2016 Dopey Challenge: Lessons Learned

IMG_8722My 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.

IMG_8524-0Excluding 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?

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3 thoughts on “2016 Dopey Challenge: Lessons Learned

  1. i just did my 30th half yesterday at Star Wars in Anaheim. I’ve also done 4 fulls. Biggest lesson is that you can’t predict what will happen until you’re out there. Sometimes it’s easy breezy and other times random things happen. Yesterday I tripped over a traffic lane reflector and almost went down. That has never, ever happened before.

  2. But you still did it! Congrats! Dopey is a crazy amount of mileage! But I agree with Jen about how it doesn’t seem like you can predict how things will go. The races I think I’ll knock it out of the park, I fail spectacularly. The races I figure I’ll quit/DNF/massively fail, those go well. Maybe when you run 15 marathons you’ve been there done that with every scenario and can predict more? I have no idea.

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