IMG_2892As you’ve probably figured out by now, I did not die during the Avengers Half Marathon last Sunday.  In fact, I completed the race albeit at a slower pace than my wife and I wanted or expected.  I could blame this on the strong winds that were often blowing against us, but most likely it was because I did 13 miles of walking and .1 miles of jogging during the race.

Since I didn’t train I was fearful about starting to jog, getting winded, and then not being able to recover.  Truthfully I probably could have jogged some and improved our time a bit, but finishing is all I really cared out.  In this aspect it would appear that my no-train program was a success.  However, I tell you now that the race doesn’t end when you finish.

A couple of weeks ago my wife wisely suggested that we should look for a hotel room for Saturday night since our apartment in Glendale is 45 minutes away from Anaheim (sans traffic) and the race was to begin at 5:30am.  I got online and was able to book us a room  at the Ramada right off of Harbor Boulevard.  As we arrived, I realized it wasn’t the Ramada that was almost directly across from the Disneyland East Esplanade entrance, but one on the other side of Ball Road.  I guess that would explain the “North” in the “Maingate North” name.

Even with the location being a bit farther from the parks, it was still very close. While visiting the Health and Fitness Expo where we picked up our bibs and shirts we learned that a shuttle was offered from our hotel, but I figured we might as well just walk.

Before committing to the walking plan we decided to try it out the night before.  So after checking into our room and getting settled, we headed to Downtown Disney where we dined on carbs at White Water Snacks (which, by the way, is this coast’s Captain Cook’s in terms of awesomeness) and scope out the set-up for the morning.  We declared the plan doable and headed back to our hotel to get some sleep.

Not too long after falling asleep I was awakened by what sounded like pounding on the door.  Once I was more conscious I quickly figured out what this noise was: “Believe... In Holiday Magic” — Disneyland’s winter fireworks show.  This continued for far longer than it feels like when you’re actually watching the show until the finale that had me thinking that the Hulk was in the next room over.

Despite this surprise that I really should have seen coming, the rest of our stay was quite pleasant and we woke up at 3am ready to go.  Something else I should have seen coming is that walking 1.5 miles to the race is one thing, but walking 1.5 miles back after the race is quite another.

By the time I finished the race my legs felt like they were made of concrete.  I made a point not to bother teasing myself by sitting down until we returned to the hotel room. Before we could even get to Harbor Boulevard to start this walk back, we were greeted by a giant line at bag-check that we had to wait in in order to get through the esplanade. At this point if walking hurts, standing still feels even worse.

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Eventually we got past security, onto Harbor and made it back to the Ramada where I took a well deserved sit on the bed.  Since the race had taken us longer to finish than we thought, we had only about 30 minutes before we had to check out.  I allowed myself 10 minutes to sit and play Tsum Tsums before packing up, checking out, and hopping in the car for the drive home.

Upon arriving home, I first took a shower to get all of the dirt and debris that was blown at me off and then took a long nap.  For dinner my wife allowed me splurge on the Pizza Hut cheese and bacon stuffed crust pizza I’ve had my heart (or, more accurately, my stomach) set on for months.  While eating the pizza my wife talked about how next year we could do the Wine and Dine Half and Avengers Half (which are a week apart) in order to get our Coast to Coast medals and how we should try to get ‘legacy” status for the Avengers Half once they offer it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is my first half-marathon won’t be my last.  However, since  getting out of bed was a struggle for nearly two days after, I think I’ll try this thing they call “training” next time around.

Be sure to follow Kyle on Twitter: @kyleburbank and run on back next week for another entry into The E-Ticket Life.

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