Sunday, October 16, 2016

Danville Half Marathon 2016

So many folks raced this weekend! A big fun weekend for runners :)

I have so much to say about my race, I am not sure where to begin!
I started writing it out and it was like an epic novel - I decided to try to bullet point my thoughts and not craft a tale. Nobody needs a novel, but it still toooo long! I apologize now LOL

Saturday I ran half marathon #11 I kind of recapped the rest of the week in my Friday post.
  • Danville VA is about a 2 hour 20 minute drive from home
  • I had to get up at 4:10 a.m. and aimed to leave at 4:45 a.m. I actually left at 4:55 a.m. but made it in plenty of time. 
  • Packet pick up 7:00 a.m. - 7:45 a.m.
  • The race is held in the old riverfront area. 



  • Since I had two hours in the car, I drank one cup of coffee and 24 oz. with a Nuun tablet. 
  • I did a pit stop at Sheetz about 20 minutes from arrival so I could have a real bathroom. 
  • I have not been drinking much coffee the past month at all - I hoped the caffeine would give me a boost. 
  • When I got to Danville and tried to pull up the map of the start line my phone wouldn't work. Just spinning nothing would load! I was freaking out! I've been having this issue with my for awhile now, but it didn't work the entire time I was on the road. Annoying! 
  • I've run this race before, it was my 2nd half ever- it was 90 degrees that day, I got heat sick, stopped and was heaving for about 6 minutes behind a bush. I ran/walk to the finish in 2:36:59 I was in tears. The experience freaked me out so much, it took me a year to regain the nerve to run another half! 
  • They changed this course last year, so I knew the general area, but had no idea where the start line was. I figured I would look at the map when I got to the area. I just walked, (because my phone wouldn't work) hoping I would bump into someone, and finally I saw a runner LOL 
  • Turns out they moved the start line about three blocks down. 
  • This was half marathon #11
  • Race start 8:00 a.m. started right on time! 


  • I used the restroom four times before the race started. UGH...this is why I usually only drink a sip or two pre-race. However, when race start is so late, it is hard to do that. My marathon start will be 8:00 a.m. ...practice :) Remember, I am not use to running in sun and daylight, so I have been practicing this more lately. 
  • It was about 55 degrees, cloudy, and the typical morning humidity. It felt pretty sweet :) 
  • It is a small race, 111 finishers. I was 83rd on the finishing order - it is a small speedy race :) 
  • The beginning is a little hilly and mile two has the biggest climb up. 
  • I set my watch for a 1 mile warm up and then 3 minutes run/ 40 seconds recovery
  • When the first beep came I refused to walk because I was going up the big hill - it was a pride thing lol So I did my first interval about 25 minutes in. 

  • I had a stubborn moment where I just wanted to run it and see what happened. My feet were hurting quite a bit Thursday during my 10K run, but they were feeling better. I told myself it was stupid to push. I mean I am not in PR shape at all...just stick to the plan, Karen. 
  • I also heard Kristina's wise quote she sent to me - "If it is good enough for Jeff Galloway, it is good enough for me." These words inspired me to behave and stick with my interval plan. 
  • SO, I was running with nothing in my hands for the first time in five months. No need for a light!  My lifelines I've leaned on all summer, my hydration pack, my handheld...all at home, I felt very odd. I wanted to try to survive with course support. I can't decide if I want to wear my pack marathon day! This was practice. 
  • Water stops were every two miles, most had Gatorade. One gel stop at mile 7
  • I drank water from the first two stops, I was feeling yucky and it surprised me, it wasn't hot but I felt nausea just a bit. At the next stop I gulped Gatorade, two cups, and went easy and started to feel much better. I think plain water makes me feel bad! 
  • At all the stops I only took Gatorade after that and I felt much improved. (they had yellow Gatorade) 
  • I ate the one pack of Honey Stinger chews I brought with me. They are like gum drops! A win :) I may use these marathon day - only draw back, no caffeine in them. 
  • At the 10K point I was at 63 minutes. Not too bad, I really have not been running anything close to that pace until this week. 
  • Oh, before the race I had already run 20 miles during the week. I have never run a race with this kind of mileage on my legs! I hoped I would feel strong at the end and be able to pick it up a bit. Showing up and not being well rested felt really odd! Anyone, ever do this?? 
  • The reality that my legs may feel heavy didn't dawn on me until I was driving to the race. 
  • My legs felt pretty good for most of the race, but no great burst at the end. I did skip the intervals the last mile, because my feet felt okay, but my pace just stayed fairly steady. 
  • Somewhere between mile 7 and 8 I got the urge to go potty...UGH! There are tiny little restroom building on the course. I ducked into the mens room ( ladies had a line) it took me about 50 seconds. Since I am not in PR shape, I decided I didn't want to be uncomfortable but crap! I hate losing time, even that little bit. I do not want to stop during my marathon, but I am getting worried it may be inevitable. 
  • I did try one squirt of the gel - ummmm, no. I just can't lol 
  • About mile 9 the humidity was feeling better, but the sun came out. Uh oh!! LOL I felt fine, but I didn't feel like I could push the pace, my back was heating up. 
  • The last stop at mile 12, I dumped cups of water down my back. It was about 65 degrees when I finished the race, so it was getting warm. 
  • I did not win an AG - I was 6th :) The old gals are fast! 
  • I feel good I went back and ran this event. I passed the spot where I was so sick and emotional a few years ago, and it felt good to be plugging along not having any real issues. 
  • The course changed a lot! They ran us through town some and then down to the river path. We even ran behind a shopping center...it wasn't scenic, but that is fine. I am just happy to have a lane to run in. 
  • Overall, I am happy with how the day went, and I feel good I could still go at a decent pace on tired legs. I am feeling more confident that I will cross the line on November 12th. 
  • Now just a 20 mile run to tackle and I can start tapering. 
  • My official time 2:13:31



I am linking up with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin 
Join in! ㋡ Check out the etiquette here   Thanks for stopping by! 



Do you ever use the water cups to splash your hands? I hate when my hands feel sticky- I did this a few times on the course. 
Or pour water on your head or back? 
Anyone feel my weak bladder pain? 

Ever get so wigged out at a race that it caused you take a year off? 
Anyone have crappy phone service like me?? My phone only works if there is wifi. I am so over Sprint. 
Tell me if you raced!! 


47 comments:

  1. I missed that you were running this somehow -- GREAT job, Karen.

    I was lucky -- I just used the bathroom in my hotel room & walked to the start. :)

    Unfortunately mine started at 65; but no humidity!

    I carried my own water & had them refill my bottles twice. It helped me a LOT but everyone is different. And you're much speedier than me.

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    1. I don't think I told anyone I was running lol until that morning ;) My phone wouldn't work so I could't post.
      I'll take no humidity any day! It is going to be hot here this week! i am not ready.
      Thank you Judy, I feel okay with my race result :)

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  2. I was so traumatized by my first Chicago marathon that it took me 3 years to attempt it again. How about that?

    Great job!

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  3. You did great Karen! My biggest fear in a race is having to stop for the potty. I ended up stopping twice during my first marathon and zero times during my second and I was actually so proud of the fact that I didn't have to stop..lol

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    1. Thank you! I know it is funny how it feel likes an accomplishment when you can just keep going lol I have not stopped in most of my halfs (just two) lol I still hope I can get through marathon day!

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  4. I apologize for being in my own little marathon fog. I didn't realize you ran a half this weekend! I think that's a great finish time! Geez you ran that on top of 20 previous miles. I hate to mention this -- it makes people mad -- I've never stopped to potty while running. Sorry! I wash my hands too during a race. I hate that sweaty sticky feeling. Thanks for linking, Karen!

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    1. No worries! You should be in your own fog. I fully expect to have one lol I was afraid last week because my pain spiked so much...I was worried there was a chance I may not be able to run it. I really didn't want to talk about it. I am so relieved it went okay!
      You are so lucky you don't have to stop. I really hope I can overcome this for my big race.

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  5. I almost always have to splash my hands with water...they always feel icky & sticky if I'm using gels. One time, I swooshed them through wet grass LOL I have to limit how much I drink, my bladder seems like it absorbs NOTHING and once I get the slightest twinge of maybe needing to go...it's all over. UGH.

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    1. It feels so refreshing to get the hands cleansed :)
      I think I will be limiting my intake before the race lol I am the same way, once the urge hits, it is all over.

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  6. I definitely have splashed water on my head during a race - but in the summer. I can't imagine a half with only 111 people - I usually rely on other runners to keep me going. Before Reston I used the pottys four times. Luckily I only had to go once before Army. Sounds like you had a good "redemption race" with this one!

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    1. A lot of the races I have run are smaller. It is a nice change from Richmond that is so huge! Thank you, it was a nice redemption :)

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  7. I took a year off after running my first 20 K in pouring rain, wind and cold. It was an awful experience.
    I stop to pee at least once during my long runs, and I always feel so much better afterwards.
    I have never poured water on my head, but then again it hasn't been that hot.
    Galloway says stick to the plan but in the last few miles if you are feeling great, no need to walk.
    I am intrigued by all the Gatorade in the US. In France, its water only.

    Sounds like you are ready ! Hope your feet are feeling good.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Those traumatizing races will get ya!
      Yes, most races have Gatorade or Powerade and I typically don't drink that, but it did seem to work okay for me. I am very use to Nuun in water i carry on all my training runs. The marathon is offering Mountain Blast POWERade so I wanted to see if I could get away without carrying anything.
      My feet are okay, and I actually feeling fairly ready. We'll see how I feel after 20 lol

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  8. Go girl! 11 half marathons- that is a lot! With all those miles on your legs, you're going to be super prepared for Nov 12th! Is your 20 next weekend???

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    1. I think the miles are helping my confidence :) I am supposed to do 20 this weekend! I am very nervous. After that the next few weeks should feel pretty good!

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  9. When I wore a fuel belt I'd always keep a bottle of water in it so I could use it with GU and rinse my hands when they got sticky. I really miss that! Can't stand sticky! Wow I think you did great, especially with no taper. Congrats!

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    1. Thank you Marcia ;)
      I know, the sticky hands is the worst! I am sure I will be rinsing them during the marathon lol

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  10. I think that is a great finish time. You did great ...with foot pain, bathroom stop. And 20 miles before...

    I usually have about 6 or 7 miles the week of my half and I've never stopped to use the potty and have finished way slower.

    So you should be happy. You will rock this marathon. I can't wait to hear about it and then run a half with you (if I can keep up.)

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    1. Thanks Darlene! I hope this time was a good sign for me :) The intervals really help my feet while I am moving, so I guess I may have to do that for the big race. My feet were killing me yesterday, but today seem fine again...at least I am bouncing back pretty fast!

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  11. Wow! great job! I always end a race feeling sticky and gross. I always seem to spill the gatorade all over me. During Boston, about midway, someone was handing out wet paper towels to cool off. I used mine to wipe my face and hands... :)
    I have been traumatized by needing to use the bathroom during races, so much so, that I carry a folded paper towel, and have an immodium in the back pocket of my shorts...live and learn, I guess.

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    1. I love when they pass out paper towels or small sponges! That is a refreshing feeling :)
      I think I will be taking in a lot less fluid pre-race. I hate to have to stop! Once i get going I seem to be able to handle a little more.
      I have never thought about immodium!

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  12. This is so awesome, Karen. You are strong and amazing and truly inspiring. Super proud of you my friend.

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    1. Thank you :) Truly, I don't feel as strong as I'd like, but I am going to go with I CAN do it :)

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  13. Congrats on your half, you did a great job! I've never even thought to use water from the station on my hand, and I've never poured it on myself, even during some pretty hot races!

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    1. Thank you! I probably make the water peeps nuts lol but I need that to feel good :)

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  14. Congratulations, Karen!!! Great job and way to push through! I totally know what you mean about not wanting to take a walk interval at certain points on the course, I do the same thing! Interesting observation on the water vs the Gatorade - now you know and can leverage that strategy in the future! You were super speedy in the restroom - less than 50 second? Wow! And I've also used the men's room in an emergency while on the course. No shame. =)

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    1. Thank you Emily! There are some moments we just need to be stubborn lol I just couldn't walk in the middle of a hill LOL had to get up it;)
      I was good in the restroom- like a NAscar pit stop LOL but I still hate to lose those valuable seconds!

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  15. Congrats on a good race! That's a good idea to go back to a race where you had a bad experience and conquer it :)

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    1. Thanks!! I feel good about making it a better memory in my mind!

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  16. congratulations on your 11th Half Marathon! I didn't realize you were racing this weekend! way to go!

    A bathroom break is going to happen during the marathon, I say don't stress about it. It's better to run with an empty and happy bladder, than with pain.

    You did really good in your time !! Congrats!

    Do you normally eat gels during long runs? or do you eat food? I have never tried a gel, and the idea of it makes me nervous. For my marathon I had half of a cookie.

    I do use water from the aid stations to wash my hands, the feeling of salt on my hands is stressful to me. I also dump it in my head and back.

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    1. Thank you Ana! Congrats to you :)
      I usually eat spot beans, but i do like the Honey Stingers I tried ! I can not gel or gu - it is the texture I can't take it. A cookie sounds awesome!! I need to try.
      I hate that sticky feeling, i am glad it is not just me using the race water to wash up lol

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  17. 2:13 - lady, I am so amazed. YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!
    I get nervous before races which makes me have to go to the bathroom extra anyways.
    Please dont tell me you had your Nuun with your coffee ;) haha

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    1. Awww, thank you :)
      I drank my coffee, then had Nuun the second hour of my drive! LOL

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  18. Great job...that's a pretty darn good finish time for someone who isn't in PR shape! I always use the water stops for hand washing (hate that Gu residue) and if it's above 60 degrees, some of the water WILL go down my back and chest!! I really, really need to try the Galloway method... the more I read about it, the more convinced I become!

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    1. Oh Galloway saved me in the heat!! I would have never been able to rain through our summer without :) and it helps me to recover faster :)

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  19. Wow what a great race for you! I like a nice race without so many people, don't get me wrong the bigger runs have their advantages but I do like a smaller one. You had an awesome time!
    Sticky hands is the worse! I do get them with taking GU's! Will it make me stop? Nope. I have poured water on my head! In Tupelo on Labor Day, HOT did not even cut it!

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    1. Thank you! I can not imagine racing in the hot sticky south LOL I bet it was hot. I really enjoy a smaller race too :)

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  20. Awesome job! Congrats on a great race! If I have a bad race, I feel like it's the "scene of the crime" and don't want to go back. Kudos for doing the race again and doing so well this time!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer :) It was like a crime scene last time I went for sure LOL it was nice to replace it with something positive.

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  21. I'm so happy that you're feeling more confident about the marathon now - I am feeling really confident for you!

    I have a weak bladder and am always terrified of having to pee on the course a million times so I go literally like 5 times before the race starts. I just do loops through the port o potty line! haha

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    1. I am glad you feel confident for me! I keep telling myself i have to believe I can do this...I mean, at some point i have to say i am going to do it :) I have been scared to do that.
      I like that..loops lol I do that also. It is such a pain to stop during a race!
      Thanks for giving me a mental boost on the course :)

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  22. Congrats on a good race! I have totally showed up at races with spent legs, too. It's good for this, since you are training for the marathon - it'll teach your body to keep going when it's tired at the end!

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  23. Congrats on your finish! That's a great finish time! Enjoy the taper!

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