Monster Mash Half Marathon Race Recap

27 Oct

On October 17 I ran the Monster Mash Half Marathon in Dover, Delaware.

My dad and I picked this race purely by chance. We wanted to find a race in a state near Pennsylvania that we hadn’t run in yet and Delaware was perfect!

The race turned out to be a great random choice. It was super well organized and we were able to find a hotel very close to where the race started.  We went to packet pickup on Friday evening and since it was a smaller race (about 1500 doing both the Half and the Full if I remember right) packet pickup was a breeze. They were selling Gu and other last minute supplies too which was a nice perk.

The swag for this race was some of the best I’ve seen. An awesome tech shirt, very nicely designed bib, a race specific oval car magnet and a few other goodies. The medal ended up being huge too!  🙂

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The race director was encouraging runners to dress in costume so I grabbed my red tech shirt and Minnie Mouse ears that I wore for the Disney Half!

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The race and packet pickup was at the Dover International Speedway.  The race started at 7 on Saturday so we got there around 6:15 which was plenty of time to use the (real) restrooms a few times and acclimate to the chilly weather. It was in the low 40s when we had to get out of the car for the final time before lining up.

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The race started right ON the speedway which was pretty cool!

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The first mile is literally going around the speedway before heading out and around Dover. It was really cool to see the banked turns on the raceway.

I went into this race knowing I wanted to push myself and try to PR. It was cool and I knew the course was flat so I was hoping the conditions would align for me. I planned to do 1:30 walk/30 sec run intervals to help me keep a regularish pace.

For the first mile I actually skipped my first few walk intervals because it was a bit crowded on the speedway and the sides were pretty slanted. I just let my adrenaline take me. About .75 miles in, I took my first walk break.

As we left the race track and went through Dover I felt REALLY good. I was booking it as fast as possible during the runs and using the walks as a little bit of recovery so I didn’t over exhaust myself. I kept looking at my watch and being happy with how my pace was going.

I hit 5 miles in just under an hour and was really happy.  10k came shortly there after in 1:11:00. I was a bit in disbelief in HOW great I felt and HOW fast I was able to run those intervals but I just went with it. I tried not to fear bonking and instead focused on hydrating at the water stops and taking my Gus at the appropriate intervals.  Every now and then I would think “okay you are feeling great, you can keep this up” and I did just that.

When I hit mile 10 in under 2 hours I knew I was in an awesome place. I started calculating how much time I had until I expected to finish and I was shocked that I would not only PR but could come in under 2:40!  Finishing in the 2:30s is a long term goal I’ve had since I ran my first half marathon 5 years ago and I couldn’t believe I could potentially finish in that time.  As I thought about this there were a few times when I got choked up and thought about how far I had come.  Then I’d remind myself to keep going, I wasn’t there yet. 🙂  In the last three miles the race became not about PRing, it became about proving to myself that I could do something I never thought I could.

And then I did it.

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I crossed the finish at 2:34:42. The official time has me at 2:34:00 – which frankly doesn’t make a ton of sense. But regardless, I finished COMFORTABLY in the 2:30s. I PRed by 16 minutes from the Path of the Flood Half in May, and overall this means I have cut 22 minutes from my half marathon time this year (my previous PR was 2:56:00.)

I also hit a 3 1/2 minute 10k PR during the first 10k of the race.

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I’m glad the medal was huge and heavy for this one because man did it feel good to have it around my neck. 🙂

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I wish I could tell you exactly what I did to have such an awesome race. In the week since I have been trying to peg it down to one thing and I just can’t. But I know I am becoming stronger, and if I don’t PR for the rest of the year it doesn’t matter, because I am stronger than I was even 6 months ago.

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8 Responses to “Monster Mash Half Marathon Race Recap”

  1. runnerchick29 October 27, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    Congrats on your PR! That’s awesome! I’ve heard about this race from a few people and it looks like you definitely had a blast! I may have to add it to the race list at some point! Great job!

  2. Darlene October 27, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    That’s huge! Congrats.

  3. roadtoversailles October 27, 2015 at 3:41 pm #

    You’re amazing! I can’t wait to find out about your double half week-end!

  4. specialkkluthe October 27, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    Great job! It is such an awesome feeling to have a great race. I think that fueling and hydrating well play a huge role but sometimes the stars just align and everything goes perfectly!

  5. Ana October 28, 2015 at 10:09 am #

    Great job on your PR!! I love your costume! and that looks like a pretty sweet medal!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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