On Thursday morning, my alarm went off at 4 AM. I wasn’t thrilled about the hour especially since I did not get a very good night’s sleep. I think I woke up every hour afraid that I had missed the alarm. A series of hour long naps is not the best rest going into a race let alone the start of the Dopey Challenge. I got out of bed and started getting ready for the Walt Disney World 5k. It took me several attempts but I finally settled on an outfit that I thought would keep me warm. Did I mention that there was a wind chill advisory?!?
At 4:30, I kissed Pete goodbye, left the room, and headed to the monorail station at the Contemporary Resort. I also grabbed something small from the room to munch before the race. When the monorail arrived at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC), we were told that we would need to catch a bus to Epcot because the monorail to Epcot wasn’t working. I was not exactly thrilled to be standing outside in the freezing cold with crazy wind gusts waiting for a bus but I also wasn’t about to miss the first race. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long for the bus to pick us up. Once we were at Epcot, I headed over to the staging area to find my running buddy for the weekend. Neither one of us trained as hard as we wanted to so our only real goal for the weekend was to survive and finish each race under the 16:00 min/mile pace requirement.
After I found my running buddy, I realized that we still had quite some time before we needed to be in our corrals. In an effort to stay as warm as possible, we hung out in the gear bag check tents until they made the last call for runners to head to the corrals. They blocked the wind and kept us from freezing before the race got started. As I stood there waiting and freezing, I couldn’t remember the last time I had been that cold during a race (or even a run). Then my friend reminded me of the Rock ‘n’ St. Pete Half Marathon we both ran a few years ago. That race was also cold and windy.