Monster Dash Half Marathon Race Recap

Rain.

I haven’t run in the rain in a very long time, not voluntarily, at least. I signed up for this one. So I guess I was running it, regardless.

I certainly wasn’t prepared for this race by any stretch of the imagination. The previous week was a complete blur, with my husband down for the count, and my children, with one of their busiest weeks of the school year thus far. I had to bow out of one of my volunteer shifts for Team Ortho last week, which probably turned out to be a good thing. My Sequoia choked down an entire tank of gas on Wednesday and by Friday night, she was tapped.

Flat Me.

Flat Me.

I made it to my volunteer shift on Friday, which turned out to be a rather quiet packet pick-up shift. I ended up divvying up my responsibilities with both packet pick-up and the gear hand-out tables. They got backed up a few times. It was a shorter shift, just about 5 hours total, and I was able to head home just in time to drive my children around town again, back and forth, back and forth, at least three times. It wasn’t until I got home after 6pm that I was able to even consider what I was going to wear, bring, pack, etc., to the race. I bought my husband and kids some Subway that evening, so I scarfed down some leftovers and got to work. I made my hydration mixture, prepared my bulletproof coffee mixture, found a disposable rain poncho, counted out my Energybits, and added in a few Sports Legs tabs. By the time I had everything thought out and ready to go, the girls texted to say they were ready to be picked up. It was not even 9:00 pm yet, thank goodness. So, I was able to get them home, and still get to bed at a respectable hour.

ENERGYbits

Energybits – Fuel naturally. without sugar.

The race started at 8:30 am. I knew I didn’t have to leave too early. I figured 7:00 am would work. My husband decided the night before he would come with me, despite the wet forecast. He began gathering up umbrellas for the both of us. What a good man!

When I woke at 5:45 am, it was pouring down rain. A quick look at the radar showed more than likely a wet run, but at least not a drenching run. I decided I could live with that. The temperatures were still rather mild, so I didn’t think I’d need a throw away jacket, but rethinking after Chicago, I brought one anyway.

We were in the car and off by 7:00 am.

Parking was a breeze, although they nailed us for $15.00. What a scam! Good thing my races are free now. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to justify it.

In the parking garage, I donned my throw away jacket, my clear rain poncho, ditched my sunglasses, grabbed a throw away fuel bottle, and took one last sip of bulletproof coffee before locking up. We walked with our umbrellas the 4 blocks to the start of the race. I took my first pouch of Energybits on the way. The pee pee lines were long, and the folks were standing in the grass to reach them. No way. I didn’t have to pee that bad, and I didn’t want to start with wet sneakers. Although, as it turns out, they were pretty damp before the gun.

Waiting in the rain...

Waiting in the rain…

We arrived at the start line with about 20 minutes to spare. I shifted my gear around about a dozen times. Considering I didn’t have much, it sure was a lot of fiddling. I had my one bottle hydration belt with the larger pocket, where I stowed my phone and fuel. That’s about it. I was actually very happy with that and decided I wouldn’t sweat anything that morning. I was barely feeling it as it was. In fact, I took no photos. I had my gloves on and taking them with my giant iPhone was downright intimidating at best. My husband tried to take some, but he told me NOT to smile. He says I ham up my photos too much. Bah humbug, right? I had my Delaney bib on back, and my race bib up front, careful not to hide my neon pink “S”. Not that it mattered. I wore the poncho for the entire 13 miles.

Last minute, I ditched the throwaway and gave it to my husband. I handed over my umbrella and weaved my way to the start. As I was doing so, the gun blared. So, I started my podcast and Runmeter and shoved my phone back into the pouch. I didn’t bother setting the activity on my Apple Watch. I just couldn’t be bothered. Let’s just get this over with.

I must have really gotten into my podcast, because I realized I hadn’t turned up the volume for my Runmeter. So although it was recording my run, I wasn’t getting any updates. Oh well. Again, I didn’t sweat it. I would just run on feel. I wasn’t going for a PR anyway. That would be hard to do in the conditions. I just tried to treat it like a training run, where hopefully, I was at least an 8:00 pace.

CharmBusiLogo

It continued raining throughout. I tried to dodge the puddles, but found myself rather unsuccessful after a while. Before I knew it, I was refueling at the 7 mile mark. Soon after, at about mile 8, I was sloshing in my shoes. That sucked. I also lost one glove right at the start. With temps in the upper 40s, I didn’t really need them. So, I had a spare. And it stayed on my left hand. The rain never really let up. Again, it wasn’t a downpour, but just a very light, steady stream of water. Just enough, that I decided I’d rather stay dry and somewhat bothered by the awkwardness of the poncho, than wet and potentially cold if I ditched it altogether. It may have been different if I were going for the PR.

I tried to recall all the potential lengths of the run where I could make up some time. I kept anticipating what I remember as a brisk downhill turn to the left, but it seemed I ran right through it without realizing because before I knew it, I was approaching the 10-mile finish line. Oh, and did I want to finish. Not because I was tired or miserable, but just because I wanted to be done already. The run seemed to be taking forever, and I wasn’t checking my pace…until…I saw the clock at the 10-mile mark. It read 1:17:34. Yep, not a PR by a long shot, but still a respectable run. I had told my husband to expect me at 1:45:00. I’d be in a few minutes earlier if I kept it up.

Rolling into the finish!

Rolling into the finish!

The last three miles are killer for this run. Slow and steady inclines and declines along the river. I just gave what I had left and finished her up. I spotted my husband snapping pictures about 20 yards shy of the finish line. This time I DID smile! When I crossed the finish line, I wasn’t winded. My chest didn’t hurt. I was able to slow to a stop with out any stiffening or tightening. I pulled my phone out and turned off Runmeter. Then I walked through the water line, food line, and got my two medals. Finally, I met up with my husband.

We weaved our way through the crowds and made our way back to the car. We didn’t take any finish line photos, no cheesy smiles, no nothing. I was just done.

I took off my wet clothes in the parking garage, and realized I had not brought dry socks. DOH. I’d have to slosh a little while longer. We had to stop at Fleet Farm for some horse feed on the way home, and since my husband has the bad back, I’d lift and haul the bags. I was quite a fright walking into the store, but I didn’t care. It was really an “I don’t care” kind of morning.

Arriving home, I did change those socks, and put on some warmer clothes before diving into some housework. My time came in soon after as 1:41:01. Not my best, but not my worst, and certainly not an age group placer. But, a run is a run. And I had started my day with a 13.1 miler. Can’t complain about that!

Next up? A 10k next weekend at the Chocoholic Frolic. Praying for better weather. A little sun would be a nice touch!

Did you have a Halloween run? How did yours go?

 

 

2 Responses to Monster Dash Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. David Hardt says:

    🙂 you should come run in washington..all it does it rain lol

  2. Nick says:

    I had a rainy run and race for Halloween too! My training group had 14 miles on tap, so a bunch of us went out really early to get eight miles before, and ran the Alaina Dixon Trick or Trot 10K. We planned it as a marathon pace run rather than a race, but also as a practice under race conditions. What we didn’t count on was 6-10″ of rain falling over 12 hours, starting at 3 am race morning!

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