Monday, November 7, 2016

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

After almost two years of not running in an runDisney race... I finally did another half marathon and while it hurt (a lot), it was a lot of fun!  I'm glad to be back running again.  I remember all the fun I used to have running at these events, but memories are nothing like living it again.

I got there early to take pictures with a friend.  Since I had taken most of my pictures before the 10k, I just sort of kept her company in the lines.  I did have to take a picture with Goofy and Donald again because they were dressed as chefs this time!

Otherwise I spent the pre-race time relaxing, stretching, and using the restroom thanks to a nervous bladder.  Eventually I made my way to my corral and because I was spending time with friends I was stuck in the back.  That was fine, though, I've started in the back before so I'm not new to the whole weaving around walkers game.

The nice part was that the first road ended up being pretty wide.  We had a few lanes so everyone spread out and I was able to set a decent pace.  My legs quickly reminded me that we had run 6.2 miles the day before and I was definitely feeling it early.  I'd get a few good patches though and felt decent at times.  I walked up the hills... I mean overpasses, and through the water stops, but for most of the race I ended up running more than I expected.  I really got into a groove and all that trust in myself I had worked on through my training came into play and my legs really did do a great job.  When I did walk, I kept up a sub-15 minutes pace, so even that training paid off!

I hit a wall somewhere between mile 9 and 10 which made miles 10 and 11 really long... especially the two on-ramps that we had to climb.  I got my las bit of energy back for mile 12 and felt good except for my knee trying to lock towards 12.5.

I didn't stop for as many pictures either.  I have pictures with most of the characters who were out and the length of the lines made me think twice about stopping.  I really don't regret it either, which is surprising considering I used to love taking pictures with all of the characters.

When I got to the finish line I was surprised to hear that I had just run my fastest half marathon according to my Nike+ app.  Later on I would discover I ran my 2nd fastest half marathon according to my official time, and that fastest time was set in 2010, when I was still training with my collegiate triathlon team!  That definitely made the finish sweeter.

I got my first medal and a Dr. Cool towel at the end of the race and walked what seemed like another mile to the challenge tent.  I was curious how they were going to decide how you actually deserved a medal.  Essentially you walked up to a table where someone was waiting for you with a laptop.  They typed in your number and approved that you deserved the challenge medal or not.  There were no extra bracelets or anything like that, just a quick check on the computer.  At least when I finished it worked out really well.

Later that night I met friends at EPCOT for the post race party.  At 7:30 there were long lines to get your bracelet for the party and they really weren't kicking non-party people out till later that night.  Considering I had to work today, I got a few things to eat and then went home.  Today I talked to some friends who stayed and said there were long lines for most things, and even part of the party where everything, including food booths, were closed!  I don't think I missed much by leaving before illuminations...

Today- 1 day later- I'm sore and the morning was a bit rough.  However, after walking around at work and later on at home, I'm starting to feel good.  My quads are a little tight, but overall pretty good.  Probably better than I should be feeling considering how bad my training was before the race.  I am excited to run the half marathon, and only the half marathon, during marathon weekend.  I'm curious to see how good I can do without being sore and continuing to improve my training again!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Wine and Dine Weekend- Remy's 10k

The weekend has finally arrived, and first off, I survived all 19.3 miles!  I'm feeling all 19.3 miles, but I survived.

It all started with the 10k Saturday morning, which actually ended up being a lot of fun and went a lot better than I was expecting.  I arrived early, and by early I mean before the race area was even open.  Considering I was driving myself, I just didn't want any unexpected delays, like road closures and things.  Since I was there so early I decided to go ahead and take some pictures before the race.  There were quite a few characters out, Mickey and Minnie, Remy and Emile, Goofy and Donald, and Lumiere.  I went shortest line to longest and was able to get everyone except Lumiere, but that was fine since I saw him at the expo.  The pictures actually came out really well!


I was in my coral staging area nice and early, which means I was practically right up against the gate. Of course, that was an hour early.  This is that magic time where you become friends with everyone around you.  I had a good time waiting, well other than the fact my body decided it needed to go to the bathroom right when the race was starting.  I was going to have to wait... They walked each corral from the staging area to the start and the front people got to hold the race tape, which was fun.  I was right behind them, and honestly I really liked my placing.

There wasn't a lot of fanfare when it came to the start.  I mean the race announcers were doing a great job, the music was going, and the atmosphere was there, but there weren't as many fire works and craziness as expected.  I assumed those were being saved for the half (and I was not disappointed!).  Luckily I was able to get around the few walkers (seriously, why do they go to the very front?) and I actually had a ton of space for the first mile or so.

The character lines were long compared to my memory of previous years and I chose to run past most.  Partially in favor of a restroom and partially because I just really wasn't interested in waiting for the character pictures.  The first few miles were all on the major roads around EPCOT so there wasn't too much entertainment, but one new thing were the massive TVs that Disney brought out and were showing clips from old Disney cartoons and current movies.  It was like watching TV on the elliptical, except I was actually moving the the screen wasn't.

Once I got into EPCOT, I was actually surprised how pretty it looked.  I'm no rookie to the parks and have seen EPCOT in all different weather and at all different times, but this was just something new for me and I just really don't know why.  There were characters in a few of the countries... ok I finally stopped for a bit for a picture with vacation Genie, but he was totally worth it!

Running around Boardwalk was a lot of fun because that is my typical vacation run.  It brought back memories of all of my family vacations, I even found the room we normally stay in!  It had rained the night before so it was a little slippery, but I think everyone was prepared for that.

We finally hit EPCOT one last time, ran past the center, by Spaceship Earth, and to the finish line, where I had excellent spacing for some great finish line pictures.

On my Nike+ app, which paused when I stopped, clocked me at 1:01.39.  Disney had me at 1:15.14.  Ya, that bathroom stop and Genie took a bit longer than expected... as well as the few other little stops.  Still, I did better than I was expecting, I felt strong, I felt good... Now I just had to prep for the half...


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wine and Dine Expo

The race is finally here... my first race in a few years.  Whether or not I think I'm ready, I am going to have to be.  Today was the first day of the expo and I was able to make it over in the early afternoon.  I was expecting it to be insane at packet pick up and the expo.  The expo was busy, but I had definitely missed those early bird crowds and everything else was pretty calm.

I quickly found my packet, got all my race shirts, and was even able to grab a picture with Lumiere and my friend before heading over to the expo.  I did have to make a quick stop at the pre-purchase room to pick up some pins.  They also had a runDisney merchandise booth so of course I had to check that area out.

Earlier runDisney had posted pictures of some of the merchandise and I had already fallen in love with one of the tank tops... the one that wasn't at the booth.  I found two other tank tops and a jacket so I wasn't completely broken hearted.  Once my loot was gathered and payed for (the painful part), we headed over to the expo.

There were a lot of great booths, but more importantly there was a bigger runDisney booth that still had a few of the shirts I had really wanted.  That was quickly added to my collection.  Of course my friend and I walked around for a bit, only really stopping at raw threads to check out their shirts.  My friend had to buy their Beer Run shirt for the race and I added a Brave tank top to my collection.

Overall, I spent more money than I wanted, but not as much as I normally do.  I'm going back tomorrow with another friend just to look around.  I figured it would be a good excuse to get my legs loose and moving for the day.  One day of rest (I think... I have nervous energy that wants another small run...), then the 10k, then the half, then party!