Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pixie Dust Challenge Part 2: Tinkerbell Half Marathon

disney tinkerbell half marathon california
 
The Tinkerbell Half Marathon was the third and final race for us that weekend and the second half of the Pixie Dust Challenge.

Pre-Race:
The night before the 10k I knew that I was going to have a bit of trouble with the half. I admit I didn't do things very smart. I only iced one time on Saturday (right after the race), and then I spent all day on my feet at California Adventure.  I couldn't sleep very well because I was worried about the half marathon and what was left of the KT tape on my legs started sticking to my covers. It was a rough night! Also, the evening before the race we looked for something we could take back to the room for a quick breakfast. Lacey was looking diligently for some bagels but had no luck. Her breakfast then became this Loaf of Mickey bread that we found.

                                              I think she only ate one of the ears.

race shirt disney
 
Attire:
Instead of doing a "costume", we decided to pay tribute to our journey by wearing our "Numbers" Running Skirt and our shirts that say "EARning my Coast to Coast". Even though this wasn't a costume, I think this was one of our favorite outfits we've run in! Our skirts have a bunch of race distances on it (26.2, 6.2 3.2, 50k, etc)
 
pixie dust challenge tinkerbell half marathon
The Race:
The race started exactly in the same spot as the 10K the day before. This day Minnie and Daisy were the special guests. Do you all remember Carissa? She is the announcer at all the Disney World races. Well, she wasn't at this race but she did give a special message to all of us up on the big screen before the start. She was in her nursery back in Florida and announced that she was expecting her first little princess, which was why she was not at this race. It was a nice little touch seeing that it was Mother's Day.

Lacey ran her own race and my mom decided she would stick with me because of how I was feeling.  As soon as we started out I tried to do my run interval and I just couldn't. I could barely bend my leg and it felt as if I had a metal rod sticking through it. I know a few tears were shed as I thought "oh no, this is just like the Princess race in 2014.  As I started to walk, a really nice lady dressed as Tinkerbell (imagine that), walked up next to me and told me she was having knee pain too and that she would walk with me. I was so overwhelmed with her kindness. I did thank her for her offer, but I was fortunate enough to have my mom to keep me company and besides, I did notice she was able to do a little run interval and I didn't want to slow her down more.  After my muscles warmed up a bit, I started doing run- walk intervals again but this time I decided to only run during the walk breaks and walk during the run part.  I even did a little skipping too (like I did for the marathon). Surprisingly when I skipped it didn't hurt. I can get going pretty fast during a skip too! As we were approaching the first fairies in Disneyland, the same Lady dressed as Tinkerbell came up behind us and asked how I was feeling. She said she stopped at the med tent and got some Tylenol and that she was feeling much better. I was glad to see that she was able to keep up her running! 

On The Course:
The first part of the course was exactly the same as the 10K the day before except there was a lot more running on the roads of Anaheim. Running on the streets wasn't all that bad and I actually enjoyed it more than running through the parks. I think that is because I liked running on the road surface and it was a straight shot. In the parks there were a lot of different terrains, turns, inclines, and tunnels. Even though there was no Disney entertainment out on the streets, there certainly was a lot of spectator support. There were tons of cheerleaders and bands and from what we were told, the Red Hat ladies were out in full force and doubled what they were from last year. I don't know how many there were last year but there were LOTS of them this year.!  Around mile 7-ish Mouse Planet had a little tent and were giving out Red Vines. They had a cute sign that said something like "I know your Mama told you not to take candy from strangers but at least we're wearing gloves".  So yes, I took a red vine!
run disney half marathon

One thing that we found very interesting is that spectators were not allowed inside the parks. At Disney World, you can go into Magic Kingdom and watch the runners run down Main Street. Here you could not.  There was a section where we ran between the two parks and there was a roped off area there where spectators could watch. We did a lot of running through the back lots of the parks and it was a little disappointing to see that there were all these parade floats sitting there and they didn't bother to have them set out for pictures, that would have been a nice touch seeing that there really wasn't a lot of character photo ops on the course. I would guess this is just one more way that runDisney is trying to move people along and keep the course from being crowded. We did stop for a few pictures in Disneyland but I could kick myself for not using my own camera and just depending on the Marathonfoto photographers.

tinkerbell half marathon

As we approached mile 12, I told my mom that I would be okay if she wanted to go ahead and run in the last mile or so. If she did, she'd still be able to finish in the 2:20's. She said "no". She started with me and she was going to finish with me. I thought that was so sweet of her to do that. My sister spotted us as my mom and I were nearing the finish line and was able to snap this picture. I thought this was an easy course and if I wasn't injured, I think I could have done really well. Even though I did a lot of walking, I was still pleased with my time and even did better than Princess 2014. I knew from the beginning that this wasn't going to be a great race for time and I pretty much knew that it was going to hurt while I ran too but I have to say I really felt good about getting those medals at the end and I did feel like I earned them!

tinkerbell pixie dust challenge in Disneyland California
The Finish:
One thing where I think Disney world does a better job than Disneyland is at the finish line.
After my sister finished her race, she wanted to wait for my mom and I to finish. She said there seemed to be a lot of "rules" for spectators. There were bleachers set up for spectators ( for everyone, not just the cheer squad), but you had to make sure you were sitting, there was no standing allowed. The only problem with this was that the bleachers were set up AFTER the finish line, so you wouldn't really be able to see your runners crossing.  So for this reason, she tried to stand before the finish line. Just when she thought she found the perfect spot near the fence ( great view, no obstructions), she was told that she couldn't view from that area and to keep moving along!  She was told she had to keep moving until she was inside the tape area.  If you weren't into the tape area than you had to leave. Lacey got the last taped area and said she was glad that she had tiny feet because the area was very small.  There were a lot of other spectators that were very unhappy about the whole viewing area thing. 

 After we crossed the finish line and received our medals, the finish area is not very large and we felt rushed to get out of the area. I went to the med tent after I finished to get some ice. I didn't necessarily need to have it wrapped around my leg, I just wanted it to prop my leg up and hold it for a few minutes. They pretty much made me get my ice and get out of there.  Even after the med tent, I felt like we couldn't even take a minute to breath. They kept pushing us along. At one point Lacey dropped her PowerAde and it rolled under a table and they would not let her go back and get another one. She asked a volunteer if they would get her one and they told her they couldn't because they couldn't leave their spot.

We even felt rushed through the finishers pictures. All the other Disney races that we have ever done (including the 5k and 10k this weekend), we were allowed to take personal pictures during the finisher photos. We know that the official photographers are not allowed to take pictures with our phones but they always let us take pictures of each other with our phones. Not during this race. The photographer made a point to holler at us for using our phones to take pictures.   Also, there were no character photo opportunities either, which we knew going into it.  We were able to make it to the massage tent to get massages but even then, the area was so small that we were limited to how many minutes we could get. Sadly we did not get our 20 minutes but we did get some change back from our $20 bills, which I guess is a plus.  Since there wasn't really anything going on after the finish, we walked back to the Disneyland Hotel, which was right in front of the finish line.

Disneyland pixie dust challenge and tinkerbell half
Overall, the race went pretty well for all of us and besides the little hiccup in the begining, I really can't complain. We decided to celebrate our finishes by spending the day at Disneyland and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the night.

As much as we love the convenience of running at Disneyland (no buses and everything is with in walking distance),  we do feel that Disney World puts on a better race experience and that's probably because they have more space to accommodate a large crowd. Just our opinion. -M

If you'd like to read about the first part of the Pixie Dust Challenge, The Tinkerbell 10K you can read that HERE. I promise that post is a lot shorter.

We are linking up this running post with our friend April for her Tuesday's on The Run.


33 comments:

  1. Sorry that your leg gave you so many issues during this race. It was so nice that your mom ran with you! Great job to you all.

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    1. Thank you! Yes I was very thankful to have her there with me!

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  2. I didn't realize that spectators aren't allowed inside of the parks during the Disneyland races. That's a bummer!

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    1. Yea, that's my favorite part about spectating at WDW, getting to go into the Magic Kingdom!

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    2. They actually do allow the ChEAR squad members along Main St. I actually thought this was a nice perk for buying the ChEAR squad. It was nice to be able to find my parents easily, stop give them a hug and talk for a moment before moving on. At WDW when I'd find my parents on Main St I always felt rushed and that just standing there for a moment I was taking up space. It was nice not to feel that way here at Disneyland. Although at WDW turning onto Main St and seeing all those spectators is a nice touch too.

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  3. Great recap!! Even with the leg issues, it looks like it was a pretty good experience and I LOVE the medals!! Congrats to all 3 of you!!

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    1. The medals are beautiful. I'm glad I got to experience this race for sure!

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  4. I love your outfits!!! I'm sorry your leg felt like that during the race, I had the same issue during Wine & Dine. I loved the Disneyland races during Dumbo weekend but my mom would agree with you. She likes the Disney World races much better!

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    1. I was a good race for sure! Disney World was our first love so that may be why we feel like that!

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  5. From reading several reviews, it looks like Disneyworld definitely dominates in the race world. I still would love to run at least one race at Disneyland though.

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    1. I think it's just because Disneyworld is larger. It is still worth doing a disneyland race though. It was a good race!

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  6. I'm sorry about the leg pain :( That sounds miserable. And the finish line experience definitely sounds rushed! It's weird they wouldn't let you take photos of each other with your phone.

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    1. I can understand why the photographers themselves won't take the photo with our phone ( that's understandable), but we never had problems taking our own pics! It totally makes sense though because they want you to purchase the official photos but I thought it was odd because they didn't seem to mind at the other races!

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  7. Congrats on the Pixie Dust Challenge! I'm sorry your leg was still giving you problems. :( For what it's worth, at Wine & Dine, the finisher backdrop photographer told me the same thing- he wouldn't take a pic with my phone. I totally get it though; they'd never make any money. I agree with you about DL's lack of space making things feel rushed. But I prefer to head back to my room after, so it doesn't bother me.
    Personally, I still prefer the Disneyland races. I just can't get onboard with the 3am wake up and having to take a bus on top of my west coast time change. Haha. But WDW does have the awesome fireworks start for every corral! :)

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    1. We were in the first corral so I did not notice that there wasn't fireworks for every other corral. That's a bummer!

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  8. I hate the finisher areas at the DL races, but I hate finisher areas at all races. They're always crowded and I just want to get through the crowd and get out. I still prefer "my" park's races to the ones in FL. I felt like there wasn't enough park time in FL and it was all out on the roads. It was very green and pretty, compared to the urban landscape of Anaheim, but that made it feel very long to me. I'm glad you got to come out and experience DL, though, even if you didn't care for it!

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    1. Oh, it's not that I didn't care for it. Actually, I really enjoyed running through the streets of Anaheim. There were SO many spectators and everyone was up beat.

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  9. Congratulations on completing the coast to coast challenge :) I love all the bling! Your outfits were perfect, the numbers skirt and and coast toast tank was a great idea. I am sorry your leg gave you such a fit, but you still finished really well, so that's awesome. I hope you can get healed up now soon, I know how frustrating is to be aching like that.

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    1. Thank you Karen! I was pretty pleased how things turned out considering my situation.

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  10. Your poor knee... dang it!!! Glad you made it through though... & loved your momma stuck with you. Moms are the best :)
    That's so disappointing the way they push you through. A lot of people dream of doing a Disney run... I would be soooo disappointed if I didn't get to fully take it in because I was being made to leave... or if my husband couldn't even see me cross the finish... that's really depressing to me.
    You all look as cute as ever in your race outfits!

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  11. sorry your leg pain came back! It looks like I finished like right before you-I am surprised we didn't see each other!

    I will say this was a new finish line set up this year and it looked like spectators had a hard time seeing people and I did notice the bleachers were in a weird place! hopefully they will fix that.

    the tink course is great because it has the most park time but the worst for crowd support because of how much of it goes through neighborhoods with the "be quiet" signs.

    even though I love my DL races (so easy to get around, it's local, etc) there is just something so special about the WDW races and i love the characters and mimosas at the finish line. I wish they could do it, but for DL, it would be a nightmare

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  12. Sorry for your pain, but it sounds like you still got a good time so congrats! A little frustrating to hear about how they pushed you through at the end and that spectators aren't allowed in the park.

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    1. I guess spectators who bought the chear package can go in the park.

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  13. I think your right Disneyworld probably has more space. Disneyland is cramped anyway and you add a race with lots of runners I can totally see why they rush people out. If they didn't you'd probably all be stuck in slow moving lines to get around in for an hour or so after. Not ideal for runners who like to linger but makes since.
    Probably best they keepspectators our of the park too, you'd probably not have much running space if they did.
    Despite your injury it sounds like it was a pretty good race overall. I think your running outfits were cute! Great job on this and the entire challenge ladies!

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  14. I hope they figure out your leg soon!!

    you guys looked so cute - sorry you had such a poor experience at the finish line! At Princess 2014, they wouldn't even give me a space blanket, despite me being visibly freezing and shivering! Can't win them all :(

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  15. Wow, for starting the race in so much pain, you really did awesome! Congrats to all three of you! I love your race outfits--as always, very cute!

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  16. It's great that you made this a family event! Too bad about all of the rules - puts a damper on an otherwise fun day.

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  17. Great recap! I think its great that you got to do a Disneyland race to compare to WDW.

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  18. I did some skipping during my second marathon and it really did help. Guess it uses the muscles differently and gives things a break.

    Thanks for sharing about the differences between the two Disneys. I had no idea that the races would be that different.

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  19. Interesting to hear about the differences between the locations - sorry this wasn't such a good experience for you guys. Good job finishing the half - your poor knee must have been screaming!

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  20. I love the idea of skipping in a race. It seems so perfectly Disney. Hate that it had to happen because of your leg though :( Great job pushing through to get your Coast to Coast anyway!

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  21. Looks like you guys had fun! I definitely thought the post-race family meet up/party area was a bit "off" on this race. Usually it it is more spread out and more relaxed. Maybe it had something to do with all of the other activities going on that weekend?

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  22. I did the same thing after the 10K, spent all day walking around the park! It made for a bit of a tough start to the half!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.