to that statement, depending on who you ask. In the end, it comes down to fining your passion and striving to reach your goals!
Life is an adventure! Get out there and live it!
Don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life!
What drives you? What are your passions? That is a huge part of figuring out what you truly want out of life!