After such a successful training cycle (and lots of treadmill miles), the race was here. I don't know how much sleep I actually got since the night before I was thinking about my plan of attack for the 10k. I'd forgotten my Garmin at home, on the coffee table, so I was stressing about that and how in the heck was I going to follow my intervals?? It was also going to be incredibly humid, with runDisney sending out an advisory email before the weekend, about the high temps and humidity. I'd been hydrating throughout the day before at EPCOT, and even taking my Nuun tablets to have electrolytes. I found out they're easy to snap in half and drop in a Dasani bottle!
We had dinner at Maria and Enzo's at Disney Springs, and it was Carnevale! They announced the festival after I made the reservations, and they had a special menu. My mom and I split a Burrata Caprese, and then fettucine and and parmesan and almond encrusted flounder.
After dinner it was back to the hotel, where I couldn't fall asleep until some unknown time.
Needless to say, it took a while for me to realize my alarm was going off, and I was a bit slow to get out of bed.
Breakfast was a blueberry muffin I'd gotten on Cafe Rix, since we stayed at Coronado Springs. I started hydrating right away, and luckily there was a slight breeze as my mom and I walked over to the bus stop. There was an empty bus waiting, and once the driver got the signal, we were off towards EPCOT.
The starting area is always busy, and we found a spot to sit near a bank of portapotties. Those weren't popular yet, but I ended up using one twice before the race. I sat and drank my water and ate a Honey Stinger waffle I'd thrown in my running belt. I was trying to meet up with Karen, and success! This is the first time I've met a blogger IRL :)
When it was time to start towards the corral, I hit the portapotties again so I wouldn't have a repeat of Bay to Breakers. I didn't want to be looking for a bathroom through the first mile, and Disney has so many portapotties. What was also great was they had a water station, and I was able to fill up my water bottle, after hydrating beforehand. I hopped into corral B and tried to push up a bit. This was about 5:20, and there was still space in the corrals to weave around groups. They're now doing small waves in the corrals, and I think I was in the second wave (could've been third).
I have to say not having my Garmin may have been the best thing for this race. I did my intervals based on how I was feeling and didn't feel pressured to follow the beeps. This is one instance where having a super early race helps. The sun didn't start to come up until after 6:30, and even then we had cloud cover.
The highway miles went by faster than I expected. First up was Pocahontas on the overpass as we headed away from EPCOT. Right after the first mile marker was Belle and the Beast, with a super long line. The next character was Elvis-Stitch, with an even longer line. The 3rd was I think Arabian Daisy. I didn't get a good look and just ran by. By that time I was feeling the pull of World Showcase. This was going to be my first Disney race through WS and I wanted to soak it all in. I actually took pictures with the torches lit up, and a troll in Norway. As I made my way around the loop, the pavement was a little slick with the moisture in the air.
I figured by this time I could use the bathroom in Morocco. The first bathroom in WS on this route is by Mexico, and I've been told the line can build up quickly. I ran past it, saw Pinocchio in Italy, Aladdin and Jasmine in Morocco, and hopped into the bathroom. No line, and I was the only person in there. It wasn't too quick because it's not easy dealing with compression shorts in Florida humidity!
After the bathroom stop, I did something I've never done at a Disney race. I stopped for a character picture. Since I threw my time goal out the window due to the humidity and having no Garmin, I knew the one character I would stop for is Marie. The 5k had Aurora and her prince in France, and I didn't know if Marie would be out for a Princess race. Well, she was! The line was short, and the only hold up was they were getting ready to switch Maries. I stayed in line since the the handler said it would take less than 2 minutes.
Since I had passed the 4th mile marker before reaching Morocco, I knew I was home free. The great thing about sea level is there's so much air! And I was heading into familiar territory. Through college, my parents had a time share at the Boardwalk, and I did so many laps around that lake since I was training for my spring sport. I had a moment where I felt like I was (Disney)home. Goofy was out by the ESPN Club, and he may have been the last character. At least he's the last one I remember. A lot of hotel guests were out cheering us on, and I felt so strong heading around the lake and back into World Showcase. We were backstage behind England, and popped out by Canada. This was a perfect time to eat some Sports Beans and take a salt cap. I brought my salt caps with me to have at the finish line, and I took one here with the humidity. I figured it couldn't hurt. There was no Gatorade/Powerade on the course, and I needed something.
The rest of the way was up towards the Ball, and veering to the side and out. There was no gospel choir, but there was a high school jazz band. I took my time through here to gather up energy to run across the finish line!
After that, it was get my medal, and over to the medical tent to get ice for my knee, which never bothered me. I was being cautious since we had a day at Magic Kingdom coming up. Then it was gather the food box, water, and Gatorade! I wasn't picky about the flavor this time around, I just grabbed the first one I saw. Apparently the physicians in the medical tent scolded the race director for not having electrolytes on the course. Good! It was 93% humidity when I finished. They were handing out cool cloths to put on the back of your neck. While I waited on my mom, I opened the food box, and didn't really eat any of it. I ate my banana, and a couple of pretzels, but nothing else looked appealing.
After my mom finished, we headed back to Coronado Springs, and went to breakfast. We wanted to celebrate with Mickey Waffles.