Monday, November 11, 2013

2013 runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon recap!

Wow what a week!! We arrived home from NY less than a week ago and I headed to Disney World on Thursday for the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Meetup. Saturday night, I ran the 4th annual Wine and Dine Half Marathon - 6 days after I ran my first full marathon! I am tired :)

Saturday's runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon was my second nighttime runDisney race (first being the 2012 Tower of Terror 10 Miler). I LOVED it. To be honest, this has been my favorite runDisney race to date. Unlike the Tower of Terror, I had somewhat of an idea on how prepare the day of the race (so I didn't get sick). Corral A did not start until 10:00 and I was sitting happy in Corral F. I started my day off eating small meals throughout the day, trying to stay off of my feet....although that was very hard as we could see Cinderella's castle from our hotel room.

For the first time ever, I drank coffee prior to a race. I was always afraid to do this but thanks to suggestions from my new friends Meghann and Kristin, I decided to give it a try....and I am so happy I did. We met up in our hotel lobby and headed off to the start of the race. Weren't we the cutest! I had a last minute fashion emergency and put an outfit together at the runDisney Expo - DivaPink Skirt by Sparkle Skirts and Bow Shit and Headband from Raw Threads. I do want to take a second to thank runDisney for introducing me to new friends this week :) Meghann happens to also live in Tampa, FL and we have a lot in common. 
Meghann, Kristin and Megan
Once the bus took us to the start of the race, I found myself often thinking "this only happens at runDisney events". Walking by people dressed as Piggy and Kermie (so jealous, I've been begging Gabe to do this combo forever), Darth Vader, furry costumes, a guy in a speedo with a vest (he was Woody). Meghann danced her booty off to a few songs, her way of warming up. There was even an pre-race engagement! We found Heather, who was dressed as Sulley from Monsters Inc. (her husband Bobby was Mike Wazowski, as was her friend Jen who is pregnant). SO CUTE. 
Check out this video from runDisney to see some of the crazy outfits and pre-race activities. I am trying to figure out how to bribe Gabe into running as Kermie at our next runDisney race.
It was finally time to split up and head to our Corrals. My new friends are much speedier than me :) The mile markers to this race were dedicated to different countries showcased at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
I met up with my friend Rachel in corral F and was shocked how quickly our corral started. Corral F is the highest Corral I have ever started in at a runDisney event. This is due to runDisney creating more corrals with less people. This was such a great move by runDisney. I never felt over crowded. A few steps in, my ankle started acting up again. If you recall my NY Marathon recap a few days ago, you know I am dealing with unknown ankle issues. I opted not to visit my Orthopedic being the pain seemed to go away. Not the case today - it's in full swing. Miles 1-4 were on the road headed towards Animal Kingdom.  When we entered the park, we were greeted by the gorgeous giant Animal Kingdom tree, all lit up. I was at the park earlier that day and you can see the true size of the tree with these two photos.
One of the many great things about running through Disney theme parks is that you can use real restrooms vs. porta potties. After using a restroom at the front of the park, I decided to stop caring what my time was going to be. runDisney races are never ones I look to PR on, especially those I run 6 days after running 26.2 miles. I wanted the best experience out of this race so I became a paparazzi magnet. 
I had one of me and Rafikki from Lion King but the photo was very fuzzy - hoping MarathonFoto got a better shot.
After leaving Animal Kingdom, I had a mental struggle and wasn't sure I could finish. I know this sounds nuts but at mile 5, I was worse off than mile 25 6 days ago. My body was not recovered and I was hurting in a bad way. My ankle was KILLING me. Cardio and everything else was fine but the ankle was insane. I then saw the dancing hippo and ostrich from Fantasia, which happened to be the first photo opp of the race. They came to the other side of the street. I took that moment to practice a little ballet with the girls. 
I did a weird version of run walking over the next mile or so. It was a mental struggle more than anything else. Around mile 7, I found a medic tent. This is my new thing I suppose. I explained to the EMT that I injured myself 6 days prior to and neglected to visit a Doctor in the meantime due to my crazy travel schedule. He took one look at my ankle and told me at the least, it was sprained and that I needed to get it looked at ASAP. Not only is my right ankle looking more and more like a cankle, my arch is starting to get swollen and black. I got wrapped and taped for the second time in one week. I must say, the EMT at Disney did a much better job at wrapping my ankle than the EMT in NY. While this was taking place, my running buddy Nicole came by with her friend Jen who was running her first 1/2 marathon. Thankfully, they waited a few minutes for me and off we went!
Running with Nicole and Jen was a godsend. We chatted the entire rest of the way and it was amazing. Going through the final portion on the streets was not bad at all and went by very quick. I much prefer this half marathon course to the one during Walt Disney World Marathon weekend. We even found Sarge - weird how this photo made all of us army green!
We hit Hollywood Studios and my running world came crashing down. I had no idea how I was going to complete this race. If it were not for Nicole and Jen, I have no idea what would have happened to me. They kept me going. I'm so happy Nicole is running Dopey with me!!
After a few prime photo opps in Hollywood Studious, we found ourselves in The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights.We took a few moments to really appreciate this.The dancing of the lights goes through January 5th 2014 and if you haven't been, you really need to go see this. It's included with admission to Hollywood Studios and happens to be my favorite Christmas event at Disney.
On a normal night, this area of Hollywood Studios is always packed. To have it nearly to ourselves was truly a treat. This was by far my favorite part of Wine Dine Half Marathon.
A few million photos later,we left Hollywood Studios and headed towards Epcot. This is a nice and quiet part of the run - running along the lake between Hollywood Studios and Epcot. 
Have I mentioned yet how much pain I was in? I have a very high pain tolerance - and I wanted to do well in this race. I also knew I had to take it easy and not hurt my already abused leg muscles. Around mile 10, I knew I would be in the 3+ hour 1/2 marathon time. As mentioned above, I didn't go into this race looking to PR, I just wanted to do well - I have another half marathon in 2 weeks with non-Disney on course entertainment. With the help of Nicole Jen, I pushed forward and finally received my beautiful Wine and Dine Half Marathon medal!
Sunday night, I found myself among the company of Jeff Galloway, a man who I admire and whose advice I take to heart. We were discussing Wine and Dine and I mentioned to him that I ran NY 6 days ago....the concern on his face showed but I told him I took it easy with a lot of photo stops. I got a high five. We switched the subject to the Dopey Challenge and he told me the key was to walk a lot of it - which is what I am planning on doing. It was great speaking to Jeff in a non PR environment! Now if he could only wave a magic wand and make this ankle and knee pain go away!!
If you were ever on the fence about running the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, I urge you to sign up for 2014. I have heard some people mention that runDisney races were expensive - well they are worth every penny. I have ran quite a few top notch race series over the past year. You get what you pay for. runDisney goes way above and beyond in every aspect. Where else can you run a race, hug Pluto, end at the Epcot Food and Wine festival, get photos with Chef Mickey and multiple other characters along the way? Not to mention, no one does race medals like runDisney. While I will always cherish my NYC Marathon medal more than any other, let's be honest, to the naked eye - it doesn't compare to the beauty I received Saturday night.
I would run Wine and Dine again in a heart beat and Gabe even showed interest in running it 2014 after we return home from our honeymoon! You can read runDisney's official race recap here. I am putting out a second plead for someone to fix my knee and ankle! Bueller? 
Since we are talking all things Disney, I figured we'd end this post with a beautiful image I took Sunday night at the Magic Kingdom. Another reason to visit Disney during the holiday's!

17 comments:

  1. I love RunDisney events. WIne and Dine was my first half marathon. It was such a great race. Wish I had done it this year. Looked like fun!!

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    1. I loved loved loved this race! I was a little skeptical going in with a night race but it was a great experience. You should try to do next years - it will be the 5th anniversary medal :)

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  2. Looks like despite your ankle that you had a blast! Hope your ankle heals quickly so that you can do well at your next race in two weeks.

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    1. Thank you! It was so much fun (besides the ankle). Two weeks scares me though. I am taking it easy :)

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  3. I loved going to Epcot on Friday, it was my first time at the Food & Wine festival & will not me my last. I am so jelous I didn't get the run this race, but I am so excited to do the Glass Slipper Challenge with you in February. I wish they woudl leave the lights up until Disney Princess 1/2.

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    1. Well missy, you may have to run Wine and Dine next year with me :)

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  4. Disney races are on my bucket list! Looks like you had a blast!

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    1. Thanks Steph! You should absolutely run one - they are the best.

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  5. So sorry about your ankle! My hip is still killing me from NYCM, so I consider you a ROCKSTAR.

    One day I'd like to get there for W&D. Maybe 2015.

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    1. Thank you Abby!!! I hope your hip is feeling better. I've got another 1/2 this upcoming weekend and my ankle is still mad at me.

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  6. You're just crazy amazing! I HAVE to do this race in 2014 for sure!

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    1. No....YOU are crazy amazing!! Yes, you must do this race next year.

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  7. Looks like so much fun! I really wish the Disney races early in the year weren't already sold out. I may have to sign up for this one in 2014 but I don't want to wait a whole year!

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    1. They sell out fast!! You have to sign up on day one, sometimes they sell out within the first hour. I always tell people, if there is a runDisney race you want to enter, mark it on your calendar and enter as soon as registration opens.

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  8. It was great to see you! I am so sorry about your ankle. I hope you get it figured out!

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    1. It was so great to see you and Bobby!! Ankle's still bad and I was sick all last week, so I never made it to the Orthopedic. I will see you in a few months at Dopey (if I don't see you before) - we need to start outfit planning :)

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  9. It was great to see you! Sorry about your ankle, hope you get it figured out!

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