As part of Gideons marathon training (and just for fun) we decided to enter a race whilst on our most recent holiday to Florida. After a little bit of searching we found the Winterpark 10k, which was presented by trackshack & Florida Hospital and which took place mid way through our holidays. It seemed like a great option so we signed up.
As you’ll know if you regularly read this blog, my training as of late has been a little lax. I completed the St. Davids Day 5k in Feb, which was fine, but I wasnt quite prepared to run a 10k in the Florida heat. So I didnt. I walked.
If you don’t want to hear about my walk you may as well stop reading now. Gideon ran the whole race, and finished in a respectable time. I walked about 80% of it. I did do a little bit of running at the start, but by mile 2 I had made up my mind that I simply didnt want to push my body into something it wasnt trained for, especially with the temperature ramping up rapidly as the sun had just risen.
Thankfully, this race was perfect for someone who wanted to walk. There were plenty of people out on the course. Trackshack wanted as many people as possible to join the event so encouraged walkers and race walkers. If you wernt maintaining a 16 minute mile I think you were asked to move to the pavement but that was not a problem for me as my miles were consistently in the 14 minute range- and actually I was incredibly suprised I was able to keep that waking pace up for 6.2 miles! My upper thighs certainly felt it in the days after!!
The course itself was fab. Closed roads, all around the beautiful residental area of Winterpark, which was like mansion land- all the houses were huge!! There were also some beautiful lakes, so lots to keep you from getting bored on a 6.2 mile walk. The course was also nice and flat- at least thats how I would describe it coming from hilly Wales! I powered up a small incline much to the dismay of some of my fellow participants from Florida who proceeded to tell me that this was a massive hill by Florida standards (which I suppose it was).
Overall, a well organised and very scenic race and I was glad I did it even if I didnt really run it. I mean how could I drop our completely when this lovely medal was on offer???
I’m getting really bad at remembering to blog every week! Call it runners brain! So here we have another 2 week recap but with some exciting developments 🙂
Week 13 – W/C 20th Feb
You may remember from my last recap, I attempted, but failed to get to 17 miles due to a niggle with my knee (caused by an altercation with a dog and an extendable lead), so this week was centred around trying to tackle that distance again and actually get there this time!
Monday & Tuesday – Rest Days:
I decided to give my knee more time to rest and re-coup from its ordeal with the dog and the extendable lead!
Wednesday – D.Day: 17 mile attempt:
I had planned to do my run on Thursday but with the pending arrival of Storm Dorris I thought it best to get it all done before the worst of the weather (wind) hit. Despite this I was still running in torrential rain and 25-30 mph winds, but I went…I saw… and I conquered my longest run to date!!
It felt great to get the miles under the belt and my body felt ok considering the horrific weather. I think I have started to nail my nutrition regime too.
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday – Gym:
Warm-Up – Walking at 3.8mph pace @ 3% gradient – 10 mins
Bike 5.48 miles
3 x 16 Leg Press@ 30 kg
3 x 10 Chest Press @ 22.5 kgs
Cool Down – Walking at 3.8mph pace @ 3% gradient – 10 mins
Saturday + Sunday:
We spent the weekend away at Amy’s Parents, so I wont lie, we were very lazy and maybe ate too much.
Week 14 – W/C 27th Feb
Monday – Gym:
10 min warm up – bike
Cross – trainer
Unfortunately I had been on the cross trainer for no more than 3 mins when the fire alarm went off in the gym and we all had to evacuate. Workout abandoned.
Tuesday – Rest Day:
Wednesday – Gym:
Warm up – 10 mins on treadmill @ 3% gradient at 3.5 mph pace
2.02 mile run – 21.46 with average pace of 10.46 per mile
Cool-Down – 10 mins on Treadmill @ 3% gradient at 3.5 mph pace
Thursday – Run:
Ran 1 mile in 10 mins 21 seconds.
Friday – Gym:
4.10 miles on bike – 15 mins
1.41 miles on Treadmill @ 7.5% gradient at 3.6mph pace
2 mile cooldown on bike
Saturday – Rest Day
Sunday – St David’s Day 10k:
So today marked the first “race” of the year – the St Davids Day 10k in Bute park in Cardiff. Both myself and Amy ran the 5k last year in prep for our half marathon, but this year I decided to run the 10k whereas Amy decided to repeat the 5k (full race recap of this from Amy to follow).
It was a very windy day, with some considerable showers around. Luckily the sun came out during the 10k and it didn’t rain at all, although the wind was still very strong in places. I really struggled going into this run as I wanted to race and get the best time possible but I needed to remember to treat this run as just another training run for London with the aim of not injuring myself by pushing to hard.
Well I completed it and it was actually very good. Time-wise it wasn’t my best 10k (1 hour 10 mins 41 seconds – so not terrible either), but at the same time I managed to keep my split and pace on point for where I wanted to be so it was encouraging for me if not fast!
This week I will be looking to push up to 20 miles for my long run and try to dedicate my other runs to improving my strength and pace. I have run’s of 20 miles and 23 miles planned before the marathon, however we are off to Florida in 2 weeks so I want to get this 20 miler in before we go and then get the 23 miler in as soon as we get back and just try to consistently in Florida in between.
I’m running the London Marathon in April for Children with Cancer UK. If you would like to sponsor me you can visit my sponsorship page here. Thank you.
Is Ugh even a word? Or just a noise to express distaste?? Anyway, that’s what it was! The whole race was just Ugh. I had some goals which I shared on Saturday. I did not meet them. Well, actually I suppose I met my C goal, which was to finish injury free! My knee felt surprisingly well all race, it was just the rest of me that didn’t!
The Swansea 10k is a strange race, in that it starts at 1pm which is a weird time. I did however LOVE the fact that I could have a lie in on race day. I’m not one for early mornings! However a 1pm race makes fuelling a bit tricky. We had chicken and rice on Saturday night which is generally our standard pre-race meal (it just works for us) and then Saturday morning we had an apple when we woke up and then avocado and poached egg on toast at about 11am. This was because last year I remember I got really hungry during the race and I didn’t want to repeat that. The avo and egg at 11 seemed to work well. I wasn’t hungry when we started the race, or when we finished. I did have a banana about 30 minutes before as well and again that seemed fine. I didn’t feel full and uncomfortable when running.
We lined up at about 12:50. There were over 2000 runners this year. We stood right at the back in the 60+ minute section. There is no wishful thinking here, I know I’m 60+ minutes, I just didn’t quite realise how much +60 I would be this year!!!
The gun went, we moved slowly forward, crossed the line about 3-4 minutes after the start. I started my Garmin, which turned out to be a pointless way of keeping time as I forgot to stop it again at the end, doh! Off I went. Feeling good to begin with. Gideon was gone straight away, but that was fine, he’s faster than me and I wanted him to do his best effort. Everything was ok for the first 2-ish miles, although it felt like a very long slog.
Somewhere between miles two and three things started to go downhill. The sun had emerged, and it was actually really humid. Typically it came out for about 1 hour during the whole day, which just happened to be racing hour! I was starting to really tire, and with the aftermath of the Swansea half marathon still haunting me and the knowledge that training for this race had not been great, I decided to add in some walk breaks. I think I’m still feeling a bit afraid of pushing myself to hard after what happened in June as it was an unpleasant experience, so I’m not surprised I made that decision really.
I should mention, that the Swansea 10k is an out and back course. Out along the road, and back along the promenade, but there are parts of the course where you can see the runners on the other side quite clearly. It starts to be continuous as you get close to the 5k turnaround point, and as someone already struggling I found it really quite demoralising seeing everyone else so much further ahead of me, on their way back to the finish when I hadn’t even made the turnaround yet and was still really far from it. I think this is the problem I have with all Swansea races (as they are almost always out and back along the front). I don’t want to see how much better people are doing than me. I just want it to be me, and the few people running at the same speed around me, not the hundreds and hundreds of faster people. I find it really demoralising. I definitely think I do better mentally on non out-and-back courses!
Gradually, I just started feeling worse and worse both mentally and physically. I could tell I was running out of energy. I was starting to walk more and everything was cramping up. I was also really really hot. It was slow slow going, getting slower by the second. This is the point where I really could have used a pick me up. In previous races I’d have taken a Clif Shot about now, but the Swansea half aftermath has put me off those as well. I was basically afraid to annoy my stomach with anything it might reject. So I didn’t have anything, and I totally conked!
At about 8k I think I came as close to hitting ‘the wall’ as I have ever come. I know your not supposed to hit a wall in a 10k that’s a marathon thing, but I just felt like I had nothing left. No energy for anything. I just kept walking briskly, but even that was knackering. I tried to run again for short bursts, but they never lasted long before I was out of energy again. As we got to the last 400m I gave myself a mental slap and plodded my way without stopping to the finish line, but what a plod it was, I honestly felt like I was hardly moving AT ALL.
My chip time was 1 hr 19 minutes 3o seconds. A whole 8 minutes slower than last years time!!! Super rubbish!! I was feeling so down about it that when I eventually found Gideon I had a weepy moment and got all upset about how crap I am. (Gideon had a much better race, by the way, he finished in 1 hour 9 minutes, which is so good considering he couldn’t run for ages because of surgery).
Now that I have had time to reflect I have decided that I am not crap. It was a horrible race, but there are many lessons I can learn from it. Here are a few:
If you don’t train up to standard your run isn’t going to be up to standard. Pretty obvious statement there, but I can’t expect to run a PB and have an amazing race if I haven’t trained well. And I didn’t train well this time around. I was mediocre at best, so why should I expect the race to be amazing. If I want to run my best I need to train my best.
I need to find some sort of natural fuel I can take during the race. Or something anyway. The Swansea half experience has put me off the clif shots and I don’t like gels, so if anyone has any suggestions for ways to get some energy during the race please let me know. After Sundays experience I know I need something, I just don’t know what would be best.
Out and back races are not good for my mental state! I’ve hated every Swansea race I’ve done and I think I’ve finally figured out why. I’m going to look for some races that are not out and back to try next year. Maybe Cardiff? Need to test my theory.
Finally, I may well have given up half way round the course if it had not been for the fact that I was running this race for a charity close to my heart – Children of Hope. That thought absolutely got me to the finish line. The children who live on the streets in Kenya that are helped by Children of Hope suffer a lot worse than I did during that hour and 20 minutes. So far, I’ve raised £160 (you can still donate here if you would like) which will go towards rescuing a child from those terrible conditions and placing them back into a loving, stable, home environment. I can endure an hour and 20 minutes of hell for that, and I would do it again. That alone made all the effort worthwhile!
So I did it guys! I finished the Swansea half marathon on Sunday 26th June 2016. My home half marathon! It was as I expected it to be, which if you don’t regularly read this blog was ‘hard’. I was thoroughly unprepared and under-trained for this race and decided (against my better judgement) to do it anyway. Since March (when I ran my first half marathon which you can read about here) my longest run had been 7 miles, and my maintenance runs had been patchy to say the least. So in the interests of full disclosure and perhaps as a word of warning to someone in a similar situation to myself I will first talk you through how the race went, and then I will talk you through my recovery – which wasn’t pretty!
I woke at around 7am, got up and had a pre-race breakfast of jam on toast. I didn’t have much of an appetite actually which is weird for me. I decided to take a banana with me to eat once we got down to where the race was being staged. We left the house just before 8 and it was a quick journey into town (which is to be expected at such an early hour on a Sunday morning). From our direction we avoided the road closures and were able to park easily near the rail station and walk to the start line from there.
The race village was actually a fair way from the starting line (which was bang in the centre of the main high street in town) so we didn’t bother venturing down to it. Gideon (who sadly couldn’t run because he was still recovering from his appendectomy) had all my stuff so there was no need for bag drop or anything like that. We milled around the start for a while, with lots of other runners. I used the porta loos twice with no queue whatsoever! Amazing!
Eventually after a short delay had been announced due to traffic issues I wandered over to my corral (wave 2) and we started shortly after. I had positioned myself in between the 2.20 and 2.30 pacer. An extremely unrealistic goal but it’s somehow just where I ended up in the crowd. On a side note, I really liked that they had a 2.30 pacer. Most of the races I’ve done seem to stop after 1 hr (for 10k) or 2 hrs (for half) so it was nice to have a pacer for the slower group like myself.
We were soon off, you sort of loop through town and then down onto the main seafront road where it’s just a straight out and back, before looping back into town again at the end. The course is mostly flat, with some very small inclines here and there but nothing to be considered a hill of any sort!
I’d decided not to wear my Garmin for this race as I thought it would be better to just go out and enjoy it and not worry about time as I was so under-trained. I do wonder whether had I worn it I would have pushed a bit harder towards the end, but in hindsight (and when you read further down you may realise why) I’m glad I didn’t. I ran the first 3 miles without any stopping. I was a bit disappointed that there was no 5k chip mat, because I thought I had been doing really really well up until then and would have quite liked to have known my time.
From then on everything went downhill. I started walking when I felt tired. At first not too much, but I felt that familiar knee pain start to creep up just after mile 4. It was annoying as I thought it had gone, but I guess that serves you right for running undertrained! My 10k time wasn’t too bad actually by my standards (1 hour 13 minutes 33 seconds) but I was already starting to flag. From then on it was a slow slog back to the finish line, one which involved a lot of walking, a fair bit of self-pity and a considerable amount of pain in the knee from mile 9 onwards.
The field really started to spread out from about mile 10, so that at times, even though there were good couple of hundred people behind me it really felt like you were running alone. It also didn’t help that towards the end people had clearly thought the race was done with and were just walking all over the course and people were picking up trash etc. I understand a clean up has to be done but it’s very demoralising for us at the back when they have already started packing up and your still running.
With just under a mile left, another girl caught up to me and urged me to keep running with her. I was struggling a lot with my knee but she really pulled me through and we ran the whole of that last section together. I didn’t get her name but I really was very grateful to her for the encouragement and made sure to thank her afterwards.
I ended up crossing the line in 2 hrs 45 minutes and 52 seconds, which is only about 6 minutes slower than my first half marathon, and I guess that isn’t that bad considering how under-trained I was and how much walking I did.
So that was the race, now onto my recovery, and I may get a bit TMI here, so please feel free to skip the next paragraph if you really don’t want to know.
I had my poweraid straight after like I always do and I tried to munch a few of the kale chips that were part of the goody bag (but I don’t really care for kale chips to be honest). We drove back home via tesco and I had a shower and then had my homemade nachos which I had been looking forward too all day. Then I promptly threw them back up again. And it continued this way, for about 3 hours. I could not keep anything down, my stomach completely and utterly emptied itself and would not stop until I eventually got so exhausted that I managed to lie in a somewhat un-nauseating position and stayed deadly still for about an hour. It was horrible. Absolutely horrible.
Now I don’t know if what happened after the race was because I was under-trained, or if I had a bad reaction to something (I don’t know what though because everything I ate both pre / during and post race I have eaten many times) but it totally ruined any joy I had about this race. It was a hard race anyway, but I was at least at first glad I finished. By the time that was over, I was wishing I had never done it. If I am ever under-trained that much again, if my mind ever tells me it probably isn’t wise then there is no way I am racing. I have learnt my lesson. No medal is worth that. And annoyingly now when I look at that medal I’m just going to be reminded of what a hideous afternoon I had.
So that’s me done with half marathons for a little bit now. Not just because of my recovery, although that has scared me somewhat, but because I’ve clearly been getting a bit of training fatigue and could just use a break from the big distances for a while. So no more half marathons for at least the rest of this year. I’m sticking to 10ks and 5ks from this point forward. I’m sure something will tempt me back to half marathons at some point (I’m looking at you RunDisney) but I don’t expect it will be any time this year – and if I do end up getting into the London marathon, I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
This week, I intend to have a proper rest, so expect a lot of Disney posts rather than running related ones!
How awesome is my finishing photo though??? AWESOMEEEEE
So two days have passed and my legs are still not working completely. Yesterday my knees were stiff, today it’s my upper thighs. Plus I’ve rubbed a nasty blister between my toes which has decided to burst and make me hobble. So I guess that’s the price you pay for half marathon glory, but it was totally worth it!
I was expecting to hate everything about this half marathon. What with the problems I’ve been having with my knee and with the weather forecast and just the fact that training has been lacklustre because of the winter, I was really expecting it to be a horrible mental battle. But you know what? I loved every second of it – even the hard bits near the end. Even with the torrential downpour. Even with the uncomfortable knee since mile 1. I loved it. Loved loved loved it – and I’m flipping proud of myself for doing it!
We drove down to Cardiff with a friend on Friday to hit the expo and pick up our bib numbers. We arrived around lunchtime and Cardiff was rather busy being a bank holiday. The expo was quite good though. Bib pickup did not take long (except for for Gideon who had to queue for about 20 minutes because the 20,000+ bib queue was about 5 times the size of all the others). We picked up some freebies (water, crisps, gels and the saving grace of the weekend – the poncho)! We then wandered round the exhibiting stalls, got a couple more freebies and just took our time looking around for a bit.
It was a glorious day on the Friday – the sun was shining – it was beautiful! However the Saturday could not have been more different. Black clouds – cold wind, rain. We arrived in Cardiff on the Saturday at about 11am. We wanted to get there early to find a place to park as it had been quite a struggle the day before, but actually it was no problem at all on race day. We then took up refuge in the museum for a few hours out of the cold wind and rain to wait until closer to race time.
When it got to about 1pm we ventured back outside. The crowds had really grown by this point and the whole area around the museum and city hall was packed with runners. We got in the queue for the porta-loo at around 1.30 and then it decided to rain a bit (it had held off until this point). The poncho went on – anything to stay dry whilst waiting around. Annoyingly, the queue for the loo was not moving AT ALL. Eventually a bloke from security came along, knocked on all the doors and then proceeded to unlock them all! NO ONE HAD BEEN IN THEM!! We’d literally been standing around in the rain waiting for toilets which were all locked! Who doesn’t unlock the loo’s on race day?!?!?
Anyway, once we had (finally) managed to use the loos we said goodbye to my parents and headed off to our corral. We were in the last corral – the yellow corral – for people with a finishing time of 2.15+. The start line was in front of the castle, but the corrals went round the corner, so we couldn’t actually see Mo Farah and the elite athletes start – but we did hear it.
It was sort of raining a bit at this point, but not too heavy, and we were still wearing our ponchos. I was feeling a bit apprehensive – mainly about whether my knee would hold out – but I was ok, and I was enjoying the general atmosphere. Everyone seemed happy and excited despite the terrible whether, and so I felt happy and excited too! The atmosphere was contagious!
Each of the corrals in front of us went, and we walked slowly round to the front of the castle for our turn. There were lots of crowds here despite the rain. There was a big flame cannon which went off as the gun did – and then off our corral went. I think we probably started between 15-20 minutes after the elite athletes, but I’m not sure because I didn’t get a look at the clock time. Instead I just waved at the crowds and TV cameras with everyone else enjoying myself!
Gid and I stayed together for the first couple of miles. My first mile was 11:54 which actually wasn’t too fast, which was good. It was quite congested so we ran the first few miles without any walking (apart from a small stop during mile 2 because Gid ditched his poncho and managed to take his bib number with it). I eventually lost Gideon in the crowds somewhere between miles 2 and 3.
I’d been feeling a slight discomfort in my knee since mile 1, but it was nothing like it had been last time I had run. It was a manageable pain, that I could run through, especially in those first few miles – so I was pretty happy. I made sure to walk on any downward slopes though, because I knew that was what would aggravate it. This seemed to do the trick on the downhill parts near miles 3 and 4.
It had been raining a little bit so far, but not much. I’d ditched my poncho by this point as I was warm. Somewhere between miles 3 and 4 the heavens opened and it absolutely pelted it down! I saw later on the TV that the BBC coverage of the elites (who had almost finished by this point) actually lost signal for a couple of minutes during this time – that’s how insane the rain went! I was soaked to the skin – but so was everyone else, so it really didn’t matter! In fact I almost forgot my knee was hurting at all because the rain took my mind off it. I was so surprised by my own attitude – the monsoon just wasn’t bothering me. It was what it was, and I just made the most of it by high fiving all the poor children in Penarth who had come out to watch and gotten soaked. At least I was keeping somewhat warm by running – they were just getting wet for the sake of it poor things!
The crazy monsoon had stopped by the time I reached the barrage, but the side wind was pretty extreme on this part. I was glad to be off it. My knee was starting to protest a little more by this point (mile 5 or 6 I think) so I decided to start following my run-walk intervals more strictly. This wasn’t always possible but it did help.
There was a lot of support around Cardiff bay which was good, but then we went around a rather boring part between miles 6 and 7 which was just roads and flyovers. I’ve seen some people complaining on Facebook that they had re-opened the roads here and they had to wait for cars to pass etc. We must have been faster than that because it was all still shut when we went through. That part was a little hard because there was very little support apart from the race volunteers (who were awesome for the whole course by the way – kudos to them for standing out in the rain all day and still having smiles on their faces).
When we got back into the main part of town there was much more support and I was still feeling really happy and enjoying myself at miles 8 and 9. The only slightly difficult part was when we reached Roath park lake. My knee had probably had enough by this point and was starting to really twinge. I had to slow to a walk abruptly a couple of times, so I decided to do the remaining 3-ish miles by reversing my intervals and running for 1 minute then walking for 3. I’d done so well up until this point and I knew I could finish so I wasn’t overly disappointed. Upon checking my watch I was still managing to do 12-13 minute miles this way so I was pretty pleased.
When I finally got all the way round the lake (which seemed to take a very long time) I was starting to flag, but it was only another mile and I knew I could do it. When I rounded the corner to the finish line I got a little emotional – but in a good way – I was just so flipping pleased that I’d made it – that I’d finally reached my goal after the course being cut short at Wine and Dine back in November. And the clock was still showing under 3 hours, which considering I started WAY after the initial gun, meant I must have made pretty good time! I crossed the line with a massive smile on my face – who would have thought!?!
My official finishing time = 2 hours 39 minutes and 46 seconds! I still can’t believe it! For me – that is SUCH a good time for me, especially with the wind and rain and all the knee problems I’d been having. I’d anticipated that it would probably take me longer than that, but to be under 2 hours 40!! I’m still buzzing!
Gideon finished roughly a minute before me in 2 hours 38 minutes and 51 seconds. He slipped on a water bottle near the last water stop which slowed him down a bit which is unfortunate, but he managed to run pretty much the whole course which is amazing! It’s weird that he was only a minute in front of me at the end, yet I couldn’t see him, but at that point I suppose I wasn’t really looking.
I was a bit annoyed, because just like I predicted would happen, they had run out of small ladies finisher t-shirts by the time I finished. I do think that is poor, but actually when I tried on the medium it fitted me fine so I guess I can forgive them.
After the race, we went and got changed (I had to change into my finishers t-shirt rather than my planned hoodie because I’d left it in the car doh) and then my parents drove us back to Swansea for a well deserved cuppa tea and fish and chip shop dinner!
Overall – I really enjoyed the World Half Marathon. I have no idea why, what with the crazy weather, and I still can’t walk properly 2 days later, but it was just awesome! The course support and the marshals were all amazing and that definitely helped to keep me going mentally. I think some of the organisation probably could have been better (e.g. the t-shirts and the toilet situation) but there are always going to be some things that go wrong with such a big race.
We finished and we finished well, and that in itself is amazing and something I’m so pleased with! After the disappointment that was Wine and Dine we have finally achieved our goal of running a half marathon – and I’m already pretty excited about doing it again!
So it’s almost time for the IAAF Cardiff World Half Marathon! 2 days to go! EEK! We’ll be hitting up the expo tomorrow to get our bibs and (hopefully) some free stuff!
So how am I feeling 2 days before what will (hopefully) be my first half marathon? Honestly… a bit meh. I feel like I used up all my nerves/crazies on what should have been my first half marathon back in November, so i’m not really that nervous about this one at all. In fact, all I want is to finish it and for it to be over – i’m not really feeling any excitement, though perhaps that will change when we go to the expo tomorrow. I think this is down to a combination of a couple of things:-
The knee injury – I haven’t ran since last Wednesday. OVER A WEEK. And at first I was a bit skittish and crazy and really wanted to say ‘screw it’ and go out and run, but i’m over that now. I knew that if I wanted to give myself the best chance of being able to complete this thing then I needed to rest. So that’s what i’ve done – I am literally the definition of rested right now! I have done NOTHING (except a little stretching) all week. I’ve been using up the rest of my holiday from work so i’ve literally just been sitting on my butt at home all week. I did do some cleaning today – but our house is little so it’s not much of a challenge to clean. So yeah. I’ve rested. I’ve given myself the best chance I think, but i’m still a bit apprehensive. I’m still a bit worried that as soon as I run again it’s going to start to hurt. There’s no way to tell until I start on Saturday, and I’m ok with that I think. I’d rather go in blind than try to run today or tomorrow and find it hurts and then be super depressed. Perhaps a silly logic but thats what i’m going with.
The second thing ruining my excitement is:
The weather forecast – yes i’ve been checking it all week like a crazy insane person and it is NOT GOOD. Am I surprised? No – it’s Wales. Am I annoyed? Yes.
So it’s forecast to rain and be quite windy. Which as you know is my least favourite combination of running weather EVEERRRR. I hate rain. I hate wind. I hate them even more when you put them together. The thought of running (or potentially even walking depending on the knee) for hours in the rain and wind is not appealing. Plus it’s been really nice the last few weeks and I feel like mother nature has lulled me into a false sense of security and then gone ‘haha sucker – enjoy your half marathon!’
I am British of course – and we like to complain about the weather. I know once I start running i’ll probably be ok and they’ll be lots of other runners/spectators for moral support, but i’m still not looking forward to it. And it does raise some questions… what do I wear as someone who wants to run it, but may have to end up walking a large proportion if the knee hurts? how do I stay warm if I have to start walking and am soaking wet?
So that’s it basically. I feel a bit blah. Which is weird. I don’t know if my blah mood is just because I haven’t had any exercise induced endorphins for a week and a half or if i’m feeling a bit under the weather or if my dissertation is stressing me out a bit or what really? Probably a combination of all three.
Hopefully a half marathon medal on Saturday will change my mood. I just have to get through the race first!
Last November we flew to Walt Disney World to run the wine and dine half marathon! Training for wine and dine really was the beginning of a weird love-affair with running for me. So when rumours surfaced that rundisney was planning on changing things up a bit for this years wine and dine event I was intrigued to see what exactly they had in store.
Yesterday a whole new look for the wine and dine rundisney weekend was announced. This year, instead of being a night half-marathon like it has been since it began, it will become a morning race like the rest of the rundisney events throughout the year! Furthermore, as well as this, the weekend has been expanded from the usual 5k and half marathon events, to include a 10k. AND, as well as this, they are offering a ‘Lumiere two course challenge’ option – which basically means you can run the 10k and the half marathon and earn yourself an extra medal!
So what do I make of these changes?
Well what drew us to the wine and dine half in the first place was that the race took place at night. I am NOT a morning person, and rundisney morning races start ridiculously early (the 5.30am start of this years wine and dine half illustrating my point nicely). This means waking up before 3am – which doesn’t appeal to me.
Then again… the last two years of wine and dine events have been plagued by bad whether. In our case, the race had to be shortened because of lightening storms in the area caused by the crazy heat and humidity. Holding the race stupidly early in the morning, probably does mean you run less of a risk of having to cancel or modify it due to humidity related whether.
Also, now that the highlight of the half marathon – the Osbourne spectacle of dancing lights – is gone forever from Hollywood Studios, it’s probably not necessary for the entire race to be in the dark.
Then of course there is the after party. An ‘after-party’ is still included this year with the run… only it takes place a good 12 hours after the run rather than straight after! I can kind of see the logic – we were so knackered from running last year that we didn’t go to the after party. Holding the race in the morning and then having the whole day to rest up (read: nap) means we likely would have gone had it been like this last year.
So I guess I can kind of see rundisney’s logic in changing things up a bit for the wine and dine weekend. But really, this year it’s all makes no difference to us as we are saving up for a 2017 disney vacation so there are no rundisney races on the cards for us in 2016! It’ll be interesting to see how well received the changes are though amongst the rundisney fans, and whether the event will sell out in record time as it did last year when registration opens on March 29th.
What do you think of the changes to the wine and dine weekend? Good or bad? Do you prefer racing in the morning or did you like that wine and dine was a night race? Let me know in the comments below!