The WDW 10k is here and I was definitely starting to feel that Dopey Challenge fatigue. I was up by 3am, out the door by 3:40am, and on a bus by 3:45am, I love Pop Century because the bus always fills up so it never has to do stops at other resorts.
So last year I had gone into the 10k with time goals but got bottle-necked early in the race which meant I scrapped them and just had a fun run but this year I was going for it. I had been looking at the times for my age group in previous years and felt confident that if I could PR and come in under 45 minutes, I could age place. I was feeling good, I had performed really well at the Turkey Trot in November, and I knew I could do this.
I had only told a handful of people that this was my goal since with travel and craziness of a runDisney race you never know what can happen. I was in Corral A again and I just needed to make my way to the front of the corral to ensure I had the best chance possible of achieving my goal.
I met up with my running Ohana around 4am and we chatted and talked about the race and then around 5 we parted ways and headed to the corrals. I did use the bathroom before heading out that way too, the sea of Disney port-o-potties can’t be beat by any race. Nathan and I were both in A but he didn’t have the time goal I had so we weren’t planning to run together but it was nice to have a corral buddy!
By the time we got into corral A, they had already moved them to the start area so Nathan and I jogged over in hopes we could push to the front. I’m not normally the pushy runner in the corral but I knew if I didn’t push my way up I wasn’t going to get my time goal. We managed to get really far up so I was hoping we’d be in the first wave of A. The National Anthem was sung and the fireworks went off and I was ready and focused to get this time goal.
I ended up being in the front of the second wave of A which wasn’t ideal but worked out well since I had a clear path for the first bit of the race until we caught up with the first wave. I just gently maneuvered around the runners while I kept cruising, I was feeling really good. The first mile I ran a solid 7min/mile. I just kept pushing but without feeling out of control and I knew 7’s would get me to my goal. The next miles clicked off a bit faster, 6:48 and 6:44, but I was still feeling good. I kept waiting for the moment when I might hit a wall but I was still trucking. At this point I ran a 5k PR and was feeling confident I would get my 45 min goal so started doing the mental math and trying to decide if I should keep pushing really hard and potentially hurt the rest of my Dopey Challenge or dial it back a bit and still hit my goal. I just kept running by feel and ended up somewhere in the middle.
I was running high on Disney and the knowledge that I was crushing this run. Mile 4 was 6:52, mile 5 was 6:53, I was smoking this course. Running around the Boardwalk area during the 10k is one of my favorites and this morning was no different! I felt like I was flying! I really love running on flat courses at sea level : D
Mile 6 was a 6:58 and then I pushed it for the last .3 (I picked up a 1/10 mile along the way). I got to see my fiance’s smiling face in the crowd at the finish area and was so excited, I was about to CRUSH my PR by 2 minutes.
Official Time: 43:12
OMG guys, I did it! That was by far one of my best races ever and as of writing this, I was the 99th finisher overall, 11th female, and came in 2nd in my age group!!! That was insane! INSANE! I still can’t believe how it all came together!
While I didn’t stop for any characters, here’s who I saw on the course:
Vanellope and Wreck It Ralph – turn point around .75 mile
Rescue Rangers – mile 1
Evil witch – mile 1.5
Norway Vikings – Norway
Pinocchio – Italy
Abu – Morocco
Emile and his brother – France
Football Goofy – ESPN Zone at the Boardwalk
Honestly, it was all such a blur though I might have missed some.
So after the excitement of the morning it was time to head back, shower, eat some breakfast, and then head to Disney Hollywood Studios (DHS) to rope drop Toy Story Land. We were out the door by 8:15 and got to DHS around 8:40 with enough time to join the herd of people heading to Toy Story Land and hopped in line for Slinky Dog. We waited about 30 min and then went over to the Alien Swirling Saucers and rounded out the morning with Toy Story Mania. We went and used our Fastpasses for Rock n Rollercoaster and Tower of Terror before meeting up with Nathan for lunch at Fairfax Faire. It was then time to get out of the parks and take a nap. I made sure to do some stretches and roll out my muscles a bit before settling down in hopes that would help my next two races!
We were up and back at the park around 4:30 and rode some more rides (a special stop to see Muppetvision) and rode everything in Toy Story Land again thanks to a Slinky Dog Fastpass. We grabbed dinner at Andy’s Lunchbox (the strawberry pop tart is superior to the nutella one) and stayed to watch the Star Wars Fireworks show. After the show we headed back to the bus and were back at our resort by 9:30 and in bed by 10:30. I was just trying to keep my fingers crossed that my legs wouldn’t feel too much of today’s 10k during the half while rocking my 80’s Haunted Mansion bound!