Usually, I would not bother getting up at 4am to run a 5k… But Pip and I are in Florida this week to participate in the Dopey Challenge, which involves running the 5k, 10k, Half marathon, and full marathon over 4 consecutive days.
We left the comfort and warmth of our hotel at 5am, and caught a taxi to Epcot.
It was freezing. And by freezing, I mean FREEZING! I was colder here than when running in Vancouver.
It was 1 degree C as we waited in the starting area, with a wind chill making it feel well below freezing. To make matters worse, we were expecting much warmer temperatures, so we were dressed in shorts and tutus. We were literally hugging each other in the starting corrals to try to keep warm. I have never been more happy to have complete strangers invade my personal space.
I was channelling Elsa, trying to believe that ‘the cold never bothered me anyway’, but I was glad we were saving the Elsa costumes for the 10k, so that no one would blame us for causing what felt like eternal winter.m
With 20 minutes to go until the race started, we were forced to leave the semi-protection of the baggage tent and go and get into our starting corral. We were in the A corral, so as soon as we entered we got to move forward to the start line.
By the time we got there, it was only 2 minutes to the start of the race. I was shivering, and really tight and sore in the legs due to the cold weather, and clenching my muscles. The gun went off and we moved forward, desperate to start running in the hope of warming up.
There were so many people, that moving forward was a challenge. I realized very quickly that any hope of running a fast 5k was gone. I could see Pip ahead of me, doing a much better job of forcing her way through the crowd.
The first kilometre took 5:05. The second was a little better, 4:35.
I ran into the back of somebody who abruptly stopped at a drink station. At 1 degree C, I’m not really sure if drink stations were necessary for a 5k.
Sunrise is 7:20am, so it was still completely dark. The course was not particularly well lit, and at one point, I nearly ran into a garden bed. My eves struggles to adjust to the lit and the dark areas.
I still could not feel my feet or legs underneath me, as they were numb with the cold.
Right when I thought the race was nearly done, I passed a big ‘3’ sign. I glanced at my Garmin, certain that I had run more than 3k. It read 4.8. I became amused that even though the event was advertised as a 5k, we were in America, and everything was measured in miles.
As I crossed the line in 23:00 flat, I was handled 2 bottles of Gatorade, water, bananas and a snack box. Not bad for a 5k. Pip was right behind me in 24:56.
After the race, Pip and I returned to our hotel, and got ready to head to Disneyland for the day.
Next up… The Minnie Mouse 10k!