Wine&Dine Half Marathon 2011

This year I gave the Wine & Dine half marathon a second try.  Last year I did everything wrong.  I spent the day before and the day of the race at the parks.  Ran a 5K the morning of the race.  Had a cinnamon roll for breakfast.  Didn’t get a true chance to nap or rest before the race start.  All of this added up to sore feet and being exhausted at the start line.  I was determined to do things differently this year.  Woops!  

This year when I got to Disney Steve was attending a conference, which meant it was my first chance to spend some time with the kids without him.  I was determined to make it a fun and enjoyable experience for them, which meant sacrificing my legs and feet a little before I got to the start line of the race.  Do I regret it?  No, just like I don’t regret last year either.  However I do really look forward to next year when I will be living down there and have no reason to spend the day before an the day of the race in the parks.  On with the recap!

Saturday evening Steve and I headed over to EPCOT to hop the bus to Wide World of Sports(WWoS) I know earlier than he probably would have liked, but I get antsy spending time in lines when I have some place to be.  He, I think, is getting used to this behavior of mine, lol.  The bus line was no longer than it was last year when I probably got to EPCOT a half an hour later.  It only took a few minutes and we were being loaded onto a bus.  We got lucky and met deanadm from ROTE on the bus.  It was nice having a new ROTE friend to chat with on the ride to the start.  All was going swimmingly till the  bus broke down.   It just died out of nowhere.  I tried to stay calm as I calculated how far of a walk it might be to WWoS from the location we were currently sitting in.  The driver tried several times to restart the bus and eventually we heard it purr back to life.  Half the lights were out on the bus but at least we were moving again.   Whew!  

We pulled up to WWoS and proceeded to wait in a line for the parking lot to unload.  It took maybe 15 or 20 minutes before they parked our bus and opened the door.  Steve and I hopped off the bus and headed in search of the ROTE group in the middle of the field.  The first person I saw was Tammie.  I <3 Tammie!  She also had several of her friends with her that aren’t ROTErs but have participated in several of our events in the past so it was nice to catch up with them.  We parted ways with Tammie knowing we would see her in the runner’s only area and headed through to meet the rest of the ROTErs.  I was in search of Rebecca because I had her new ROTE visor for her.  I got to the area and having not met her in real life before I was trying to figure out how to get her attention so I put the second visor on my head.  Not even a minute later there she was.  J  We spent a good hour catching up with ROTErs and trying to figure out when was a good time to head to the potties then onto the corrals.  I tried to sit as much as I could get just spend time off of my feet, but every time I stood up I knew it was going to get ugly once I got a couple miles on them.  

Before we knew it the time had come to head to the corrals.  A small group of corral C people headed off to get a good spot.  Thanks to the ROTErs that walked with me we found a nice hunk of curb for me to sit in front of.  It was in front of a speaker, but it would work.  We hung out for maybe 15 minutes and then the corrals started to shuffle forward some.   It took maybe 10 minutes from the first corral till we got our send off with our own set of fireworks.  I was tight for the first mile or so, but I was prepared for it.  We spent this time leap frogging with Laura as she was doing a 1:1 ratio and Steve and I were doing a 2:1. Since we were running more we eventually pulled away from Laura, but it would not be the last time we saw her during the race.

We made are way out along the roadway and headed for Animal Kingdom.  We were passed by Rebecca who was having what seemed like a great first leg for her relay team.  We were also passed by Laura as she seemed to also be having an awesome race.  One of the best parts of this race is the park time you get.  Several miles in both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and about a half mile of EPCOT backstage.  Animal Kingdom however can be very dark and the footing tricky.  Several people fell last year and Disney seemed to get the message as they added these glowing eggs to the route right around the edge of the path where the footing was most tricky.  Time flew by once we were in Animal Kingdom but my feet were screaming with every step.  

We made our way out the back and past the relay exchange point.  Then headed back out onto the roadway to Hollywood Studios.  Somewhere along this road way we passed Laura.  My legs were feeling good but my feet were still hurting.  I was just afraid to even think about skipping a walk break.  I needed to keep moving.  I started feeling rougher and rougher as we made our way into Hollywood Studios.  Somewhere in there Laura caught back up to us again and passed us.  Unfortunately somewhere in here is also where I lost Steve.  My legs were feeling good and my feet were starting to almost go numb.  I just had to keep pushing, keep moving.  I was watching my watch and it said we were just over the 16 minute/mile pace.  I caught back up with Laura and we decided to work as a team.  Her runs were stronger and my walks were stronger, so we took turns setting the pace.  I moved to using her 1:1 so we could stay together as we made our way around the boardwalk and on to EPCOT.

As I kept pushing the walk pace I could hear Laura’s wheezing setting in.  She took a puff on her inhaler and wanted to keep moving so we did.  I eased up on my walk just a bit, keeping one eye on my watch, and one eye on Laura trying to stay just ahead of her to help her push her pace.  I was convinced we were on pace to come in just under 3:30.  We pushed through the finish line area that was lined with cast members cheering the runners on and just before I reached the finish line I felt a hand on my shoulder.  It was Steve.  He ran the last mile in 11 minutes to catch me just as we were coming into the finish.  With an extra spring in my step with my love by my side we crossed the finish line.  

I stopped my watch and looked down.  3:35?  Huh?  Apparently I was not so great at tracking the tangents and ran around 13.4 miles.  They were under the 16 min/mile pace but we weren’t under the 16 min/mile pace for 13.1.  Dangit!  The disappointment was fleeting.  When I took a second to look back at where I had been only 6 months before as I suffered through my back injury to where I was then.  My only real goal for the race was to keep up my running interval for the entire event.  That I had done.  While I came in just over the required pace I did so with feet that were telling me to stop.  I pushed through and I did it!  I couldn’t have been happier with my progress.  

Next up half marathon wise in the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon.  This was a really strong race for me last year and I am hoping while there I will finally see that sub-3:30 I have had my targets set on.  Let’s do it!

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