Dopey Challenge Race Recap Part 3: Half Marathon

I woke up at 2:45am to get dressed and do my hair and make it on a bus by 4am. I ate my banana first thing. For half marathons, I do french braided pigtails. Somehow it was 3:15am, and I’m dressed in my Lululemon Capris (with side zip pockets), my May The Course Be With You Raw Threads 13.1 tank, and my hair is done so I headed to the bus.

Since Saturday was actually colder than Friday at 43 degrees, I grabbed a garbage bag for the start line. I knew I would be finishing after sunrise so I didn’t want to dress too warm, however I did wear my OSU headband from the 5K because it’s wide and covered my ears.

The bus got stuck in a bit of traffic, but it was still 4:15am when we got to the drop-off and the race didn’t start until 5:30am, so I was not worried. There wasn’t much space to run, so I decided to skip my warm-up run. I wasn’t planning on pushing it too much this race and I really didn’t want to start sweating then have to shed my layers and be cold; I actually didn’t do any warm-up runs for any of the races. I did do my warm-up Yoga routine, which has now become a pre-run staple. There’s a plethora of porta-pots so I take two breaks because I really hate having to go during a race.

Around 5am, they’re trying to get people to head towards their corrals. I drop off my gear bag, throw on my garbage bag and head back to the start-line. I didn’t run a warm-up mile but the start-line felt like it was a mile from gear check. And there are more porta-pots! I regretted not having a water bottle to throw away here, because I’m thirsty (well-hydrated but nerves make me thirsty). The race starts at 5:35am, but I’m in Corral G so we don’t start until closer to 6am. This kind of sucks considering we had to be on a bus by 4am to hang out for 2 hours, but with 20,000+ runners it helps keep the course from being too overcrowded. Although I start to get hungry and make a mental note to bring extra Clif Blocks to eat before the start.

I am hanging out with the 2:15 pacer and thinking I really need to pace myself well this race and not go out to fast but hit a pace and stick with it. However, we come to the first water stop, and I just kept running. I don’t think I’ve ever run a half marathon and felt that good. I had GUs to take and ended up needing one early because I got hungry and didn’t want to lose energy later on. So about mile 3, mile 8 and mile 12. I was using the Salted Caramel from two winters ago, caffeine plus extra electrolytes. A bit worried about the caffeine but over the weekend it turned out okay. In the future I’m switching to Clif Blocks, my stomach seems to tolerate them, and I can take one, two or three as needed instead of having to take a whole pouch of gel. Plus with the blocks, I can vary the caffeine and the extra electrolytes too.

I was scared to stop for pictures because I didn’t want to wait in line, and I didn’t want my legs to stop moving. So I kept going, thinking I would stop more on Sunday during the Marathon. As we left Magic Kingdom and hit the half-way point, they were playing Taylor Swift’s Shake it off and I couldn’t help but want to dance. This was a fun race! And then we approached Epcot and I couldn’t believe how fast the race was almost over. I sent a quick text message to my parents to let them know when to expect me at the finish. And that was it. Finished in 2:09.

My post-race routine didn’t change much from the previous two days, except we headed off to Magic Kingdom and Epcot for the day. A lot of bloggers suggested not doing a lot this day to rest up for Sunday, but I wanted to keep moving and also I wanted to try to not focus on Sunday. It was a good day, but also a long day. We ate dinner at the Corral Reef Restaurant at Epcot, and luckily they got us in for our 5:30pm reservation at 5pm. I was really feeling how long of a day I had had with a lot of miles under my feet so I was relieved to be in bed by 7pm. After doing my 15 minutes of Legs Up The Wall. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but I think I was passed out cold by 7:30pm.

….

3 Race Recaps down, 1 more to go! Be on the lookout for Dopey Challenge Race Recap Part 4 where I’ll talk about the final race, Sunday’s Marathon!

If you missed any of the race recaps, you can find them here!

Thank you for reading!

Jes

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3 Replies to “Dopey Challenge Race Recap Part 3: Half Marathon”

    1. Thank you! I read so many blogs before registering for Dopey (even though I knew I was going to do it regardless of what I read). The biggest tip I can give is to remember when registering for Dopey it sells out in less than an hour (I think it was 42 minutes last year), so be ready! Good Luck 🙂

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      1. Haha I’m definitely the same, I doubt I could be talked out of it at this stage. Ye I read that it sold out super quick so I’ll be ready to sign up as soon as it opens. Thanks for the advice!

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