from Neely Runs


The gravity (concentration) of urine for my post race drug test. (I am sure that was your very first guess!)

To rewind and start from the beginning, I raced the USA Half Marathon Championships at the Capitol City Half in Columbus, Ohio. My mantra was 1-Race with PURPOSE, 2-Remain PRESENT, 3-Always PERSEVERE. To run the best race I am capable of on that day, I focus on my breathing rhythm, my form, and find the effort that I can handle no matter the course, the weather, or the competition. For me, I did everything right. I am proud of my race. I was gapped by 40 seconds at mile 9, and closed within 9 seconds by the finish… I came up short, 2nd in 1:10:54, but with no regrets. I look at each race as a learning opportunity, I learn about myself, I learn about others, and I appreciated racing the ladies in this field as they helped me get the most out of myself! Kudos to Natosha for a very strong performance.

Back to where we started, thanks to the race organizers and the US anti doping agency (USADA), the top 3 were tested for clean sport! Those of you who follow me, know this is something I feel strongly about and I always appreciate getting tested. I chugged a bottle of water to kick off the hydration process, and then headed back to the hotel to get in a cool down. It was “long run day” so I needed to get in 4 miles to make it a total of 20 miles for the day, but the weather gods had something else in mind. It started pouring. I got in 1.5 miles running back and forth in front of the hotel (because once notified by USADA, you have to remain within eyesight of the chaperone until you provide and process the sample). For the run-nerds, here’s the data via Final Surge.

It wasn’t worth it, I was soaked, and lightening was making me anxious. I headed inside and got on the treadmill for another 1.5mi. After awards, I was ready to start the process, and then, 1.004 happened… and even though it was tested by the super nice USADA people 7 times, the number didn’t change. I needed 1.005 gravity 🙁

Needless to say, hydration is good, but apparently I over did it. I made friends, joked around to make it less awkward, and eventually processed and checked out once the next sample was completed. Learn more about the process here. Even though spending two hours in drug testing wasn’t how I planned to celebrate my runner-up performance, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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