One week from night we will be running Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon! Which makes me think a race recap from the past is overdue. In November 2012, Amy and I ran the Wine and Dine half as our first half marathon. It was an interesting learning experience and one that Amy will definitely need to tell from her point of view, as well, as my memory of the night is a bit hazy in places.
Leading up to the race, I felt good about my training, better about my nutrition, and I’d even made us some basic, but cute, shirts to wear for the race. Now, if you belong to a running group, you may have heard that you shouldn’t try anything new on race day. But I had this new protein shot I wanted to try, and I figured that since it was just a little 4-5 oz drink, I should be okay. Right? Maybe not so much. I drank the drink and ate my honey stinger waffle about 30-45 minutes before the race started and I thought I was good to go. The race started at 10pm, our corral started about 10 minutes after.
The first 5 miles went pretty well, but then I started to feel sick. I ate another honey stinger waffle hoping that would help, and I felt a little better – we had this race and were maintaining a strong 14:45 minute per mile pace. Soon, we were out on Osceola Parkway, on our way toward Hollywood Studios. But the nausea was still there and around mile 6.5 it reared its ugly head in the worst possible way and I had to step off into the grass on the shoulder and throw up. I remember hearing Amy tell someone I was ok (maybe it was me?) – and for about 2 minutes afterward, I was ok! I said we could run again, I thought I felt better. That was until every muscle in my body cramped up simultaneously. We basically walked the rest of the race, with me having to stop every 1/10 -2/10 of a mile to stretch. We were warned that we were off pace in Hollywood Studios (I didn’t comprehend it at the time), and by the time we reached the path to the Boardwalk, I was having to stop more often. I have to say here, I appreciate the medics and volunteers on bikes circling me like sharks every time I stopped to stretch, because if I had needed them it was good to know they were there and attentive!
Amy patiently stayed with me for the entire race, even though I must have told her at least a dozen times to go on and finish – that I would be fine! We finished our first half in an abysmal 4:05:19. By the time we left medical, the finish line area was deserted. We made our way to the after party, had our free beer/wine (had to go to the cash bar, because: deserted finish line), and then called it a night.
For a while, I was disappointed in myself, because I held Amy back and I knew we could do better. But when it’s all said and done, we finished the race. We earned our medals. We were not swept. We would redeem ourselves next year. Perhaps most importantly, it was a great learning experience, as I WILL NEVER EVER TRY SOMETHING NEW ON RACE DAY!