Moster Dash Race Recap

October brings some of the best weather to Minnesota, unless of course it is a snowstorm, or the dog days. The ones in between are the bestest. The cool, crisp, clear mornings with frost on the pumpkin and afternoon highs tickling 50°. This day was pretty dang close…if it weren’t for the icy wind. It never ceases to amaze me how a most wonderful Minnesota fall day can be turned around by the ol’ north wind. And she wasn’t fooling around this morning.

I woke at my regular time (5:45 am) and enjoyed a peaceful, quiet morning alone. I didn’t eat much today…not too hungry. I had my grapefruit, and made a cup of bullet-proof coffee but only had half of it before I left. I brought along a banana and a P90X bar and finished a half eaten AmritaBar that I had on my desk. I brought along my EnergyBits and extras just in case, as well.

I has the most wonderful pleasure of riding with and running with some amazing women this day. They live within a few miles of me. Two I already know and I was able to meet a third.

I love runners. Because even if you just meet, it is like you have known each other forever. It is so easy to slip into a conversation when you are all headed to do the same thing with the same amount of trepidation and excitement. The feelings bring you together like none other. Even standing in line at a porta-potty at these events you find people turning around to share in the conversation. I just love it. Race atmospheres thrill me to no end!

The four of us chatted endlessly as we made our way up north to St. Paul. Good ol’ Minnesota road work meant we had to travel quite a ways just to get on the interstate. There are three entrance ramps to get from our hometown onto the interstate and they were all CLOSED! Gee whiz! Throw us a bone, would ya? But after that delay, we were off and running.

The morning promised to be a beauty, and as I sat shotgun, and the sun started to rise, I dug in vain through my bag in search of my sunglasses. Dang it! I must have left them on the front seat of my car. That means running in my eye glasses, which I HATE. Plus, they make for bad race photos. Oh well. To be honest, I wasn’t looking for record times this race. I knew it would be super crowded and the chance of me getting my photo taken would probably be slim if at all. I’ll just have to go without.

When we pulled up to the parking lot, it was a half hour out from race time so I popped my EnergyBits. And I offered my banana to Laura who hadn’t eaten breakfast. We got organized and headed to the start line.

Monster Dash Start Line Photo

Monster Dash Start Line Photo

One of us was running the 5K which started at a different location, two of us the 10-miler and the fourth ran the half marathon, which started together. And as we approached the start line I couldn’t help but ponder why the hell I just didn’t run the half marathon. I mean, come on…three more miles? As it was, they were just stopping the 10-milers short of the half marathon end and shuttling us the three miles to the party zone. What was I thinking? Or not thinking?

But I wasn’t quite sure how I’d end up running this anyway having come off the half marathon just two weeks ago.

…had I known it was as easy as it was, I would have done the half. Slap me upside the head for not researching the run better. It was net downhill. And it was a fast course. Easily, I could have PR’d my half time. But now I know for next year.

Yeah, it was cold. I wished once we started I had worn a hat. And I immediately missed my sunglasses. I also ran sans music or podcasts. I had my headphones in so I could hear Runmeter and any comments, but with all the people, I decided I’d rather hear what was going on around me. In truth, I kind of enjoyed it. I felt more in tune with my run and what my body and legs and mind were doing than I would have if I were listening to something engaging. I’ll have to pursue this further.

Biggest issue this run? Headache. That was a first. It hit me at mile 5. Could have been the coffee, the lack of the sunglasses, the cold wind, the fact that Aunt Flo decided to surprise me the night before, or perhaps a combination of everything. I tend to believe the latter. So, I just tilted my head out of the sun and forged forward.

The first half of the race, I noticed I passed the 1:45:00 half marathon pacer. Then I passed the 1:40:00 half marathon pacer. DANG! If I had run the half marathon, I was quite sure at this point that I’d have PR’d it. Oh well…too late now. Let’s see how fast I could run this 10-miler. I could compare my other 10-mile times on Runmeter. It will be interesting to see.

The costumes were so fun! I wish I had taken pictures. But I was moving too fast and I was too cold to take off my gloves. I just enjoyed the run.  The fans were amazing, and there were plenty of water stops although I never used them.

There was one puzzling runner, however, who at about mile 6 decided to attach herself to my hip. She must have been about 14? 15? 16? I’m not too sure. But she followed my like I had her on one of those stretchable kid harnesses. I’m not sure what her intention was. But she kind of invaded my personal space. And it wasn’t like there wasn’t enough to go around. She just had to be so close to me, that she literally rubbed shoulders with me! I’d shift to the curb, and she followed. I’d shift to the center line and she’d follow. UGH! I finally had to decide whether to fall back or forge ahead in the hopes of losing her…it got THAT bad. First, I fell back and I noticed her looking for me. But, she lost me and picked the same game up with a different runner. Hmmmmm. So odd! I decided she must have been trying to find a personal pacer, but she sure had an odd way of pacing. At this point, we must have been at mile 8 or so and I heard Runmeter say I was just over an hour! Holy hell, I was moving!

I had to get ahead and thankfully a water stop made the crowd gather in such a way that I could lose the personal space girl. I took the opportunity to take off, unnoticed.

Phew!

And I kept running. I felt so good, I took it up a notch. And I noticed that Runmeter was now off 1/2 mile from where I actually was. Dang. Hate that. Mile 9 in my ear was actually 8.5. I’d have to readjust again.

But, I didn’t readjust much. I passed many runners in that final 1.5 miles. I just felt like I had indomitable strength and stamina. Bullet-proof coffee? Energybits? Who cares. Let’s FINISH this thing!

I saw the clock at the finish line and no one around me. Time to smile! I heard my name, then I crossed. It looked like it just turned 1:15:00. In my head, I remember hitting the 10-mile mark at the New Prague half marathon at around 1:17:something, so this was quite an improvement. The downhill helped. Wow! Great run!

Runmeter Page

Runmeter Page

Now I took a drink, and gathered my medal and my trick-or-treat bags and waited for Stephani. In the end, I was so glad I ran.

We met up with Laura and made our way home. Another great morning and another great run. Immediately we started planning our next meeting. I can’t wait!

I didn’t have any residual hammie issues. It is improving, I know that. And I waited until evening to stretch and roll it out. Today, I’m tired. But I feel good. My back aches a bit but again, I think it is a combination of everything that has been going on with me lately. I’ll take a turn in the silly upside down chair later today.

I have already signed up for 4 half marathons next year. If I do this one too, that will make 5. This was so much fun, though, I think it is a good way to round out the year. I’ll definitely give it good thought as we go into 2014.

Up next? A 5K at the Chocoholic Frolic next Sunday, and then possible a 5K or 10K at the Athleta Power to the She Ovarian Cancer Run on the 16th of Novemeber…finally the Turkey Trot in Oyster Bay, NY with all sisters, mom and nieces. I’m looking so forward to that.

As 2013 draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect at how far I have come as a runner. I’ve PR’d every distance this year and I ran my first marathon. Now, I’m headed to Boston. It is amazing how a little dedication and hard work pays for itself. I can’t be happier with my performances!

Did you get in on the Halloween Races this year? Did you get dressed up? How did it go?

Don’t forget about the Brazil Butt Lift and the Runnerbox giveaways going on RIGHT NOW! Click on the giveaway tab at the top of my blog to enter them!

 

2 Responses to Moster Dash Race Recap

  1. I’ve never seen another Stephani with the spelling the same as mine!

  2. Flower says:

    Sounds like a fun race and you killed it, what an awesome time! I think I need some of that bullet proof coffee! 🙂

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