Plagued with lots of little injuries on most long runs, I still kept on going with my training plan.
The highlight was the 2012 Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon in November (Link to this year's event page: Run Disney Wine and Dine). It was also the first solo trip J and I have taken since Princess A was born (not counting work trips). We stayed at the All Star Music, which was great for what we need it for: inexpensive, Disney-provided transportation, and food court. The bonus was how pretty the outdoor areas were; I really liked that the landscaping was themed to the different types of music. We stayed in the Broadway section, and I enjoyed sitting on a bench in the mini imitation of Central Park, reading my book, resting up for the race.
This may have been the most relaxing race trip we have had. Being kid-free may have had something to do with it... ;) My parents have been great watching Princess A during other races, but juggling park time, meltdowns, and different sleeping schedules all add little bits of stress. Our schedule ended up like this:
- FRIDAY - Fly to Orlando, check in to the hotel, go to the Expo, eat dinner
- SATURDAY - Sleep in a little, visit a park, spend the afternoon at the hotel resting, RACE!
- SUNDAY - Sleep in, enjoy the Epcot Food and Wine Festival *noms*
- MONDAY - Fly home
Getting ready was relaxing - this was the first race I haven't been really nervous. I was trained and knew my knee's limits. I bought some stickers at the Expo from One More Mile - I love their sayings. I stuck one with my race motto on the back of my shirt:
I felt really content in Corral C for this race (J was up in A, if I'm remembering correctly). I didn't lose too much ground on my walking intervals, and I was usually able to find some space to pass people on my running ones. I specifically took a picture of the Mile 7 marker because I was making good time AND no injuries were flaring up. Looking at my Garmin, I thought I had a chance at a PR (may have been bad math); I increased my speed on my run segments and decreased my photo stops. And that hope came crashing down just after the 10 mile mark. I remember another runner saying, "There's just a 5k left." And I thought, "Heck yeah! I got this! Put on the speed!" And my knee and ankle/calf/shin/foot decided very quickly, "Heck no!" The last section was challenging, but my high pain tolerance served me well enough to keep from slowing to a stroll. I finished in 2:49 - exactly halfway between my PR and my slowest half (2:40 and 2:59).
After finishing, I changed tops and stopped by an aid tent to get some ice strapped to my shin/ankle issue. It was a shifting pain, so it was hard to tell where it originated or what to do for it. I used my drink ticket for a sangria in a pouch that looked kind of like a Capri Sun. I entered the front gate of Epcot to get started on the after party. Since the last few tenths of the race went through Future World, there was a traffic jam of people who couldn't cross the course. The Disney cast members had a system, but there was still confusion until you got to the front of the mob. I decided to just go with the flow and cheer on the runners while I waited for them to allow crossovers. Maybe 5-10 minutes later I met up with J and we started our walk around the world for some snacky food. I wasn't feeling stellar - a wee bit queasy (though it didn't stop me from a few snacks and a drink!) and my feet/shins/somethings were ready to be done. We did one slow lap and went to find our bus back to the resort.
The next day, I was having a hard time at walking around the park due to the ankle/foot pain - sometimes it would get better and sometimes I just wanted to cry. The crazy thing is that about 2 days later, I was fine. I think I had inflamed everything by wearing my new Altras for the race. They are a zero drop shoe (not a barefoot-style shoe) and have an adjustment period. I followed the guidelines, but never wore them longer than 6 miles. Oops. I think I angered tendons and tiny muscles I didn't even know existed! I've since enjoyed my Altras on many training runs, but it was a tough lesson to learn about breaking them in.
All in all, a sweet race weekend, and we're signed up for the 2013 Wine & Dine!