#TheFastestNarvaez – Tinker Bell Half Marathon 2014

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I admit defeat.  The Tinker Bell Half Marathon was a reeeaaally weird race for me.  Why?  Because it was the first race I don’t really remember any moments that I felt good or I enjoyed … and I was at Disneyland for goodness sake!  How do you NOT enjoy that?!  But anyway … I’ll start from the beginning.

On Saturday, I drove back home to Orange County to attend the Run Disney Health and Fitness Expo, which I truly enjoyed.  Expos always make me excited and giddy.  The energy is awesome and really gets me pumped up for race day.  I was able to catch Carissa Bealert at the expo, which was exciting for me since she is one of the race announcers for all of Run Disney’s races, and I finally got to meet the lively woman who sends us off running!  I spent a lot more time at the expo walking around, exploring all of the vendors, etc.  I even was introduced to the Endure Jewelry Co. and found some really awesome pieces that are now on my new wish list of items (26.2 earrings, anyone?! But really … I want them).  After the expo, I headed back to my parents’ place in Irvine for the night and relaxed on the couch.

Sunday morning, I had a lovely 2:45 AM alarm, and I headed off to Disneyland for the race.  First thing to note:$16 parking.  I mentioned previously that at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, we didn’t have to pay for parking for the races, so I was half hoping that would happen last weekend, but no such luck.

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Welcome runners!

Since I headed off to this race solo, I hung around before the race’s early start time of 5 AM, got myself excited and pumped up.  Before I knew it, I was in my corral, ready to go!  Minnie and Daisy came out to cheer everyone pre-race, and fireworks greeted us at the start.  Run Disney changed the course from the previous two years, and I have no complaints about it; I thought the course was great.  Spectators, course entertainment, and characters were of course, fantastic, and I had a fun time running inside of the parks.

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Yeah .. I know, right?

Now onto the actual race.  After one mile, I could already feel my asthma acting up; I had trouble breathing, and I backed off a little.  Honestly, I thought it was because I didn’t do any real or proper speed training, but since I awoke yesterday morning with a cough, runny nose, and some slight breathing issues due to my asthma, I know I wasn’t crazy and I actually was starting to get sick.

The rest of the race didn’t get any better.  I watched my pace slow, I watched the 1:50 pacer pass me and once I knew this wouldn’t be a race I would PR, I told myself to sub 2 hours.  Thennnn I watched as the 2:00 pacer pass me and I started to get discouraged.  I had no idea what was going on.  This was the first race for me that I never felt “good.”  I never felt like I found my stride, my happy place.  My music didn’t help.  The spectators didn’t help.  The characters didn’t help.  It was weird.  Usually during races I find joy, but this time,  I cannot recall any moments that I genuinely enjoyed.  I don’t like that.  Tinker Bell has always been a fun race for me (especially because it is Disney), and especially because it is a race that is dear to me because of the last two years I ran it.

How could I not enjoy it?  There are people dressed up all around you, fantastic volunteers, a great crowd, characters all of the place, bands and color guards dancing, and Mickey and Minnie waiting to high five you at the finish.  The race is fantastic.  But I just wasn’t feeling it.

Oh well.

Maybe it was because I was starting to get sick.  Maybe it was because my body was still recovering from the WDW Half Marathon and the WDW Marathon the weekend before.  Who knows!  But I do think that my mind got the better of me and I felt defeated.  And my time wasn’t even horrible (2:02:45)!  But such is life.  Not every race is great and I suppose there was bound to be a time when I didn’t enjoy a race–for whatever reason.

But this was just me! If you’re considering running Tink, do it! It is a blast, and the support is great.  In 2015, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend will actually fall in May, so keep that in mind for next year.

As for me, my mini hiatus from running may be short-lived.  But more on that later …

jn

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