January 7, 2016
I was up way too late trying to pack last night. I struggled with packing because the weather here is unpredictable at best. It’s been cooler this week but you just never know what it’s going to do. So, I had to pack with warm and cooler weather in mind. Additionally, I had to pack for park time. I don’t usually go to the parks after the races. This is mostly because I’ve never had park tickets in the past. But, I also know how much running can take out of you and how tired I’ll be each day. I’m an annual pass holder now though, so I want to take advantage of some park time. And, I have a ton of friends that will be here and I want to spend time with them. Balancing rest time with fun time will be key.
Needless to say, when my alarm sounded around 3 AM, I could’ve smashed it with a hammer. But, I signed up for this so it was up for me. Unhappily, but still up.
I get dressed fairly quickly and then throw all my last minute things into my suitcase. Once I’ve got it packed, I wheel it to the front door. I put a few things in the trunk last night. The only other thing I need to get together is my cooler. I have all of my items ready to go though so all I have to do is pack the cooler and dump some ice in it.
I’m out the door only five minutes late. This is on-time for me especially considering how early it is. I am so not a morning person. The car is loaded though and I am on my way. I give myself a little high-five. This is unprecedented. Really. I generally build in extra time knowing that I will be slow moving when I have to be up so early.
I get to Epcot and I park. It is cool outside but not cold. I have on a long sleeved pullover and I’ve brought my new gloves. It isn’t really cold enough for them but I want to try them to see how I like them. This race is only three miles so it will be a good trial run. (See what I did there?)
Most of my friends that are running have already made their way to the corrals. So, I make my way to corral C and I find my friend Shellie. Shellie is from Arkansas and she is just the sweetest. We’ve been friends online for awhile but we met for the first time a few months ago. She also ran Wine & Dine.
We chat away the time until it’s finally time for our corral to head to the start block. Shellie and I are planning to run together. My Garmin is set for intervals of one minute/one minute (run/walk). We’ll run two intervals to start as that will help us get through some of the initial crowding. Then we’ll switch to one/one. My Garmin isn’t charged so I hope it makes it the whole race! We also don’t plan to stop for any pictures. Shellie doesn’t really like to stop and I don’t really care one way or the other. Our plan is just to run and have a good time.
We are off. The first bit of the course is in the parking lot of Epcot. But, it quickly makes the turn into World Showcase. From there, the course is almost entirely in the park. The finish line is just outside the park back in the parking lot. Here is the course map.
We are having a nice run until my Garmin finally dies. It died right around the 2.5 mile area. I say a few swear words because it couldn’t have just held on for another half a mile! Oh well. I can’t fix it now. So, we switch to 30 second intervals as Shellie has set on her timer. And that’s how we finish the race.
We didn’t stop for a single character stop but there were some different characters out than last year. I think the only picture we stopped for was of Spaceship Earth across the lagoon. We took a selfie here.
The 5k isn’t an officially timed race. But, Dopey Challenge participants get timed. Our official finish time was 44:11. We took this race easy as we have a lot of miles ahead of us!
After we collected our official finisher’s medallions, some water, and our food boxes, Shellie and I headed to my car. I offered her a ride to her hotel; it’s right next to mine and I’m hoping I might be able to check-in early. We are going to meet a group of friends for breakfast later and I would love to get a shower beforehand. While it wasn’t hot this morning, I did get warm enough that I had wanted to take off my long-sleeved pullover. But, I had my bib pinned to it so I didn’t. I’m kind of sweaty and would prefer not to be sweaty and smelly at breakfast!
Tomorrow is day two and the 10k. I am charging my Garmin now so it will be ready to go!
Until then…hitting the shower so I can go to breakfast (YAY for early check-in!).