We’ve been looking forward to the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon since we signed up for it at the Princess Half Expo in February. It was our first time leaving both kids for more than an overnight with our parents, I’ve never been to the Food & Wine festival, and running another Disney race? Definitely a recipe for a wonderful weekend with my husband, right? Right. Or not.
I mentioned in my recap of the Meet-Up that my belly wasn’t really happy and unfortunately that continued throughout the rest of the weekend. Seriously, belly? You get angry with me when I’m supposed to spend the weekend eating lots of delicious food, drinking yummy wine, and having a blast running with friends and attempting to PR? Not cool, not cool at all.
To rewind a bit, two of my friends were also running Wine & Dine. They’re both a good bit faster than me but just wanted to run the race to have fun, so they decided (and I agreed) to pace me to PR. We weren’t going for a huge PR or anything, my current one is 2:08 and we were shooting for 2:05 and maybe, just maybe, under 2:00 if the stars aligned and everything fell into place. Well… lets just say that didn’t happen.
Adam and I spent the morning and early afternoon wandering around Epcot, had lunch at Via Napoli, then headed back to our room at the Dolphin for a nap. We woke up around 5 and Lisa came up to meet us and get ready for the race. The three of us walked over to the Beach Club to catch the shuttle to the start of the race and were on the first bus. Once we arrived at the pre-race area at the Wide World of Sports, we made a quick potty break and hopped in line to see Goofy. We were supposed to meet up with our other friend, Pamela, but we kept missing each other.
We had a pretty long wait ’til the race started. We were on the shuttle just after 7PM and the race didn’t start ’til 10. While we were waiting, Adam and I realized that we hadn’t eaten dinner, so we grabbed a turkey wrap and some fries. We figured since we still had over 2 hours ’til the race started we’d be fine. Big mistake.
We found a spot to sit in the runner area, then met up with some other friends (Andrea from Once Upon a Run and her BRF Cori) and chatted ’til it was time to head to our corrals. It kind of snuck up on us and Lisa was in line for the port-o-potties when we realized we had to go or we may not make it. I figured we’d catch up to her in the corrals since we were all in D so we headed over. Before we knew it, the fireworks were going and we were off with no sign of Lisa or Pamela. Adam knew I was planning to run hard so we said goodbye for now and were off.
Disney recently changed their corral system, they added several corrals, made each corral smaller, and shortened the starting time between corrals to two minutes, in an effort to ease course crowding. I was a bit discouraged in the first mile because it didn’t seem to do that at all. I felt really great and was ready to go, but I had a hard time maneuvering around everyone, it was kind of a pain.
Over the next two miles, I settled into a comfortable pace without running too hard and managed to catch up to Lisa (and by catch up, I mean she was running around looking for me). Somehow she’d gotten into the corral ahead of me, I have no clue how she found me but I’m glad she did.
Miles four and five took us through Animal Kingdom and while I loved running through there, it was kind of difficult. The ground was uneven so you really had to watch where you stepped and the course wasn’t very wide, so it got a bit congested in some spots. My belly also started letting me know that it wasn’t really happy, but I tried to keep pushing.
Shortly after we passed the mile 6 marker, it all started to go downhill. I thought I was going to be sick and the idea of running another 7.1 miles was ridiculous in my mind. We’d just passed though the parking kiosks for Hollywood Studios and I had to stop. We probably stayed there for a minute and a half or so while I stretched a bit and tried to let the urge to puke pass. Lisa encouraged me to keep going, so we walked for a bit then I felt okay enough to start running again.
Miles nine through eleven went through Hollywood Studios and before the race, I was really looking forward to these miles. I love the Osborne lights and running through them sounded amazing. I did not love the costume tunnel we ran through – the smoke and crazy lights made me feel dizzy, which really didn’t help my belly at all. I had to close my eyes or look down the entire way.
Running through the Osborne lights was incredible though. I really want to bring the kids back sometime before Christmas. I wish I’d stopped to take a picture , but I honestly thought that if I stopped, I wouldn’t start going again. As we ran out of Hollywood Studios and passed the Mile 11 marker, Lisa started doing the math and telling me how fast we’d need to run to hit our 2:05 and sub-2 goals. I’m pretty sure I laughed. Or maybe not. I know I told her to go ahead if she wanted to a few times, but she stuck by me.
Mile 12 was hard, we were running on a super narrow sidewalk between the resorts. No matter what you did, you couldn’t get any sort of room to run. It was really kind of miserable. We rounded a corner near the Boardwalk/Beach Club area and I heard some friends of ours shout my name. I had no clue they were out spectating so it was really nice to see them and it gave me a nice little boost.
The boost was short lived though. I should have been flying through Epcot, but we had to stop to walk because the nausea came back. The last little stretch was full of fog and crazy lights and I really thought I was going to be sick. I just looked down and ran and prayed it was short.
Thankfully it was and before I knew it, the finish line was in sight. At the Princess race, I was so focused on finishing my first half that I didn’t hear them call out our names at the finish line. This time, I did, and threw my arms up in relief! Lisa and I crossed together and she high-fived Chef Mickey!
The photographers got a ton of pictures of us at the finish (and very few throughout the rest of the race, which is probably a good thing,) which is why so many of the ones here are from the finish line. It’s funny, I look happy in most of them, but I think this one is the most representative of how I actually felt. Glad to be done!
Our official time was 2:13:43, for a 10:12 pace. According to my Garmin, we ran 13.36 miles in 2:13:50, for a 10:01 pace. Here are my splits, according to my Garmin:
Mile 1 – 9:50
Mile 2 – 9:04
Mile 3 – 9:08
Mile 4 – 9:36
Mile 5 – 9:32
Mile 6 – 9:45
Mile 7 – 11:19
Mile 8 – 10:18
Mile 9 – 10:20
Mile 10 – 10:30
Mile 11 – 10:16
Mile 12 – 11:05
Mile 13 – 9:51
Last .36 – 8:50
As with all of my races, I went into this one with my A, B, and C goals. I was really kind of intimidated by my A goal and wasn’t sure if it was smart to do less than a month before my first marathon, but I figured I might as well throw it out there. I have to be honest, I was really kind of bummed with my time.
A – Sub-2
B – 2:05 (which would be a PR, my current half PR is 2:08)
C – Beat my last Disney half time (2:20)
While I knew that Sub-2 would be pushing it, everyone kept telling me to expect big half PR’s while I’m marathon training, so I kind of thought it wasn’t that much of a reach. Really, it wasn’t and I could have probably done it if my belly had not given me such a fit. I know I made the right choice to slow down and not push myself, but it’s still hard to see a race time that you know you can beat.
We crossed the finish line, grabbed our water, powerade, snack box, posed for our official finisher picture, then sat down. I knew I needed to drink something, but I couldn’t. Our plan for the race was to run the entire thing except the water stops, we walked all of those. In hindsight, I think that may have been some of the problem (among a million other things). I never drink powerade when I’m running, and I was drinking a cup of powerade and a cup of water at every water stop. Blah.
We sat and stretched for a bit, then I pulled my phone out so I could see where Adam was so we could head back to the finish line to watch him cross it. He was already done though and headed our way. He keeps telling me how he runs slower than me, but his times say otherwise. He was only two minutes behind us and beat his goal for the day (which was to beat my first half time.. we’re just a little bit competitive)!! I’m really proud of him!
We collected our finishers beer, then walked over to Epcot and changed into dry clothes (BEST IDEA EVER!) and Adam killed my beer and his. He was ready to celebrate
We caught up with Andrea and Cori again after they finished and walked around the World Showcase a bit. They ate and drank and I watched miserably, blah! I really wanted to want to eat. I drank a hot chocolate to warm me up and that was it. We stayed until a little after 2AM, then headed back to the hotel, where Lisa showered and headed off to the airport (crazy lady was flying out at 6:45AM!) and Adam and I crashed for a few hours.. very few. It was around 3:30 when we finally crawled in bed and we had to be up at 7AM to head back to Jax for a ZOOMA event at 11AM that morning.
Overall, it was a really great race experience. I think this was my favorite runDisney race weekend so far (we’ve been to Princess, Marathon, Tower of Terror, and Wine & Dine). We’ll definitely be back next year and hopefully my stomach cooperates so I can really enjoy the weekend!