This week I have been in Florida racing in the 2021 Wine & Dine Villain Race Weekend. I’ve broken it down into four parts because I cannot even begin to describe it in one post.
Starting with the 5K (or 3.1 miles). The race started at 5:00 am. I’m on the east coast now, so that means it’s 2:00 in the morning for me. The requirements are also that runners arrive at 4:00, an hour prior to start time (1:00 am). Because I wasn’t staying at a hotel directly at the resort, I was waking up at 3:00 in the morning (midnight) to get ready, book an Uber and head off to the race.
On Friday, the 5K, it was freezing cold, windy and pouring rain. As per every previous blog post I’ve written about temperature, there is nothing I dislike more than running in the rain. I hate being wet. After waiting around at the start line for over an hour to get going, there was no chance that I was going to take my time with it. It was dark and impossible to see any features of the actual park. There was no way that I was going to go slowly. I sprinted for the 5K, anxious to get back to my hotel, have a shower, and go back to sleep. By the time I was there, it still wasn’t light out.
It was fun though.
Those races are meant to be fun and enjoyable. Obviously there’s no control over the weather so that was outside the realm of control even of Disney. It was a great time though. I live on an island that is currently experiencing similar temperatures, wind and rain. It’s not something I am unfamiliar with. I was drenched by the end of it, but I’ve been there before. When I got back to the hotel, all my clothes had to be hung to dry (been there before). The only thing was new was that my sneakers had to be dried. When doing previous sequential races, it hasn’t rained. Otherwise if I race and even if my sneakers are soaked, it’s not like I need them the next day. In this case, I would. The blow dryer in the hotel room helped.
Friday. I was tired from travel, both from the 22-hour trip from Canada and then the 6-hour drive from where I am visiting in Florida. I was tired from the time zone change, waking up early and then running. I was soaked and that really stresses me out. It was the perfect storm (ha) for a seizure. I can’t speak to why I didn’t have one because I really don’t know. The factors that existed had put my body under a huge amount of strain physically and then being unhappy about being wet. There was even the knowledge that there were two more runs to go and hoping that the weather would improve.
I wanted to do the race. I wanted to come to Florida. I knew it would be a long trip when I booked it. I knew it would be a long drive. I knew there were three races (which I did in California in 2017, so that precedent was already set). I wanted the medals, I wanted the photos, I wanted the sunshine.
I can’t say why I didn’t have a seizure. I just know that I wanted to be here badly enough that maybe that sheer pigheadedness is what got me through that first rainy race. We can feel our bodies and feel how much further we can go. This is a strong thought and is not for everyone but it outlines the nature of endurance.
“Run Like Your Tail is On Fire” – Shere Khan from the Jungle Book. Shirt, Day 1