It started at our family Christmas gathering in 2010 when one of my cousins mentioned the idea of running the Disneyland Half Marathon. I am a die hard Disney fan. My brain was telling me 13.1 miles is crazy, but my heart was saying "running at Disneyland, heck yes!" The idea lingered for a while, but in April we made it official and Dearest and I and three of our cousins registered.
Dearest and I had already been running (more like jogging), so we started training using a walk/run pace. Eventually we worked up to longer distances, but there never seemed to be enough time to dedicate to a 2-3 hr run. Our longest distance in training was 8 miles on a treadmill at the gym. Definitely a boring and tedious run.
Then it was off to the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon!
The race itself it pretty awesome. You start off running through Disneyland and California Adventure with characters photo ops, then it's onto the streets of Anaheim, past the Honda Center where the Anaheim Ducks play and through Angel's baseball stadium where you get to run on the field. Then it's back to Disneyland to the finish line!
My personal goal was to finish in under 3 hours or a 13:44 minute/mile pace. I was pleasantly surprised when we finished at 2 hrs 48 minutes! I'm pretty sure it was all adrenaline.
Here's a nice before/after comparison for you. :)
It was only moments after crossing the finish line that I realized something- I was addicted to running. The incredible feeling of accomplishment and general excitement was worth all the pain of training and running. The shiny medal didn't hurt either. And so, my love of running Disney was created.
Since then, we've run the 2012 Disneyland half and are registered to run again in 2013- the Dumbo Double Dare (Disneyland 10k & half). We plan to make the Disneyland Half our annual race. :)