Tower of Terror 10-Miler 2013

Mark and I trained all summer for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler. It was our longest distance race ever, and, let’s face it, we did it for the medal.  My sister tagged along for the weekend.  She’s a much faster runner than us, but she’s happy doing her own thing.

Mark and I had done the 5K Trail run in 2012, so we knew what to expect from the expo.

Being the planners that we are, Beth and I decided we would dress up like Alice in Wonderland characters. She was the Cheshire Cat, Mark was a card, and I was Alice, of course (thanks to Raw Threads, Bondi Bands and Sparkle Skirts).  

I have terrible race anxiety and was just sick with nerves for the week before the race.  It did not help that somehow Mark ended up in the corral behind mine and I wouldn’t have my cheerleader and running buddy. And Mark had the handheld so I wouldn’t have access to extra water.

The weather was pretty cool but still humid in early October in Orlando.  I’d hoped that it would let up as we got closer to the 10 pm start, but of course it didn’t.

I’d also heard horror stories from the 2012 race that the course was boring with little entertainment, but Disney listened and really stepped up their game.  The first character was less than a mile into the race, and it seemed there was a character or something at least once a mile.  This helped the long, lonely run up Osceola Parkway to Animal Kingdom. And there were lights and special effects (fireballs!) all over the place.

For the first couple of miles I did pretty well.  My shin splints didn’t bother me and I kept to my 1/1 run/walk intervals.  In fact, I was running faster than I probably should’ve.  The worst part was that, once we turned onto Osceola Parkway, the breeze completely died, making the humidity really bad. We ran through the autoplaza for Animal Kingdom and everybody grumbled that runDisney shouldn’t tease us by letting us be that close but not run through the park.  It sure would be better than the portion that goes through Wide World of Sports.

After the water stop at mile 3, I felt a presence at my left shoulder.  It was Mark!  He had hauled butt to catch up with me, and I was so glad to see him.  He was feeling great and looking forward to getting his picture made with the gravediggers.  I, on the other hand, was starting to feel really nauseous.  My fingers we swelling and I had been taking some Power Aid with my water at the stations, but it and the humidity didn’t agree with my stomach.  I started walking more than I wanted to.

The absolutely worse part of the race for me came about mile 3.5, when I looked at the other side of Osceola Parkway and saw the balloon ladies and sweepers.  I just panicked, even though I knew they were three miles behind me, I was convinced I was going to get swept.  It wasn’t pretty.  But Mark got me calmed down and we made it to Wide World of Sports and the horrible gravel trail.  The entire portion was really tight and crowded and we had to walk most of it because there was no way to get around anyone to run.  My feet didn’t love the changing surfaces: gravel, small gravel, track, cement sidewalk.  But WWOS had the one photo stop Mark and I had agreed on: the Haunted Mansion gravediggers.

I was pretty much done by the time we left WWOS.  I knew the turn back onto Osceola Parkway at mile 8 was the last sweeping point, so getting past that was a relief.  Mark really wanted to run though, so when we got to Hollywood Studios he took off.  It took everything I had to make myself run some through the park, but I was determined.

I saw my sister who had just killed it and that gave me a boost.  So I gave it my (very slow) all.  The volunteers were wonderful and I began to hear we had less than a mile to go.  Then that the finish line was just around the corner.  I rounded the building corner and ran as fast as I could.  I high fived Goofy and crossed the finish line.  I was SO proud even though I wasn’t terribly pleased with my effort.

Time: 2:44:22.

I felt really nauseous afterwards and sat on a bench for a couple of hours while Mark and Beth rode the rides.  I was really disappointed that I couldn’t celebrate by riding the Tower of Terror with them, but I also didn’t want to vomit all over them either.  By the time we got back home, I’d already decided that I want to go back next year and redeem myself.  My goals for the next year will be to figure out what I need to do to avoid heat exhaustion, get into a higher corral, and run longer intervals, not so much to improve my time, but so I’m not so worried about getting swept and that I have time to stop for a couple of more pictures.

Overall I thought it was a good race, but crowded if you are in the back. A lot of fun.

This entry was posted in Bondi Band, Disney, ProCompression, Raw Threads, recap, running, Sparkle Skirts. Bookmark the permalink.

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