Here goes nothing! Haven’t done one of these recap things in a while, I’m {finally} at a place where I can talk about races and not worry about what others do or don’t think. Growing up and maturing is fun like that.

I’ll do a race review next week for those of you curious about the race and not just MY race, but for now here are my details.

Hershey Half I Run This Body

Going in to this race I was feeling fitter than I had in a long time. I started training with a coach on September 7th. A month and a half of following a plan, helped my confidence on race day.

I felt confident that running a sub 1:38 would be fairly easy.

Why 1:38? I ran that at the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half last winter where I was not in shape, was tired, and dehydrated and had walked a bit during the race.

My ultimate stretch time goal was close to my pr of 1:32, which I also thought was doable if I had a good day.

 

My warm up before the race felt great. I had some spring in my legs and my hip which has been bothering me a little, felt fine.

My goal was to start the race in the high 7’s, work in to the mid to low 7’s and then if I felt great at the 10 mile mark, drop down and race the 5K.

I started out at a pace that didn’t feel particularly hard and I guessed I was running right under an 8 minute pace. I was a bit shocked when I saw 7:14, so I told myself just to hold it around there. I run mostly on perceived effort and the effort in that mile was not the effort of that pace, so I thought – ok – I’m fit enough to run this or faster for 13.1 miles.

The next mile was slower but again I thought it was okay based on the wind and the hills.

I still believed I was going to be able to pick it up, but that didn’t happen. I was giving all I had and not getting any faster as the miles went on. I didn’t feel like I was hitting a wall because I wasn’t drastically slowing – I wasn’t going from in the 7’s to in the 9’s – I was still hovering in the 7’s.

Once I knew my a goal was gone – I came up with a new goal mid-race and that was to try to make sure I kept it in the 7’s. It sucked a bit when I hit the 12 mile mark and the time on the clock was right around what I had hoped to run for the entire half, but it is what it is. Hershey Stats

 

6 months ago I was getting sick on almost every single run. I felt like crap and was creeping close to 140 pounds {which for me is a lot}. I didn’t feel good about life, I didn’t feel good about myself, and I was in a funk – that I wasn’t sure I could get out of.

Now I’m under 130, stronger than I think I’ve been in my whole life, and am working my way back to getting some pep in my step during races. I really can not be upset for one single second about how I ran even though it wasn’t what I thought I was going to run that day. I was truly happy at the finish of the race.

My finish time was 1:40:55 and I finished as the 33rd female out of 2,935.

Hershey Half Finish

In hindsight I made a few mistakes that didn’t help me. I was so focused on leaving the house clean that rather than figuring out what I was going to eat the night before the race or the morning of, I was rushing around folding laundry and doing the dishes. I didn’t bring my own food, which is what I typically do for all out-of-town races. I ordered bad at dinner and ended up eating chips and fries off Chloe’s plate because I didn’t like the food I ordered. Fries & chips are NOT exactly a healthy/beneficial pre-race meal. The next morning I couldn’t find any wheat free options for breakfast and didn’t want to eat a nut bar. I had a soy latte for “breakfast” and was hungry at the start of the race. I meant to eat a gel right beforehand for a sugar boost, but forgot to grab it out of my checked bag and didn’t want to go back to bag check and deal with asking them for it. I’ve been trying to quit coffee because it hurts my stomach and have cut down dramatically on it. The week leading up to the race I had only had coffee once. The soy latte did me zero favors during the race.

It was a little over 32 degrees at the start of the race so I made the choice to wear a long sleeve shirt over my tank, that was a bad decision. I sweat like crazy during the race and then was freezing at the same time. In one of my finishers photos you can see a ridiculous amount of salt all over my shorts from sweating so much. I grabbed one cup of water on course but only swished it around in my mouth before spitting it out. I don’t know why I didn’t stop to get water at any of the other stops. In hindsight I think I just wanted the race to be over and to be back at the hotel taking a warm shower, so my focus was on finishing and not on hydrating.

I don’t like saying oh I was in shape to run this or I was fitter than that, because really what you run on that day is what you run. Yes you may have been in crazy good shape, but racing is also about taking care of the details before the race that help you run your best. I didn’t pay attention to those details. My legs felt dead on race day and that’s that. I thought the course was CRAZY hilly and as it turns out, it wasn’t very hilly at all. My normal 7 mile run by my house has a higher elevation gain than this race did.

All that being said, I had a really great weekend, and loved racing. I’m not the fastest girl and I’m not the slowest girl – I’m a girl who loves running through all the ups and downs. Once upon a time I was OVER THE MOON at running a sub 2 hour half marathon and I don’t ever want to get so wrapped up in a time on the clock again that I forget a. where I came from and b. that though pr’s are cool there are more important things in life.Hershey Half Race

 

Tomorrow I’m headed to DC to speak at the Pep Rally courtesy of The Beef Checkoff Program. Saturday morning I’m leading the stretches before two waves of the kids race and Saturday night I’m speaking at a Team Beef dinner. In 2003 at about this same time I was freaking out – I didn’t know if I would be able to make it through 26.2 miles at my first marathon. Now I’m returning to the marathon that changed my life and getting the opportunity to talk to other runners about something I am passionate about. I’m feeling incredibly thankful today – cheesy but true.

If you want to follow along on my weekend adventures I’ll be posting to instagram all weekend – https://instagram.com/mileposts/

Good luck to everyone racing Marine Corps Marathon and 10K!

xoxo Dorothy

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