Race

Race Review-Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

On October 4th, I did it.  I entered the fifth dimension….I entered….The Twilight Zone.

Source: RunDisney.com

Source: RunDisney.com

I had been looking forward to this race for over a year, the first time I read about it on another blog.  It sounded like so much fun and the medal…well..more on that in just a bit.

My family arrived in Disney on Friday and we immediately went to our resort to check in.  This time we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort.  I will do a review of our Disney experience in a different post, but once I checked in, I also had to go to a different desk in the lobby to check in and get my free mini-golf passes(that’s right, I said FREE mini-golf passes.  With no expiration date…bonus!)  and my Tower of Terror weekend pamphlet.  After that, we headed over to the Wide World of Sports section of Walt Disney World for our packet pick up.

I was concerned as I’ve heard that packet pick up and the expo’s can be very crowded, but this one was so well organized, we could have been in and out in a matter of minutes (and I had to pick up 2 bibs, one for myself and one for my daughter who did the Kids Races).  Kudos to RunDisney for the expo.  As someone who hates crowds, this was a very pleasant surprise.  I took a look around the expo floor at all of the neat runner specific things that they had for purchase, but the highlight for me was to see all of the other RunDisney Medals!  That is right, all of the other medals from upcoming races were on display.  My favorite?  Let’s just say I need to make a trip out to Disneyland for the Avengers race. (my apologies for no pictures, this area was constantly crowded with people wanting a look.  Can’t really blame them!)

On Saturday I tried to nap, but I was too excited and before I knew it…it was time to board the bus!  Funny enough the usual butterflies that accompany me heading to a race were completely absent.  I had made a pact with myself that I was just going to enjoy the experience.  Everyone told me that with a RunDisney race, you can’t worry about your time, so I decided, I would not (note: I did still have a target finish goal in mind, under 2 hours).

Photo credit: My mom

Photo credit: My mom

The bus was a great experience as people were so friendly.  I met three lovely ladies and we chatted about running and what we hoped for from the run.  (To finish was the over-arching theme.)  We got to the waiting area outside of the corrals and what fun!  There was an absolutely fantastic DJ who had moves to every song, so it was like a dance party, warm up, and aerobics class in one.  I know I should have sat and rested my legs but darn it, if I hear a fun song I just half to boogie down.  Apparently, I am not alone.

I went to a race and a dance party broke out!

I went to a race and a dance party broke out!

While waiting, I also signed in to the Hollywood Hotel guest registry.  I’ve heard good things about this hotel, especially the elevators.

sign in

The only fault I found with this part of the process?  At 8:30pm (race starts at 10pm), all of the port-o-potties were out of toilet paper and the portable sinks were out of soap and paper towels.  There was no one near to report this to.  Next year I hope they have extra supplies of such essentials, especially for us lady runners!

At 9:15 we loaded into our corrals and walked to the start.  It wasn’t long now…the excitement was overwhelming.  Then, promptly at 10pm we were off!!  I always force myself to slow down at the start of a race, and this one was pretty easy to do just that because it was crowded at the start.  Not “running into others” crowded, but certainly too crowded to sprint out although I saw people doing just that.

I was nervous because I was told not to bring headphones and when I got to the race start everyone was wearing headphones, but honestly, I didn’t need them.  Within a mile there were DJ’s, a character meet and greet (Jafar) and water and powerade.  In fact I could not believe how fast the miles ticked by, it seemed like I had just completed a mile when buzzzz, my Garmin vibrated another mile down.

By far, my most favorite part of the run was when we ran into the Wide World of Sports Complex.  It was a well lit trail that added such a different vibe, I thought it was really fun.  I also LOVED running through the baseball stadium.  People were cheering and screaming, oh it was a blast!  Additionally the volunteers on this part of the course were simply amazing.  They were clapping, had kazoos and clappers and were cheering us on.  They deserved a medal too, in my opinion.

It was also a wide world of sports that I got some super fun pictures.  I had to get a picture when the infamous grave diggers, and surprisingly their line wasn’t that long at all, maybe 5 people in front of me?  I also got a picture with the “zombie tailgaters” who had literally zero line. Then at mile seven I stopped to get a picture with the “corpses”.   Every picture I took I was amazed, the people playing the characters NEVER broke character.  They were all fantastic!

corpse brides zombie tailgaters

 

Once I left Wide World of Sports I knew the end was close.  We ran into Hollywood Studios and they had a DJ who was not only playing music but hilarious.  At this point, I sent a text to my husband letting him know I was on property and had about 2 miles to go.  We ran into the lights motor action speedway and through the back lot.  Then we ran down New York City (so cool!) and around the Mickey hat.  It was here that family and friends were cheering and another amazing DJ was playing music and saying “you got this, you can do it!!”.  It was mile 9 and I can’t lie, I almost starting crying (I get a little emotional when I run).  More twists and turns and then through the seamstress section, which was super neat to see all of the clothes.  They also had a disco ball and music, I felt like breaking out into a dance.  Then a straight away with more amazing volunteers cheering and clapping.

My Garmin buzzed 10 miles…yet I was STILL running!  What the what?  I saw a huge screen ahead that had various race photos, the Twilight Zone music and once I hit that, I turned a corner and there it was…the finish line!!  I high fived Goofy and cross that line in my goal finish time!  Bonus was that unlike my Gasparilla experience my husband actually saw me cross!  As soon as I crossed I got a chill towel (ohhh so nice!) and a snack box.  I also snagged my most awesome medal.  Folks, the elevator moves and the windows glow in the dark.  Yep, coolest medal around!

TOT finish!

Photo Credit: My husband..who waited up until almost midnight to see me cross the finish line.

Once my daughter sees this, I will never get it back!

Once my daughter sees this, I will never get it back!

 

Two things about this race that were a bit of an inconvenience:

1. The walk to the bag check to pick up your bag is looooonggg.  For the love of God, I just ran 10 miles, can you make this pick up a little closer?  Also, if you had to pick up your bag, there was no way to tell your loved ones waiting for you where to go.  I wish they would have made that a bit easier.  Lesson learned: I will always tell my family to go to the bag check section or changing tent area to find me.

2. The snack box had all carbs in it.  Almost no protein.  I don’t know if it is just me, but after I run I have got to get some protein into me or else I get a wicked headache (which I had the entire next day).  Lesson learned, next time I will bring a protein shake in my bag check.

I am very bummed to see that RunDisney has elected not to do this race in 2015 (no explanation why), but I hope that this a temporary stoppage.

The Pros:

“Smaller” RunDisney race

Night time course so no hot sun beating down on you

Different terrain breaks up the miles

Wonderful volunteers

Absolutely phenomenal medal and tech shirt (the shirt glows too!)

10 mile distance is a great entry point for someone who wants more of a challenge than a 10k but is not ready for the full half marathon distance

Very cool theme

 

The Cons

That walk to the bag check!  Sweet Jesus.

No ability to meet family right after the finish.  No way to tell them to meet you at bag check vs. party

The fact that family must buy a villains bash ticket to see you finish.  We are annual passholders.  For almost every other race (except for Wine and Dine) my husband could have used his pass to get into the park to see me finish.  But because it was a night race, he had to buy a special ticket.  I am still kind of miffed about that.

There is no Tower of Terror Race scheduled for 2015 😦

 

I loved this race and I want to do it again.  I hope RunDisney does bring it back, and better than ever.  A run through the Magic Kingdom..by the Haunted Mansion ride perhaps?  How amazing would that be?

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Question: Have you run the Tower of Terror 10 miler?  What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Call It a Comeback…

Hello, Hello Fellow New Runners!

Yes, once again I took a hiatus, but now I am back!!  Oh I have SO much to tell you!!

Why have I been gone for so long, well…I got one of those 9-5 type of gigs…that’s right after 3 years off I finally got a full-time job again!  Why am I so excited?  Hang on to your hats folks, I actually LIKE to work.  I know, weird right?  The fact is, I enjoy what I do, I love the coworkers and I even enjoy dressing to go into the office.  The one thing I am not a fan of?  Traffic. Blah.

running mom

So now, I am not just a wife, mom and runner, I am also a working wife, mom and runner.  The transition has been a bit easier than I thought, but there have been bumps along the way.  Fitting my running in has been a challenge, but I am making it a priority, so you know what?  It gets done.

Let’s see..what else…

Oh I ran this little race called The Tower of Terror 10 Miler!!  Yes, my longest race ever and my very first RunDisney race.  I will write a post on the blog about that race in a bit but as a preview…it…was…AWESOME!  My daughter also did the Kids Races, and let me tell you, that was the best $15 I’ve ever spent.

I have had a couple of longest ever runs, most notably not one but two 13 milers.  The first one was a little rough as both myself and my running partner were not feeling well.  The second one went much, much better.

I can’t wait to fill you all in on everything that has been going on!

See you on the asphalt and as always…Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Race Review-First Virtual Run

Good Morning Fellow New Runners!

I mentioned in my last post that I recently completed my first virtual run.  The website www.willrunforbling.com hosts multiple virtual runs each of which support different charities and causes.  The distances are varying in length; 5K, 10K, half and even full marathon distances.  They host one about once a month, so I try to check frequently to see if there are any new, fun runs that I can sign up for or that benefit a charity I have a specific desire to help.

The run I did was the “We Stand With Boston” 10K.  I wanted to run this particular race for two reasons:

1. I was in the middle of some medical issues and I wanted to prove to myself I could do it.  While normally a 6 mile run wouldn’t be too big of a deal, I had a feeling this run would be tougher than most.

2. Boston is my hometown.  I was born and raised in the city.  I love it with my whole heart and when the bombings happened last year it was literally like a dagger through the heart.  The thought that someone would do this to my hometown, to my friends and family was heartbreaking. Knowing that the proceeds from this race would go to the Boston One Fund was a huge selling point for me.

Sign up was super easy, through Active.com, I even posted my sign up via Facebook which enticed my parents to sign up for the 5k distance.  The best part of a virtual race is you can do the “race” at a time and place that is convenient for you.  My mom and I chose to do it on Marathon Monday, but my dad did it on a different day.

A week before the race I got my super snazzy bib in my email.  Honestly this has to be one of the coolest bib’s I’ve ever gotten for  a race.

My bib!!  Nice, right?

My bib!! Nice, right?

I set out for my run and it was a cool, slightly overcast day.  A perfect day for running!  My first two miles were pretty sweet, I saw a few other runners out and about, and I relished the running community we are all a part of.

Miles three through six were some of the hardest miles I’ve ever run.  I was having trouble keeping my breath (never fun) and although my legs wanted to keep going my lungs simply couldn’t keep up.  I walked a bunch.  Every time I walked I thought of my friends and family who were running Boston that day, some of whom were running with injuries, and thought “if they can do 26.2 miles then darn it, I can do 6.1 miles!”  That thought really kept me going because I honestly thought about calling for a ride home more than once.

Meeting up with my mom, who was pushing my daughter in the stroller during her 5K, was a highlight.  We had a nice little chat and a fellow runner even offered to take a picture of the three of us!

Yes, my daughter is in a Red Sox shirt!

Yes, my daughter is in a Red Sox shirt!

After my run, I was exhausted but felt so happy I completed the full 10K.  My time was terrible, but for me the fact that I just finished was a triumph in and of itself.

A few weeks later guess what came in the mail…my medal!  Let me tell you this bad boy is HEAVY, huge and really, really nice.  It will absolutely occupy a place of honor on my medal stand, when I get one!

The medal!

The medal!

In short, my first ever virtual race was a great experience!  If I hadn’t signed up I am sure I would not have run or even walked that day.  Instead I have a fantastic medal and a super cool bib to display and more importantly the knowledge that no matter how tough it gets, I have the tenacity to finish what I started!

Enjoy the Run!

Yvonne

Question: Have you ever completed a virtual race?  What are your thoughts?