Successful race weekend!
The Bird-in-Hand half marathon added #17 to my half marathon completion list.
. Third fastest half marathon
. First half marathon in Pennsylvania
. First half marathon with insulin
I finished the race feeling strong, healthy, and confident in 2:07:29.
When I got my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis in May I knew my life as a fit and active person wasn’t over– it would just look different.
The idea of racing still made me nervous though. So many variables. So many unknowns.
Bird-in-Hand gave me back some much needed race confidence.
I had no goals going into the race. I hoped to finish by 2:15:00, but would have been happy to finish feeling ok– whatever time that meant. You can probably imagine how happy I felt when I started running, my legs felt light, and I slowly began inching up near the 2:00:00 pace group. I was able to stick with them until mile 7.
It was hot, humid, and hilly with little shade; however, my body was responding well and since I had no race day strategy, I just went with it!
I know not every race can be great– I’ve had my share of crappy races. When everything comes together for a positive experience I am always super thankful.
The Valley of No Wires
Beautiful– Amish Country Pennsylvania was a picturesque location for a half marathon.
One sign read “Caution: beautiful views ahead” as you crested a hill overlooking the countryside.
The course is described as “rolling hills” which can mean different things to different people. I don’t hate hills so I was fine with it.
The aid stations were all staffed with local Amish folk from the community and the half marathon paces were Amish as well. I was slightly surprised, but I probably shouldn’t have been.
Everyone was so friendly and encouraging. The race slogan “running in community” was absolutely lived up to.
When the weather forecast showed a really hot race day the organizers made some last minute changes to ensure the runners were safe on the course. Extra aid stations, coolers filled with ice, and hose/sprinkler systems were added.
On the second half of the course there were places that had aid stations every mile, if not closer.
I took my first break at an aid station near mile 8 where I dumped water down my neck/back and stuffed ice down my sports bra.
This process became my pattern for the rest of the race. It was very refreshing and helped my body stay cool.
Successful Diabetes Management
My biggest concern going into the race wasn’t the fact that I hardly trained. I knew I could cover the miles. What I didn’t know was how my blood sugar would fluctuate and how it would manifest in my running.
When you live with Type 1 Diabetes– it’s one decision, one day at a time. When you think too far past that everything can easily become overwhelming.
I managed to do things right on Saturday.
I woke up with a blood sugar of 147 mg/dL and ate a Cookies and Cream Quest Bar, chocolate peanut butter Shakeology, and 1/2 cup of strawberries– approximately 50 carbohydrates and 3 units of insulin.
My blood sugar was 97 mg/dL after I crossed the finish line.
Do it for the Medal
I don’t typically choose my half marathons based on the finisher medal– but the Bird-in-Hand half marathon has the coolest medal I’ve seen.
Where else can you get something like that than Amish Country Pennsylvania??
All in all, it was a fabulous experience. I loved the community focus and the small town feel. The course was beautiful, the post-race food was amazing, and the people were friendly.
And best of all, Bird-in-Hand gave me back my confidence.
I am looking forward to running it again next year.