What happens when you go on vacation and come home with food poisoning that lasts 8 days? You write a race recap and then forget to post it. So let’s just pretend it’s November 11th, not November 25th.
I set off to Orlando again last Friday for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon! This race has been on my bucket list since I ran my first Princess Half, and I was so excited to escape work for a few days at Disney World! And let me tell you, it was certainly a race weekend to remember!
I landed on Friday night and took the Disney Magical Express to the hotel… My first experience with the magical express (so fast and easy and I’ll definitely be using it again!). I ate a huge pasta dinner from the hotel dining hall and called it an early night. Since the race was at 10pm on Saturday night, I wanted to get up early enough so that I could take a mid-day nap. My strategy worked, because I was up at 6:30 Saturday morning, all ready to go! My breakfast consisted of a cheese omelette and some Mickey waffles! YUM!
I may or may not have been on the first bus to the expo. I was hoping to get some cool W&D merch, but it was so picked over by the time I got there. BUT – I did get to meet Jeff Galloway, who is basically runDisney royalty. I had him sign my race packet and take a picture with me.
All week, the weather for Saturday night looked like it would be insanely hot, humid, and generally awful. Before I left, I bought a handheld water bottle and some longer compression shorts to wear, but for whatever reason, I didn’t pack a tank-top. Since I bought a red and white polka dot headband at the expo, I thought I would get a black tank top and try to do a modified Minnie Mouse. I went down to
Downtown Disney Disney Springs to the running store and grabbed a little lunch.
After a mediocre nap, I started getting ready for the race around 6:30 (too early). After putting on my black tank and my black shorts, I realized it looked like I was wearing a wetsuit (insert embarrassed face emoji here). But, whatever. I prepared as best I could for the heat, and ate a small dinner of a PB&J sandwich and some apple slices before getting on the bus to the race at 7:30 (also too early). Since I was staying right next door to ESPN WWOS, I was at the pre-race party by 7:40. I sat around and stretched and listened to music and checked my bag. And around 8:45, I decided to get in line for a porta-potty before I had to head to the corrals at 9:15.
After standing in line for a half hour in the wind and light rain, they came over the intercom and announced that they were evacuating everyone into WWOS because of the threat of severe weather in the area. Luckily, the two women behind me were super nice and let me tag along with them during the delay. We hung around in the Braves spring training field until about 10:30 while all kinds of questions and rumors spread throughout the participants. We finally got the word to head to our corrals and people were talking about whether or not they would shorten the course. Which they did.
They cut out 6.2 miles of the 13.1 course, and I’m not gonna lie – I was SO disappointed. We would still get our medals, but in my heart, I felt like I couldn’t count it toward my 30 before 30 goal. How could I, because I’d only be running 6.82 miles! On the plus side, I was that much closer to the finish line party, which is where the beer was, and we’d still get to run through the Osborne Lights, which was the part of the course I was looking forward to the most.
A little over an hour later, I set off on the modified course at a fairly fast pace. It was SO hot outside that I quickly realized it was not sustainable to run a 10 minute mile, so I slowed down. The first 2-1/2 miles were all highway miles, and were pretty boring. The course was overly crowded because the roads were too narrow and there were too many people that started at the same time. Had we had the rest of the course to run, there would have been more natural spacing. By mile 3, we were in Hollywood Studios and that much closer to the lights (!!!).
I probably spent a good 20 minutes wandering around staring at the lights. At that point, I didn’t care about my pace, or the finish line party, or my hip that was hurting. I just wanted to stay with the pretty lights and Christmas music. It was incredible. But, eventually I had to keep moving and I ran the next 3 miles to Epcot and got my finishers medal and free beer.
I changed clothes and road Soarin’ before walking the 1.3 miles around Epcot’s world showcase. Literally ALL of the lines for food were crazy long and the last thing I wanted to do was stand in line (I ended up going back to the food and wine festival on Sunday with my pal Kerri and again on Monday and the lines were twice as long at the after party). I found a station in Morocco with a short line and got a fruity daiquiri and a chocolate chip cookie. I got in line to ride test track with a full beer, and then subsequently had to chug it before boarding the ride.
Around 3:30am, I finally decided to head back to the hotel. I was more than exhausted (and kind of glad I didn’t run all 13.1 miles). I took a brief shower without washing my hair and crawled directly into bed.
Overall, I enjoyed this race. The after-party was fun, albeit really crowded… But that’s to be expected with Disney World, I suppose. I decided to go ahead and count it as my 11th half marathon, considering on Sunday alone I walked over 18 miles around the parks and did almost 45 miles throughout the weekend. Running a night race is different and difficult and I don’t know that it’s for me. That being said, I might sign up to do this race again … Maybe for the 10th anniversary. Honestly, I still prefer the princess :)
The rest of my long weekend was spent doing all things Disney. Sunday, Kerri came and picked me up from “the end of the world” aka, my hotel and we spent the day catching up and walking from air-conditioned gift shop to air-conditioned gift shop. We wined (ok, beer-d?) and dined, and then she put me on the monorail so I could go to Mickey’s Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom! :)
Monday I met up with an old coworker at Epcot for more wining and dining, and I introduced myself to an adult Dole Whip (pineapple soft serve with coconut rum), and it basically changed my world. I might have had two before noon. I rode test track twice, ate a lot of food, and then took a bus over to Hollywood Studios for one last look at the Osborne Lights.
Back at my hotel, I decided to go for the healthy option and eat some Salmon and veggies from the food court, and thus how I ended up with food poisoning.
All in all, a great race-cation. Next race up is the Rock-and-Roll NEW ORLEANS half marathon in February!