My first race half was the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. Hubby and I are huge Disney World fans – we go at least once a year. I was looking for a fall half, and getting to combine the race with a Disney trip was perfect.
My longest run pre race was 10 miles, and I had tapered way more than planned in hopes of clearing up shin issues. We drove to Disney (16 hours from here, staying overnight in Macon), went to the expo, and checked into our hotel. The expo was super organized and lines were quick, even though it was fairly crowded. We spent this trip at Port Orleans-French Quarter (please ask if you ever have Disney trip/accommodation questions!). I was worried about having enough time to go somewhere away from the hotel for dinner, so Husband and I ate the hotel food court. This was issue #1: The race began at 10:00 pm, and while I usually run in the evenings, I typically don’t eat dinner beforehand. I ate what I normally eat for lunch on running days, a cold cut sandwich.
I then showered and headed to the race with Husband. I wore shorts and a short-sleeve top, though my gut instinct told me to put a tank top on (issue #2). We arrived about an hour and a half early, way too early in retrospect, to be hanging around in 90 degree heat. At 9:30, they herded people into corrals and I said goodbye to Husband. I was in the last corral because I had not prior time, but maybe because this was Disney and/or the race had both a relay and a half marathon starting at the same place, everyone around me was a walker. I was able to inch my way up a little bit prior to the start.
The race began with fireworks, and though it was crowded, it only took about 5 minutes to reach the start. The course began (and spent alot of it's time) on roads throughout the park. I completed the first mile in 12:30. There were water stops every 2 miles near the beginning of the race, so I skipped the first one (issue #3). By the time I reached Animal Kingdom near mile 4, the water stop there was a godsend. I pack of sports beans around mile 4.5. I had only trained up to 10 miles before this race, and had done that on 1 pack, so that was my plan for the race. Animal Kingdom was gorgeous in the dark. Then back to the roads to Hollywood Studio.
What was your first halk like?
My race plan was to run as far as I could before my first walk break, then run-walk the rest of the race. I made it just past mile 5. However, I wasn't able to keep steady intervals after that - I definately walked more than I ran. It was hot, and I was starting to feel super-tired, since it was 11:30ish at night. I made it to Hollywood Studios, Mile 9, at 2:05. Everything was starting to hurt. I passed up the Gu Chomps (Issue 4) for fear of getting an upset stomach. By mile 11, I was feeling exhausted and awful. I could feel the salt on my skin from all the sweat. I started taking both water and gatorade at the aid stations, which were every mile at this point. When I got to the final mile, I made it my goal to run as much of it as I could. It had an uphill very close to the end, but I made it - 2:56:54, 4 minutes faster than my 3:01 goal.
What was your first halk like?