It definitely was different getting used to a 2:30 a.m. wake up call as opposed to no wake up call for past Wine and Dine races. For those that don’t know, runDisney Wine and Dine used to be at night and it was a blast, but due to so much construction and changes happening in and around Walt Disney World right now, those areas that we would normally run through are not accessible right now. The course was also changed and has lots more road that what runDisney folks are used to. We started off at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and headed towards Animal Kingdom, then towards Epcot straight into the finish line.
I was corralled in the middle and was feeling OK. The weather was perfect, not humid and cool. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was in for, but I was ready for whatever my body was going to do, and I wasn’t going to stop. I was planning on taking breaks, going slow and not pushing myself. Boy did that go down the drain quick….
As we took off past the start line, I started off slow because after all….slow and steady wins the race right? I felt OK until mile 4. I started to get facial numbness where it’s one of the first signs of my migraine blackouts. I had a few of my medications with me so I knew I had to take it immediately before it got worse to avoid a more serious issue. I took my medication right before we entered Animal Kingdom and I kept going. I tried walking a bit but I felt dizzy when I would walk so I would just run.
I actually stopped and took a picture with Alpha in front of the tree of life and posted it on instagram. The pain kept growing a bit as we kept running. Then my back pain started to kick in. But I can handle my Scoliosis pain. All this new brain stuff is new so I take it “easy” and try to listen to the queues. I was glad that the blinding that usually happens in my eye wasn’t happening yet so forward I went.
We made our way out of Animal Kingdom and I was doing well. I was still standing and running strong. I was approaching mile 7 and I hadn’t taken a break. I thought that by mile 6, I would’ve taken a few breaks but that wasn’t the case. I did make a bathroom stop and realized that I can’t stop to walk. Walking make me feel worse and I needed to keep running or it threw my balance off and made me dizzy and triggered something with my head.
They had energy gels at mile 7.7 so I stopped to eat one and had water. I tried walking after that and no, just no. LOL Didn’t work. I told Alpha I couldn’t do and had to go back to running but running was tough because I was having a weird feeling on the side of my head and I had already taken my med so I couldn’t take anymore until later on. Alpha was just an incredible cheer fan. He obviously knows firsthand what I’m going through so he kept talking to me and kept reminding me what I’ve been through and how far I’ve gotten and how hard I’ve worked and stuff. We also threw lots of sarcasm in there because that is how we survive the dark sides of life is with laughter 😉
Before we knew it, we were already inside of Epcot at mile 12 where my rotated ribs popped! I mean seriously! But I had already dealt with it at the NYC marathon last year and I only had 1 mile to go so I was going to finish. My ribs were KT Tape up, as pretty much my entire body was.
At this point I knew I was going to finish because that is just the type of person I am. I set a goal and I will do whatever it takes to accomplish it. One might think that because this was my 9th half marathon that it would be easy or that it would be nothing but no two races are ever the same for anyone. Especially for me. When I finished it, I was sick for the rest of the day and took most of the day for me to feel better but I did well and ran it non-stop which is a rarity for me. I usually run races and need breaks to breathe because of my rotated ribs but this race, my brain wouldn’t allow it. And it’s OK because I am very proud of my performance and I am happy with how the race went and how I did. I pushed myself pretty hard, much more that I should have but I did just fine, I had my Military man next to me and we had a blast. Overall it was a fun race. =)