Race Recap: Monster Dash 5K

This month's been really hit-or-miss with my running, and mostly on the "miss" side. I had to take a few weeks off, starting in late September, because my knee was bothering me. Then my routine was interrupted and I had a hard time getting back into it. Two weeks ago, I noticed that this race was coming up really quickly and so I had better get back to my regular runs!

Since it had been a while since my last run, I had gone from running 2.5 miles without stopping all the way back down to only 1 mile. Amazing how quickly the skill deteriorates! Well okay, it also had to do with the sudden change in weather and the fact that my lungs don't like the cold [they get used to it but the first few exercise attempts? Not so good]. But once I got into it, adding back the distance wasn't too hard. I added a half mile every run [I'm still just running every other day] but then got stuck at 2 miles because of outside factors [ran out of time one morning, ran into a coyote another day]. Still, I figured I'd be good for today's race and, if need be, I'd allow myself to walk for a bit after hitting the halfway mark/water station.

Aside from my interrupted training, I was really excited for this race. My mom came to cheer me on today, which was exciting because I've never had anyone at a race to see me before! Also, that means that there are actually pictures of me this time! Plus, I love costumes, and I love running, so why wouldn't I love this race? My costume didn't come out at all like I wanted but it still made for an awesome 80s look:
Coming up with a costume that I could run in was difficult! But I took lots of pictures at the race so maybe I'll find inspiration for next year.

Before the 5K, there was a 1K kids fun run, which was adorable. Some of them were super serious runners and then some didn't seem to have a clue what was going on. I was also surprised to see that Ninja Turtles and Mario are still popular costume choices among young children. Well, maybe not Mario so much because it's always continued to be a popular series of games but definitely Ninja Turtles.
This little dude was my favourite.
After that race ended, a group got together and surprised everyone with this:

Finally, it was a few minutes to 11am and I went to line up behind the start line. And... this was really disorganized. Usually races [especially the larger ones, this one had ~3000 people registered] have you line up by pace/estimated finishing time. This one did not. It was basically "Whoever gets there first gets the best spot and then good luck." Which was frustrating, once we actually started, because I was stuck behind walkers [and people with jogging strollers! Those were specifically told to line up at the back!] for a good while. It took a few minutes to break out of the pack and into a comfortable pace. So, that was annoying and if they ask for feedback, I'll definitely mention that.

After the shaky start, the first mile went really, really well. I was surprised to see that I finished it under 10 minutes-- actually, in 9:05. What?! I never run that fast! Well, I sometimes run that pace for a couple minutes but not sustained over an entire mile. So that was surprising, but I was feeling well so I didn't worry too much about it. Maybe it was because, unlike the last 5K, I was actually feeling the entire race environment this time around. There were crowds all along the route cheering us on, it was a much bigger race [and in a much more populated area], and I wasn't listening to music this time. I'm glad I decided not to do that; it was fun hearing the cheers the entire route, and the announcers [and their Halloween music] once I got into the homestretch!

Since I never got up to running the full 3.1miles in training, I told myself that, if I felt like I needed it, I could take a walking break at the 1.5mile mark [where the water station is]. And I did. I walked almost to the 2mile mark, because my knee was bothering me a little and it had also started raining. So that put my pace back a little, but I think it was worth it. I finished the other 1.1 mile strong and my mom got this awesome picture of me coming down the homestretch:
Seriously, can we just take a moment to acknowledge how hot my legs look?
As I ran towards the finish line, one of the announcers saw me and made a comment about tutus being really fashionable this year. Did you hear that? I'm fashionable. That's not something I hear every day! But honestly, there were a lot of people in tutus and I'm all for that.

Official race stats:
33:40, not bad considering my lack of training all month, but I had been hoping for under 32 minutes. If I hadn't walked for so long, I could've done it. Oh well. At least I still beat my time from the last 5K, so I'm improving!

And, the unofficial RunKeeper stats:
After crossing the finish line, I went and found my mom and we watched the rest of the race together... well, at least until the finishers slowed down to a trickle at about 50 minutes in. Then we went inside to the convention center to check out the race swag [huge disappointment at this one, honestly, but I did get a banana] and hear the band play the same two songs over and over ["Dynamite" and "Forget You"]. I checked the official results once they were posted, and then we made our way out and back home [with a stop at Whole Foods for lunch, where I got a delicious Honey Crisp apple. I love those!].
best apples in the world, and totally worth the high price tag
All in all, it was a fun race and I look forward to doing it again next year [and the Downtown Jingle 5K on December 2nd, which is the same route and put on by the same people] but I hope they sort out a few organizational issues before then, particularly the starting lineup. Well, that and the shirts they gave us aren't the best, fashion-wise [I understand black = Halloween but really, you're not helping with the "visibility in the winter" thing] but they're free long-sleeved tech shirts so I'll make do.
I picked up my race packet and snapped this picture yesterday
Next up, aside from the Downtown Jingle, is [semi-leisurely] half marathon training. I've decided to ease into it, but I want to complete a half marathon next spring so this will be a good project for the winter. I'm maybe possibly joining a running club, I have to see if transportation works out in my favour [since biking in the winter isn't really good around here] but that would be a fun thing to keep me motivated through the coming months. [No, I haven't decided on a half marathon yet. There are a few I'm considering, though.]

Also, I FINALLY lost a pound this week, breaking the six-week plateau. I give credit to my new TreadClimber [which I'm writing a review on, don't worry!]. 4 more pounds until I hit the 50 pounds lost mark. And on that optimistic note, good night!