Let me start this post by saying I LOVE DISNEY. My family has gone to Disney countless times and fully supports my runDisney habit since they come down to cheer or make that chEAR me on! My first half marathon was during the Marathon weekend in 2011. It was truly a magical experience for me and I had an amazing time with my mom and sister chEARing me on from the side lines! And, as a Mainer, it was AMAZING to be out of the freezing cold for a few days!
I moved to Florida later that year and began to run as many Disney races as possible! I ran the inaugural Tower of Terror 10 miler in 2012, the Wine and Dine Half 2o12 (my parents loved spectating this race and scoped out the food for when I finished!), and the Disney Marathon in Jan 2013! I signed up for Wine and Dine this summer because I knew I couldn’t miss out on this race! My boyfriend took the plunge and signed up for his first half!
Now as many of know, I’ve been sick a LOT the past few months and wasn’t allowed to run the Chicago Marathon. Needless to say, I got a total of two runs in during the two months leading up to the half. Right when I was starting to get some last minute runs in, I got sick again and was put back on antibiotics that I finished a couple days before the race. I didn’t have any PR hopes for this race. For me, it was going to be an accomplishment just to finish it!
Regardless, I was SO excited for this race. I got to Disney for the Meet Up and Charlie drove up on Saturday. We spent the day getting our race packets, carbo loading (can you tell we destroyed that bread basket), and hanging out in our PRINCESS room to rest our feet
Even though I had no expectations for the race, I was still very nervous! We took a nap until about 6 when I woke and bolted up and out of bed to start showering and eating a light snack of a Clif Bar and coffee! Clif Bars are my go to pre race food. The perfect size for me and doesn’t sit too heavily in my stomach. However, it turns out the coffee didn’t end up being strong enough… Oops! I, of course, had Charlie take some pre race pics!
I actually didn’t wear the Minnie Mouse ears during the race because I tend to be particular about how things feel during a race. But I did like to pretend that my polka dot shorts were a play on Minnie Mouse… just in a different color scheme! At that point, it was time to head off to the buses and start the great wait. I love Disney races, but getting to the race so early and sitting around for so long always makes me nervous! But, as always, the DJ did a great job leading an awesome dance party and we even saw an engagement on the big screen! Such a great way to get pumped up and shake out a few nerves!
Time flew, and we were off to the corrals. Charlie was in the corral ahead of me, but stayed back in mine so we could at least start together. His original goal had been to just finish, but then his competitive nature took over and he wanted to race it. Yes, the kid who did one long run of 8 miles. We ran our own races which I think was such a good thing. I just decided to go by what felt okay and, for once, not stare at my watch. I had a few minor mishaps like having to use the porta potty at mile one (I knew I should have done one last bathroom break before getting into the corral), and my contact popped out 3 times!, and then a final restroom break at mile 11 in Hollywood Studios. Oh, well! This was not my best race, by far! But, I was actually really really satisfied with myself. When I started running, I never would have imagined being able to push my body 13.1 miles without walking with no training! It’s amazing to see what my body is now capable of!
I met Charlie at the bag check and he watched my stuff while I changed. Note to readers: if you run this race, bring a pack of Wet Wipes! They are so helpful and the women in the tent around me l0ved me! While it wasn’t a real shower, it was the next best thing. We grabbed our wine as we left the finishing area.
Oh, by the way. Charlie ran his first half marathon with NO training in 1:48! I am SO proud and so excited for him! I think he’s caught the running bug. From there, we went to the after party first stopping for Champagne and the Hawaiian Kahlua Pork Bun–my FAVORITE! We made our way around the park and left the park once the party ended, carrying desserts back to the hotel. We were exhausted, our belly’s full, and had smiles on our faces! Yet another magical Disney race in the books!
Going into this race, I was so nervous about how I would do. Well, now I know I can do anything and am now really wishing I had signed up for the half marathon at Marathon weekend at Disney! I can’t believe I won’t be there this year to run through Cinderella’s castle. I guess this teaches me to go with my instinct and just sign up! I can’t recommend Disney races highly enough so go do one!