Packing for a trip to the south when you live in Chicago and will be traveling in January is always quite the challenge. We had been diligent in checking the weather before leaving… But mother nature is fickle…
At the last minute, I had tossed in my lightest running hat, gloves and arm warmers. I had also decided to pack my sleeveless wind-breaker. What I failed to pack were pants, wool socks and… well… the rest of my winter running gear. I also came to the brilliant conclusion that the sweaters I had been meaning to donate for about a year now would make wonderful “ditch” clothing at races. I would be able to stay a tad warmer and the races always donate the ditch clothing anyway so win-win. So a sweater was thrown into the bag along with a few long sleeves I decided I no longer wanted.
We awoke on Thursday to temps of around 40… and windchill of 28-30. I may be a Chicago girl but it was COLD. Arriving at the race site with more than an hour to kill before the start didn’t help either. As I looked around, I quickly realized a good portion of the people running the race were southerns and therefore had no idea what to wear for the weather. In fact, I saw most of them run the entire race with their plastic bags around them the entire time… which I will admit, made me chuckle a bit.
Eric was seeded in Corral A but I was in Corral C. He decided he would wait with me in my corral and then we would part ways once we started to run. My original plan was to run/walk the race with planned out intervals. But on race morning, I ditched my plan because it was cold and I knew I would want to keep moving.
When we got into the corral, everyone was huddled together so we joined in the pack. It didn’t take too long before people filled in behind us and it was a little warmer with some of the wind being blocked. One thing is for sure, when you are freezing, you do NOT want to wait to start running. Unfortunately, the 5K had approximately 8 minutes between corrals…
As soon as our corral started moving towards the start line, I noticed I had to pee but it was too late. I saw Vijay before the start line and was glad I was able to toss him my sweater so I could wear it the next day as well.
After our fire works, we were off and running… and it was CROWDED.
Most people didn’t want to part with their ditch clothing which made it a little more difficult to get around people. But we weaved and bobbed and managed to find some space to run.
The entire 5K was through Epcot but there were some back streets and a little bit of parking lot as well. It was also pitch black. The race had a ton of lights set up so there was never an issue seeing the course but the lights were a little blinding at a few points.
It wasn’t long before we were running through the world showcase at Epcot and I was having a blast… except I REALLY had to pee. I knew I could deal for a 5K but it was nearly impossible for me to run a faster pace and I kept asking Eric to slow down.
I was able to pick it up a tad at the finish line… but I think my motivation there might have been getting to a port-a-pottie :-p
We got our medals and even though they are vinyl, I really like them. The race had full bottles of water and powerade for us along with snack pack boxes.
We found Vijay quickly and headed for the line to take the shuttle back to the hotel. As soon as I realized we would be waiting more than 5 minutes (Our hotel was only about 10 min away and I thought I could hold it until we got back) I decided to use one of the port-a-potties conveniently located right next to the lines for the shuttle.
The 5K was not “officially” timed unless you were doing Dopey but my time was 33:54 for a 10:40 pace. Not my best 5K time but it also wasn’t my worse and I never had any intention of running the race for time.