Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon

I almost didn't show up for the Monster Dash. My knees were injured earlier in the week during an ill-advised cram session of exercise, I knew for sure I couldn't run the whole distance, and I didn't fancy a 13-mile walk. But Jenna convinced me to go for it.

This was the biggest and best-organized race I've seen so far. The start was bananas. I completely failed to meet up with my coworkers due to the huge crowd of costumed runners. With over 4,000 participants it took me over 8 minutes just to reach the starting line after the gun went off! It was below freezing at the start, but I warmed up and stopped shivering after the first mile.

I started off jogging slow and easy. Hundreds of people passed me but I figured I was doing okay... until I saw a pacer with the sign reading, "3 hour goal." Time to commit! I picked up my pace and determined not to let that guy out of my sight. And I didn't, until around mile 7 when I passed him for good.

I chomped down on some Advil to help manage the pain in my knees. It was never unbearable. Whenever they started throbbing I would walk for a little bit, and by alternating running and walking I got through to the end. In fact, by around mile 10 I was feeling better than I had at that point in the Trail Loppet. I finished in well under three hours, a new personal record!

The race was a major production. There were several live bands along the route that helped me keep going. My favorite had to be the guys singing a cover of "the Doug Song" from The Hangover. And my pick for most interesting costume had to be the dude in the gold Speedo with the box on his head (don't watch this video, mom).

Even though I wasn't where I wanted to be physically and I could barely walk the next day, I accomplished my goals and had a great time. My parents even showed up to cheer me on. I would love to do it again next year!

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