Monday, July 18, 2011

Preparing for Wine & Dine

This weekend I received the latest email from runDisney about Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend.  Included in the email was the weekend program.
You can bet your bottom dollar that I have read this bad boy from cover to cover.  I mentioned before that I am a Disney dork, so this should really come as no surprise.
I am really excited to run this race again this year and I may or may not look like this right now.
I have never taken a picture with the Apple photo booth before, so fun!  
Totally don't even care that I look like a mess in the morning :)

Last year when I ran the Wine & Dine it was my first half marathon, so I definitely have a soft spot for this race.  I love the Disney Parks at night, my absolute favorite time to visit, so I really enjoyed this course.  Loved the electrical light parade floats, the Osbourne family light display at MGM (I’m old school) and the band they had on Osceola Parkway.  
It was also my first half marathon and I was really nervous, yet hopeful, I would make it through the race with minimal pain and actually enjoy myself a little bit.  Both were accomplished with hard work and planning on my part.
There were some complaints from the participants last year with this inaugural race, so here are my tips for having a great time at the event.  Since I do not work for Disney I can tell you exactly what I think and don’t have to be all nice and politically correct.
1.  Read the Final Race Instructions from Disney when they are emailed to you.  Absolutely every detail you will want to know is in there.  They do a great job communicating the logistics of their race weekend.  If you are wandering around like a lost child on race weekend, it is because you didn’t read the instructions.  Read them.  Also while you are at it, read the program from cover to cover… it’s already available. 
2.  While Disney gives great race instructions and preparation tips (absolutely above and beyond any other race) they are not going to run or walk the actual race for you.  BE PREPARED.  Do not let the guise of a Disney race fake you out.  You still need to get your body, on your own accord, through 13.1 miles to the finish line.  Does that freak you out?  Good.  Prepare yourself because it is not a walk in the park.  Disney races are first timer friendly, but 13.1 miles in the real world is still 13.1 miles at Disney. 
3.  On race weekend, take care of yourself.  Sure, you are likely at Disney on a family vacation of some sort, but on Saturday (the day of the race) you need to take care of yourself.  I saw a comment on runDisney’s Facebook page where someone said they ate lasagna at 5pm on race day and then did not feel good during the race.  Are you seriously kidding me?  And when I say “seriously” I really mean “f*cking” with a big dose of annoyance.   If I ate lasagna 5 hours before a race (Wine & Dine starts at 10pm), I wouldn’t feel great during the run either.  In fact, I may be pooping my pants at around mile 10 or so.  So ridiculous.  In this year’s program, Jeff Galloway outlines a great race day preparation routine.  Read it.  Live it.
Last year my family, friends and I had eaten our big meal that day at lunch.  By 4pm I was napping, woke up around 5:30ish, showered, then had a banana, power bar and water pre-race.  I felt great that night and had a blast.  Can you imagine that I figured all that out without Jeff Galloway’s help?  Common sense, people.
4.  There were some complaints about the 10pm start time (it’s too late).  Here’s a tip, you know the start time of the race before you sign up, so if you are not down with the time, don’t sign up.
For me, running at 10pm and being up until 3am was no different than waking up a 3am, running at 6am and retuning to the hotel by 10am for one of runDisney’s morning races.
You know the time of the race when you sign up.  BE PREPARED.
5.  Sure the race takes place in October and sure it is at night, but you are still running in Florida.  The weather at race time will likely not be cool or humidity free.  Last year’s temp was around 75 degrees.  I was psyched about this, as come October, anything feels better to me than 95 degrees with 90% humidity.  Plus I love the night race since there is no sun.  The sun really drains me.  My sister and brother-in-law are from Maine and thought the conditions were HOT and HUMID.  I did not notice the humidity, but they did.  Non-Florida residents, BE PREPARED for hot and humid weather… and be thankful there is no sun thrown in there.
I hope this has shed a little light on what to expect during race weekend.  BE PREPARED to tackle 13.1 miles at 10pm in hot, humid weather.  You were the one who signed up for this race, so sometimes setting the right expectations is half the battle.
* Please note these are my opinions based on last year’s experience.  I am not any sort of professional anything and if you choose to follow this advice it is at your own risk.


  1. I wish I were doing this race! You are right -racing at night is a whole other ball game. I would not know what to eat or drink. Good tips!

  2. LOVE IT!! I have no idea why common sense is so difficult :D
    Wine and Dine is on my list for 2012...

  3. I'm so excited for you!

    And I freaking LOVE this post! Okay, when I did work for Disney there were so many times that I just wanted to lay things out for guests that weren't just using their brains or the resources given to them. This just makes me all kinds of happy .... and major excited for the Disneyland Half and WDW Half coming. But mostly, it makes me really want to do Wine & Dine next year!

  4. Great advice, Heather. My first half was somewhat shocking. I knew it was a morning race, but, because someone else signed me up, I didn't know the shuttles to the starting line started running at 4:30AM. I would like to do a night race next time; my body is used to working out in the evenings.
    Good luck; sounds like such a great time.

  5. Yeah, i was stupid, i ate buffalo tenders before the race, big mistake