Sunday, November 16, 2014

Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon

Today was the big day. After last week's miserable showing in the monsoon otherwise known as the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, I had more than my usual doubts about finishing today's race. But I knew finishing was imperative, because of THE BIG IDEA (more about that tomorrow). With all this in mind, I got up at 4am, got dressed, and Molly and I headed to the start corrals.

Molly and I got in place in plenty of time and chatted with more new Disney running friends. We talked with a couple who will be doing their first Dopey in January, and gave them whatever advice we could (which ain't much, I tell ya). We sang the National Anthem and waited as the early corrals were sent off. Finally it was our turn and we were off!

Now, in case you didn't know, I am a wogger, which means I walk/run (currently more walking than running). I stay to the right as is suggested, so that fast runners can pass me on the left. However, that does not stop people from trying to pass on the right. When our corral is allowed to start, there are countless people who think rushing past me on the right (even though I am hugging the curb) is an intelligent thing to do. Not so much this morning, when one dude almost wiped out on the temporary fencing - and nearly impaled himself on one of the temporary fence poles. Guess that will "learn-em, durn-em"!

Anyhow, after a quick pass through the two parks, we headed out to the streets of Anaheim, where we met with the wind (apparently last week's answer to the rain). According to the Weather Channel (via Molly) the winds were 20-30mph with 60mph gusts. Which wasn't so bad when the wind was at your back. Which wasn't ever. More than once I got hit in the face with flying debris - nothing huge, but even a twig or an acorn at that speed gives you a good slap in the face (like I needed that - the thought of covering 13.1 miles was a slap in the face enough)! Almost all of the mile markers were blown over and several were broken. At the water stops, volunteers were working themselves silly trying to keep all the cups from spilling and blowing all over the place - which they were anyway. We passed the Crystal Cathedral, and the grounds there were covered in paper cups - bless the volunteers who were on cup collecting duty!

Another great thing about Disneyland races is that even though we've done three half-marathons out there this year, each racecourse has been just a little bit different. It makes for a great race when it's not the same exact course. This time we saw the Cathedral and even though we ran through Angel's Stadium again, it was from a different angle. Another different aspect for this race was the presence of huge tumbleweeds that blew in from somewhere - right onto the path (and these were HUGE!). Eventually I managed to get through the winds and the tumbleweeds and find the finish. Naturally Molly and finished long before me, so she had already showered and was packing up when I got back to the hotel. We finished getting our stuff together and headed outside to wait for the shuttle to take us back to LAX for our ride home.

And of course, whose race is this? Why Molly's, of course! She's the one who came up with THE BIG IDEA (stay tuned tomorrow). She's been beside me in some races, I caught up with her in a few races (mainly because she decided to stop and read a magazine or take a nap), and she finished way ahead of me in most races. We flown to races together and met up at races together. We've stayed in several different hotels, consulted on race outfits (mostly hers), bought several race skirts (again, mostly hers), made a few race skirts (that would be mostly me), shopped and waited in line at many expos, and gotten up way to early on too many mornings to get through a 5K or a 10K or a 10-miler (well, actually that was at 10pm at night) or a half-marathon or a full marathon. But through it all, we managed to get it all done. Thanks Molly - and rest your brain before coming up with another BIG IDEA!!!

Today is a gift because: I finished the half-marathon and THE BIG IDEA; winds on the course; seeing Sharon and Tammy along the way; tumbleweeds; crazy shuttle driver; safe, smooth flight to St. Louis; snow on the ground at St. Louis; safe, smooth flight to Nashville; KB and Bud picking us up at the airport

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