The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

One week ago tonight, I toed the line at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney World.

The weather forecast was a bit sketchy.  I was wearing One of my sparkle skirts, and the long-sleeved race tech shirt.  I know it's a no-no to wear your race shirt the day of the race, but I didn't take anything else remotely water proof or long-sleeved, and it was going to be cold and wet, so I wore it.  I also had on my Dollar Tree poncho we picked up on the way to the race.

We had some fun on the bus:

Me, My sister, Barney and my sister's friend May

Barney and I on the Bus

As we sat in the Corrals waiting to start a slow drizzle started, then picked up to a full on rain, and by the time we started, it was a full-on downpour.  Barney hadn't really trained for a half marathon, but was doing it just to stay with me and be there for me.  He is and always has been far more "in shape" than I am.  We were planning on doing 30 second run and 45 second walk intervals.  We stuck to those intervals through the first 6 miles of the race.  

I did do something new this race than I have ever done, which is I wore a hydration vest rather than depending on race water stops.  I put Nuun in my hydration vest, and I felt fully prepared for the race. It was a bit of foreboding we found out later when the guy in the Corral told us that if we went straight through the first intersection, the race would be about 6 miles shorter.  It turns out that some folks decided that the rain was too much, and cut across the course before the 5k timing mat, so they skipped the 5k and 10k splits and all of the Animal Kingdom.

We passed the 5k mark, and started to head into the Animal Kingdom Park.  On the way in, we saw Rafiki camped out under one of the stations where they check your bags on the way in.  He was standing there to stay dry, and there was no line.  I have NEVER taken character photos at a race, but I love Rafiki and couldn't pass up the opportunity.

When we got into the Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life was all lit up.  It was breath-taking and beautiful.  The Animal Kingdom, while beautiful has some REALLY uneven places and it's pretty dark, but still fun.  At this point, the rain had gotten laughable.  I was dodging puddles, and people.  My Garmin would buzz, I'd tap Barney on the arm, and we'd run.  It would buzz again, and we'd stop.  We were in a groove.  I felt pretty dang good.  While exiting Animal Kingdom, there was a guy with a bell he was ringing.  He was touting the customer service at Disney, and the fact that they were trying to save us runners time by offering us the opportunity to shower WHILE we ran.  I asked him to pass the shampoo.  Not long after that, while rounding a corner, my heel got stepped on and I ran right out of my shoe.  It took a few steps to get stopped, and my right sock was now water-logged.  I was very certain at that point that any Body Glide I had left was gone and I was doomed to get HUGE blisters.  Still feeling good, so I didn't care.  I hobbled to the fence to hold onto something, and put my shoe back on.  Shoe back on, I headed for mile 6, and the 10k point.

Barney and I both had to stop at the potty break between mile 6 and the 10k point.  We slipped and slid through the mud to the potties.  We crossed the 10k point and I saw where a bunch of people could have crossed the course and cut it short.  I high-fived the Lion King Cast in the Animal Kingdom Parking Booths and kept on moving.  Not long after the 10k point, my stomack started cramping, and I felt incredibly pukey.  I was so miserable that I was leaned over the guard rail.  Waiting for the inevitable.  A very sweet woman in a red poncho offered me some water to drink and encouraged me to keep going.  I told her I was afraid to be sick having not vomitted since my weight loss surgery last year and I was scared.  She told me she had had Gastric Bypass surgery, and lost 165 pounds.  She encouraged me to keep going....which I did.

I got to the Mile 7 medical tent and asked for some tylenol for my sore foot.  The guy gave it to me and when I looked down to open the packaging I lost my balance and almost fell.  The old Krista, the one with NO faith in herself decided at that very moment to rear her ugly head and start telling me how I couldn't do this, and I just needed to quit.  I started to listen to that fat old bitchy voice in my head for a few minutes, and actually went to the medical tent to wait for the bus.  By the time I got there, the tent was so full of other folks ready to quit, I couldn't even fit inside, so the lady offered me a seat on a cooler outside the tent.  Not even thinking, I sat down, and the cooler had water standing on the top.  Now, if one is trying to avoid chafing, especially in the hiney and girly bits, wet is not a good thing.  The only good thing about sitting on that cooler is that the cold water snapped me back to reality.  I had been in the process of telling Barney to go on and finish without me.  He refused to leave me.  I hopped up off the cooler, looked at him and said, "I've given up on myself TOO MANY TIMES! I'm not doing that anymore.  Let's go!"  He asked if I was sure, and I said yes.  I was sure I wanted to go, but wasn't sure that I could manage a trot or run at all at that point.  Barney said that was fine, we could go, but should walk for a while.

We continued on around, and we held hands.  At that point, I was leaning on him to continue.  His support was absolutely required for me to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  As we were headed to mile 8, up a hill/entrance ramp, I could hear the "Army Guy" from Toy Story.  I was hoping for a picture with him, but he was literally running up and down the side of the road high-fiving and harassing runners.  Not long after that, I looked back over to the last overpass we had crossed, not quite a mile behind us, and I could see the dreaded balloon ladies.  I didn't want to see them AT ALL, but I knew once I started walking, I probably would.  I knew we would enter Hollywood Studios around mile 9, and we had to be getting close.

As I turned the corner to go into the back lot of Hollywood Studios, the balloon ladies and a pack of people terrified of being passed by them, barreled past Barney and I.  I said a few not so ladylike words and loudly exclaimed that I didn't want to see them that night.  One of the ladies yelled back that she didn't want to see me either.  I didn't think that was mean (I've heard a lot of complaints about the balloon ladies being mean, but they weren't, they were just trying to encourage folks).  Barney had to make a bathroom stop again just inside the studios.  I waited for him, not so patiently, as it had become very evident that we were one of the last people on the course.  Not long after that I saw the first bike medic guy, and he was encouraging me to keep going.

We continued to hold hands and make our way through Hollywood Studios.  I had to keep pushing because I wanted to see the Osborne Christmas Lights!  We rounded a corner at one point, and I could see Buzz and Woody standing there.  Woody was standing in the road waving at me, and I said, "I'm stopping for a picture!"  I asked if it was too late for a picture, and the photographer said, "absolutely not!  It's never too late".  After taking the picture the Disney Cast Member told us if we wanted to finish, we needed to catch the balloon ladies, and they were 5 minutes ahead of us.  I tried doing a few running intervals again, but my body wouldn't let me.  Rounded another corner and we could see a HUGE group of runners at the end of the race.  Barney asked me if I wanted to joint them.  Ethically, I knew I couldn't do that, and I wouldn't want to finish my first half by cheating, but I was so tired, and cold, and wet, that I would probably have considered it had there not been a course monitor standing there.  Instead, we turned where we were supposed to and kept on keeping on.  We went through the disco tunnel with windows into the costuming area...

As I approached mile 10, I saw a fan sitting there, running, with the lights and windshield wipers on.  I commented to the bike medic that I was sure they were going to make me get on that van.  he said, "I don't see a cop in the road.  Keep walking and ignore that van!"  I did.  Barney and I just kept plugging along.  The next thing I knew, I turned a corner and we were in the middle of the Osborne lights.  I almost cried.  There was a group of cheerleaders there taking a picture in the middle of the road.  They cleared the road for us, then cheered us on.  I was very aware of all of the volunteers, and had been thanking them since early on in the race, but when you are the very last, the slowest person out there, and they are still cheering you on and keeping water stops open for you, and cheering as if you are first, it means SOOOO much.  I kept thanking them, but no word in the English Language is appropriately weighed to thank those volunteers for what they did for me and my spirits.  They were AMAZING.  I was putting my water cups in trash bags, rather than throwing them down.  I needed to be respectful of them and their time.  They were just as cold and wet as I was, if not more, because I had been running/walking and sweating for hours, they were standing still and getting rained on.

I was dreading every mile marker at this point because I knew I was behind.  While I had never hoped to be the last finisher for a Disney Race, getting a private confetti party, I would prefer that to the bus ride to the finish line.  I had told Barney about the finish line for the last finisher, and we were plodding along.  At one point we passed a girl who couldn't even stand up straight and walk.  She was leaned over to the side.  Barney looked at me and said, "We're cheering her on to the finish, right?"  I said, "Yep".  She assured us she couldn't make it, and told the bike medic she was done.  She couldn't finish.  Barney and I kept going.  We past the Incredibles.  I was terrified of mile 11, and the next possibility of being swept.  We didn't get there.  The fact was, on the walkway to the parking lot outside of Hollywood Studios, one of the medics stopped and said, "I'm sorry, we're falling too far behind, I need you to get on the golf cart."

I sat down on that cart and cried.  I was absolutely so sad and horrified.  I couldn't believe that yet again I wasn't going to finish.  I felt a little better when I looked up the numbers for the race.  Before starting, the announcer had said that there were over 14,300 people registered for the race.  I'm certain a fair number didn't start due to either the rain, or injuries or whatever.  As of the last time I had checked, there was a total of 11,941 finishers.

5k in 47:27, average pace of 15:27, projected finish time of 3:20:12 if I had maintained that pace

10k in 1:43:14, average pace of 16:37, projected finish time of 3:37:47 if I had maintained that pace

15k in 2:52:12, average pace of 18:29, projected finish time of 4:02:11 if I had maintained that pace

Definitely not breaking any land-speed records, but Barney and I were 2 of the last 3 people swept from the course at mile 11.  Almost 2400 people didn't finish for one reason or another, and we were 2 of the last 3 pulled.  It sucked being pulled, but I am proud of what we accomplished.  We made it 11 miles in some of the most horrendous conditions possible.

The good news is, even with running out of my shoe, being drenched with rain, sitting in water at mile 7, I didn't have any chafing or blisters at all.  I was sore for a day or 2, but not horribly so.

I went to the doctor this week about my Morton's Neuroma in my left foot.  He gave me a cortisone shot to help the inflammation in the nerve and to hopefully keep the foot from going numb on future runs.  He also said that he was incredibly surprised that with a previously broken navicular bone, that my doctor who treated that didn't immediately recommend custom orthotics for my shoes.  Apparently, the Navicular bone is the attachment point for a tendon, and every step tugs on that bone.  The bone needs a great deal of support to not be as painful.  He said that I will likely have discomfort in that area of my foot forever, when I run/exercise, but the orthotics should minimize that pain and make it far more bearable.  So, I was cast for orthotics and they should be in within the next 3-4 weeks.  Training is continuing.

I am starting a new job on Monday, and will be staying after school on Tuesdays to run sprints and do speedwork.  I'm dedicating Tuesdays to Speedwork, Thursdays I'll run 45 minutes to an hour.  Saturdays will be long runs.  First one is tonight, 3 miles as training for Glass Slipper Challenge.  Having more definitive answers for what is causing my pain makes me feel so much better.

Till next time....


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