Monday, October 7, 2013

Tower of Terror 10 Miler Recap

Well I spent an hour typing this post up on my iPad last night and the Blogger app crashed as I hit save (and it didn’t auto save along the way). I am no longer ever trying to post from the app again! So here we go again…and sorry in advance, it’s REALLY long!

Saturday night, G and I ran The Twilight Zone 2013 Tower of Terror 10 Miler. If you remember from my previous post, I was not looking forward to this race at all. After only running about 6 times since I was allowed to start running again (post-surgery), being sick this week, and it being a night race, I am very happy with my 2:07:05 finish. G and I separated after Mile 1 (he wasn’t feeling too good and wasn’t doing any set type of intervals so it was driving me crazy).  I pretty much ran 3/1 intervals except when there was a water stop that didn’t align with my walking intervals (which only happened ONCE) but I just modified as they came. I jammed out to the Cult Pop station on the iHeartRadio app which played the perfect music to keep me pumped during the run. I really didn’t start to feel tired until Mile 7ish and a nice lady gave me a strawberry GU (she saw me starting to struggle) and that helped perk me back up to finish. It was also at that point that I realized I wasn’t going to be able to make my 2 hr mini-goal, so I didn’t push it as hard the last few miles. I will definitely say, when I finally saw the entrance to Hollywood Studios around 8.5 miles, I was never happier to see that entrance, since I knew that the finish line was close! There is definitely something to be said about the Runner’s High you get after crossing the finish line,  hearing the people cheer you on, and getting that medal hung around your neck.. it’s awesome! My body on the other hand, feels nothing close to awesome… omg so sore! (note to self: must actually train for next long race!!)

patiently waiting in our corral
the best sign of the race.. close to the finish line!

My Stats:
Official Chip Time: 02:07:05 (overall pace of 12:43
Place: 4083 of 9478 Finishers
Place: 2241 of the 6132 Women Finishers
Place: 443 of 1182 in my Women’s Age Division (25-29)
5k Split: 37:18
10k Split: 1:17:06
My RunKeeper stats (which accounts for the zigzagging, run off to the bathroom, etc.):
10.18 miles in 2:07:07 (overall pace of 12:29)
Fastest Mile: #3 at 11:45
Slowest Mile #10 at 13:11

G’s stats (yes, I beat him by a whole 30 seconds!):
Official Chip Time: 02:07:35 (overall pace of 12:46)
Place: 4149 of 9478 finishers
Place: 1863 of the 3346 Men Finishers
Place: 328 of the 563 in his Men’s Age Division (30-34)
5k Split: 38:35
10k Split: 1:18:55
His RunKeeper stats:
10.25 miles in 2:09:40 (overall pace of 12:32)
Fastest Mile: #4 at 11:50
Slowest Mile #10 at 12:56

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with Disney races and I always say “I’m never running another Disney race again” but then I sign up for another one anyways, must be because my love factors always outweigh the hate factors. Here are my Love/Hate factors for Disney Races (with some specifics to this race thrown in)

  • PRICE: All Disney races are just SO expensive and that is the one thing I hate the most! I paid around $165 for this 10 miler after purchasing the commemorative pin and all the fees. (I insist on buying the pins, I don’t know why, all I do is put them on my cork board at work, but I MUST get them!) There are non-Disney marathons that are less than $100 yet I paid wayyy more than that for a 16 mile shorter race just because it’s Disney. (and I know a lot of the money goes into the things I LOVE about Disney races but it’s just hard to justify sometimes)
    my super cool pin

  • TIMING: All races require you to get there relatively early before they actually start. (Most want you to be there about 45 minutes before start time) Now with Disney races, you always have to get there soo much earlier because of the traffic, crowds, parking, corral placements, etc. The morning races are really tough because it requires you to get up in the middle of the night! This particular race, since it started right outside Hollywood Studios and the park was still open required us to park at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports. We had to be sure to be parked and on their shuttle by 8pm according to race instructions, so by 8:15 we were walking around the pre-race area for a race that wasn’t even going to start until 10pm and our corral wasn’t due to cross start line until around 10:15 (we had to be IN our corrals by 9:15). So, for about the time it would take me to run the race, I was sitting there tired (it was already close to my bedtime) and waiting for it to begin. It is just the nature of a race of this magnitude, and ALL of their races draw huge amount of participants and volunteers/spectators, so it has to be done, but doesn’t mean I’ll ever like it. (I love my sleep way too much!)
  • COURSE: I guess I don’t hate all the courses, some of the other races I’ve done have been better than this one. I just feel like in general way too much of the courses are on Osceola Parkway. Which yes it is Disney property, and yes they have a ton of entertainment (see #1 like below), and yes, I know they have park hours and other non-race guests to accommodate but I just feel like more of the courses should be IN the parks. I don’t know how they could make it possible and I’m sure if they could they would, but running up and down Osceola Parkway really exciting enough for me (even with the entertainment!) 
  • ENTERTAINMENT: If you’ve never been to a Disney race, you won’t understand this. Disney’s race entertainment is fabulous! From pre-race to post-race, they keep the crowd going! They have some sort of photo opp (usually characters) during every single mile, a cool poster for each mile marker, and all sorts of other entrainment and special features (fireworks, cool lighting, photographers etc). There is also a huge amount of volunteers and spectators that are along the side lines of the course cheering you on and holding up funny posters! One of these days I’m going to run a Disney race and actually take advantage of it all. Usually I just want to finish so bad that I’m not willing to wait in 30 person deep line to take a picture (yes, THAT many people do stop and take pics) but one day I will. (it’s not like I’m ever really fast, so I don’t know why I insist on rushing through the course) PLUS you get to run through the parks! As noted in the hate section, not all of the courses are ever entirely in the parks but running through Cinderella’s castle, behind the scenes of Hollywood studios, on the warming track of the Brave’s spring training stadium, etc makes Disney races special. A lot of where you run during a Disney race you can’t get to during normal park hours. (When we ran the Disneyland Half Marathon a few years ago we also got to run through the warming track of the LA Angels MLB Stadium!)
    the start line
    fireworks at the start

    running on the Brave's warming track
    some cool lighting

  • WATER STOPS: All my longer races were ran with a camelback on, so going into this race I was a little nervous knowing I only had my one 16.9 oz water bottle in my hand. Luckily it felt like the water stops were perfectly placed (even if they didn’t align with my walk intervals lol) and I never felt like I didn’t have enough water. I was able to fill my bottle up as well so that I had my “clutch” in case I got super thirsty!
  • PEOPLE:  Being around so many people with the same running enthusiasm is great! Everyone is so friendly (well let me preface this with the people I interact with, not the serious “Corral A” runners, I’ve never been near them, they might not be as friendly since they are trying to actually win). People apologize for stepping on laces, or running into you, and share GU when you are struggling. Whether it’s someone’s 1st race or 100th race, it’s so refreshing to share a common goal, to cross the finish line. And so many people stop afterwards and cheer on the rest of the runners as they complete the race too.
  • RACE BLING: I’m a sucker for finisher medals, and hands down Disney races have the best medals ever! I mean check out the medal from this race, the elevator even goes up and down! Sometimes medals are even a deciding factor (if they don’t give them out) if I’ll sign up for a race. I’m not sure why the medals matter to me, I mean all I do is hang them in my cubicle at work, but I love them!

awesome medal

OK, like I said, sorry so long, but I think that is why I like blogging because I can type as much as I want and it’s not like a 10 sentence Facebook status update. Everyone who knows me in real life, knows I hardly ever shut up when I talk about things I like (just ask me about cruising, I can go on for days lol) so this is a good place for me to get it all out J Can’t wait for my next Disney race, the Walt Disney World 10k in January!

personalized race bib

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