Tinkerbell Marathon – January 29th, 2012 (Team in Training)

I completed another 1/2 marathon this past weekend with Team in Training and it was overall a great experience.  I trained with TNT’s flex program which is basically an online program where your coach emails you your workouts and you do them on your own.  Back in 2007, I did TNT with the live coach and all the participants when I participated in the San Diego Rock n’s Roll  marathon with the San Diego/Hawaii chapter and it was very motivating and I had a great time.  But this time around it wasn’t as motivating without having all the other participants around and not having a face to put with your coach (until the actual day of the race when I met her).  I would recommend if its your first time training or participating with TNT to not do the flex program and instead join a live team, you will have a much better experience!  That being said, it was harder to be held accountable for my actions and training so I skipped out on a lot of runs throughout the season.  There were too many excuses not to i.e. being sick, the holidays, it was cold outside, etc.  But the main thing is that running a marathon or 1/2 marathon is all mental.  If you think you can do it, than you can do it… however, if you don’t think you can do it, than you won’t… And I knew I could do it!

The day before the race we went to the expo at the Disneyland Hotel where I picked up my number and t-shirt as well as checked out the different booths with free stuff/food and items for purchase.  I bought a sparkly headband to wear for future runs because you can never have enough sparkle when you are out hitting the pavement (haha – its true!)  And it was so crowded because they expect 11,000 runners for this event!  We then went back to the hotel room in hopes of taking a nap…

My cheerleaders with me at the Disneyland Resort Expo

That evening we attended the TNT inspirational dinner and we all sat together as a team.  There were 359 TNT participants running this race.  It was your typical pasta party along with some inspirational videos and speakers talking about the program and thanking everyone for their hard work and dedication.

The morning of the race I woke up at 3am to get ready, eat my breakfast, have my coffee, and make sure I had all my race gear prepared.  I met my team in the lobby and then we sat around for about 45 minutes (haha – ya I guess I could have slept in but oh well).  We walked to the start-line where we made our last potty breaks before heading into our corrals.  In case you aren’t aware, a corral is where each runner is assigned to based on the estimated time you plan to finish the race.  I planned to finish around 2 1/2 hours so I was assigned Corral B but my friends estimated they’d finish around 3 hours so they were back in Corral D.  I decided I’d rather start with them than by myself so I stayed back in Corral D.  This part about the race sucks cause you are basically stuck waiting till its your turn to cross the startline.  And your clock does not start until you cross the startline.  Each number bib has a special electonic device in it that measures the time that you start to the time you finish.  The other cool thing that this race had that I hadn’t experienced before was that you could set up a text message that after certain miles you were updated on the progress of the race and it measured the approximate time you would finish (kind of like a GPS system).  I did it for myself so I had an idea of my pace thorough-out the race.  But most people do not do this race for a PR (personal record).  Everyone stops to take pictures thoughout the race with the characters or other monuments around the theme park.  My husband and son were out on the course and I ran into them at mile 7, 11, and the finish-line.  This was a huge motivator!  I didn’t end up running with my friends because they had a routine that they had been using throughout their training and I just wanted to run as much as I could.  I ran most of the race, only had to stop around mile 5 because of cramps (probably due to dehydration) and each time I took another clif-shot to give myself some extra caloric energy.

Ran into my cheerleaders around mile 7...

Silly boy!

The back of my tink wings 🙂

This is what all the mile markers looked like...

Running down Main Street as the sun rises...

On the backlot - Pieces from the Disney Xmas Parade...

Finishing on the way through California Adventure...

Overall I finished at 2 hours 52 minutes and with that I received a beautiful finishers medal.  This was a fun event but overall I think next time I participate I will do it with friends even if we don’t do it for time it would be fun to have the company along the route.

Finishers Medal

My Medal

I’m also proud to say I raised $1650 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and as a group the TNT participants of the Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon raised 1 million dollars – GO TEAM!

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Building your runner

I know its been about a month since I have posted but my family and I took awhile to recover  from the holidays…. I’m back with a 2 part pre- and post- Disney race blog(s)!

My half marathon with team in training was this past weekend and I thought I’d go over how to prep your ‘runner’.  This is basically taking everything that you may need for your race and laying it out so that you don’t forget anything for the day of your run.  Runners are very superstitious so you will commonly find them doing the same routine from what they eat before, during, and after to what they wear to be consistent from race to race.  I am no exception because I want my race experience to be as enjoyable as my best run on the streets.

Starting with Breakfast… I typically consume a piece of toast (Ezekiel Bread) with about 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 banana, and a drizzle of honey.  Because I will not have a toaster in my hotel room, my breakfast won’t be warm but I can still consume all the food groups while I am on the road.  I also usually consume either  1 cup of coffee or 1 cup of tea depending on how I am feeling that morning.  This helps relax me.  Thank goodness there is a coffee maker in the room but just in case I don’t like the choice of coffee they offer, I’ll be bringing some tea choices and a  starbucks via.  But seeing as I have to be up around 3am, I’ll probably choose the coffee over the tea! ( I met my team in the lobby at 345am…)

Next up is what to wear…  Starting with my feet, I’ll be wearing a trusty pair of socks that I have already trained many runs in as well as my New Balance running shoes and spiffy gold sparkly laces.  Next, I’ll wear my running capri’s, which have a little compartment in the rear to hide 1 gel for about mile 6 (the other gel I plan to consume, they are offering on the course around mile 9).  Next is my running bra and Team in Training Jersey which I decorated with puffy paint.  This was so much fun to decorate, I could have done so much more but I think I already went a little overboard (hehe).  I included my name on both the front and back because as you are running spectators will see your name and cheer you on along the sidelines.  This is extremely motivating especially about mile 12 when you are just ready to give in!  I also included 2 honorees of Leukemia and Lymphoma.  The first being my little brother Justin, which I wrote about a few posts ago, the second being my Aunt Lisa who survived Lymphoma. The next part of my outfit is my hat for when the sun does come out.  Finally, I have a pair of cotton gloves and a jacket that I recently  purchased at the goodwill which I plan to wear before the race and for the first couple of miles before I warm up and then I will throw them to the side.  The race will then donate my clothing items that I throw to the side to the goodwill or homeless shelter for someone else to wear since I only wore them for that brief period of time.  Last but certainly not least, I’ll be carrying my cell phone so I can take pictures and also so that I can find my family once I get to the finish line.

Once I laid everything out, I packed it all away in my suitcase for the weekend so I wouldn’t forget anything.  Building your runner is a great thing to keep in mind when you are planning for your next race so that you don’t forget anything while you are on the road.

My Tinkerbell wings

sweatshirt, TNT shirt, capri's, and wings

Front of TNT shirt

back of TNT shirt

my shoes with sparkly gold laces

my number close up - Tinkerbell 1/2 marathon

Look out for my next post tomorrow with pictures and my results…