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I’m a pretty competitive person by nature (perhaps the little bit of type-A in me?), so I wasn’t quite sure how I’d feel about running a half mary as a training run the week before my goal race in Ventura. But, if ever there was a race not to race, Disney was it!

The huz and I drove down to D-land Saturday afternoon in 100 bagillion degree heat to pick up our bibs at the Disneyland Hotel.

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I dressed in Oiselle, no less, and I wasn’t sad about it. The top half of me was cool and breezy didn’t make evident the copious amount of sweat dripping down my entire body. BTW, that top is on sale right now, and this weekend only, use the code SUMMERFOREVER for an extra 15% off sale stuff!

After tooling around the expo, we met up with one of my friends from high school and his wife to play around California Adventure for a bit! Nothing beats double-dip trips that involve races and friends!

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I absolutely love the Cars ride! Sadly, when we decided the time had come to race through Radiator Springs, it shut down.

My huz and friends, instead, encouraged me to do something that terrified me to no end. I’m not a roller coaster person. When I was little, I bailed at the last emergency exit for Space Mountain after waiting in line over an hour no fewer than four times. So going on California Scream was a big deal, since I really hadn’t been on a roller coaster since high school.

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I know. The huz looks like he’s in bad shape. He was fine. I won’t spoil the ride, but let’s just say there are no lap belts, the harness thingy didn’t come close to touching my body (hence the death grip on the handles), the first drop isn’t the big drop, and it goes upside down. And I’m a wuss.

I screamed bloody murder the entire way, but I survived, and I might actually do it again. In a couple years. After a couple drinks?

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I was shaking for a good twenty minutes after getting off that ride!

After California Scream, we went over to Carthay Circle for cocktails! I ordered a Manhattan that was topped with the best dried cherries I’ve ever had:

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And can we talk about that ice sphere?!?!?!

The husband ordered a dill gin and tonic:

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That was most definitely a pickle-lover’s dream drink! I feel like SR might like this a lot.

Then we walked over to the Ghirardelli shop!

One of my most favorite chocolate memories is of the first time I went up to San Fran with my family and had a hot fudge sundae at the Ghirardelli shop at the wharf. It was life changing. Needless to say, I was stoked!

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They must have known I was coming, or that fall is coming, because I was greeted with a free sample of their pumpkin spice chocolate square!

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Greasy face courtesy of the unbearably hot and humid weather we’ve been dealing with over here in So Cal.

**Dear weather gods, Please let it be cool in Ventura next Sunday. Thanks.**

To top off our night, we ate at the Napa Rose restaurant in the Grand Californian Hotel. My life was made exponentially better by this pizza:

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It was the night’s special: a margherita pizza with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and roasted mushrooms, drizzled with 20-year old balsamic. Oh, and the flour for the dough is reportedly imported straight from Italy!

We were having so much fun that we didn’t get back to my friends’ house until midnight. With a 4 AM wakeup call.

Good thing this wasn’t a goal race!

The Race

The husband and I got a little bit lost on our way back to D-land in the morning, which added an extra 20 minutes to our travel time, so we were one of the last cars to pull into the parking structure. I would HIGHLY recommend arriving earlier than 20 min. before the race like we did because the line of cars to get into the parking structure was out of control. We found a spot with 7 minutes until race time, so we booked it to the porta potties and wove our way through the crowds to corral A. We were at the very back of the first group of runners, which was fine by me because I wanted to 1.) use this as a training run for next week and 2.) actually run an entire race next to my husband.

In the rush to make it to the start line and to avoid starting with a later band of runners, I forgot my phone, so I don’t have any cool pics with the Disney characters as we ran through the park. And I forgot to sync my Garmin to the satellites (fail!). However, both starting at the back and taking everything in helped me keep my pace  around 8:45-9:00 for the first couple miles through the park.

It was already so warm and humid at 5:30 that within the first quarter mile, the huz took off his shirt to bare-chest through the stuffiness of D-land. As soon as we exited the park, though, the air cleared a lot. There was still plenty of dumping water cups on heads to keep cool from the heat, but at least the air was fresh. The husband told me to go ahead around mile 5.5, which was perfect because I had planned on progressively increasing my speed for the last half of the race.

My race:

The first  half was at a long run pace of 8:45-9:00. At miles 6-7, I ran 8:30s, 8-10 were 8:10s, and 11-13.1 were 7:45s, with a finish time of 1:52:54 and an average pace of 8:37.

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The good:

  • Running through D-land and CA Adventure before the sun is up is GORGEOUS! 
  • The opportunity to take pics with all of the disney characters=pretty cool.
  • REALLY well organized. Everything Disney is a well-oiled machine. 
  • Race support was off the hook incredible! So many volunteers, so many aid stations, and full water cups can make a huge difference!
  • The blocks of different groups along the course was spectacular as well! Pacific Islander performances, dance teams, cheer leaders, high school bands, Mariachi bands, Salsa dancers, vintage car clubs… I swear I was smiling the entire race!
  • RUNNING THROUGH EDISON FIELD!!!!! I heart Mike Scioscia, and because his playing career was at Chavez Ravine, I feel okay admitting to being a fangirl.
  • The cool towels at the finish. Felt so good!
  • Meeting fellow birds at the finish! Meeting Krissy and Danielle made me super happy to be part of such a strong sisterhood of runners!

The Bad

  • The price! At $175, this should be a really cool marathon, but it’s not. It’s a really cool half marathon.
  • The parking structure. It took so long to get in! And I kinda feel like if each person is shelling out $175 for a bib, parking should be discounted, too. It was $16. 
  • The heat. Holy smokes, it was hot! I was glad to be in corral A because I was able to avoid all sun exposure until the last couple miles, and even then, it was at my back.

Overall, I would and probably will continue to run this race. It’s such a joy to run for fun! And it’s really nice to have traditions where I see old friends who I rarely get to see!

Now, it’s off to hang out with my girls on this last day before PSL lattes arrive!

Who is your favorite Disney character?

Mine is currently Merida from Brave.

What is your favorite treat to get at Disneyland/CaA?

Mine is definitely the Manhattan, but I will be ordering a hot fudge sundae next time, so that might change.

What advice do you have for me for next week’s goal mary?

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