Monday, November 3, 2014

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Race Recap: Monster Dash

I did my best to think of life-after-Chicago by signing up for a half marathon two weeks after the race. Chicago came and went and I did what I was supposed to do: rest, recover, and take it easy on the runs.  I thought that I would be trained and ready for 13.1 miles after running 26.2. Boy, was I wrong. My body and mind must not work like most others (thus 16 miles the Saturday before Chicago) because I had a feeling I wasn't ready to run 13.1 miles. I was excited for the race but, for some reason, I felt unprepared for it. I felt unprepared the night before the race, super unprepared the day of the race, and I broke down by mile 2 of the race. I kept up a decent training pace during those first two miles, but the voice in my head kept saying "You can't do this" and "You aren't prepared" and I let that voice bring me down. At mile 2, my goal changes from "finish with a smile" to "get to mile 10 and then walk the rest of the way." This just goes to show you that even an experienced runner (this would be half #14 for me) can crash and burn.

Thankfully for me, my friend (@runningprado on Instagram) caught up to me before mile 6 after being misdirected and led off-course for 1.5 miles and ran the rest of the race with me. I honestly do not know what I would have done without him. Running beside him for the second half of the race really helped the distance pass by quickly and get me to that finish line. I still finished in decent time (2:04), but it was a hard fight. The last time I struggled that much mentally was the trail run half marathon in June 2014 and, before that, my first half marathon in January 2013. Again, it amazes me how every run can be different, regardless of how well your training went. Great training leading up to the Chicago Marathon resulting in a time I only dreamt about and I still struggled with 13.1 miles two weeks later. Thankfully for me, I've gotten over beating myself up about time so I really was just happy about finishing and adding new hardware to my collection!

What I liked:
  • Great course along the lakefront. 
  • I loved the zippered jacket.
  • Fun medal. 
  • Signing up at the Chicago Marathon expo was great because I was able to get my bib beforehand. 
  • Finish line bag with an apple, chips, and candies. 
  • Free beer!
  • Running with friends. 

What I didn't like:

  • Poorly supported course: My friend was misdirected for 1.5 miles and the first water station was over 2 miles into the race. This was probably the most disappointing part of the race. 

My next race is the Hot Chocolate 15k on November 9th. I am definitely feeling more prepared for this race! For more on my running follow me on Instagram @thecookierunner 

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