- 2011 Wine and Dine Half Marathon
- Eat, Sleep, Run Disney vs. The Disney Project (aka Jenn vs. Keith)
- Winner gets to Captain Morgan the loser in front of Spaceship Earth.
I started in Corral B, but Jenn started in Corral A. I was going to sneak into Corral A, but they had White House-like security monitoring each Corral entrance, so I decided to slink back to B. When the race started for us in B, I immediately had to weave through the throng of runners to get out into the open, which unfortunately took a while. I believe my first mile took an unpleasing 11 minutes to complete. Convinced that I had already lost the bet, I decided to speed up a bit. I wasn’t tracking my pace with an app or a device because I wanted to just run a pace that felt comfortable. Mile two felt comfortable for me, but to my shock and awe I had completed it in 7 minutes! “Whoo hoo,” right? Wrong. That was way too fast considering the pace I was trying to maintain, and decided then and there that perhaps not tracking my pace was a bad idea.
I managed to slow myself down a bit, and finished the third mile in about 9 minutes. Better. I didn’t do the math, but I felt that keeping a 9:30 pace throughout gave me a decent chance to achieve my goal: Destroy the DisRunner.
About halfway through the race, perhaps around mile 7, I noticed a familiar figure: Black tank, black and pink shorts, long black ponytail. It was Jenn! I had caught up.
“Hey,” she said. “How are you doing?”
“Tired,” is all I could manage. “You?”
“I’m all right.”
After our 10-word conversation, I decided to keep pace with her for a bit. For a moment I thought we could finish at the same time like we did last year. But after about 30 seconds I realized I had a little more juice than I was using, so I sort of sped up a bit. I whipped my head around and Jenn was still there, just a few steps back. At some point I lost her, but I was in no way convinced I had won. And after what was soon to happen, I was right to worry.
About a mile or two later, trouble began. I felt my right hamstring start to throb a bit. I ignored it. The throbbing got stronger. I ignored it. “Just keep swimming.” And then BAM, it locked up. My right leg became as stiff as a mannequin’s leg, so I tried to sort of hop with my right leg and run with my left leg. It must have been hilarious to watch, but it was less hilarious to live through. I had to stop. First time the whole race (even counting the water stations). I gave my right hammy the world’s fastest massage, and began running again. It started to lock up again. “No!” This was not what I needed. I was doing so well! So I decided to do the next logical thing: I began punching my hamstring.
I don’t believe that if you look up “locked up hamstring” in the New England Journal of Medicine that the prescribed treatment would be, “repeated blows with a clenched fist.” Allow me to request an amendment then, because it worked.
Another mile or so later, the course wound through Hollywood Studios. The coolest part was entering the Streets of America, and seeing all the Osborne Lights turned on. I had brought my camera to take pictures on the course, but since I was maintaining a pretty decent pace, I didn’t want to stop. The Osborne Lights were too cool not to capture, however. So I did take some video. Warning: before you watch, it is quite shaky (as you can imagine). But you will be able to make out a building or two, and some cast members who looked a little too relaxed while we were all busting our butts!
Mile 12, less than one mile to go, guess what? My other hamstring locked up. Note to self: more potassium! I was just approaching the International Gateway (so close to the end), and the spectators saw my hobble. “You’re almost there!” they shouted, trying their best to encourage me. I of course instituted Dr. Keith’s patented hamstring punch, much to the dismay of some of the onlookers. I’m pretty sure I made a small child cry. After a few seconds of punching, it began to unlock. Both my hamstrings were sore, both my knees were sore, and I had no idea if Jenn had passed me or not. In an instance like this, there was only one thing left to do: finish the race. And that, my friends, is exactly what I did.
And the winner is…
Look for an actual race recap soon!