Tower of Terror 13K 2008

I knew ahead of time that this weekend was going to be long and tiring.  I had it in mind to get some extra sleep earlier in the week, but of course that backfired and I entered the weekend already a little on the sleepy side. 

The weekend started at 7:00 PM on Thursday when Dad and climbed behind his recently purchased PT Cruiser convertible with the intentions of relocating it to their house in Florida.  I asked to take first shift since I knew I was going to be getting sleepy.  Dad had us leave at 7 in order to avoid the bad traffic in DC.  It worked out well.  He tried to nap as I drove us on into Virginia, but he was able to catch but a few winks.  We switched off around 11 and he took us on into North Carolina as I took my turn at attempting to sleep.  I think I got about 30 minutes, but nothing more.  I was awaken around 2:30 as Dad hit the breaks on the car.  I jumped awake and saw him scanning the road in front of us.  I asked him what was wrong and he said that he thought he saw “trees in the road”.  In his sleepy state he had mistaken shadows for tree branches lying across the street.  It was at this point that we decided it was time to switch back.  I took over for a couple more hours and took us into South Caroline.  Dad took us to Georgia and on to Jacksonville.  I drove us on to 80 miles from Daytona.  Dad took us on to the house.  I think overall I got about and hour of sleep in the road and Dad only got about a half an hour.  In the end we were greeted by hugs from my Mom and a pot roast.  Yum!

When we got to the house I took a nap for about 2 hours and then woke up to hop in the shower and wait for Andi to arrive.  While waiting for her we did get to catch a picture of a really cool frog.

She hit a couple bad back ups which delayed her arrival to about 9 PM.  Once she arrived we gave her a plate of warm food and welcomed her to Mickey Manor then I climbed into bed.

The next morning we awoke early and got ready to head to packet pick-up.  Several members of the crew planned to arrive early and I was hoping to see some of them.  We hit the store before packet pick up started and picked out some cute tops and Dad got a hate for the new convertible.  A few of the DR folks came by and we did some introductions before grabbing our packets and heading to EPCOT. 

This weekend was part of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, so after a quick ride on Test Track we went for a walk around the World Showcase to see what they had to offer.  One particular sample caught Dad’s eye: A sausage and sourkraut on a pretzel roll.  He hopped in line and brought his treat over to show Andi, Mom and myself.  This is what we saw:

Please note the similarity between Dad’s thumb and his sausage.  Mom actually had to cover it up with mustard before Dad would try eating it.  He said it was good but felt really funny eating it because of the similarity to a human digit.

We ended up at Le Cellier for lunch with my parent’s friend’s Mike and Diane.  Mom made friends with the chef as he tried to cook around her low iodine diet.  Of the rest of the people at the table 4 of us ordered the Shaved Prime Rib sandwich.  It ended up being a great pre-race meal.  Much better than the tomato sauce fiasco of 2007.

After lunch we headed back to the house where I took a nap to help refresh myself.  It ended up being the perfect remedy for a small headache I had been battling all day.  We all freshened up and Andi and I donned our racing skirts before heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

We could tell just pulling into the parking lot that things were already improved over last year.  There was a complete pre-race runner’s village.  We entered through a small tent with a red carpet and red awning made to imitate the entrance to the Hollywood Tower.  After signing the guest registry we headed over to get our pictures taken and recieve our “key” which was a magnet provided by ASI Photos.  After applying some temporary tattoos of the race logo we decided to find a good location to try to collect some fellow DR members.  It was no time before we had a nice collection of members from DR.  We spotted another cluster gathering on the other side of the runner’s village so we went and joined them.  After lots of intros and a few pictures we headed over to the start line. 

The entertainment was much more family oriented this year with lots of 80s music.   The final song before race start was the “Final Countdown”.  Loved that!  The start line was really crowded and the pace signs I feel were much to close together making it hard for people to get to a location that they felt was appropriate for their pace.  We ended up in a cluster at the rear of the 11-13:00 min pace.  I felt like I was in a good spot for me, but I know some of my friends would have preferred to be towards the front of this group.  The real countdown began and we were off!  My parents were right by the start line, but it was too crowded and I missed them.  I did however spot Robert and Linda of DR about 30 feet from the start line and waved away.

The first mile was crowded, but they did provide some entertainment.  As we passed under a street sign we saw a fake Finish line hanging and we could hear a voice annoncing the winners of a race from years ago.  There were manaquens dressed as various animals along the side lines.  After taking it in I pushed on making my way towards Wide World of Sports.  It wasn’t long before I caught up with some members of the DR crew.  Along this way we encountered a flashback to Studio 54, which seemed out of place because the DJ and dancers were having more fun than they should have, lol.  I tried to run with the DR crew, but when we encountered the camber of the first hightway ramp I had to slow it down and let them go.  When the road flattened back out I picked up the pace and made the right onto the dirt road leading into WWoS. 

The road was not covered with white clad asylum escapees this year, which was a relief.  The smoke and sounds were enough to make the path somewhat creepy.  We made our way into the back area of WWoS and headed over to round the track.  We could hear faceless crowds cheering from the sound system as we ran around the track and exited towards the parking lot.  On the other side of the parking lot we passed a baseball diamond where we could hear hear a ballgame being called over the speakers.  We passed some creepy twins with teddy bears and headed back out of WWoS to start the trek over to DHS.   Just outside WWoS we came across a collection of villians including Ursala, Cruella, Malificent, Capt. Hook and Shmee.  As I came upon the final character I spotted a DR friend that I had met at the Disneyland Half.  I ended up teaming with her a new friend she had made to run the rest of the race. 

This was my first experience running using a Galloway technique.  We ran 3 minutes and walked 1 minute.  It felt really good – better than I expected.  I am actually considering try this technique in my training for the WDW Half and Princess Half.  Running this way also made the race go by much faster, especially when I had friends to conversate with.  The second half of the race flew by and before I knew it we were coming up on the finish line.  We crossed with flare as Kelly and I threw our arms in the air.  I had never done that crossing a finish line before, it was kind of fun, lol.

After the finish we skipped right over the chip removal since we had our own and got our medals.  I then grabbed a water and powerade then headed over to get my picture taken.  The post race food was pre-bagged for us making the finsihing shoot the fastest I had ever experienced.  It was wonderful.  We spotted a few DR folks and Kelly’s husband and all stood congratulating each other and discussing the race.  This year, unlike last, we had time to enjoy the post race party, so after a few pictures we headed off to ride some rides. 

Our first stop was Rock’n Rollercoaster.  Before you get any ideas I took the chicken door.  Yes I admit it!  I went through the cue and headed out the bright yellow door.  I did get to enjoy the Toy Story Midway Mania ride and then Andi and another DR member Steve headed to the Tower of Terror while Mom, Dad and I went in search of some food.  After a quick bite to eat we headed home for showers and bed.  It was after 3 before I was asleep and for some reason none of us could sleep in the next morning.  We were all up by 8 and looking rather ragged. 

Instead of just lying around and feeling tired the girls headed out shopping.  Mom, Andi and I tried to go to the Cast Connection store, but it appeared to be closed.  Disappointed we went to Downtown Disney and did make some purchases.  After a lunch of a Gold Rush Sundae from Ghirardellis we took Mom and dropped her off at work before heading back to the house.  Andi and I said our goodbyes and she headed back to Alabama.  I spent an hour or so trying to pack up all of my stuff.  The time flew by and before I knew it we were headed to the airport.

As we drove through the ramps to the aiport we noticed about 6 or 7 policeman on their motorcycles.  It occurred to Dad today that they were waiting for Palin’s caravan to come through.  I kissed Dad goodbye and headed to the gate a full two hours early.  It didn’t take too long before our plane was there and we were on our way home. 

After a considerably shorter plane ride than car ride we were taxing to the terminal in Baltimore.  I just barely beat my brother to the airport and ended up tracking him down in the parking garage.  At this point I was beyond tired.  Since it was after 9 I postponed picking up my Tilliemonster until today. 

My finishing time wasn’t as good as last year, but wasn’t too far off my goal of 13:00.  I finished in 1:46:22 or with a pace of 13:11.  It was a very tiring weekend, but a lot of fun and oh so worth it.

4 Responses to “Tower of Terror 13K 2008”

  1. JMom Says:

    What an adventure! Congratulations on your race!!

  2. Jeff Says:

    Now THAT’S a race report. Love the sausage picture — pretty scary, though, huh.

    Congrats on the finish, Katie.

  3. groppigirl Says:

    Hey Katie – glad you had a fun weekend. Congrats on your finish!!!! I think I saw you at packet pick-up on Saturday morning. I was just too shy to approach you in case it wasn’t you. But I should have known better with the orange hat!!! We’ll have to meet up at the Marathon Weekend in January.

  4. ArizonaPat Says:

    Now that’s a race I’d love to run. Glad you had a good time.

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