Gettysburg Blue Gray Half Marathon Race Report

It wasn’t my fastest race ever, but I finished it! I at least met my goal of finishing in under 2:10, squeaking by with a 2:07:?? (I don’t remember the seconds, it’s not like it was a PR or anything).

Ready to go before the race!

Finishing the race. Apparently I was distracted. I wanted to post a hilarious picture of me taken by the race photographer at mile 12 looking like I’m about to die but it won’t let me link to it 😦

Overall, my impression of the race was good. The race didn’t have a lot of frills – no food/gels on the course (great food afterwards!), very few “extras” given out – but for $60, I wasn’t really expecting too much. Besides, the shirt was fairly nice (unfortunately I don’t have a picture, and it’s dirty, but it’s a long sleeve tech tee), the medals are pretty cool, and, because the “North” won, I got a free coffee mug! Yes – you read that right – the race allows you to pick whether you are running for the North or the South, and then whichever side wins gets free coffee mugs! This was actually one of the number one reasons I signed up for this race.

I would say the only thing I did not like about the race (of factors that could be controlled) was its location. Rather than being in a historic area or taking complete advantage of the countryside, it was about 1/3 on country roads, 1/3 in random residential areas, and 1/3 on a busy road where we had to run nearly single file on. Ok, maybe less than 1/3 was like that, but it was still annoying. On the plus side, the race course was easy to follow because it was essentially a rectangle, and, for once, it was described as rolling hills, and was actually a course of several small, rolling hills rather than random mini-mountains.

I really have no complaints other than the weather – while warm and sunny, it was INCREDIBLY windy, but they obviously had no control over that. They actually handled it well – apparently the timing device blew over during the 5K and they still managed to only miss a few times using that method (they used photos to provide those individuals with times). It was certainly still better than in the dark, freezing rain, like my last half marathon in October.

By the way, my absolute favorite thing about the race:

Yes, that is a reenactor shooting off the starting gun.

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“Wellness” Screening

I’m going to be SO HAPPY when I am no longer working 40 hours a week, taking a graduate level math course, and teaching a new course for the first time. Oh, and also training for a half marathon (side note: very glad I did not decide to train for my first marathon this fall…) I think I’m going to sleep the whole month of December.

THIS is what my business level at work is doing to my activity level, by the way:

I didn’t change elevation (well, except in an elevator, which doesn’t count for the fitbit) from 8-5.

Each year for my health insurance, I have to have a “wellness” screening. Basically, they determine if you are healthy or not, and then if you aren’t, they call and harass you. It’s very important to do this, however, as it cuts the cost of your insurance premium by more than 50%. Yes, that is right, you literally pay more than twice as much for your health insurance if you don’t go get some blood taken…even if you don’t cost the company less (note: my husband has an incredibly expensive chronic health condition and gets the same discount as I do… I haven’t been to a doctor except for contraceptive purposes in 2 years). I didn’t design this system, ok?

Anyway, today at work I had my screening (at least there is a convenient, free screening held at work…). It was fairly uneventful, except my hands were so cold they hand trouble getting blood out of my finger. By the way it was 75 degrees and I was wearing a wool sweater and pants. I’m apparently a popsicle.

I must say I was fairly surprised by some of these results, though:

  • Total cholesterol: 251
  • HDL: 77
  • Non-HDL: 174
  • Total/HDL: 3.3
  • Glucose: 74
  • Height: 5’4″‘
  • Weight: 141
  • BMI: 24.2
  • BP: 124/82

Ok, so the slightly high blood pressure is not surprising. Considering the workload I just described plus the second round of my two separate sets of jobs interviews, I’m surprised it’s not higher. It’s borderline, so unless it comes up again I probably won’t worry about it.

The cholesterol is a little baffling to me. My “good” cholesterol is like, twice as high as the target (which is a good thing). My cholesterol ratio (total/HDL) is also fantastic (apparently needs to be less than 5). However, the non-HDL is still very high. Not really sure what to do about that. I already exercise a ton and eat a like 90% vegetarian diet. Cut out the nightly ice cream I guess? Does ice cream even have a lot of cholesterol?!

The final thing: the BMI. First of all, they stole an inch of height from me. I’m between 5’4″ and 5’5″ to be fair, but I usually get measured as the latter, and the nurse looked at my height, went to write it down, made a face, looked up again, then wrote down the shorter measurement. That just isn’t fair! I’d also be very concerned about my weight/BMI but I am about 90% positive their scale was off. I know I have gained about 5 lbs and up to an inch on my waist…but this weight/height puts me at only 5 lbs from being overweight. I will note that today I was wearing size 4 pants that were too big. I accept that I have gained weight, but that measurement is just absurd (note: not that there is anything wrong with being my height/weight, it’s just that I’m fairly certain it’s not physically possible given my measurements unless I have a ton of secret muscle mass – the impossibility of it is absurd, not the BMI itself inherently).

The nurse very helpfully gave me a pamphlet and told me some numbers were outside the desirable range. The pamphlet advised me to exercise more. Ok, I’ll do that in between biking to and from work and running over 20 miles per week… at least I get to save money?