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This week I'm continuing my series of tips about the pre-race area during RunDisney events at Walt Disney World.
Ok, so it's time to get intimate - and I do mean intimate. We're going to talk about pee, poop and private parts, so if you'd rather not go there, now's your time to move to another page.
I won't mind.
If you're reading this, then you're probably ok with this week's topics, so off we go!
One of the most important things to do at the pre-race area is to make sure you use a bathroom (porta-pottie in most cases) before you get into your corral. Now here's a really big tip for you. DON'T bother lining up for the first porta-potties that you see once you pass through the runners only zone. Take a look at the map above. Those areas in red generally are where Disney places porta-potties. Notice that there is a big group just after you enter the runners only area. This is where most runners will line up (I've seen 20 people or more in a line for a single porta-pottie). There is a smaller second area as you turn to the left and head down the path toward the corrals. These porta-potties are usually far less crowded. So skip the first set and venture on a bit.
Speaking of pee and poop -- you'll probably need to do so while you're out on the course, especially for the longer races. While there are porta-potties along the race, it's much less stressful to have access to a real bathroom. There are a few opportunities during the race, usually in the parks, where runners can go off the course briefly to hit a regular bathroom. There are three good places to do so in the Magic Kingdom. The first is as you're passing Mickey's Star Traders - there is a bathroom within steps of the course. The second is as you're passing through Frontierland, there is a bathroom located in one of the two corridors that connect Frontierland and Adventureland. The third is just before heading out of Frontierland. Take the back path from Frontierland to the restrooms located at Pirates of the Caribbean - it's not far away.
In Animal Kingdom, there are two opportunities - the first is as you pass Kali River Rapids and the second is as you pass Finding Nemo: The Musical. In Hollywood Studios, there is a bathroom as you pass behind what was the American Idol Experience. A second easy-to-reach bathroom is located to the left as you get to the Crossroads before exiting the park.
By the time you get to Epcot, you're very near the end, but the good news is that you're running along World Showcase from the UK pavilion all the way around to the entrance, so there are a bunch of restrooms along the way - just about one in each pavilion.
One last note about pee. During those pit stops, do be sure to keep an eye on the color of your pee. I know this sounds gross, but it is important. If your urine is gold or even light orange in color, you are getting seriously dehydrated and you need to drink a lot right away. Dehydration is no fun at all - ask Len Testa sometime.
Ok, enough with the bathroom stuff. Now it's time to talk about your private parts (see, I said we were getting intimate). The fact is, running is a sport where parts of your body are moving all the time. Webster defines "chafing" as "to cause soreness or damage by rubbing against something." When you're running, your skin is rubbing against things like clothes and other parts of your skin. So it's very important to guard against severe chafing, which can bleed (trust me on this one).
It's important to use some sort of anti-chafing product, such as Glide. Men and women should use this on the butt crack, on the chest/breasts and nipples and on the underarms and perhaps inside each thigh (if not wearing running tights). Women also should use Glide on the cleavage area, especially for women with larger breasts. I have heard of some people actually taping down their nipples and/or using bandages to avoid severe chafing. Use whatever works for you.
So why am I discussing this in a post about the pre-race area? These are some of the things you may need to do while you're in the pre-race area and don't be surprised to see people lubing up before the race.
Well, I think that just about covers everything for the pre-race area. I'll talk more about some tips during the start and during the race in future posts. Until then, keep up the training!