My Whales

For some people, you get to a point where you’ve run a race more than once and it becomes lodged in your brain. You know you could do better on it, you know you have a faster time, or better weather, or something. There’s just something about it that you keep coming back even though it treats you like total shit every. single. time.

The races are the Brooklyn Half Marathon and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

I've got ice, I'm fabulous

I’ve got ice, I’m fabulous

In theory, I love the Wine & Dine. No early wake up calls, an after party in the best park ever EPCOT, the best half marathon course in Disney World. And yet, now that I’ve run it twice, both times I’ve hobbled away hating that race with every fiber of my being. I hobble away from that course injured and in terrible, terrible pain. I never enjoy Saturday because I spend the whole day freaking out over the race that doesn’t start until 10pm, and who can enjoy an after party when you smell and are covered in sweat? Exactly.

So why am I signed up to do it for what will be the third year in a row? A couple days after I do the NYC marathon? Honestly, I was out for a run and I smelled something that smelled like Rome burning on Spaceship Earth and I thought, “it’ll be a lot of fun to do Wine & Dine again!” Basically, I wasn’t thinking like a rational person. In theory, it’s so great and I want to love it but in actuality I much prefer the early morning where I get my run in and then go eat pancakes at the Kona Cafe all before 10am. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m a morning person and I’m okay with that.

Mostly, though, the repeated injuries have made it really hard to like Wine & Dine. When I ran it in 2012 for the first time, I was in such agonizing pain afterward and on so little sleep that I was no fun to be around. The pain lasted almost two weeks, too, and the current IT band pain I’ve been having? That dates back to Wine & Dine 2013.

After this past weekend, Brooklyn’s become one of those races. For some reason, I don’t really like it but I always sign up for it. Unlike Wine & Dine this past year (and next year) where I got my coast to coast medal in 2012, at least I come out of it with a credit towards guaranteed marathon entry. Aside from that, it has yet to be a race that I feel any kind of real attachment to and yet I keep showing up and I keep thinking in theory it’s great. I’ll hang out on the beach afterward, I’ll get delicious fries at Nathan’s, it’s a great course and I’ll totally PR on it.

And yet none of these aspirations have actually proven to be an accurate representation of what happens in reality. Specifically, it’s too early in the morning to do anything and I don’t feel like hanging out at the boardwalk and honestly the beach is not particularly nice.

943319_581803601854357_777354326_nI guess looking at it, the disconnect between expectation/aspiration and reality is what makes these races so disappointing in the end. If anyone wants to volunteer to slowly walk/jog Wine & Dine in November with me, let me know. I am vowing here and now that I will not RUN Wine & Dine. And someone, please, I’m begging you, remind me of this when we get to the start line.

Does anyone else have a race that you in theory love, in reality kind of hate, and you just keep coming back for?


14 thoughts on “My Whales

      • Hahahaha the only reason I’m even W&Ding this year is because you two talked me into it. I have a propensity to JUST TAKE OFF AND RUN RUN RUN at races but that was not a good strategy for my plan to enjoy the W&D afterparty, because I was nauseated and on the verge of fainting or throwing up for most of it in November. I DIDN’T GO ON ANY RIDES. NO SPACESHIP EARTH. NO MAELSTROM. Devastating.

        Like I think I said to you at the Healthy Kidney race, I have no idea why SO MANY PEOPLE swear that W&D is their absolute favorite runDisney race. I agree that it IS perfect in theory with the sleeping in and the afterparty in the greatest park, but theory is NOT practice. I won’t be coming off marathons like you guys (Philly is two weeks after W&D) but I’d rather take it slow so we can thank the Phoenicians and go back, back, over the falls MULTIPLE TIMES AFTERWARD.

      • Don’t worry; I’m sure I can hold you back. πŸ˜‰ We shall have SPARKLING CONVERSATIONS. Or, y’know, sparkling iPod parties.

        Is this one of the races with Darkwing Duck? WHEN THERE’S TROUBLE YOU CALL DW

  1. OMG, this is Disneyland Half for me. It was my first ever race in 2010 and it was pretty chilly that morning and just perfect running conditions. 2011 was miserable and crowded and I got sick halfway through it. I ran it on 2012 and it’s my current PR, but the whole time I kept thinking, “I’m so over this race.”

    Then I managed to convince myself it was the best race ever for 2013 and signed up for Dumbo which was a gigantic cluster f***.

    Somehow I managed to keep myself from signing up this year which would have been my 5th year running it. But it was a struggle even though I can clearly remember hating both days of dumbo. What is wrong with us?!

    W&D is a race I REALLY want to do but I can’t afford NYCM and W&D coming from AZ, so I’m planning for 2015.

    • The up side is that now that the Disney races, especially Disneyland, sell out so fast you only have to resist for a short time. I’d like to do Dumbo but I have the same problem you do, going to the opposite coast is just too damn expensive.

      I hope NYCM ends up being an amazing race!

  2. I’ve run the Yonkers Half/Marathon two years in a row despite the fact that the course is evil, hilly, and open to honking traffic. And I’ll probably run it again. I love/hate it. Like hate-watching, it’s hate running and you just can’t stop yourself. I tried to race and PR at my first Wine & Dine. Big mistake and never again. The 10 pm start, humidity, the food from a day in the parks jiggling in my stomach. For round two I jogged the race, stopped for every character photo and had so much more fun. It’s funny, Wine & Dine was my first Disney race, and Brooklyn was my first half-marathon, so they both have a place in my heart. I love them. But I totally get that expectation/reality disconnect. My solution? I pretty much expect the worst from life, races and every situation. That way, when it happens I’m prepared. And when it doesn’t, I’m delightfully surprised. I’m the happiest pessimist/realist you’ll ever meet πŸ™‚

  3. Ummmmm, I already slow jog/walk! Count me in! I mean, my running pace is jog for most people and I walk water stops. Plus I want to run it with people who will have fun with it! I ran it in 2012 with my dad who refused to stop running (I mean, go dad, that’s awesome, but I want to take a picture!) and then last year I ran it with someone who was absolutely miserable, had a panic attack and didn’t want to take any pictures. I love this race, this course, but I’ve still yet to run it to it’s maximum fun-ness!


      • Yay! ….but I just realized I may have to bow out because in order for me to join, you would have to schlep way back to my corral because, well, yeah, no more corral changes at the expo…stupid Disney rules!

        But I’ll still PR in fun for ya! And save me a ride on Spaceship Earth!

      • A) I know, but my PR attempt will be AFTER the deadline (assuming I’m successful). B) Thanks, but maybe you should wait until you see what corral I’m in just to be sure…if for no other reason than you don’t want to start partying that much later!

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