My third Dopey Challenge proved to be the hardest in a lot of ways. Ever since the NYC marathon in November 2014, I’ve been struggling with motivation and trying to gain back some of the speed I had gained after my first marathon and after the Marine Corps Marathon. The Marine Corps 2015 marathon and the Philly marathon proved that I was still about 45 minutes behind where I was when I ran Marine Corps in 2013.
I went into the Dopey Challenge this year somewhat cocky and unprepared. I had already done it twice and I’d just finished two marathons like 30 days earlier. How hard could this be? Turns out, uh, really hard.
Lesson learned: Being prepared for a marathon is not the same as being prepared for the Dopey Challenge.
Excluding character stops, I was running a 5k pace on par with what I’d run earlier in December at a 5k and the same is true for the 10k because I was being stupid. Stupid mistake #1.
I didn’t adjust my half marathon pace to take into account that I would be doing a marathon the next day or taking into account what my current fitness level is and realized afterward that I was a lot more sore than I probably should have been. Stupid mistake #2.
By Friday night, I also realized that I basically had to stop eating anything that wasn’t plain, bland pasta. My stomach wreaked havoc on me during the 5k and 10k and afterwards I realized I just had to stick to water and plain pasta because I’m a fucking old lady now.
I say this as a cautionary tale for people considering the Dopey Challenge. I took for granted how difficult it was, I thought I knew better because I’m a moron. I record this for next year so that when I look back I remember that I am really, really stupid sometimes.
Best lesson learned in running?