Race Report: 2013 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
The Wine and Dine Half Marathon was my 8th and final Half Marathon and runDisney event for 2013! Wine and Dine would be my 15th runDisney medal for 2013! Unfortunately, I had forgotten all my other medals at home, so I would not have an opportunity to pose in front of the castle with them – sad, but there would be other opportunities!
After running Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K in the morning with my husband, we celebrated with a great big breakfast buffet at Boma’s in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge with Jennifer from Travel Girl on the Run.
We’ve eaten at Boma many, many times for dinner (outstanding by the way), but this was our first time enjoying their breakfast buffet. It was quite good – make sure to get the ham!!! – and pretty “cheap” (for a Disney breakfast) at “only” $20/pp plus tax and tip. I highly recommend a visit!
Mickey Miles Podcast was meeting at the Boardwalk Pavilion, Jack’s cousin had gotten married there the year prior, and Mouse Chat was making their way around World Showcase sampling Food and Wine goodies. I even got a chance to be part of the Mouse Chat podcast – how cool is that?!!
I stayed out socializing and having fun way too long! At 2:30pm I made my way back to my home away from home – Disney’s Boardwalk Villas – and was in my bed resting for the big race!
Unfortunately, my dinner plans went a muck. Our plan was to eat off-property at Sweet Tomatoes, located in the Cross Roads Shopping Center, but traffic out on Hotel Plaza Blvd was a standstill! It took 45 minutes to travel from Boardwalk to Sweet Tomatoes so I panicked and ordered a #1 Value Meal from McDonald’s.
So NOT what I wanted to fuel with or have in my stomach for a half marathon. Plus I wasted energy stressing needlessly in traffic. Regardless, I ate in the car and hightailed it back to my room to get dressed and out the door to Race Transportation.
I met up with my running buddy, Alison, her husband, Art and her sister, Patty and her daughter, Julie at the race staging area at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Julie is also battling breast cancer so in our support of Life and Pink Power Allison had made tutu’s for us to wear complete lights, glitter and Pink Afro’s!!!
I was running the race with my friend, Merle, from Sweaty Bands! Our plan was to use the Galloway Method to run 4 minutes then walk 1 minute. The first mile of any long run for me is always a little painful. Actually, miles 3 to 5 can be difficult until I warm up, but then the corner is turned and I get into a groove and it’s all good.
Well, this race wasn’t getting any easier for me. Quite the opposite was happening – it was getting harder and harder every step of run. I was beginning to walk more and more. I just didn’t have the energy and I was struggling – at mile 6 I was struggling.
I know I had just run the NY City Marathon on Sunday, but really, this was just a half marathon. Sure, I just ran the 5K this morning, but really, this was just a half marathon. What was my problem?!!
The positives were:
1. I was halfway there: It was a HALF MARATHON and I only had to get my body through 7.1 additional miles! I knew I could do it and I was almost half way there.
2. I had company: Merle was with me AND we had picked up Joe Taricani, host of The Marathon Show, at mile 6. Even though I told them both to “go, save yourself” they weren’t leaving me. I had support or at least someone to ID my body.
3. I had moral support on the course: Other racers that I had met via social media kept coming up to me and chatting or were giving me a shout-out as they passed me! That was really helping my morale and keeping me positive as I continued to move forward. I really appreciated this and it really helped me get through the race. Thank you!
So on we ran/walked – slow and steady. I enjoyed listening to Joe record The Marathon Show. It was a great distraction for me. He is so positive. If you haven’t listened to The Marathon Show you really must! Here is the link to runDisney’s Wine and Dine podcast. It’s fantastic and you’ll enjoy how he puts you right in the middle of whatever marathon he is running. Here is Joe’s video of Wine and Dine as well!
Both Merle’s and Joe’s positive energy carried me through. It was though – the hardest half marathon I have ever done. It was tougher than walking miles 10-26.2 of the Chicago Marathon and way tougher than running the NYC Marathon the Sunday before.
I was having tummy cramps and I thought I was going to have the runners trots (thank goodness I didn’t). I tried to enjoy myself and the experience, but really I just wanted to stop to lay down. I was just trying to make it to one of my favorite Walt Disney World Christmas traditions – The Osborne Lights (if you haven’t experienced Osborne Lights or Walt Disney World during Christmas, you must, must, must!!!).
The Osborne Lights only took a few minutes to get through and then it was a blur of backstage magic for me – Joe asking about runners eating the Bio freeze, seeing the shortest Darth Vader I’ve ever seen at Star Tours, until finally we were on our way from Disney Hollywood Studios past Boardwalk Villas, to the Yacht and Beach Clubs and finally into Epcot. Thank goodness the course took us directly to the front of the park and we skipped running through World Showcase because I was just trying to keep it all together.
Somehow Merle, Joe and I crossed the finish with Rudy Novotny calling out our names! What a joy and an awesome experience to run that last .1 miles – all the pain of the last 13 miles was forgotten as I crossed the finish line. It wasn’t pretty, or fast, and some moments weren’t all that fun, but the good outweighed the bad. We did it. It was in the books and that itself equals success!
My tips & what I learned at the Wine & Dine Half Marathon:
- Rest & fuel up: These night races can be difficult because your typical race schedule is all out of whack. I did rest, but I should have been in my room sooner than I was in the afternoon leading up to the race. It’s so tempting to go to the parks and have fun! And please don’t do what I did and eat McDonald’s prior to your race! Make better choices and listen to Tara Gidus!
- Enjoy the Experience: When you are having a bad race, it can be though to enjoy the experience. Sometimes your mind gets into a real negative place and it is difficult to get your head back into the race. Don’t give up! Do your best to cut through the negative and continue to move forward. It’s okay to walk. SMILE!
- Save Energy for the Post-Race Party: Unfortunately, Merle, Joe and I were ready to go back to our resorts after the race, but there’s post-race party still running strong in Epcot until 4am! The Food and Wine booths and rides are open for the runners and guests (with a valid post-race ticket). Next year it is my goal to run the Wine and Dine and then party all night long! Remember Tip #1 – REST UP!
So would I do it again and is the Wine & Dine Half Marathon worth another runDisney trip! Heck YES!!! I already have made plans to run the 2015 Wine and Dine Half Marathon with my cousin, Leslie!