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Monster Dash Half Marathon Recap!

“I want to taste the sun, because baby, I’m born to run.  I’ve got a feeling I’m not the only one.” —Victoria Justice, “Make It in America”

All right, I’m going to begin with a quick recap of the week.

Monday and Tuesday – rest.

Wednesday – 1.6 mile shake out run.

After a slightly painful IT band after the 10K last weekend, I wanted to be sure I didn’t run into any problems.  So I dragged my butt out of bed at 4:45 am to get a quick run in.  It didn’t feel awesome, but I was warmed up enough to do some serious stretching afterward, and that helped a ton.

Thursday and Friday (and, preemptively, Sunday) – rest.

Saturday – Monster Dash Half Marathon!

The first unexpected thing that happened?  It was warmer than 50 degrees when I woke up at 5:30 am.  In Minnesota.  IN OCTOBER.  When I ran a half last year during October, it was 38 degrees and drizzly – and that was earlier in the month!  I was planning on wearing some black running tights with leg warmers over them, and a technical tank top with an off-the-shoulder top over it.  My Halloween costume was planned based on the weather.  All of that was thrown for a loop.  I ended up in shorts, which made the leg warmers look funny, but I did my best to rock it.  And boy, am I glad I didn’t wear those running tights!  I ended up ditching the sweatshirt before mile 5.  (My dad was nice enough to carry it for me until he saw my mom and H on the sidelines.)

Starting line selfie with Dad!

The first mile was slow, as expected.  Supposedly, 14,000 people were registered to run that race.  Yeah, that’s a lot of weaving, and my dad loves weaving.  Since his training went a lot better than mine, he wasn’t winded with all of the weaving, and I was.  I was able to stick with him through mile 6, when I stopped to use the bathroom and he kept going.  My pace when I was with him was much faster than the rest of the race, when I was running by myself.

In short, the running felt pretty terrible.  Because of all of the people, I never really found my stride.  By the time it had thinned out enough where I actually could have, my knee was already aching.  I did my best to not change my stride too much because of the pain, which must have helped, because I did finish!  I did!  But I didn’t feel good.  Nothing about that race felt good, actually.

Overall, my pace was 9:08 per mile, which led me to a 1:59:20 finish.  I honestly cannot believe that I finished in under two hours.  So, yeah, it felt terrible, but I wasn’t slow, by any means.  And the route would have been freaking gorgeous if there hadn’t been so many people to weave around and focus on.2014-10-28 16.07.34 2014-10-28 16.07.02 2014-10-28 16.07.07 2014-10-28 16.07.16

I was extremely disappointed in my time and training all day on Saturday, but now I’m feeling a lot better about it.  I couldn’t train hard because I haven’t allowed my IT band to fully heal yet.  I know this is something that I need to do, and I really REALLY need to work on my cross training and core strength.  So, really, my finish was pretty fantastic for the light training that I did.  My dad, in case you’re wondering, finished somewhere around 1:52:00 – a full seven minutes ahead of me.  Which gives me a new time to beat, is all.  Right, Dad?  :)

We finished! Medals for everyone!

More time would have been nice, too.  Not a longer training plan, just more time in a day, in a week.  I’m doing too much to be able to devote myself to a proper training plan.

So!  No, I wasn’t able to run the whole thing with my dad, which was disappointing for me (since I would have PR’ed had I been able to stick with him).  But I finished!  And I was able to set some new goals for myself to work on shorter distances until the rest of my body is able to compensate for the pounding on my knee.  Also, I really don’t want to be hurting at our wedding.

Now, for as much as I love running, I’m taking a break.  Just through the winter.  In the meantime, I’m going to start the foundation that will allow me to shoot for that Scorpion pose.  Eventually.  Probably not this year.  Or maybe next year.  But one day.

Love to all of you who encouraged and supported me.  Especially PirateBobcat, who had something positive to say to me every single week.  Thank you!  Maybe one day I’ll be able to chase your PR, hmm?

-A.

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