If you’re a runner and you’ve ever run a race of any length you know that 25% of the race is an athletic challenge and the other 75% of the race is all a mind game. Your mood and attitude can and most likely will determine the outcome of your run. Unfortunately for me I was not in the right mindset going into the Wine & Dine Half down in Disney this month.
I woke up and saw the forecast the morning of the race and despite my best efforts all day not to let it get me down I think I was just bummed about the conditions. I’ve been so lucky to have such perfect conditions when racing down there, but I guess something had to give eventually. Then I really lost any positivity after a mishap at one of the aid station that left me with a bit of a gash on my leg from a pair of medical scissors and an encounter with a less than concerned first aid attendant. But even with that I was ready, it’s hard not to be, you’re standing around for 2 and a half hours listening to a great DJ, everyone around you is super stoked and you’re at Disney, so how bad can it really be? Plus it hadn’t started raining yet so I figured maybe it was going to hold off.
Off to the corrals, as if on cue, corral A goes and the rain comes. A heavy, cold, relentless rain. No worries, I had my poncho on, I was going to stay relatively dry, and it’s Florida right? It won’t rain for more than a half hour, 40 minutes at most, right? Wrong. I’m pretty sure it rained colder and longer than it ever has in the history of non-hurricane Florida.
It was mildly comforting that it wasn’t just me who was truly suffering, everyone around me was miserable, it got so bad that around mile 5 I made the group I was around and had been chatting with come up with 5 positives to try and take our minds off it. It took us almost 5 miles to come up with 5… even the elite runners didn’t look like they were having a great time, although I could barely see them they were running so fast, as we ran past each other, me at mile 2ish, them at mile 8. One girl collapsed about 10 feet before the 13 mile marker, I heard her start to hyperventilate and her boyfriend and I both turned around just in time to grab either side of her and help lower her to the ground. I wanted to stay and help her but if I had stopped for more than a few seconds I don’t think I would have started again, she had her boyfriend, I hope she finished. My heart just about broke for her, it was a long hard race and to make it that far, I would have crawled if I had to.
I love Disney races, and I really love half marathons, so I was a little upset that the overall experience was so horrible, but, here are my positives, I finished one of the hardest races I’ve run even though it would have been so much easier (and trust me I was tempted) to just stop and get onto one of those cozy busses that would whisk me back to the finish line (and my free wine), I ran/walked a total of 14.3 miles and I felt great the next day, even against all the odds and in the worst conditions tonights races actually made me more excited for Dopey than I already was, and I got a a free glass of wine at the finish line and a seriously kick butt medal.
So while the race was truly horrible, it was good in a way too, if that makes any sense. The weekend was great too so much fun, but I’ve already kept you for far too long so I will let you all get back to your days and I’ll share some more about the rest of the weekend tomorrow!