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…
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.
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.
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!