Nov 13, 2014

2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend: Part 2

We left off right before the half marathon. We had done a 5k, napped, and now started getting ready. Since the night before the race, we had been crazy checking the weather. All week, the forecast was great, then a few days before, it called for rain. Rain all through the time we'd be running, not good.

We tried to keep positive about the weather and started getting ready. Of course, I made us new running skirts for the occasion. Kris wanted to play up her patriotic HFOT shirt, so I made her a red sparkly skirt and she added a Captain America sticker to her cheek.

I knew what my costume was gonna be since I went to the movies earlier in the summer, it was all about Maleficent.

Of course, I needed a sparkly skirt, that was the easy part. Then I added a cape and collar "things" to a black tank. The hardest part was the horns. These were attempt #3. I knew I couldn't run in the light up horns that I had, cause they weighed too much. Then Mom's Maleficent hat would have just been too constricting. And thank god I didn't use those, cause they would have gotten wet. I tried to make horns from toilet paper rolls and gauze, but those ended up being so heavy. The best option was the easiest, fabric! I made the horns out of fabric and stuffed them with fiberfill. They were light, but stood up and looked like Maleficent horns.

And that was the one and only time our costumes were visible. It was already chilly, so we put on our jackets and then boarded the buses and headed to the Wide World of Sports. We checked our bags (which we packed with dry clothes and socks), and were grateful that it wasn't raining. We sat on our ponchos and waited for the time to get into our corrals.

As the time drew nearer to get in the corrals, the rain finally began. We put on our ponchos and waited for our corral to start. The rain really didn't let up, but we decided that if we did, we would ditch the ponchos. That was a dream that never became a reality.

They finally called corral J, set off the fireworks, and we were off for a soggy 13.1 miles. Kris and I took it pretty easy because we wanted to stay on our feet and not slip. We headed out of the Wide World of Sports, and I was happy to see that the Country Bears were there for a photo op. Not many people were stopping for pics, but I was happy to see that they still had some people out there.

After about mile 1, we were hot with the jackets on underneath the ponchos. I helped Kris get her jacket off, and then took mine off under my poncho. It was much better with just the ponchos on. The ponchos shielded us from the wind, but still kept us cool enough not to suffocate.

We continued on our way to Animal Kingdom, which seemed really long. Other than the rain, I was feeling good, which I totally chock up to the morning's 5k warmup. We finally got to the Animal Kingdom, and the characters were waiting under cover. They are usually out in the open, but it seemed that they were scooted into anywhere with a little bit of a roof. The lines weren't too long for them, cause I suspect that people didn't want to wait in the rain.

Kris needed to use the facilities, so she did once we were in the park (better than using a port-a-potty), the rain really made you need to go! I waited as she used the rest room before we left the Animal Kingdom and we kept going. We had our intervals running, but the uneven ground in the Animal Kingdom looked extra slippery, so we took some extra walking intervals to make sure we didn't slip.

Once we hit the back of Animal Kingdom, we headed out towards the parking lot. We saw the pirate ship with Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbosa (one day I will get a pic with them, but that line!), and headed back towards Osceola Parkway.

This part of Osceola Parkway is a long stretch before you reach any park, so they usually have huge TV screens, lots of DJs and plenty of characters. I think they rain caused them to scale back. There were no TVs, only 1 DJ, and a few characters. I knew this was the hardest part of the race, but I still felt good and we had gotten back to the run/walk intervals.

We saw the Toy Soldier on the ramp on the way to Hollywood Studios and I knew we were almost there. Then we ran around the back and up Sunset Boulevard. I was so happy to see Hollywood Studios, but this is the part where I hit my wall. I'm not sure if it was the half of a Gu that I had at mile 9 (I lost my new pack of shot bloks while removing my jacket underneath my poncho earlier), or that I was wet or the fact that I was running in a poncho, but I was just done. I kept pushing though and kept at it. We ran through the backlot and behind the studios. I had almost fogotten when we headed back through the park that we got to run through the Osbourne Family lights! I'm such a sucker for those lights. That was definitely the place where I saw the most people stopping to take pics.

As we headed out of Hollywood Studios, I just couldn't hold it anymore. I had to go, but figured I could hold it til we got to the end, but the wind and cold and rain, just wouldn't let me. I stopped in the last bathroom in the Studios (luckily there was no line), and felt TONS better. I got my second wind and we headed towards my favorite mile of all, mile 11! I like mile 11, cause I never really end up training for more than about 10.5, so it's a BIG deal to get to 11. And so much closer to the finish.

This part of the race takes you to the Boardwalk resort, and is also very narrow. I remember that last year this part was so crowded, that we weren't able to get in all of our run intervals. But it seemed a little less crowded and we were able to run our intervals without issue.

We had heard since the beginning of the race that the Boardwalk would be slippery. And there were even volunteers warning us about it before we got there. It was slippery, so we kept up a good pace, but walked til we got off of the Boardwalk.

After the Boardwalk we headed around the back of Epcot and before I knew it, I saw The Land pavillion in front of me. I knew we were almost done. We came into Future World and saw tons of people waiting and cheering all the runners along. Being on such a rainy, wet course, hearing the volunteers and spectators cheering really did help.

Finally, we came alongside Spaceship Earth and the finish was right there in my sights! Kris and I kicked it into high gear, and ponchos and all, ran across the finish line! It was done, half marathon #2 is in the books.

We grabbed our medals and the RunDisney space blankets they were handing out and waited for Kris's friend Larry to finish. I never had gotten one of these space blankets at the end of a race (blame that on the Florida heat), but they really did keep us warm. Larry finally crossed the finish line and we all headed out towards the exit.

But first it was time to collect our drinks. Here is the major fail of the night, by the time we got to the drinks, they were all out of wine! How can you be out of wine at the Wine & Dine Half Marathon? I ended up getting a beer... :(

We went into the changing tents to get out of some of the wet clothes we had on and put on dry stuff. I luckily had dry socks and shoes too. That helped tons. When I took of my wet shoes and socks, it looked like I had been in a pool all afternoon. Nothing was cozier than those dry socks. When we were all changed, we headed out of the tents, still with our space blankets on. It was raining harder than it was before, plus the wind had really picked up. It was just miserable out there.

We had every intention of hitting up the after party big time, but it was too rainy and too cold. We went to Spaceship Earth to see if Larry was still there, but didn't find him. We took a very cold Spaceship Earth pic, and then asked if Starbucks was open. It was so we headed there for some coffee and pastries, that we got with the gift cards we planned on using at the Wine & Food Festival. Oh well... That hot coffee was the best ever. Even after waiting in line for 30 minutes. At least we were inside and dry. After our coffees, we headed towards the buses and back to the hotel. We got in at almost 4am, changed, and passed out.

The next morning I had made brunch reservations at Chef Mickey's. Since the kids were with us, we had no problem waking up on time. We met Kris's Dad over there and got to have a great brunch, and hang with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. It was the perfect end to the weekend, with our biggest supporters and Mickey and his crew.

I felt pretty good after the race, and I'm so glad this wasn't my first half, cause I think the rain would have flipped me out. Luckily, I just had some foot pain the day after, which I attributed to running in wet shoes. But now I can say that I've run a race in the rain. Doing the two races in one day actually helped how I felt at the end of the day, I think... crazy, I know.

I love doing the Wine & Dine Half. It was raining for nearly all 13.1 miles (with a little break around mile 9), but it was still a fun race. So, who'll be doing it with me next year?

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