Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Own Little Terror in the Tower of Terror 10 Miler

Glow in the dark medal!
Saturday I ran Disney World's Tower of Terror 10 Miler.  The race started at 10pm, but like all of Disney races, you have to get there hours earlier because so many people participate.  Although the race began and ended in Disney's Hollywood Studios we had to park at the Wild World of Sports Complex and take a bus to and from the race.  We got there just before the masses and had an easy time getting in.
Our view of Tower of Terror as we approached the park
We spent the next 2+ hours in a parking lot to wait it out until the start.  I did a lot of people watching and saw some creative costumes. We showed our spirit by wearing orange and black.

About 30 minutes before the start I drank a 5-hour Energy that I had picked up at a race expo.  Never having tried one before, I didn't know what to expect, but I thought a little extra energy sounded like a good idea, especially for a late night race.  Dessert Man and I were going to share one, but it only promised moderate energy if you drank half.  Who only wants moderate energy? So I went for the whole thing.

I felt really good at the start of the race despite the heat and humidity. The temperature was in the mid 80s.  We had a good spot in Corral A, close to the start line.
The starting line
The first few miles were crowded, but it thinned out in mile 2.  We were moving at a decent pace, but it felt okay.  I was psyched for a good run!   The course was very dark and we were running on paved roads.  I grabbed a sip of gatorade at the second aid station and things were fine. About 2 miles later, at the next station my stomach felt full, but I knew I needed to stay hydrated, so I drank a few sips of water.  I felt a little slushy in my gut after this and that developed into a side stitch.  I figured after a few miles things would settle down.  I even ate a Stinger chew at mile 4, not wanting to run out of fuel later in the run.

At mile 4.75 we turned off the road and onto a gravel trail that took us to the fields at Wide World of Sports.  Here, we ran among the playing fields, around the bases in the baseball stadium and around the running track.  In all the races I have done at Disney, this was my first time running this part and it was a great change of scenery!
Big Bad Wolf 
From there, things went downhill!  This is when I experienced my own bit of terror. It became harder and harder to keep up my pace and that side cramp would not go away.  I thought I should drink more water, but my stomach said no.  I began to extend my walk time through the water stations, trying to catch my breath.
Zombie Grave Diggers and what appears to be Zombie runners
We cut back on our pace and I took  all the photo breaks I could. I somehow trudged through to the end. Once across the finish line, I just wanted to sit down.  My head was spinning and I felt queasy. The chute was long, and the walk to bag check pick up even longer.  I finally plopped down on the sidewalk and was sure I would feel better if I could just sit awhile.  Again I tried to drink, but didn't think it would stay down, so I gave that up.

Tower of Terror
I have never felt like this after running and was sure it would pass, but as I began to feel worse, I knew I needed to go home.  After making our way to the buses and driving back home, it was 1:30am.  I felt like crap, but thankfully I threw up and that helped my stomach feel better.  I showered and fell into bed grateful to be clean and able to sleep.

It was a horrible experience feeling that ill in a public place. I probably should have gone to the medical tent as Dessert Man suggested, but I didn't think they could do anything for me. I am not sure if I was dehydrated or overheated or a combination of the two, but I am sure I should not have had that 5-hour energy!  That was my first and last time taking one!

Box of finish line snacks
My big plans to drink a beer and ride the Rock N Roller Coaster never came to be that night.  

T shirt and bib
I woke up Sunday feeling groggy with a headache, but after eating and drinking something I felt much better.  This race wasn't my finest moment, but it was all self inflicted. 
My performance has me questioning my ability to run the Goofy. I may be changing my approach to the race because I never want to feel that way again!

Here are the details of the race:
10 miles
Temperature at end of race(midnight) 77 steamy degrees
1195 calories burned

Mile 1: 9:52
Mile 2: 9:26
Mile 3: 9:46
Mile 4: 9:46
Mile 5: 10:48
Mile 6: 11:18
Mile 7: 10:46
Mile 8: 11:55
Mile 9: 13:49
Mile 10: 10:37
Finish Time: 1:48:38


  1. Gosh, even though you didn't feel well, your time was still good!

    I have a five hour energy once and I would never, ever do it again. I got super sick like you did and actually had to go home from work. I cannot imagine being sick like that in the middle of a race. Hope you enjoyed everything despite all that!

    1. Oh, I wish I had asked people before taking it! I've never heard anyone say "man, I had my best run after drinking that 5-hour energy" Silly me.

  2. agh! Glad you are OK. too bad you couldn't enjoy the post race party. But you did finish and now have another awesome Disney medal to your name :)
    You can definitely run the Goofy in January - just no more 5 hour energy!


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