I had an incredible weekend.
No, I didn’t break my half-marathon PR and I wasn’t the first (or probably last again) on my age group, but I finished another half-marathon yesterday. Remember when I post here about my next crazy adventure? Well, by completing that race I finished the challenge! I did Disney Coast-To-Coast challenge and January is not even over!
Inspiration Dinner – Team in Training
Thank you VERY, VERY much for everyone who donated and support my cause. There were total 369 runners from Team in Training for this race and collectively, we raised ONE MILLIONS DOLLAR! ZOMG. That’s a lot of dolla. I was very impressed and touched. This money can do so much for further research and patient support and I can testify and attest to that from the personal experience! I have a stack of thank you card that I need to send out for all my generous donor who supported and helped me during my 2011 fundraising season for THREE different event. Everybody was so generous and they were continuously support me on various event! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
The pasta dinner was great. It was a wee bit crowded and there’s a bit of mishap about seating arrangement, but it got fix right away. Food were good and I had wonderful company. They put all the ‘In Honor’ and ‘In Memoriam’ pictures on the slide and it feels really weird to see my own picture up there!
We wrapped up the dinner by 8pm and I went back to the room and get my things ready for the race.
My husband woke me up at 3am (YES, THREE AM) to get ready. I was not a happy camper. After I whined about 10 minutes, I finally got up and got myself ready. I ate my usual pre-race breakfast, english muffin + peanut butter + honey + banana and head downstairs to meet the rest of Team in Training runner. We hung out for a bit, took pictures and started to walk to our corral at 4:30am.
Unlike WDW Marathon, my husband able to walk me all the way to my corral and stood there with me while I was waiting for our corral turn to start. It was a good 40 degrees morning, calm and a bit chilly. I felt surprising calm and not anxious.
First wave of runner and the wheelchair went out promptly at 5:45am and my corral started at 6:05am. There were so many people with running skirt and wings! It was very, very cool!
The first couple miles, I can’t barely pass anybody as there were so many people and I took my time and tried to make my way to the side so I can get a good pace going. We made our way towards Disneyland park from the employee entrance where you can see the train, parade car, and other behind the scenes stuff. It was a lot of fun! That path took us to the side of Main Street USA inside Disneyland Park and we ran towards the Sleeping Beauty castle. It was absolutely stunning. The sun just rise and it made the castle sparkle! I didn’t take a lot of pictures this time around as there were a long lines on each of Disney Character for runner who wanted to take pictures. Pretty much all the princesses and their prince were out, I saw Jack Sparow, Mickey and friends, Toy Story character. It was so much fun! I had to made a potty break inside the park and unfortunately, every bathroom had a very, very long lines. I stood there and went anyway but that took about 5 minutes out of my time.
From Disneyland park, we ran towards the center of city of Anaheim. There were so many volunteer and entertainment around! I saw my husband, who wore a tutu (yes, in spirit of TinkerBell) and carry a cow-bell and a sign. It was sooo good to see him! Then I saw Karen Lopez (t) and Rob Farley (t) at mile 5 who also had a sign with my name on it.
Karen and Rob F. took an extra day from their busy days to stay at Anaheim so they can cheer me. These two awesome people were on their way home to Toronto, CA and Adelaide, AU from spending a week in Seattle for training/meeting but they bought extra ticket to LAX and spend extra day for me. They are my #SQLFamily. I met both of them via SQL Community and I mentioned this on previous post about how awesome this community is. I’m very blessed and honor to be able to call them a friend.
We ran through the city and I saw Karen and Rob. F again between Mile 8 and 9. I had a cheek-to-cheek smile and I felt great! Shortly before we entered California Adventure Park, I felt a sharp pain on my ankle. I had one of those uh-oh moment again as the pain was significant. For those who don’t know, I sprained my ankle 10 days before my full marathon, then ran the full, then I spent two weeks walked around the park at Disneyworld. So this ankle took a lot of beating lately!
I stopped running, stretched and massage the tendon a bit. I knew I had about 5k to go and I wasn’t going to quit it. I stopped at the medical tent, took some Tylenol and slowly jog my way towards California Adventure Park. I enjoyed my time running through the park and tried to forgot the pain in my ankle. The cheer-tweets from my #SQLFamily were constant throughout the whole 13.1 miles. I felt SO much love!!
We ran through the park and out and I knew that the finish line was around the corner. I barely could hear my music as the tweets came constantly over my iPhone. I started to run faster and I saw my husband WITH HIS TUTU on top of the bleacher. I waved to him with a big smile. I saw Karen and Rob F. again by the finish line and I lifted my hand up, had the most cheesy smile and cross the finish line.
I did it. I finished.
I got my space blanket, my medal, and went to Coast-To-Coast tent and got ANOTHER MEDAL for completing the challenge. We then proceed to post-race refreshment where I drank entire powerade in one shot, ate banana and took my official post race picture.
I saw my husband from the distance and leap into his arm. I did it!! He gave me a very proud look!!
A few minutes later, I saw Karen and Rob. F. We hugged and Rob F. told me that they had a surprise for me. He pulled out his phone and play this video here. Go ahead and click that link or paste this to your browser: http://youtu.be/iUuEcdQWjZc
I was about to die of excitement. That’s JEFF GALLOWAY! He is the running guru, the Olympian, the mastermind behind the run/walk method, the official Disney Coach and he was TALKING TO ME!
You think that would be the highlight of my day, right? I finished, got my medal, got another medal, and saw the awesome video. Well, I thought so too, until I walked into the Platinum VIP area where my husband, Karen and Rob F. was when they cheered me on and I saw Jeff Galloway there. I shook his hand, gave him a hugged and we chatted for a while. I mumbled almost the entire time because I was just a way too excited!!
I had incredible weekend.
Not only because I finished the race, met with my running guru but because I was surrounded with family. I had an incredible and awesome support from my husband and my SQL Family, in person (Thank you so much Karen and Rob F.) as well as virtually (Thank you Erin Stellato, Jes Borland, Rob Drysdale, Sarah Strate, Tamera Clark, Tom LaRock, Richie Rump, Andy Leonard, Grant Fritchey, Robert Davis, Tom Roush, Steve Jones, Jeremiah Peschka, Merrill Aldrich, Dave Levy, Shahryar Hashemi, Allen Kinsey, Diane McNurlan, Tracy McKibben. I’m sure I probably forgot someone here, my apologies)
I am very blessed. This professional community that I belong to become a second family to me. They are there not only when I wasn’t sure what causing the ruckus on my server, but when I need a support for my challenges and adventure.
From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
Until the next adventure