A daisy in your hat makes you FAST!

After a relaxing day in the parks it was early to bed for us because the next morning was my SIXTH half marathon!!! At this point I am actually calm the night before a race.  I always do the same thing - layout my outfit, fill out my bib, hop into bed and watch a Disney movie while falling asleep. It's calming, peaceful and gets me in the right frame of mind for the next mornings run. 
Mike had fun with our bibs.

Flat Kara ready for the run!

My take on Classic Minnie.

Once we got ready it was just a stroll across the promenade & through Downtown Disney. 

We had a little time to kill before the #TrD meetup so I took a couple pics around the Disneyland Hotel. We headed inside to warm up because it was chilly!!!  

Once we warmed up we headed to the Sorcerer's Hat for the Team runDisney meet up.  It was great to finally attend a meet up. Last year during the Disneyland Half I missed it by a few minutes. 

After the meetup we headed to the corrals. This year we were in corral D. It wasn't too bad, we made it in enough time to be towards the front of the corral. Once A&B corrals took off we started moving forward. This was one of the most organized race starts I've been to. It was clear which corral was where & when it was time to start moving forward very very kind runDisney team members escorted our corral on the way.

As usual Rudy & Carrisa were thoroughly entertaining & kept the energy up.

After a few moments of watching Rudy & Carissa it was time for our run. Mike & I stayed to the right of the road as we were doing Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run method.  All went well until a woman yelled at me for being in her way. Yikes. Thankfully that was the only cruel runner incident I experienced.  {note I am THAT runner who raises her arm up in the air before walking & I look around me to ensure I am not cutting anyone off.  Sometimes I do end up in the middle of the course, to ensure I do not run into any fellow run-walkers or walkers. Ladies & Gents we are all runners, be kind to each other.}

After a quick jaunt on the streets we were suddenly in California Adventure. The course entertainment was wonderful, I LOVE seeing all the parade floats.

More shots in California Adventure.

 A quick stop for World of Color pics.

And a few in Carsland.

A little bit more already at mile 3!!! And we were suddenly in Disneyland!

Tink & the castle

Small World Holiday - I love that Disney leaves this up for us to enjoy.

I met Big Al!! No one was in line for him... that's the only way I do character pictures... otherwise I'm a snap & run kinda girl.  

By mile 5+ we were out of the parks, our time hadn't been fast but I knew once we got out to Anaheim the course would open up more and we would make up time. Heck yay for negative splits :)

The sign {held by Batman} said "I am richer than Iron Man" - funny enough there was a guy running dressed as Iron Man next to us.  Batman & Iron Man had a very amusing exchange that kept Mike & I chuckling for a bit.

After Batman & Downtown Disney we saw the Red Hat society women. They very well may be my favorite on course entertainment :)

After Downtown Disney we were in the streets of Anaheim- several of these cute signs were up in the residential areas. I enjoyed all the residents sitting on their porches in robes & drinking coffee just watching.

I was thrilled when I noticed this Wonder Woman a head of me.  Kim was very kind, I wished her the best & congratulated her on rocking Dopey. {If you're not familar with Kim, I recommend reading this post & this one}

Mile 8!! YAY!! And no this was not how long it took us to reach mile 8. The clocks start when the first runner crosses the start. At this point both Mike & I started feeling a little off, probably tired from the day before.

Thankfully there were great people handing food out. Yes, when running 13.1 miles it is COMPLETELY acceptable to take food from strangers.  This pretzel was AMAZING!!!

I LOVE running in Downtown Anaheim, I'm not sure what this area is called, but it's charming and the marching bands really keep the energy up.

After some Clif shots & high fives we were both feeling better. By mile 9 I had a pain in my right calf. The feeling of a Charlie horse just starting. I realized I was a bit dehydrated, but kept pushing.  Thankfully we both were receiving text notifications during the run and that continued to keep us motivated. When we got the 15K notification - our projected finish was 2:59:28 - that meant I would get a personal record!! Mike kept me going, encouraging me as I had encouraged him at the beginning of the race.  The biggest bummer was when I noticed my Garmin had turned off... darn bracelets. Sadly my only information saved from the half marathon is for the last 3 miles.

Mile 13 & the finish!!! At this point the pain in my leg had gotten worse, I was limping and Mike held me up. Seeing that finish line gave me the extra boost - I had every intention to stop and take a picture with one of the characters - but the pain & knowing I would have a 6 minute PR gave me major tunnel vision.

After we crossed, you can see the pain, exhaustion in my face & the joy in Mike's. 

As soon as we crossed the finish line and received our medal I bee-lined it for water & a banana.

May I just say how VERY disappointed I am in the medal volunteers I have encountered the last few races - they would not put the medal on me.  Okay sure I had a visor on this time, but dude I just ran 13.1+ miles... please please please make me feel more like a champion & put that medal on me!! Mike went up to a woman who refused to even hand him a medal and made him go to the man behind her to get his medal.  He also noticed that woman refused medals to two other men!! What the heck?

Thankfully once I got some water and food in me I was happier.

I bumped into the amazing Kelly. I love seeing her after races. She & the other Sparkle Athletic girls were hanging out & taking pics of Team Sparkle members.  I can't even explain how much I love this company. They are warm, generous & caring - but more importantly they are empowering. Plus their skirts are MADE IN AMERICA!

I decided after this run and the cramp in my leg to treat myself to my FIRST after race massage. The year before I got a free one before the run. It was a wonderful way to warm up before the race.

I decided on a 10 minute massage, and of course I got the young creepy guy throwing up strange gang looking hand signs. I had him work on my calves & hips. When he saw the KT Tape on my hip {which is HOT PINK} he asked if I knew it was there....ummmm yes. Thank you. The massage was okay, next time I'll be sure to ask for a woman.  Any past professional massages I've received have always been better when done by women.

Smiles & medals.

I'm a perfect pixie in the making!

After the run we decided to have some In & Out - it was the only thing that we both agreed on. It tasted delicious and the weather was perfect for outdoor dining. Once lunch was done & I had more than replaced all the calories I burned that day it was time for the glorious 4 hour drive home.

My handsome man driving us home.

This run was AMAZING! Sure I had a personal record and shared the course with my husband but with nearly 6 miles in the parks and the rest of the course well planned through Anaheim I can't complain.  I did notice this years course seemed to have fewer characters in the parks & stranger placed characters {like the pirates in DCA?!?}. But all in all it was a great run & a great course. Well worth the money - which at the end of the day doesn't justify it fully but it certainly does help ;)

I can't wait for my next runDisney run... I'm going DUMBO!

Did you run Tink? What did you think?

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