A Super Duper Half

I was the first one awake again, but this time Hubby got ready at about the same time I did. I don’t recall him doing his breathing treatment, but I do remember he didn’t feel as sick as the previous day. My brother woke up before we left and told us a bit about his night out with some of his friends. Two friends he didn’t realize were acquainted with each other ended up showing up together at one of the places they visited that night. My brother seemed to have had a good time catching up to his old friends. I believe he was ready for the morning with the Littles.

We headed out of the hotel and crossed the street when I realized Hubby had his hat but no sunglasses. I had mine that morning because I knew the half marathon would take longer than the 10K we did the previous day, and I would need them toward the end when the sun was up in full force. Hubby decided not to go back and get his sunglasses. He was afraid they would slide off his hat for the first part of the race when he didn’t need them.

I joined Hubby in corral D. If you read the previous post I did on the 10K you’ll know that my husband is usually in a corral ahead of me, but our last qualifying half marathon I was ahead of him for a change. So when I entered our proof of time, that put me in a corral ahead of him.

Again I noticed the awesome costumes while we were waiting for the start of the race. I was Spider Woman and Hubby was Captain America. We were surrounded by superheroes. Makes sense since we were doing the Avenger’s Half Marathon. We actually had a few villains as well. I saw at least one Harley Quinn. I loved seeing a few Agent Carters. I thought that was pretty great. The announcer at the start said she saw a Stan Lee. That reminded me of the guy from the 10K. Toward the end of the race I even saw She-Ra. I didn’t get many pictures this day especially since I got some of the characters the day of the 10K

Hubby seemed okay at the beginning. The half marathon started out in the parks right off the bat. We entered the Radiator Springs area at Disney California Adventure which I knew would be beautiful. We didn’t stop as much for pictures this day. We got most of our pictures from the awesome Disney PhotoPass. I still can’t say enough good things about being able to buy all my pictures for the park visits and the races from one company. Hubby and I didn’t stick together long. The last time I saw him until the end was right before the castle. We didn’t get a clear picture the day before so we asked a worker to take our picture that day.

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Our other Radiator Springs picture.

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Hubby with ball cap but no shades.

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Our one picture in front of the castle.

I didn’t put my sunglasses on until we were well out of the parks. When we went over one bridge the sun was blaring and I thought that Hubby was not going to have a good time with that. A ball cap can only do so much especially if the sun is just starting to come up for the day.

I saw people running under the bridge and I thought that I would be down there soon, but boy was I wrong. We didn’t go back under the bridge until after we made our rounds in the Angel’s stadium. It reminded me a bit of our Royals 5K running around the parking lot and then into the stadium itself.

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Entering Angel’s Stadium

I saw some people dressed as superheroes as we were going into the parking lot of the stadium but they were on the other side of the divider for the road. I knew we would be going right by them on the way out the stadium. I figured I could have my fun then. We ran on the outside part of the parking lot first. There were people lined up a good ways away from our race markers. I was surprised to see a ton of people dressed in 20’s garb. I’m not sure why there were dressed up like that but it was awesome. I saw one lady do a big curve to go out and high five the people dressed in the 20’s costumes. I kind of wanted to do that, but I got lazy and decided they were too far away from me.

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People dancing in 20’s costumes

It was about this time I believe I started to dedicate miles. I dedicated one to my husband for being out there with me in the first place. The next mile would be my brother’s mile for his help with everything during the weekend. I knew if I had a chance to goof off I would do it for his mile.

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Hubby in the Angel’s Stadium

Now I mentioned how irritated we were when one guy messed up our picture in front of the castle on the 10K. Well I saw a line of people inside the field of the stadium. They were offering high fives and if you read any of my other posts you know if given the chance, and if I’m not being lazy, I’m a high five slut. I gave them all a big high five. Then all of a sudden I saw a dude with a Captain America shield. I was going to fist bump it until I realized he was posing and not offering high fives. He had asked one of the high five people to take his picture in the stadium. He was a runner! I may or may not have messed up his picture. I don’t know. I hope I didn’t. Funny thing is that later when I saw all my photos I saw a girl behind me in the stadium that was showing off her “guns” and boy did she have some nice guns. All I did to act goofy for my brother’s mile was raise my arms. Her face and all was visible so I don’t think I messed up the photo too bad. I hope she got a good shot. Basically my lesson learned here is to just run and smile. I do better photos that way. Some people like the lady with the “guns” can pull off those fun pictures, but not me. I do better with a simple smile.

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Yes, the lady behind me has it going on and I just messed up her picture being “goofy.” Sorry!

The superheroes outside the stadium were awesome. They were not Disney employees but civilians that decided to dress up and meet to cheer us on outside the stadium. I high fived a few including Spider Man of course. I gave The Thing a fist bump. He had these enormous fake Thing hands. These people were great. They really helped pump me up for the rest of the race!

The next mile was for my daughter. I was about to make it under the bridge and I saw a sign that there was a brewery nearby. I hoped it wasn’t too far off the route. I thought it would be cool if they were giving free samples, but there was nothing. I doubt they were even open at that hour in the morning.

The next mile was for my boy. I was getting closer to the parks by that time. Toward the end I dedicated the last mile to my husband again because I was worried about him. The last tiny bit of the race I dedicated to myself because I knew I would finish.

I made it to the end, got my medal, and went to the challenge tent. They looked up my number and sent me on through to the next person to get my Gauntlet Challenge Medal. Then right after that was a group cutting off the wrist bands for the Coast to Coast Medal. I had three heavy medals on me and walked toward the picture area. There was a nice guy there directing people for the different challenges to the appropriate picture background. I asked if I could wait for Hubby there. The gentleman was more than happy to let me hang there. I called Hubby because I knew he had his headset on him. He only had one more mile to go. I told the gentleman it would be about twelve minutes or so. At one point when the foot traffic got slow he asked what challenges we did.  I told him we did the Goofy Challenge and mentioned that I was worried about my husband because he basically still had pneumonia. I stayed and listened to the gentleman say the same thing over and over again to the runners to direct them to the right place.

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We got a Coast to Coast photo but we forgot to get a Gauntlet Challenge one.

I finally saw Hubby come through as my watch buzzed to let me know my brother sent a text congratulating us. We got our Coast to Coast pictures but we forgot to get our Gauntlet Challenge one. Once we were through with the Challenge photos we went to the main stage area to get our Avenger’s Half Marathon photo. We also went to shop for some shirts in the merchandise tent. They didn’t have the Coast to Coast shirts there but we did buy some other shirts. We sat down and ate some of the goodies we got and figured we would walk around the Disney park instead of going through Downtown Disney to get to our hotel.

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Here is our half marathon photo. The sun was out full force by now.

If you read my post about the Doctor Strange 10K then you know we had a really hard time getting through all the foot traffic through Downtown Disney to our hotel. It was super frustrating. The trip around the park added about 1.4 miles to our half marathon. It was slow going. Hubby didn’t train much and he was sore. Our medals clanged on our chests as we walked along the sidewalks. We got a good look at some construction going on at Disneyland. It felt nice and warm outside. This was going to be a rest day for us when we got back to the room. I kind of thought the kids would like the water park at the hotel after we showered and rested a bit.

When we got back to the room we showed off our medals to my brother. He had tracked us again with the runDisney emails. That is how he was able to text us when we were done. We traded off stories and showered. The rest of our vacation was just that now: a vacation.

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Soarin’ and Slidin’

So after the Doctor Strange 10K our family park day started off with breakfast at Mimi’s Café. They had a deal where my brother and husband still got a discount on breakfast the day after Veteran’s Day. It was a good breakfast. The adults had different mimosas. I think I had the triple berry mimosa. My husband and brother had the mango mimosa and the white peach. We sampled them all but I drank most of the triple berry. I had never eaten at Mimi’s before this trip and I have to say I think it is pretty good.

We got through security a lot faster than after the race and got in line for the parks. The lines were shorter because it was Disney California Adventure and not Disneyland we wanted to enter. DCA had also been open for a little bit. Once inside we started off waiting in line for the special credit card customer, character visit. My brother went off to see about Soarin Over California fast passes. The park had been open less then half an hour and yet the return visit for the ride was after 8 PM! He got them anyway. The line for the character visit took a while which surprised me. It is supposed to be a special thing for Disney credit card customers but it seemed just as slow as other character lines.

We got to the front and was told that Stitch was there but he was leaving and would return later. The next character was Daisy Duck. I told them that was fine. I knew my kids would be fine with Daisy. About that time I saw people behind me had on Stitch hats. Yeah, they were not happy when they saw Stitch leave. My kids where excited to see Daisy. Baby Girl ran up to her and gave her a big hug. Little Man did not want to have much to do with her. Hubby was a little surprised that he would hug big ol’ Chewbacca but not Daisy. We got a good picture with just us and Daisy and one with us, my brother and Daisy.

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Proof that my son did in fact hug a character.

We had a good time. The kids kept talking about riding the mermaid ride that we did at the Magic Kingdom. I didn’t think they would have it in California but sure enough it was at DCA.

Lunch wasn’t too much of a struggle, it just wasn’t that satisfying. We went to the Corn Dog Castle. I got burned out on corn dogs way back before Hubby and I were married. A friend of ours worked at an arena in Oklahoma and would give us all the free corn dogs we wanted. We went to some football games and other events in this arena. So we ate a lot of corn dogs. On the bright side, everybody else except my son was happy. He is a very picky eater. We found some snacks in my bag for him and rode some more rides.

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The kids on one of those spinning rides that make me sick.

We finally made our way to Mickey’s Fun Wheel about around dusk. The line wasn’t too unbearable. Mickey’s Fun Wheel reminded me a little of my favorite ride as a kid. My hometown hosted the county fair every year. There was a ride called the Rock O’ Planes or as we called them, “Squirrel Cages.” This apparently sparked some of the same memories in my brother because he mentioned it while we were on the ride. Everybody seemed to think this ride was pretty fun except Hubby. He got pretty pale. We both agree the rides like teacups that spin around horizontally make us sick, but I’m good on rides that swing or flip vertically. I’m still not sure if he didn’t feel good because he doesn’t like those kind of rides or if it was because of his pneumonia. I tried to ask but he never would give me a straight answer. Just to be clear this ride doesn’t flip you. You can choose a stationary cage or one that slides and swings a little. We got on the one that swings.

We missed Woody because I wanted to ride the Fun Wheel. I felt bad about that. I thought he would still be there, but he was gone. We only got to ride a handful of the rides that we wanted to, but again the two hour difference was still taking its toll on us. We got so tired we didn’t use our Soarin’ passes and ended up giving them to someone on our way out of the park.

The kids seemed to be wilting again. My brother and Hubby needed some provisions. So when we got back to the hotel, they went out in the car while I got the Littles ready for bed. The Littles seemed to hit a second wind for some reason. It was probably good that they did because Hubby came back with spaghetti from a nearby place. One order was enough to feed all four of us. I think Hubby felt better about carbing up as well. Not long after our dinner we got the kids to bed.

My brother used to live in California. So he went out to meet up with some of his friends that night. I got up to go to the bathroom around midnight or 1 AM. He wasn’t back yet. I started to get a little worried. Call it the mom in me, but I was worried he was in an accident  or something. I sent him a quick message for peace of mind that he was okay. He never replied, but thankfully it wasn’t too long after that I heard him come in the room. I was able to sleep much better after that.

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One Magical Year Ago

I know I’ve been slowly making posts about our California trip we made a few months ago. I decided to pause and post this when I heard that the Disney Half Marathon was cancelled this past weekend. That and all the Facebook pictures I’ve seen from On This Day, it really got me thinking about our trip to Florida last year for the same event.

I already have posts on that trip here, here, here and here. So I just want to say what wonderful memories those days hold even the ones where the stroller was stolen. The pictures make me smile. I sometimes think, “Wow! I did that! I ran the Goofy Challenege!”

With all that said, I just can’t imagine the disappointment some people felt over this past weekend with the canceled event. I saw copies of some of the emails sent and Disney gave some options. I’m not sure which option I would have chosen if I had been in these people’s shoes. Getting your money back is always nice, but after the expectations and training, even that can still be disappointing. Deferring to another year or getting an option for another race is always nice, but the flights, hotels and everything else is not cheap. Some people save up just enough money for that one trip.

I was looking back on 2016 and thought how lucky we were to go on two Disney trips, but they were almost a year apart. That was nice because it gave us enough time to save for both of them. We want to do both Star Wars marathons in 2018, but they are closer together. It is going to be harder to save for them.

I think another option was to still get the medal and try to run the full marathon. Now for those doing the Goofy or Dopey Challenge that might have been okay because they trained for that and more. I can’t imagine people that went just for the half marathon just to have it canceled. Even the ones doing the challenges were probably disappointed. To do all the hard work and not really “make” it. It probably would not have felt right to me. I guess I would have picked to defer to another year if we could afford it.

I understand why they canceled the event. It was for everybody’s safety. I actually ran an event where it was canceled right before I finished it. There was no refund, no medal, no nothing. I posted something about it here. A friend of mine posted something on Facebook recently reminding everybody what they signed up for in the first place. To paraphrase my friend, he said that people are totally fine with checking accept on the registration form for the terms in the event of a cancelation. Then they become big cry babies when it actually happens. Well I wasn’t too happy when my event was canceled way back when. I even had to go back and read the terms of cancelation again to realize I was getting nothing. I actually ran over thirteen miles that day because it was up a mountain trail and there was no other way than walking or running back down it.

Now I sound like one of those people that talk about walking in the snow uphill both ways back in their day. Anyway, I didn’t read or see anything that would make me want to imply anybody was a cry baby. As a matter of fact someone posted in one of my Facebook groups that the people that did opt to do the full marathon were quite happy. I still felt really bad for those that missed their race. I hope it worked out for everybody.

 

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More Frustrating Than Strange

So of course we got up at the butt crack of dawn. That is just the Disney way. I think you can pretty much expect a 5:30 AM start for every one of their races. I was a little nervous because we not only had to walk to the Disneyland resort from our hotel, but we had to find our corral in time. I’m always nervous before a race. I think it is just the thought of being late and missing it. I was pretty much ready to go that morning, but Hubby took at little longer as usual.

My mouth was dry but I knew I needed some food. I grabbed one of those Belvita breakfast cookies/crackers to take with me. I figured I would get some water at the main stage area and eat it then. Hubby was coughing up stuff on the way there and said the taste of the medicine from his nebulizer was making him sick. We took a short cut through a parking lot and that is where he threw up a little. I was already worried about him. That made it worse! He asked for one of my cookies to take the taste out of his mouth. I opened them up and gave him one while I went ahead and ate one as well. I guess just the act of chewing even something as dry as a Belvita cookie helped me get enough saliva so I didn’t have dry mouth anymore. I had another cookie. I saved the last one for him in case he needed it which he did right before we got to the main stage area.

 

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Another one of our blurry pictures at the main stage area

 

We took a picture in front of one of the signs in the main stage area. We were excited. We got a small cup of water and followed the crowd past the porta potties to the corrals. I was actually in a corral ahead of Hubby for once. I submitted our Rock the Parkway Half as proof of time and if you read that post, you’ll remember I was surprised to make it in before him. He always stays in the corral with me even though I’ve never asked him to. So this time I went to his corral. I was worried about him and I wanted to show my support. So we waited for the start in corral C.

The costumes were great. Lots of Doctor Strange characters were there since it is the Doctor Strange 10k. They showed us a trailer from the movie since it was just recently released. We saw the movie right before we flew out to California. We liked it. I believe they had a pasta party and a showing of the movie in Downtown Disney the night before the race. We did not go because we were too pooped to pop after Disneyland and it wasn’t exactly a movie that was good for the Littles.

 

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Doctor Strange from a distance

 

There were of course more costumes than just the characters from Doctor Strange. I, for example, was dressed at Captain America and Hubby was Thor. He later said that he was glad he was Thor because it pertained to the Doctor Strange movie. He made a cameo appearance in it. I don’t think that is a spoiler if you still haven’t seen it. My personal favorite was the guy I saw during the race dressed as Stan Lee. He was hamming it up and having so much fun. I loved it. I tried to point him out to my husband. I said, “Hey! Look! Stan Lee!”

He looked at me even though the guy was right in front of him and said, “Stan Monkey?”

A lady ran by us and looked at Hubby like he was crazy and said, “STAN LEE!” I think my husband thinks that it is funny to do that to me.

 

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Picture in Radiator Springs with the sunrise. Hubby was starting to blame his phone for the blurry pictures.

 

The first part of the course was outside the parks. If I remember right we entered Disney California Adventure first by the way of Radiator Springs. The real sunrise coming up over the fake desert mountain range was actually quite lovely. We tried to get a picture but the person we asked to take it got it a little blurry. Hubby kept blaming his phone, but whoever we asked to take our picture at mile three did a fantastic job. It is one of my favorite pictures. Then there was also the profession picture from Disney when we entered Radiator Springs. It was pretty good. And speaking of pictures, it was awesome that they used the Disney PhotoPass which is the same system they use for the rest of the pictures around the park. It made buying the photos so much easier! It was a much better experience than buying the photos from our Florida trip. I had to buy our Disney photos from Disney PhotoPass and then our race photos from Marathon Photo. Marathon Photo was the worst! I had such a horrible experience with them. It was so cool to just enter the code for the race into my Disney PhotoPass and then poof! They were ALL there! Seriously, I can’t use the word awesome enough.

 

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Disney Photopass picture in Radiator Springs

 

 

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Much better picture with same camera phone at mile three

 

So our day after the race was supposed to be at Disney California Adventure. It was cool to run through and scope it out first. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree was running when we ran by it. Also Mickey’s Fun Wheel was running. I thought it was just a regular ferris wheel but then I saw that some cages were sliding! How cool! I knew right away that I wanted to ride that. I’ll tell you more about our visit to that park later.

 

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Mickey’s Fun Wheel

 

I tried to get pictures of the characters, but again I didn’t want to wait in line. So I got some blurry fly by pictures of them. I missed Spider Man. They had him kind of hidden by tucking him around the corner off course. We ran though the Disneyland castle. I still can’t get over how much smaller it is than the castle in Florida, but it is still nice. We tried to get a picture in front of it with one of the Disney PhotoPass guys but a runner dressed as Doctor Strange decided to grab his cape and pull it out for a dramatic picture. I’m sure if you can see any part of our face in his picture you’ll see our annoyance. Although I had my fair share of accidentally messing up someone else’s photos during the half. Of course I’ll tell you all about that later as well.

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Doctor Strange’s cape is in our way.

Hubby told me he wanted me to run my own race and not worry about him. He actually stayed ahead of me through the first four miles. He stopped at mile markers and other areas to pose for pictures with me. The last two miles I pulled ahead. I stopped at one mile marker and waited a bit for him. I almost started off again until I spotted him. I pulled ahead again but he punched it at the finish line and passed me. He is so competitive sometimes.

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Hubby crosses the finish line before me.

We got our medals and posed for our pictures. We got our goodies which was a box full of energy bars, chips, and Go Go Squeeze applesauce. We had bananas too. I was so happy he seemed okay.

 

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Our finisher photo

 

When we followed the crowd out we ended up on a street corner which confused us a bit. I saw a sign for Downtown Disney and knew we usually walk through it to get back to our hotel. Hubby asked the security guard the quickest way back to our hotel and he confirmed Downtown Disney, but boy was he wrong!

We started back okay. Since the run also went through Downtown Disney they had a corral type system so pedestrians could cross certain sections without interfering in the race. They had a rope close one lane while pedestrians filled a little section of the road marked off in tape. Then they would open up the side of the corral behind the pedestrians to let the runners through it while the pedestrians in their little marked off section walked across the closed side. We did that several times until we hit one that was for going to Starbucks only. The other direction went through the main waiting area for the parks. If you have never been to Disneyland there is a big area for lines to form to go into either park. To enter it you have to go through security, but leaving you are fine. This waiting area was between our hotel and Downtown Disney. Going through Downtown Disney was mistake one. We were about to make mistake number two.

Hubby was starting to get cold and Starbucks sounded good to him. We crossed over and he ordered his drink, but I didn’t order anything because I don’t like the taste of coffee. We waited at least twenty minutes before they had his drink! When we went back out to head to the hotel it was super crowded. We hit Magic Hour for Disneyland! Ugh!

Foot traffic was at a stand still. All of a sudden we saw people walking free across the way the race was running. Hubby and I could only guess that the back of the race was done and they let people over there through. We were so frustrated! All we wanted to do was go back to our room. Then we got caught up in the lines for bag check to get into main waiting area for the parks. Our hotel wasn’t far on the other side of this backed up mess.

Now let me stop here and say that I could swear the parks in Florida have a no bag line. It makes things run smoother and faster. In California apparently there is no such thing. We all had to stand there and wait. By this time I was really about to lose it. It was just so ridiculous to me. We heard someone say that they were letting runners go through the middle but when we looked over at the middle the lines there were just as backed up as our line. We kept looking around for a line that made sense. The person that said something about the runner line sounded upset, but that didn’t make sense to me. If I wanted to get into the park and had a ton of people without bags that just wanted to get through to the other side and not in the parks, I would not care a flip de do if someone let them through. That would get them out of my line to make it shorter and probably faster. I mean think about it. You’ve got twenty people in front of you and five of them are runners that just want out of the way. Wouldn’t it make your line faster if they had a different line and were gone? That would mean you only had fifteen people in front of you. Makes sense to me.

So the guy checking bags in my line had a pretty wide lane. There was a lady standing behind him just guarding and not checking bags. I was tempted to just walk through up to her so she could easily see I was a runner that had nothing on me and just wanted through. I’m not breaking in line to get to the park because I don’t want to go to the park yet. I just want to go to my room. The guy must have read my mind or actually saw me eyeballing his lane because he grabbed the barrier and moved it closer to him. When I got a little closer I noticed the security lady was looking at me. I told her over the crowd that I was just a runner with no bag and I just wanted to get through. Her response was that everybody had to stay in line. Basically she was telling me I was SOL. I was really pissed at this point. I mean they don’t have a shuttle that really takes you anywhere close to the main stage area much less back to anywhere close to the hotels unlike Florida. It all just seemed like a big FUBAR. When I got through I actually did something I’m ashamed to say was very childish. I said Hallelujah right next to the lady that told me to wait. Hubby was a little more diplomatic and asked how we could avoid this issue the next day. She told him we would have to walk extra mileage around one of the parks instead of through them.

My brother was a little surprised it took us so long to get back when we finally made it back to the room. I had added him to email tracking through the runDisney system. We told him our story of what happened, got showered and ready to head back to the park for another day of fun.

 

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