I did it! I ran a half-marathon this morning. First time since 2004.
I used to run longer distances much more often, I’m familiar enough with how to prepare for these things, yet for some reason, I broke all the rules this time. Let’s talk about it for a minute with complete honesty.
I did not train.
I’m not saying this to be a jerk or to in any way advocate, for not training. And I’m not exaggerating. I did not train. I told a friend this, he laughed and said, “ya, right!” But seriously. I didn’t. I signed up for this event in June, well intentioned enough, thinking I had plenty of time to train, and WORST CASE I could start training in October. I did a two-week intro to CrossFit thing in June or July, we did some running in there but only like 400 meters or something not terribly overwhelming, other than it’s pretty hot in Las Vegas in June and July. October, November, and December came and went. I did not run one single time. I walked on the treadmill one time for an hour a couple weeks ago. I knew what I was getting into, I’ve run half marathons and whole marathons, and after doing a full, while still an incredibly respectable distance, doesn’t *feel* as big to my mind. My sweet, simple little mind. Somehow the gap in time (11 years) since my last half hadn’t registered at all to my mind. I’m not 29-year-old Jaimee anymore. I’m 40-year-old Jaimee. My mind was calm about it, I didn’t feel at all intimidated by the distance. I remember feeling really intimidated by it for my first couple events way back. For a full marathon, there’s no way I’d attempt that without serious training. Nonono. For this half event though, I did pretty well through mile 8, then needed to do some walk breaks. I expected walk breaks, this was the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland, after all. I had to take a lot of photos and post them along the way, too. For me, this was not a “race” for time or speed for me. This was an event for fun times and merriment. My body let me know around mile 11 that zero training wasn’t wise, my hip flexors started to stiffen up pretty good. Mile 12 I walked most of, with the ever-tightening hip flexors. I finished out all 13.1 miles, I had a ton of fun, but boy oh boy am I sore now. Definitely do not recommend the not training approach.
I wore brand new shoes.
All the guide and advice experts say, never wear new shoes on race day. Wear shoes that are tried and true. I totally meant to try my shoes out before race day. I’d ordered them on line a couple weeks ago, I meant to try them on when they arrived. I didn’t. I tried them on in the hotel room last night. Super lucky for me, they worked out great. I have slightly a bruised toe. Other than that, no blisters, no weird or painful rubbing or digging. If you’re tthinking about doing some running, it’s definitely better to break in your shoes on lower mileage training runs. For sure. But if you know your foot and fit pretty well,
Who knows what I ate.
There are all sorts of recommended foods to eat and avoid the night before a big event. I followed none of the DOs and pretty sure I did all of the DON’Ts. If I were running hard for speed or a good personal record, this would have possibly been a bigger deal. The only thing I did avoid, per recommendation, was my morning coffee. Hydration is important and I respect that. Maybe what’s most important for these events is listening to your body. If your body is cool with margaritas and bean & cheese burritos the night before a long run, go for it! If you prefer the pasta carb load angle, that’s cool, too. For me, I didn’t notice much in the way of feeling off from foods/diet decisions the night before.
Despite my poor preparation, I loved this event for a couple reasons.
It let me know exactly where I was in the scheme of fitness levels, and where I’d like to be. It also let me know that running is still a viable option for me. I’m very lucky for that. I remember when my doctor told me I couldn’t for a while, it broke my heart. I found other activities that kept me fit for a while until life got all scrambly and so on. Now I dabble here and there in various things. Whatever seems interesting, until it doesn’t anymore.
runDisney / The Star Wars Half Marathon was a really amazing experience. I just ran 13.1 miles dressed in a Darth Vader costume. At the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks and the surrounding area. It was insane, fun, and I absolutely recommend it. If you think you may want to do it, the registration fills up super fast, so go to their site and sign up to be notified once registration opens (sometime around May/June), and sign up. They have a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and some kids events. Good stuff all around.