Half Marathon Race Recap: Monster Dash

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Hi all! Sorry there wasn’t a post for you on Sunday. Life has been crazy busy, but I promise there will be a brand new recipe for you to try this week! Karen came to town to run the Monster Dash half marathon with me last weekend, so between work and showing her around the Twin Cities and running and recovering, it’s been hectic to say the least!

I wanted to check in with you all today and share a recap of my half marathon.

I was going to start the recap with mile 1, but that’s cutting it short. Let’s be real, the entire week leading up to the half marathon is go time. Resting is HARD. I get antsy and I just want to move, but after training for four months I was determined to rest up and keep my legs fresh for race day. That meant 2 short little runs and some stretching, that’s it! Some people may be able to handle more, but for me I kept it simple for my first half marathon. I was also drinking a ton of water all week and I didn’t hesitate to add carbs to meals where I may cut back during non-race weeks.

The night before the race, we went out to Vietnamese food. My best long run during half marathon training was the day after I had a heaping bowl of pho, so I felt confident in this choice. Fellow Twin Cities friends, Vina is the bomb! And they have vegan pho, so there are options for everyone! Karen and I set out of clothes and then off to bed we went!

half marathon

4-6:27 am: tossing and turning waiting for my alarm to go off, scared that I’ll sleep through it and miss my race. True story, I ran a race in Colorado and my alarm didn’t go off. I woke up to a million missed calls from my friend Anna, wondering why I hadn’t picked her up yet. Well, I drove way too fast there, and we dashed out of our cars to the start line. But we made it! I just didn’t want to start my half marathon this way–can you blame me??

6:28 am: alarm goes off. Time for coffee and oats loaded with banana and peanut butter.

7:45 am: Picture time! Since the half marathon took place on Halloween weekend, we were encouraged to dress up. Karen and I decided to be sprinkles!

8:00 am: time to go! The half marathon starting line was .9 miles from my house. This was awesome because it really helped reduce race day anxiety.

8:30 am: WE’RE OFF!

Mile By Mile Half Marathon Recap

Mile 1: I was loving it. Not too crowded, I could extend my arms and legs without worrying about hitting anyone, the pace felt easy.

Mile 2: Hi house, bye house! Also, all the fall foliage and trees along Summit Ave were distracting. I was working hard here not to go too fast. A lot of this race was downhill so I kept getting ahead of my goal pace and was scared I’d burn out by the end.

Mile 3-5: Still feeling awesome, except man do I have to pee! I was scared this would happen. I spent these miles trying to tune into conversations around me and just distract myself.

Mile 6: Okay, gotta pee. Starting to hurt up into my stomach. I’ll stop at the first port-a-potty that doesn’t have massive long lines.

Mile 7-10: Strolling along. Feel 10 pounds lighter after stopping to pee. I got this! Karen said, “The pain you feel now is nothing compared to the pain you’ll feel if you don’t finish.” Puttin’ that in my memory bank for future motivation!

Mile 10-12: Wait…where’d these hills come from? I thought this was all downhill?! And where’d the pretty houses go?! Why isn’t there anything to look at? Man my hip hurts. Woah my head is tingly. WHERE IS THE NEXT MILE MARKER?! And why did I decide to do a half marathon instead of stopping with all the 10 mile runners back there???

half marathonOkay, 1 more mile. I got this. Focus on your breathe and just get it down. This was also when the cutest little girl yelled, SPRINKLES, at Karen and I. I was so happy she figured it out and it was definitely the push I needed to finish strong.

Finish Line:

Erik was waiting with cardboard ice cream cone signs for Karen and I. We also got an entire box of Special K and lots of Clif Bars, so I was feeling pretty happy. Overall I’m proud of myself for training and running the race. There was a time when running one mile would leave me as a heaving mess on the bench. Now I can get through 10 with no problem. Those last three…well I don’t know if they’ll ever get better but there’s nothing I can do but try!

half marathon

PS Karen, thank you for listening to my moaning and groaning and for your constant chatter. I could not have run a half marathon without you.


Hey! I’m Emily. The cat-loving, beer-drinking, positivity enthusiast behind Get Well With Em! I help women overcome perfectionism through easy recipes with limited ingredients and prep, and workouts using minimal equipment!

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