Friday, November 13, 2015

runDisney's Wine & Dine "Half of a Half" Marathon: Part 1

Yes, you read that right. If you're a runDisney enthusiast, then you probably already know that this past weekends Wine & Dine half marathon was shortened, but we'll get to that in my next post. Basically the only way I can summarize this race experience is with this: Fate was trying to tell me I was not meant to run this half.


So let's start with the Expo. Not that anything really went wrong there, but that's basically where it all started. Lily and I decided to wait to go to the expo on Saturday morning. The race was that evening, and we didn't want to waste any time on Friday going to the expo so we could get in as much park time as possible. Once we got to the expo, we went directly to packet pick-up, then we were directed to the Jostens center to pick up our shirts and gEAR bags. On the way over to the Jostens center we stopped at guest relations so Lily could pick up her race gift card. Mine had arrived in the mail, but hers did not. Luckily, they were able to deactivate the one that was mailed to her and activate a new one for her.

Once we got to the Jostens center we walked to the back where the race shirts and gEAR bags were. After we picked those up, we walked over to the Official runDisney merchandise area. Basically EVERYTHING was picked over. Lily and I did end up buying the unisex "I did it" shirts. Then Lily got in line at KT Tape, so I told her I was going to walk back over to packet pick-up and see if there was any runDisney merchandise there. Sadly, there was very little to choose from over there too, but it was worth a check. I'm glad I went back over there though, because I wanted to sign a few people up for runner tracking, and that's where that was located. I walked right by it the first time without even taking notice. After that, I walked back over to the expo to wander around.

(Countdown to fun!)

Maybe it was because it was the last day, but the expo was very underwhelming to me. I mean, it was better than what they ever had to offer at the Expedition Everest Challenge. Fit 2 Run took up a good majority of the expo floor. I honestly had no interest in buying new running gear while I was on vacation, but I did cave and buy a new pair of compression socks to wear to bed since I had forgotten mine. After I made my first round, I went back to check on Lily. She had moved maybe halfway through the line. Unfortunately with KT Tape, if an individual buys their own roll of tape, they will tape anything and everything you want taped for the race.

(Everyone in line at KT Tape be like "Tape Everything!")

I waited with Lily for a little while, and then I decided to make another round at the Expo. I wandered over to Sweaty Bands to pick up a few Sweaty Bands for a friend, and then to Sparkly Soul. I did see a Sparkly Soul that I wanted, but they didn't have the band thickness I was looking for, so I'll look online. They were wonderful and told me if I e-mailed them, they would still offer me the expo discount if I bought more than one. I did another lap and then went back to check on Lily. She was much closer, so I waited until she was done. Her entire wait was probably and hour and a half. After she was done we walked around the expo once more so she could see what they had to offer then we decided to head out. By this point it was after 2 pm and the expo was set to end at 3 pm. We stopped at Wetzels on the way out to grab a pretzel (mmm, carbs) to snack on while we rode the bus back to the resort. As we walked down the sidewalk we had to grab a quick picture by the Wine and Dine 1/2 sign with our race bibs.



Our plan to lay by the pool was a bust by the time we got back to the hotel seeing it was getting a little late for that, so we just went back to our room to rest. We threw on some College football and took a power nap. I had set my phone alarm for 4 pm so we could catch the bus for our dinner reservation at 5 at Disney Springs. Here is where things really started to take a turn for the worse. We got down to the bus stop and looked at the estimated arrival of the next bus. We waited, and we waited, and watched the time slowly creep up. Before we knew it it was 4:35 and the bus was just pulling up. We still had 25 minutes to get to our reservation, so I wasn't going to freak out just yet.

Once we boarded the bus we noticed that there were 2 motorized scooters on board. Lily looked at me and goes, "Those are going to have to get off at some point." I sighed and nodded my head. The bus stopped at the next resort hotel on the loop, and sure enough both scooters were getting off. By this time it was 5:45, so I decided to call the restaurant to let them know we were going to be late and to make sure we could still come. They were very understanding and said it wasn't a problem, they'd be able to seat us when we got there. Perfect! The scooters finally got off, and there was another scooter waiting that needed to board. I don't even remember what time it was once the scooter fiasco was over and we were finally on our way.

While we were sitting on the bus, it felt like quite a long ride and it seemed like I was looking at different scenery than what I remembered from going to Disney Springs (Downtown Disney) on previous trips. Sure enough, I was right. The buses bring you in from the other direction now, and drop you off. It may be because of all of the construction they have going on down there. I had mentioned to Lily that there should be a stop at the West side of Downtown Disney, so we could get off there and it would be closer to the restaurant. Nope. The only bus stop is now at the Marketplace. By this point, it was already after 5, and Lily and I had to weave through the crowds to get down to the restaurant. We finally walked in at 5:35. It took us over an hour to get there, ridiculous.

The restaurant seated us immediately, and we were ordering within 5 minutes. We both ordered pizzas, and were surprised at how quickly they came out. After all that, I was thankful and began to relax a bit as I munched on a few slices of pizza. While eating I text my friends and told them everything we had just gone through to get to our dinner reservation and that fate was trying to tell me that I was not meant to run this race. I sat there thinking of what else could go wrong. I mean this was my first half marathon after my open heart surgery 6 months prior. Maybe it was a sign of worse things to come...

We grabbed take out boxes for the remainder of our pizzas, paid our bills, and I think we were out of there right around 6:00. Unfortunately, we had to weave back through the crowds to get back to the bus stop (horrible idea, Disney). We had to have walked a few miles to get down there and back. So much for trying to save our feet for the race... Our wait to get back on our resort bus was minimal, and luckily we were the first stop on the resort loop. I believe we were back in our room getting ready for the race by 7 or 7:15. Our plan was to walk back down to the bus stop at 7:45 to catch the 8:00 bus to the race start, so now we were back on track.

So what happened next? Stay tuned for part 2 of my post to find out!

QOTD: Have you ever had a perfect storm of things go wrong for you on race day?

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