This was my first time running the Wine and Dine Half in the daytime, and my first time participating in the two course challenge. Being tired and having my leg hurting me from the 10k the day before I was not feeling optimistic, but had no goals other than to have fun, and that’s what I did!
Keep in mind I was very under trained, I had run a 10k a few weeks prior and did a 9 mile run/walk (more walk than run) training run on a very hot day, but that was the extent of my training.
I was running solo again, and knew the first few miles would be dark and kind of boring, but I was ok with it. After my coral was set to go, I just got into a good rhythm and stuck with it. My leg started bothering me right from the start, but I pushed through, and am glad I did, because I ended up having a good race! I didn’t take any photos on the course because it was so. humid. My entire body was covered in sweat most of the race (and in the beginning before I was too sweaty, it was too dark!) and my fingers wouldn’t unlock my phone, but thankfully I got a ton of great photopass shots! (great as in I’m smiling and still running, not as in I look cute, because I don’t. I look like a sweaty mess.)
Running through Animal Kingdom was really fun because we were the first race to run through Pandora. I was kind of bummed that there were no photographers taking running shots of people in Pandora, just one if you wanted to stop and take a photo. Oh well, moving on.
So my quad and knee were really tight and hurt, but then honestly they just kind of went numb and were just a dull pain from mile 7 or so on. The only walk breaks I took were from stopping at water stops for about ten seconds each, and I stopped at every single one. Check out the photo below. The bottom left of my shirt is the color it’s “supposed” to be.
Running through Hollywood Studios was also fun because they had up their Christmas decorations. Once I got into this park I knew I would make it to the finish because the rest of the scenery was at least interesting after getting off the main roads.
I exited Hollywood Studios and headed towards the Boardwalk. OH! A total runner #fail I forgot to mention was fuel. Typically, runDisney races have GU packets which is what I take when I train anyway. However, this race handed out sport beans, which totally threw me off. Make sure to read all the info so you know what to expect. Do as I say, not as I do.
So I kept plugging along and realized I was keeping a pretty good clip despite my under trained status and the awful weather. I decided to keep pushing and see what I could do without absolutely killing myself. After all, I did want to end with a smile on my face and continue to enjoy the run.
I made it into EPCOT and knew I was in the home stretch. I was not anticipating turning RIGHT into EPCOT and going all the way around World Showcase (again, runner fail. I’m sure the map was in the runner guide). My GPS is always off so I thought we would be turning left and going around the “short side” so that kind of knocked the wind out of my sails, but I knew we were still close.
I love running around the World Showcase, lots of room, pretty scenery, and it also means you are almost done!
So up until this point I had stopped for zero characters and the only time I walked was for water stops. As I approached this little guy, he had NO ONE in line and I felt bad for him so I jumped in, took a picture and kept going. What a cute little guy. He just needed a friend.
I passed Spaceship Earth and headed “back stage” the old familiar way I have run so many times before. I made the last corner and heard cheering and decided to give everything I had left, which turned out to be a lot! I sprinted to the end and crossed the finish line.
I did it! Another runDisney race in the books. I got my half medal, my challenge medal, and then had to document with a photo since no one was there to take one for me. I was back at the hotel, showered and in bed for a nap before most people were headed into the parks for the day, and I had a great feeling of accomplishment.
I was reminded I am so much stronger than I think, and after all these years of running, even when I don’t actually train, my body knows what to do. I ended up finishing the half in 2:17, which is just a few minutes off my PR, and that’s with running a hard 10k the day before. My mile pace was actually FASTER at the half than the 10k! It just goes to show you every day and every race is different, and this one was fun. I’m so glad I was able to run and have such a fun runDisney weekend.