Did you like how I surprised you with my race announcement? Yeah, I surprised myself too. I never thought I’d be able to enter a half-marathon on a whim! I knew the Wednesday before the race that I was running it, so I started carb loading then. It was pasta and bagels all the way! Well, I was broke anyway, so that’s all I had.
I was super stoked because my friend Holly from home was flying in for the race!
Running a race that starts at 10pm is so strange. I got up at a normal time, had a normal-ish, carby breakfast, had a Starbucks protein plate for lunch, took a nap in the late afternoon, and met up with Holly around 6 at her resort. I packed a bagel with peanut butter to eat at 7:00.
We parked at Epcot a little after 6, and the buses were already running to take runners over to the Wide World of Sports. The race information said buses would start at 7. I also have to add that the weather was hovering around 70 degrees that evening. Perfect running weather!
I’m glad we got there early, because we were one of the first people in line to see Minnie Mouse!
Since we were there over 3 hours before the race was to begin, we plopped right down in the grassy field and people-watched!
I happened to look up and see my good friend Bethany and her running buddies.
Around 9:30, we all headed to our respective corrals. I ended up with B but made a wrong turn and ended up in C, which was fine because I had no business being in B.
The guns and fireworks went off promptly at 10:00, but my corral didn’t pass the Start line until 10:15 or so. For the first few miles, it was a congested mess. My plan was to do the Galloway Method and do 2/1 intervals (run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute). I wanted to take my first walk interval after 2 minutes, but I didn’t want to piss anyone off and stop right in front of them while there were still so many people close to one another. I did end up taking the walk break after 3 minutes because I saw some other people doing the same thing. Once the crowd had thinned out, I moved to the right side of the road and took walk breaks every 2 minutes. I feel like other run/walkers need to be told before a race that stopping in the middle of the road with 4 of your friends is not acceptable. Move to the side, please.
Even though the total time spent on this course was almost 3 hours, I honestly felt like it went by really fast. I don’t remember anything memorable on the course. There were only several characters, and I’m not the type to stop and take a picture with one while running. Even though I may be slow and Disney races aren’t exactly “serious”, I still don’t like to take up time taking pictures.
I also don’t remember a moment when I thought I hit a wall or felt any pain.
I think they could have done a better job lighting the road coming out of Animal Kingdom. It was pitch dark! When there were lights on the road, they were shining directly at the runners. Fun times.
The run through the Studios seemed never-ending and really boring. Only parts of it were through the on-stage areas. The Osbourne Christmas Lights were a nice touch with holiday music playing, even though they were only half-completed this year.
It wasn’t until the final mile when I started doing shorter run intervals. I was just out of energy but not completely feeling like I hit a wall. I didn’t know until a few days before the race that I would be running it, so I wasn’t all that prepared. My longest run recently was an 8-miler, so I’m excited I lasted until Miles 11/12 before zonking out.
I wanted to keep up with a 12:30 mile pace, so I think I did alright, considering my lack of training.
The finish line was really strange. I’m not sure why it wasn’t set up with bleachers like they do for the marathon. The spectators we knew said there were so many people crowded around the small finish line area that fights were about to break out because everyone wanted to see their finisher.
I did hear that they made significant improvements to last year’s finish line. It was a long walk around the area to get your medal, a bottle of water, a bottle of Powerade, and some snacks. Once I figured out where I was going after that, I made my way to the alcoholic beverages since my race bib came with a “drink voucher”. Upon discovering that all they had was Bud and Bud Light, I opted for a Coke. If I wanted to drink my own urine, I would. That’s how I feel about Bud and Bud Light. I don’t know what I was thinking expecting them to have something with some flavor.
So I drank my Coke and sat down to stretch inside Epcot where they were having the After Party. I got to the fountains just beyond Spaceship Earth and quickly realized I was about to faint and throw up on myself. I texted Holly with “can’t move”, and she quickly responded with “I’ll come find you!” I was feeling perfectly fine until I got into Epcot and was over-stimulated with all of the lights on the ground. I got dizzy, and that’s not something you want to happen right after running 13.1 miles. I quickly sat down, put my head between my knees, thought happy thoughts, and breathed deeply. I grabbed the mushy banana in my bag and started to feel better. What an awful feeling though to feel like you might pass out, and there’s no one you know around you.
I met up with Holly, who ROCKED the crap out of this race with a 1:56!!! I’ve got serious pace envy!
Since she had finished an hour before me, she had already walked all the way around the After Party and just wanted to go back to her hotel room. Since I was feeling a bit dizzy still, I agreed. It was so nice to leave a race and go back to my own bed. I was asleep by 3am, but I was up at 7 for one of my “shadow shifts” at lululemon. Then, I babysat that night. I’m still tired!
Seriously, I MUST lose weight before the marathon! Or in lulu terms… “I WILL lose 25 pounds by January 8th, 2012!”
My favorite medal yet!
Despite my criticisms of a few things, I think it was a great race! I felt like I did my best considering my training. I felt strong and capable almost the whole time. I think I’d definitely run it next year if I’m still living in the area. I don’t think I’d make a special trip to Florida for it if I’m living out-of-state next year. It just wasn’t as special as the marathon or the Princess Half.
If you ran the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon, tell me what you thought of it. Loved it? Hated it? Would you do it again?