Tag Archives: wine and dine half marathon

Disney Wine & Dine Race Recap—-The Race and the Party!

Standard

Just last week, I was down in Disney World for my first RunDisney event, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I already wrote about the day leading up to the race, so now onto the main event!
20131116-153236.jpg

My friends and I went out to the shuttle by the Yacht Club at 7 pm, and were on one of the first buses. The shuttle system was smooth and we arrived at ESPN Wide World of Sports in no time. Now, I was expecting large crowds, as I knew there was anywhere from 12,000-14,000 runners, but I guess it was still a shock to see the large masses congregating in the field that evening. We headed over to bag check and then proceeded to a line up for a photo with Chip & Dale.
20131116-153356.jpg

After that, we enjoyed the pre-race DJ and even rocked some dance moves during warmup. While the evening air felt cool for Florida standards, even just dancing around for a few minutes caused me to realize the humidity was lurking. Had to stop! At about 9 pm, I parted ways from Teresa and Kristen, got in the porta potty line up, and then headed to my corral.
20131116-153731.jpg

This was a night race, with the first corral starting at 10 pm. There were Corrals from the letters A-L. Runners were placed in corrals based on prior race time submissions. I was fortunate enough to start in Corral A, and was also lucky enough to be positioned right next to the main stage before the race! While I was standing over here for approximately 40 minutes, time flew by as I had tons to watch and listen to. I was just soaking it all in!
20131116-153613.jpg

20131116-153546.jpg

Pretty soon after the National Anthem, the countdown started. Less than 2 minutes….1minute….30 seconds…..Runners, Setttttttttttttt……..GO!
20131116-153823.jpg

I barreled out of the corral and my net time ended up only being 4 seconds off of gun time. I had the motivation and mindset to aim for my PR, beating 1:41:07, and even going sub 1:40. Going to say right now, I really thought I could. But within 2 miles I could feel sweat pouring off my body like I was in a sauna with a fan on me. I was still going to give it my all though!

I knew from looking at RunDisney pictures, videos and other blogs online that the entertainment on course would be awesome. Yes, it is a little different on the highway portions since it is pitch black night outside, but as you neared each mile marker, bright lights and music welcomed you. Whenever there was a character meet and greet on the roadways, there would be giant lights by them, and you could see these blocks away. I just kept my head forward and eyes on the next “icon” coming up at all times.

This race goes through three of the four Disney parks—-Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Going through Animal Kingdom at night was awesome as a Disney parks fan, since it is usually only opened each day until 5 or 7 pm! The big loop around the parking lot on our way out was visually tough and deceiving though—-felt like I would never be back on the road! When we got back on out, we headed to Hollywood Studios.

All the volunteers at water stops on the course were so friendly and excited. Since I was dressed up in costume, it was fun to hear the delayed reaction to that I was Mary Poppins! I think some people only got it when they saw my back!
20131116-155001.jpg

For as small as Hollywood Studios is, RunDisney really gets you to wind a lot through the park! I was very excited to see the Osbourne Christmas lights, as I have never been to Disney during the season. After exiting this park, in my eyes you were in the home stretch. The reason why—-you hit the path that takes you to Boardwalk, Swan & Dolphin and Yacht & Beach. This pathway is of extreme symbolic importance to me, as they built it when I was in high school, and my parents and I would often walk it to the Studios instead of taking the boat. I even wrote a blog reminiscing how my dad and I tried to “Beat the Boat.” You can find that here:
Beat the Boat!

With those memories in my mind, I mustered the energy to keep on trucking, even though that by now I knew I wouldn’t be making 1:40. My eyes swelled up with tears as I ran on the wooden walkway in front of Yacht Club, Stormalong Bay, Beach Club, and in around the backside of EPCOT’s World Showcase. As we entered into EPCOT next to Journey into Imagination, I knew I could push myself this last bit. It was very cool to run through Future World, because while running through the other parks and on property was awesome, you didn’t have the spectators there yelling for you. After running past Spaceship Earth I knew the end was near, since we were exiting and heading near parking lots. I couldn’t wait to finish!

Coming down the dark straightaway to the music blaring and the crowds screaming was incredible! The photo below was taken as I crossed the line, and I have ordered a collage from Marathon Foto capturing four on-route moments, two of which I included in this post. I finished with a 1:44:33, which is my second-best half marathon time.

20131116-154353.jpg

I was hot, sweaty, tired, shaking and a ball of emotions. My first RunDisney event was complete and I couldn’t have been more impressed. From the Expo, to the transportation between venues, to the entertainment and pre-race fun, the route itself, the medals, the swag…..it was definitely magical!
20131116-154536.jpg

20131116-154507.jpg

The Wine & Dine Half caps off with a runner celebration in World Showcase, deemed as part of the “Ultimate Runner’s Night Out.” I changed in the provided change rooms, picked up my complimentary beverage, and wandered back to World Showcase. Since I was done rather early, I didn’t have much trouble making it to the back of the park, but anyone who ran this race will know that the “crosswalk” created to manage flow of traffic through the race was quite stressful. When I got in the back of the park, I texted Teresa and Kristen that there was no way I would be able to make it back to the front to find them when finished, as I made it to the point of no return. I told them to tell me what country to meet them at when finished.
20131116-154629.jpg

I could talk tons about the after party, but instead I will post the video created by RunDisney. As I waited for Teresa and Kristen, I wandered from Canada to France and back, where I got photos with the penguins from Mary Poppins, enjoyed some food and drink at the booths, and was interviewed by RunDisney! They had shot me greeting the penguins, but it wasn’t until after I had gotten a Leffe Brune beer from the Belgium booth and was texting Teresa when they approached me for an interview.

Click here to see my 15 minutes of fame—-my drinking, running and Disney “career” is now basically complete!

So what if the first thing I say is “I love beer!”? I do have to note that this whole “Beer, Disney, Running” mantra was written to me via email from my husband on Friday of the trip. He had said, quote “Booze, running and Disney. This crap really is tailor made for you.”

Cheers to a fantastic Wine & Dine Half Marathon 2013!

20131116-153922.jpg

All I wanted to do was put on sweatpants…..

Standard

….but I had to go run 7 miles.

Now, yes….I know….I don’t HAVE TO go run 7 miles. It’s my choice in matter because of my training. But today I had 7 scheduled, with 5 tomorrow, and then nothing for Thursday and Friday leading into my race Saturday evening in Walt Disney World. The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is this weekend….and I couldn’t be more pumped for my first ever RunDisney …. But I am in a weird flux of tiredness from work and being gone multiple weekends for other races, where all I want to do after a day at work is hole up on the couch.

20131105-213444.jpg

Example A.…today, I left school at 4:45. Went and got a Skinny Peppermint mocha from Starbucks, got home, and proceeded to eat black bean salsa dip I had made this weekend. The prospect of me getting out on my run by 5:30 was dwindling. Then, I put on my running tights and plopped on the couch. Not good. Then, I whined to my husband that I didn’t want to run. But I somehow mustered up the energy to get my ass out the door.

I had my headlamp on, as it was already dark at 5:45 pm. Daylight Savings Time really does suck! I made my loop on all sidewalks….out of our neighborhood and headed down to Sunridge. It was once I got onto University and nearing Riverstone that I started hearing this devil voice saying to me “you are tired….turn left now and go home. You don’t need to do all 7!” Cut it short ! See….like I have said before, I don’t run with music….so these voices kept taunting me. I had to ignore them.

The farther I kept looping out away from home, the more likely I was to actually do my whole 7 miles. I hit the point of wanting to run straight home after passing the university stadium. I wanted to turn left! But I forced myself forward, swearing in my mind. Who knows….I probably dropped an f-bomb out loud in the dark. Whatever.

Funny thing is that as I head down the far end of Columbia, with a little under 3 miles to go….I hit my happy place. I started thinking about my weekend in Disney I have ahead….I started strategizing how doing a 10pm night race in Eastern Time Zone is going to be just fine for me in Mountain….at this point in my run it was nearing 6:30 pm….that means last week it was 7:30 (and my body still thinks this!) and in Orlando right then it was 8:30! This night race with no elevation would be great! (As long as he humidity breaks!)

I got home with all 7 miles completed. And I was happy. Sure, I had a million things to mark at home (ok, more like three different class sets of assignments, but you get it) but for my own sanity, I needed this run. Even though I didn’t want it to start, I knew I needed it. I now have showered, cleaned, marked one class set of worksheets…..and am in my sweats. With a glass of red wine. And in 48 hours I’ll be waiting at the Calgary airport for my red eye flight to Disney.

…Life is good….

One Little Spark…..

Standard

As my upcoming Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon nears closer, I thought I would share a flashback photo from 20 years ago. I have always been an EPCOT fan, and there are many Disney Parks’ fanboys who love classic, retro EPCOT. For my trip next week, I am especially looking forward to being back at Yacht Club, an EPCOT resort, and being there for not just the half marathon but also for the final week of Food & Wine Festival! I love being near EPCOT and at EPCOT as much as possible every time I visit Walt Disney World!

But before the Yacht Club and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and the Food & Wine Festival….there was Figment. Figment is a character created by Disney Parks as a “mascot” of sorts for EPCOT, a park which was initially character free. I fell for Figment on our first trip in 1991. When we went back in 1993, I really wanted to meet Figment, and his partner Dreamfinder. It wasn’t until one of our last days that my mom figured out what time and where we would have to go in order to capture what is now considered by Disney fans’ a rare photo!
20131030-204534.jpg

Dreamfinder and Figment no longer are around for photos at EPCOT, and haven’t been for sometime. The Imagination Pavillion which was their original “home” has gone over changes the past years, and now Dreamfinder is no longer there. Long standing EPCOT fans can always hope for the day for Dreamfinder to make his return!

Reevaluating my Training Calendar

Standard

On August 19th, after my 16 day Disney extravaganza, I started following my official Dopey Training Calendar. Brian Darrow from Digital Running Club had outlined a sample basic calendar for members of our Facebook group (Dopey Training Crew) and he was nice enough to suggest to me which weeks to splice together, as I was starting it later than others and had more of a base of miles started. When the school year began, I had been signed up for the Super Spartan in Red Deer, Bare Bones Half in Lethbridge and the Wine & Dine Half in Disney. Three races during the school year and then Dopey to top it off in January seemed good!. But the I signed up for then Spartan Beast….and the Spartan Sprint the following day….and I got asked to be a relay member for the Grizzly Ultra in Canmore….and I signed up for the Lethbridge Claus Cause 10km….and I randomly just did a 10km for the University of Lethbridge Pre Med Club this past Saturday….

So my three races before Dopey turned into 8….

I have still been getting in my miles needed for my weekly totals. It has been tough due to the hectic nature of this school year, but I have made it work by juggling days in my calendar. Last week Sunday on the day for Bare Bones half, I was suppose to run 18 miles. So after the race, I ran home. It ended up being 5.5 miles back, but I made my weekly.

This week, though, my body started to hit a wall.

I have been taking every race I run seriously, and not used them as “training runs” but as competitions. My adrenaline has been going harder than ever before. For instance, at Bare Bones I knocked 5.5 minutes off my previous best time and rolled in at 1:41:07. I felt like a rock star after finishing and that feeling stuck with me as I ran home.

That feeling turned into immense pain in my hamstrings by morning.

The average person will train some months for their first race, and then take about a week or two off after to recuperate. If you take that race seriously at your race pace, you will undoubtedly feel like crap the next day, unlike after an easy 10 mile training jog.Feeling like “crap” after a successful race is good in my eyes, as it means I pushed myself enough. I admit, I haven’t taken days to rest after each race…..not like I should have at least. But I needed to keep building my mileage base since I will be competing a full marathon in January.

But the pain in my hamstrings Monday morning hit hard. I was going to run 5 miles that day but when I stepped outside to start the run, the first few steps hurt so bad. I readjusted the calendar. The 5 miles in Tuesday turned into 3 miles. Wednesday was 1 mile, Thursday was off, Friday was 5. My race on Saturday became just the race, not an additional 2 miles after to make that day 8. And today’s 18 miles just didn’t happen.

Am I failing myself now? No…but I need to take care of my body so I can make it to Dopey. I could have gone out and ran that 18 today….but I pushed hard yesterday at the Pre Med Hoof It 10km (got my PR with a 46:32!) and just have an overall exhaustion taking over my body from the work during the weekday. I slept a solid 12 hours last night, and I needed it. This morning I readjusted this next week and next weeks’ training days, as I will be prepping for Wine and Dine. I needed to incorporate more of a taper leading into Wine and Dine, as my friend gave me the go ahead to run in Corral A on my own and go for my best time (I hope to get into the 1:40s, and ultimately maybe under 1:40 into the world of the 30s!)

My goals with my races have evolved over the past months since starting. Back in April when I ran in Waukesha, Wisconsin, at the Trailbreaker Half all I wanted to do was break 1:54:19. I did that with a 1:52:53, and I have not looked back since. I went on this running and writing and fundraising journey to do something special in memory of my dad. I was always planning on running more races in one year than I ever had before. But I hadn’t planned on having the sheer drive to keep competing against my own personal bests and to keep on striving to improve. I am excited to see what the rest of 2013 brings with my upcoming races, and I am even more anxious to continue what I have started as I head into 2014!

The Picture So Bad, it is Epic.

Standard

20131017-204454.jpg

Behold….20 years ago….almost year to the day….my second trip to Walt Disney World.

I was downstairs getting my carry-on bag from the closet for my trip tomorrow to Drayton Valley, Alberta, for Cross Country Provincials, when I found my Disney photo album I made some years ago filled with highlights.
This picture caught my eye.

Take note of the duel fanny packs my mom and I are rocking so casually. I have cords on my sunglasses. I am wearing a coordinated tank top and plaid shorts. And my dad……terrible Speedo tank top.

But this moment, as retched as it may look and laughable as it is now, it is priceless. I get to go to WDW in about 20 days for my first RunDisney race and in January I will go again for the race of my life, the Dopey Challenge. I will be able to run past this very spot during that half marathon and the full marathon.

Maybe I’ll wear a fanny pack.

Exciting Things in the Next 50 Days!

Standard

So the school year is officially in full swing, and any teacher would agree with me that the days are crazy busy, and the nights just bring full-on exhaustion. I have been doing well with sticking to my training plans, and also staying busy during the week so I can go away on the weekends and run some ridiculous races!

This coming weekend on September 28th and 29th, I will be competing in the Spartan Beast and Sprint at Sun Peak Resort in British Columbia. Upon completion of the Beast on Saturday, which is a half marathon filled with obstacles on the ski hill, I will earn the coveted Trifecta Tribe Medal, as I will have completed one of each Spartan Race distances (Sprint, Super & Beast) in one calendar year, in one country. And since Erin and I will have driven all that way, we are doing the Sprint on Sunday!

During Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I will be participating in my first ever relay trail race, the Grizzly Ultra in Canmore, Alberta. The total race distance is 50km, but I am responsible for just Leg 1, which is 14 km. I stepped in as a late addition to a team due to someone dropping out. One of my Dopey Challenge Training Crew members on Facebook asked if I was interested in helping out! After checking out the website, I had to sign up!

And then in November, I have my first RunDisney event, the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. It will be a quick three nights in Orlando, with Saturday night being the exciting night race of the half! We will end at EPCOT where an after party occurs until 4 am, with all the food and wine expo booths open, live entertainment, and select attractions open!

As a reminder, my fundraising efforts are still in full swing, and you can check out more by clicking the charities tab at the top of this page. I have raised $1,125 for the American Heart Association and $1,005 for the Heart & Stroke Foundation in Canada. All these funds are being raised in memory of my father, Andrew Lammers, who passed away from a heart attack at age 51 in 2004. If you are able to, please consider donating to heart disease research efforts in North America!

Keep checking back to this page over the next few months, as I will have more race recaps posted from not only the highlighted events above, but other small races I have planned. This will all lead up to my culminating event of a lifetime, the Dopey Challenge 2014 during the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend!