I woke up Saturday both apprehensive and excited— apprehensive about how I was going to feel during the race and excited for the first part of the Rebel Challenge—the Star Wars 10K!
When Jason and I signed up back in June, we decided that both registering for the Rebel CHallenge would give us a chance to do a race together. So Jason left A corral to be with me in B corral. Even if I had to walk the entire race, he planned to finish with me.
Jason and I wore outfits inspired by our favorite droids— R2-D2 and BB-8. Although we bought the shirts, I sewed my own skirt and even added detailing to Jason’s running shorts.
Although I planned to walk the whole race, the night before I revised it to add running at the very beginning and across the finish line. It’s nearly impossible to walk across the start line anyway, so why fight the adrenaline.
After crossing the line at a jog however, I was surprised to find that for the first time in over a month, I wasn’t experiencing any pain by jogging. Cue excitement tempered by wariness.
As we jogged into the backstage area early in the race, I struggled with what to do. Even if I felt good at that moment, I knew I had to go 13.1 miles alone the following day and I was simply afraid to run more. I forced myself to walk.
Luckily, Jason and I loved looking at all the sights in Disneyland and sometimes I was so excited that I had to start running again. Mostly walking, interspersed with some running, we wound our way through Disneyland. Fantasyland, my favorite part of the Star Wars 10K last year, was even better this year, with all the lights of small world lit up in full glory.
Exciting Disneyland, we spotted Dad and Taylor cheering for us as we crossed the plaza to California adventure and stopped for a quick selfie.
So far we had skipped all the character stops— I was worried about time and Jason knew he could stop the following day. And then we ran into the line for BB-8 while running down Hollywood Blvd.
At this point, my race had been slower than normal, although fun, but I had to make a choice. Do I stop in the incredibly long line for BB-8, or do I skip what might be the last character stop?
We got in line and was told it would be around 30 minutes, by far the longest line I’ve ever even considered stopping in. But I was wearing an outfit inspired by BB-8, so it felt like we should stop, even if it was our only stop.
Four people behind us, they cut the line off.
We should have known we were in trouble then. We waited… and waited… and chatted with the runner in front of us. The people going past us got slower and the corral numbers on their bibs went from B to C to D… and then to E…
20 minutes into the line, we were only halfway to the front.
A little later on, a bicyclist came by, telling us that if we stayed in the line, we would get swept. No character is worth that! Jason grabbed a quick picture for me to make it a little less waste of time, and then we zipped away. As Jason and I started running, to my horror, we passed the balloon ladies that mark the slowest acceptable pace.
At this point, I kind of freaked out. Being a slow runner, getting swept has always been a niggling concern in longer races, even if I was in no real danger here. I told Jason he had to pace me for the last two miles as we jogged through California Adventure.
All thoughts of slowing down left me. I kind of lost my head. We started running more frequently as my adrenaline just wouldn’t let me slow down for a reasonable length of time.
As we ran past mile 6, Jason gave me a new goal— try to get under 2 hours (yes, we seriously lost a lot of time in that line…). Cheering crowds near the Disneyland Hotel gave me an extra boost, but alas, we were just a little too slow.
But who cares! We got a super awesome X-wing medal and I finished without pain! I iced my problem hip, just in case and to prevent any future problems, but I was feeling good.
After breakfast at LaBrea Bakery, we went to Disneyland to ride Hyperspace Mountain!
Time: 2:00:01 (and now I’ll be forever wondering what my time would have been had we not stopped for BB-8…)
Ran With: For the first time, Jason!
Best sign: “Tired? …Tell that to Kanjiklub.” (Rewatch The Force Awakens to see where the internet meme came from…)
Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon
2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Expo & Packet Pick Up
Medals Revealed for the 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!
Inaugural Star Wars 10K Recap: Rebel Challenge Part 1