Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monster Dash Half Marathon: Race Report

Go Big.  It was the perfect morning for a PR- dad was visiting, the weather was cool and sunny, and I felt energized and capable.  Dad remarked how relaxed I seemed in comparison to other early morning pre-race preparations he'd witnessed.  Running a handful of marathons does tend to put other races into perspective.  That said, I hadn't really built up this race in terms of any consistent training plan.  My fall workout schedule was basically a few short/easy runs, a fast run with my high school runners, and a long run on the weekends.  My weekly mileage was around 30 miles on average.  This isn't very much for me.  Yet, I ran the TC 10 mile a few weekends before the Monster Dash and my time was only a couple minutes slower than last year.  So, I knew I could PR if I was ready to accept a little pain at the end.  I also knew that it was my last chance before snowfall to hit a half marathon PR.  So...why not, right?

Miles 1-3
Mike cheering for me in front of our alma mater!
Easy, fast.  I had on my ipod shuffle and I was loving the tunes.  This was my first race listening to music; it definitely won't be my last.  Running west down Summit is like a reward after running up it during the Twin Cities marathon.  This photo is waving to Mike and Dad cheering at Macalester!!!!
My first split was in the vicinity of 8:40.  Then, my garmin turned off somehow.  I restarted it at the 3 mile mark in case I might want to check my pace later in the race. 

Two block shots please??!

Miles 3-6
The familiar part of River Road heading towards the Ford Plant.  I felt good.  My music died (wah).  I didn't check my Garmin for the rest of the race.  I knew I was running faster than my usual pace on long runs, so there was no point of freaking myself out (if my pace was slower than expected, I would feel bad...if it was faster, I might slow).  I decided to focus on my form, my breathing, and keep up my pace.  I saw Dad and Mike cheering on the parkway right after mile 6! 

Miles 7-9
Looking for me after mile 9.
I could feel my body getting a little bit worn down, but I tried to not let my mind go there.  I kept my pace and focused on not letting this particular heavy footed/heavy breathing woman get too far ahead of me.  She was breathing harder than me so I knew I should be running at least as fast as her.  Dad and Mike cheered me on a little after mile 9!!!!

Mile 10
Got my shot blocks!  Heavy footed lady right next to me.  hee.
It was a real crush to the soul when we passed the 10 mile finish line.  I tried not to look.  I also avoided looking at the pacers and their pace signs.  I tried this strategy after feeling really let down at the Madison Marathon when I fell behind my pacer.

Mile 11-11 1/2
Big uphill in the more unfamiliar part of river/shepard road.  Also there was horrible angsty singer at the top of the hill.  I made a mental note to write a thank you to Team Ortho for the great race minus the 11 1/2 mile band.  Oh my lord.  I wanted to run faster so I didn't have to listen to the depressing music.  I guess maybe that was their intent?
off to finish the race!

Mile 12 to finish.
Slowed down a bit after the big hill but then started to pass people as we headed into the last mile.  I didn't pass heavy breather, but I closed the gap and I wasn't far behind her at the finish line.  I saw Mike immediately after I crossed the finish.  The clock time was 1:51, so I knew I ran a personal record.  When we checked the results at home, I was totally ecstatic to see that I ran a 1:48!!!    I felt like I really hung in there at the end and gave it my all.  I was so excited that my dad was there to see me race! 

Finish line!

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