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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tower of Terror 13K 2009

We liked this race so much last year, that we decided to take a weekend and go down to Florida to do it one more time. This is the last year that they are offering the Tower of Terror 13K, next year we'll be doing the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in Epcot Center, instead.

We left Baltimore Friday evening. The trip down was pretty typical. We were staying at Beach Club, which is our favorite vacation club resort. We hadn't even brought our park passes with us - the plan was to spend the day Saturday relaxing poolside.

We slept in some on Saturday, which for us is 9am. After that, we headed over to the Wide World of Sports Complex for packet pickup. It was crowded - there was a Tae Kwon Do event going on there. We took our packets back to the hotel and then spent the day by the pool at Beach Club, which is really nice.

We had some trouble figuring out meals, but ended up eating at the Captain's Grille at the Yacht Club, which is right next to our hotel. Rationale behind it was that we were still almost 5 hours before start time, and I figured any food would be digested quite a bit. I was thinking of it like an evening run that I'd do at home, and I don't normally put a lot of thought into my eating during the day when I have an evening run. I ended up ordering a steak and garlic mashed potatoes, with some bread from the bread basket.

The problem, though, was the dinner was too buttery - it was one of those kind of steaks. Rather than just being grilled, it had a lot of butter. So did the potatoes. And so, since I normally don't have that much fat & protein in one meal, it made me sick. Well, it made both of us sick. Poor choice. Then, my panicking about it made me take some medicine, but it didn't really help, and maybe made it worse.

I felt like I was ok, when we got to the starting area we still had about an hour left (the race started at 10:30pm). We sat on the ground waiting for the 5K to start (the 5K is new this year). There were people giving out race tattoos and taking photos. We had a bag to check, too, with clothes to wear later. Disney had set up a scenario where someone had been kidnapped. We had all of the suspects on our bib and there were clues set up around the area. When a clue eliminated someone, we punched a hole in that part of our bib. So, we had some clues to go through at the start of the race.

The race started and we headed out. I felt bad from the start - my stomach was cramping for that very first interval. I was doing 1:30 & 1s and Todd was staying with me this race. There were a lot of folks dressed in various outfits, and things were quite festive, but I just wasn't feeling it. I was feeling sick and sluggish. Somewhere during mile 2, I started wishing we'd signed up for the 5K instead.

The course passed into the Wide World of Sports Complex, and the crowd thinned some, which helped my spirits a lot. We were keeping an easy pace, not really pushing, and I was doing the best that I could with my stomach still in knots. By the time we were leaving the WWS complex, we were passing the halfway point (4 miles) and I was not feeling perfect, but I had at least hit a groove where I could go without too much discomfort. I was doing things that I don't normally do, like allowing myself to walk through water stops without shortening a walk break later.

Finally, we were back to Hollywood Studios, and I think we sped up some. We passed mile marker 7 and I knew there was only 1 mile left. I didn't have chrono going on my watch at all, so I didn't know how far we had left. I kept thinking the finish line was coming soon, but I couldn't remember and ended up messing up my intervals. Since we'd sped up, I was feeling really horrible. Finally, we were rounding around toward the finish line and Todd had mentioned this girl dressed as a pirate. We had just passed her and then she turned it on and tried to pass me. Something clicked in my head and I sprinted to the finish line. I beat the pirate, but that really hurt my stomach. I also PR'd, I was about 6 minutes faster than last year.

After the finish, we had a long wait for our bags. That didn't happen last year, and we were pretty disappointed at how long we had to wait in line. The park seemed more crowded, but we did get right on Tower of Terror. It was a blast and I was pleased to neither get whacked in the face with my medal or get sick :) We headed around to Toy Story Mania, but the line was long, so we ended up circling back to ride Rock n' Roller Coaster twice. Too fun, and I think the roller coaster even made my stomach feel better somehow.

It was 2am by then, and the park was closed. We headed out to our bus, which smelled horrible. It was hot and there was no air moving, and I was tired. I was not feeling well, but we made it back to Boardwalk Hotel, and walked back to Beach Club, finally getting to sleep around 3am. I was still pretty sick, and had some trouble sleeping. It was a fitful night.

We woke up this morning and hung in the room until check out. We did our usual breakfast at Cape May Cafe, and then spent an hour and a half lounging at the pool while we waited for the Magical Express to take us back to the airport.

We're back home, and I am feeling better. Live and learn. I know better than to eat like that before a race, but you know, sometimes you gotta make that mistake. I guess.

Some thoughts on the race:
I didn't have as much fun as last year, but some of that might be just that it wasn't new any more, and a lot of it was because I wasn't feeling well. The addition of the 5K meant that the 13K started a half hour later, which took 30 minutes out of our time in the park right there. Then, there were more people, so lines were longer and things were crowded. We still got to ride some rides, but last year we had time to eat, too. (which might have helped me to feel better).

Other than that, we had a good time and I thought the clues and the mystery were cute (although we never solved the puzzle). I felt like they had a hard time figuring out what to do with this race to make it really special, so maybe that's one of the reasons why they canceled it. I would definitely had preferred to have started a bit earlier.

We knew what to do since we'd done it last year, and the course was about the same. It was a nice race, the weather was PERFECT and it's always fun to see folks in costume. Plus, it's an excuse to see Mickey! It's a long day, though.

The Minnie Mouse outfit worked out well, and I liked the skirt ok. I'm not likely to buy another one, though.


Lacey Nicole said...

hehe go minnie!!!! congrats on a 6 min(!!!) PR- wow! that's too bad it wasn't as fun, and of course a bring-you-down dinner might have a lot to do with that, and just like you said in general the weekend not being new etc. next year's "wine and dine" sounds like a lot of fun!! how did you find these races to begin with??

Kim said...

Since I ran the Disney Marathon in 2007 and 2008, Disney fills my inbox with new races! I'm always excited to see what they come up with next :)

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