Monday, October 7, 2013

Tower of Terror 10 Miler Recap

I did it!  And I didn’t die, injure myself, have a panic attack or get swept off of the course.  Woohoo! 

I feel so amazing having completed the Tower of Terror 10 Miler.  It was my first long race (and long run) since having Jillian, it was a race that I did not train for (like, at all), and it was a night race, which just makes everything a little off kilter in my opinion.  So having completed it, and kicking some ass while doing it, is just such a great feeling!  So let’s start from the beginning…

Michele came over around 6:30.  We had a Three Awesome Chicks casualty late last week.  Amanda came down with a horrible bout of bronchitis and an ear infection last week and decided to bow out (I would have too!), so we were down to just Two Awesome Chicks, but Amanda was there in spirit (and iPhone photo).

The race began at 10pm, but being a Disney race you have to be there like 7 hours before the start time to get buses and all that mumbo jumbo, so we had to leave the house at 7:00.  But not before we did a nice photo session with our shirts.

And then we were on our way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.  The race started at Hollywood Studios park, but we had to park at ESPN and get bussed over.  Parking was chaos, but we were able to get a primo spot just a hop, skip and jump away from the busses.  This proved to be an awesome thing at 3am when we had to get back to our car.

We got to Hollywood Studios and it was just a massive humanity of people.  For instance, the line for the porta potties…

 This killed a lot of time before we had to get into our corrals, which was good.  Soon, they were calling for us to get into our corrals.  Because the race was so big (close to 10,000 people finished) they lined us up in our corrals and then walked us to the starting line as it got closer to race time.  I was in corral H (for “HOLLA!”) and Michele was in corral J, so we had to split up and go our separate ways.  But not before another photo op. 

And then it was time to line up and make our way to the starting line.  The race officially started at 10:00, but my corral didn’t actually take off until 10:18.  That’s how many people were there.  The starting line was super cool and spooky themed.  I also saw Carissa from Fit2Flex hosting the race. 

Terrible pic, but she's there.
And soon we were off and running (with fireworks!). 

The course was SO crowded at the take off.  My plan was to run the first 5 minutes and then drop into my 90/90 intervals.  That didn’t happen.  We were so jam packed in there, there was no opportunity to stop and walk without getting trampled from behind, so I just kept running until the course thinned out once we got onto Osceola Parkway.  I was okay with this and felt fine during my almost 10 minute run (like seriously the longest I have run in one sitting in a year, ha!).  Once I got to a good place where I felt like I wouldn’t be steam rolled by runners, I dropped into my intervals. 

I’ve gotta say, 90/90 was the best way to go for me.  90 seconds wasn’t too long to run (it was actually a little short, I think I could’ve gone to 2 minutes comfortably, but I’m glad I didn’t) and 90 seconds was the perfect amount to walk and catch my breath.  My running intervals felt GREAT.  I don’t know how fast I was running, but it was faster than I normally run (adrenaline), and it felt so right on, I was so relieved.  And when I walked, it was fast (faster than I normally walk), so I was in the zone. 

I credit my amazing playlist for my performance.  Seriously, the best race playlist I have ever created.  And I had my iPod up so loud I couldn’t hear anything around me.  Like, the world could have been ending around me and I would not have heard it.  I’m sure I’m a little more deaf than I was before the race.  Loud = great, “in the zone” running.  Seriously, it’s what got me through this.

The first 2 miles went by SO SLOW.  We were literally just running down a highway between Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom (kinda boring) and I hit the 2 mile marker and was like “seriously, we’ve only gone 2 miles?”  But after we made the turn at Animal Kingdome back to ESPN, things picked up and the miles started to fly by. 

I kept up my run/walk intervals without cheating (walking a run interval) for 7 miles (7!!) and this shocked the heck out of me.  I really only thought I would make it about 4 miles (the most I ran during training) doing the run/walk thing and then I would just walk the rest, but I went 7 full miles.  I still cannot believe it.  I was so in the zone with this race, my playlist, the course, the weather, my cool t-shirt, it was just all good.  Apparently not training works for me (however, I do not condone this). 

At mile 7 time caught up with me and I hit a wall of tired.  It was about midnight at this point and I think my body finally realized “hey, shouldn’t you be in bed by now?”  I got really really tired all of the sudden and was on a slow, boring straightaway leading out of ESPN and decided to drop it to a walk.  There was a part of me that was like “no, stick with the intervals, you’re doing so well!” but I then I said to myself “you have done MUCH MUCH more than you anticipated and you’ve kicked ass so it’s okay to walk it out.”  And that’s what I did.  For the next 3 miles I walked.  But I didn’t leisurely walk, I hoofed it – fast.  I was walking almost as fast as I was running (it’s a gift to run that slow), so it wasn’t really “taking it easy” for the rest of the race, but it was still walking.

Sometimes I think walking fast is harder and more painful on my body than actually running.  I decided to run down a big overpass hill that brought us back into Hollywood Studios and it was instant relief on my legs and back, so I kept it up for a little while, but soon I was back to fast walking.  Once we got into the park we hit the 9 mile marker.  Woo!!  I wish I had taken some pictures in the park, but I was so focused on just getting done I didn’t. 

Running through the park was fun (always the best part of a Disney race), and running past the big Sorcerer’s Hat was just awesome and amazing because they had all of the spectators there, there was crazy loud thumping music playing, it was my favorite part of the whole race.  That part gave me a little more motivation to run, so I decided to run to the finish.  It was hard, but I knew the end was near and so I just focused, turned up my Ricky Martin “La Copa de la Vida” (my signature last song of every race playlist – it’s the BEST “run run run to the finish” song) and ran. 

I finished in 2:30:56.  This surpassed every dream and wish I had for this race, given my lack of training.  In my mind I wanted to finish in 2:30 (which equated to 15 minute miles with my run/walking), but I knew with my serious lack of training I probably wouldn’t get it.  And I did.  I DID!  I was ecstatic!

The worst part of the race came after the finish line.  Because we were backstage at Disney, we had to walk like another half a mile to get to where we needed to be inside the park.  We were like cattle just walking and walking and walking up hills (yes, hills) to get out.  At one point I said to the person next to me “I just want to sit down and stretch!”  I finally got to an area near a bathroom and plopped down on the ground outside the bathroom.  I didn’t care where I was I just wanted to sit, stretch and drink my Powerade.  I did this only to have someone come up to me and say “you can’t sit here, you need to keep walking.”  I really wanted to say “lady, I just ran 10 miles, I WANT TO SIT!” but I didn’t.  Instead I gave her a little bit of attitude, sighed really loudly and got up.  Hehe.  After another hour of walking (seriously it was so far) I finally got out to the park.  Not my favorite part of this race.

I texted Michele when I finally got out to the park to see where she was.  We planned on meeting at the entrance to Tower of Terror, which was like another mile away from where I was – blerg, more walking!  She met up with me not too long after I had settled on a curb (I finally got to sit!).  She did great!!  Her first long run (she’d only run 5Ks before this) was a success and she finished in 2:42:01 and she loved it!  But we were both so tired and so sore (it took a while for us to get up off the curb) we decided to forego the party in the park and just go home.  But not before another photo op. 

All in all, this race was amazing.  I was worried about this race because I was so lackadaisical about training, I honestly was worried that I would be walking the whole thing and in jeopardy of getting swept off of the course.  But I surprised myself in every way and conquered this race.  I performed better than I could have imagined, given my preparation, and honestly can say that this is the race that I am most proud of.  So yay to me!  And yay to Michele and her first long run!  I think she’s been bitten by the race bug because she said on Sunday “we should do a 10K!”  I already tracked one down for us in November.  We’re gluttons for punishment.

Anyway, I’ve written enough for today.  I’ll fill you in tomorrow on the aftermath of running a 10 miler with no training… Fun stuff! 


  1. Congrats on a great finish! I loved this race last year (except for the humidity) and am really bummed I didn't do it this year. Next year, next year I will again!

  2. That's Awesome Kerry! This is one that I definitely want to do some day! Great job!

  3. Congrats on finishing!! This is a race I want to do next year, after law school is finished and I pass the bar and can afford some time off. I think this is a race that Lizzy would do with me. Not sure if she's up for running 10 miles, but a run/walk might do it for her.