I had several alternate titles for this race recap. They included:
- How To Run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Without Training Nearly Enough
- How To Run the Wine & Dine Half Marathon After Gaining Fifteen Pounds
- How To Splash Through the Wine & Dine Half Marathon Without A Snorkel
But I decided to keep it simple and go with:
Well that gives you the basic idea, but let me go ahead and share the details! Erik and I drove down (without our boys!) Saturday morning and immediately went to the Expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports. We parked with no problem and stood in just a short line to pick up my bib. After picking up my race shirt, we browsed through the official merchandise area and the other vendors at the Expo. The only thing I was hoping to get was a race jacket to replace the my Tink Half jacket that I lost in the San Diego airport last month. Sadly, they either didn’t have one or it had already sold out.
After our short trip to the Expo, we drove to the Swan, checked into our room, and headed over to Disney’s BoardWalk to grab some lunch. Then back to our room to rest before the race. I couldn’t sleep and around 5 p.m. I started getting ready.
The Swan isn’t a host resort for this race, so I walked over to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn to catch the event bus to the start. It started drizzling on the way, so I stopped and bought a poncho AND and umbrella (yes I tend to overreact!) for the long wait in the staging area and corrals. I always get to the bus stop a little before the first bus is supposed to arrive because I hate worrying about being late!
When I got to the bus stop, I ran into people I know! I chatted with a lovely lady who had read my race recap from last year and then ran into Krissy from Shiawase Life who was carrying “flat Sarah” who was part of our Club 33 China Plates in January.
The first bus was late! Not super late, but usually the first bus is waiting early and this one didn’t arrive until at least five or ten minutes after it was scheduled. The down side to that is that when I got to the staging areas, the lines for character photos were already quite long. I picked the Chip ‘n Dale line because I love those cheeky chipmunks! As soon as I got in line, I realized that Lauren from Lauren’s Glass Slipper was in line in front of me with her husband (Elsa and Olaf). It was so much fun to chat with them both and it certainly made the time pass quickly!
I also got to say hi to several other blogger buddies like Lauren from Running the States while in line and mixing around. I wish I had time to just chat with everyone! I did get a fun picture with my best chipmunks:
After getting this picture, I wanted to find some of my work friends who were running the race so I wandered around and eventually found them! It still hadn’t started raining and we were all checking out the radar and hoping that somehow, someway, the cold rain would stay to our North. After a couple of potty breaks, we headed to our corrals. Where it promptly started raining. Ugh. Now I like running in the rain, but not 13.1 miles in the rain when it is a cold, windy, dark night.
The corrals in front of me seemed to go off very quickly and before I knew it, it was our turn. I was in the middle of my corral and we got off to a slow start. I think that the wet pavement combined with people shedding their garbage bags or ponchos in the first mile resulted in it taking a while for everyone to find their pace and spread out a little. I’m not sure if it was the rain or the constant rustling of the ponchos, but I couldn’t hear my Garmin beep for my intervals (and I wasn’t even wearing headphones). After about a mile, I messed with the screen and found one that gave me a countdown to the next interval which helped a lot. Unfortunately, it couldn’t also show me my pace so I had no idea if I was going too slow or too fast.
It rained a lot on the way to Animal Kingdom. And because of the rain, there was very little on course entertainment to liven up the long stretches of highway. We could even see staged areas where we thought characters would have been. The rain let up when we got close to Animal Kingdom and I got to get some great photos with Main Street Electrical Parade characters:
Which is awesome because I love the Main Street Electrical Parade! And I got to TOUCH the TURTLE!!!!!
My life is complete. Running through Animal Kingdom was fun as always. Despite my complete under training, I felt pretty good at this point. There were characters for photos under cover from the rain and I got to give Pluto a big kiss!
This is the only picture where you can see my Disney Parks Moms Panel 2015 Hopeful drawing on my leg. Once we left Animal Kingdom, things started to feel not so great. Remember that I only got up to 10 miles in my training? And that the aforesaid 10 mile run occurred a full month before the race? And that I think I may have run once during that month? Yeah, this is where I started to pay the price. We ran back from Animal Kingdom to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and it seemed like there were endless on ramps and off ramps. I ran strong up the first couple and then I decided that walking up and running down just made sense. I eventually made it to Hollywood Studios and you can see how happy I am here.
See that big grin? Totally fake. I’ve learned to smile through pain and misery through distance running. An important skill in life! I actually felt more like the guy on the right. And that’s what I looked like too, just seconds before I spotted the photographer!
And then, finally, we ran through the disco tunnel and I spotted the thing that makes me come back to this race despite the summer training (or lack thereof!).
This is just my very very very favorite part of this race. Five million LED lights illuminating the night. And we get to run through them with no crowds. It’s a beautiful experience!
And then it was time to get back to business and finish this race. But first, I had my mandatory Boba Fett stop. And I love how this picture turned out!
I’m not sure what he’s looking at, but it still cracks me up a week later! From this point to the finish, I abandoned my walk intervals because my feet and legs were killing me and I knew if I stopped to walk, I might not start running again. Luckily, I do love this course because from Hollywood Studios, you take a sidewalk to the BoardWalk and then to Epcot. I didn’t feel great but I knew I could finish. I just ran slow and steady and put on big fake smiles when I saw the photographers. And then I finished! And I was DONE!
I was a hot mess. Well, a cold mess! Drenched to the bone. I could not have been wetter if I had jumped in the lake. And my feet hurt. And my legs hurt. And I felt a little nauseous. I really just wanted to get on a bus and head back to the resort, but Erik was waiting for me in Epcot with my bag of dry clothes.
Right after this picture, I gathered up my water bottle, my powerade bottle, my banana and my snack box and wrapped them all up in the space blanket they provided. I walked a few steps, decided it was too heavy and threw the whole stinking thing in the garbage! I was not in my rational mind because I needed that space blanket! I got sooooo cold walking back to Epcot! The crossing of the race course wasn’t too bad and only took about five minutes.
Once I got changed into dry clothes, I hobbled back to the Swan through the International Gateway. We did stop at Patagonia for some delicious pesto steak skewers and I felt a lot better after I ate those. If I’d had a jacket, I probably would have stayed and done a few more booths and rides, but I was super cold so we just headed back. I think the forced march did help keep my legs from getting too stiff. And I walked around the next day at the Magic Kingdom with no trouble, so at least I didn’t injure something.
My tips for running in similar conditions (cold and wet):
- My fingerless gloves (they are actually crafting gloves) were a life saver during the race. Even sopping wet, they kept my hands warm.
- I kept my arm sleeves in my SparkleSkirt pocket and I was able to put them on in the corrals and after the race which was really nice.
- I bought a big thing of body glide at the Expo and lubed everything up before the race. I ended up just having one area under my right arm that got chafed.
- I did NOT tape my shoes with duct tape. I think that’s terrible advice. I did splash through puddles and my shoes got soaked, but the water drained right out. I didn’t even get a single blister.
- Watch your footing! I love my Altra Torins, but the soles have very little traction. I had to step carefully and avoid any of the painted markings on the road.
- Have plenty of warm, dry clothes waiting for you. I had a full set of dry clothes but a jacket would have made all the difference.
- Revel in your new warrior status! Running a half marathon makes you tough. Running a half marathon in the pouring rain, sleet, snow or similar conditions makes you a warrior! Brag a little!
I’m linking up with Patty from My No-Guilt Life, Erika from MCM Mama Runs for today’s Tuesdays on the Run with the timely topic of running in adverse conditions! I figured that my race recap would be a perfect fit for this one!