Star Wars race weekend #1

I’ll bet you’re wondering why I’m calling this post “Star Wars race weekend #1,” right? Well, whether you are or not, I’m going to explain it. This past weekend at Disneyland was the “Light Side” version of the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. And when did I ever say no to a Disney race? I’ve already admitted that I have a problem. Due to this obsession I completed the Rebel Challenge, which included a 10K on Saturday a half marathon on Sunday. This combination constituted the first part of the Kessel Run Challenge. What’s the second part, you ask? Why, the “Dark Side” Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disney World in April, of course! But I’ll have to wait a few months before I can tell you how that goes. For now I’ll stick to recapping the Rebel Challenge from last weekend.

On Saturday I rolled out of bed around 4 AM (I love staying at a hotel near the parks so I can maximize my sleep) and got ready for the Star Wars 10K. I had a brand new awesome R2-D2 tank top to wear. In a departure from my usual pre-race routine I didn’t apply a thick layer of sunscreen to every inch of exposed skin. I felt like such a rebel! But since I knew I’d be finishing the 10K right around sunrise I figured the added annoyance of sunscreen was unnecessary. I planned to be huddled under a mylar blanket while walking back to my hotel afterwards anyway! I left at 4:45 AM and walked to the start line in plenty of time. I really enjoyed the Star Wars 10K. Last year I was injured and miserable the entire time, but this year couldn’t have been more different. The weather was perfect and I felt great for the entire 6.2 miles. Later I realized that this wasn’t due to my incredible fitness, but because I was running really slowly! I was in corral C for the 10K and the course was pretty crowded in a lot of places, including some crazy bottlenecks. That doesn’t facilitate a fast pace. My finish time was nothing to be proud of (1:17:41), but I had a blast anyway. After crossing the finish line and collecting my medal (and a space blanket to throw over my shoulders), I walked back to my hotel for a shower. The rest of my day pretty much consisted of eating and sleeping. I had brunch at Carnation CafĂ© in Disneyland at 10:30 AM, napped in the afternoon, ate a big pasta dinner at Wine Country Trattoria in California Adventure at 7 PM, and went to bed as early as I could manage. These were all necessary steps in preparation for the half marathon the next day.

On Sunday I woke up at 4 AM and repeated the previous morning’s activities. This time I included sunscreen application in my routine, though. I’m not fast enough to be done with a half marathon before sunrise! As you can see in the above photo, I had a new shirt for this race too. My wardrobe for the weekend was impeccable. This was my first time in corral B for a Disney half marathon and I was really excited. Starting races earlier is always good. My only goal for the Star Wars half marathon was to enjoy it and that’s exactly what I did. I used my GPS watch to pace myself and used the real-time feedback to slow down if I was running faster than my planned speed. And I felt great until about mile 10. (I need to work on improving my stamina during the last 5K of a half marathon. Something to think about this spring!) And the course was really runner friendly by avoiding all of the freeway overpasses. Gotta love that! In the end I crossed the finish line in 2:46:39, which wasn’t too bad for me! I was happy with that time, and I collected my Star Wars half marathon and Rebel Challenge medals with pride. My legs were less happy, though. Running two half marathons eight days apart (with two training runs and a 10K in between) wasn’t something I was quite prepared for at this stage of my running career. On Sunday afternoon standing up for long periods of time sounded awful so I spent the rest of the day on my couch catching up on the winter premieres of my favorite TV shows. It was a great weekend. I can’t wait to complete the Kessel Run Challenge at Disney World in April!