Beat the Ball 5k (19:50)
Instead of going out for New Years Eve, dad and I ran a local road race. We ran this race twice before (2011 and 2012). It is always fun to finish the year off with a festive race. Plus one of my friends Marie, was doing the race and I wanted to see her (ultimate peer pressure).
The race itself started at 11:15 pm. I ran 8 miles that morning (around 8 am), then relaxed the rest of the day. To be honest my nutrition wasn’t the greatest before the race but it happens. I didn’t do anything special for the evening race and ate normally throughout the day. It was the day I went out to eat at Citrus and then had pasta for dinner. A lot of people worry about eating perfectly before an afternoon or evening race, I am not one of those people. Normally at 11:15 pm I am sleeping so I thought eating normally was my best bet.
Dad and I arrived to the race at 10pm. We signed up and I did a 2 mile warm up.
I felt good during the warm up. Whenever I feel good during warm up, it’s normally a sign the race will not go well (at least for me…the worse I feel warming up, the better I seem to race). It was pretty dark out and I focused on avoiding pot holes and not falling.
At 11:15, we were off. It was cold out and I spent half the race trying to warm up. Since it was dark out I couldn’t see my Garmin. It was on but I couldn’t see the splits or time unless we passed through light. During the first 1/4 mile, I found myself in third place overall. There were two males in front who were far ahead. Around the half mile point a woman passed me. I was discouraged but not upset. The woman and I played leap frog for the next two miles. We went back and fourth for first woman overall.
We passed through light so I saw the mile time of 6:26. I thought to myself “right on track to break 20 this time…until I lose my energy (like my previous 5k)”.
The second mile was out and back. I was able to get a full view of the entire race. I saw the leaders (the two males in front), my general standing with other racers as well as those behind me. I tried to side five as many people as possible including my dad! Dad and I are never coordinated enough to get a side five during a race. After a few side fives, I went into the third mile and left the other female. I felt more confident at that point. The side fives made me run faster and I (unknowingly) ran a 6:19.
The last mile was riding the pain train. I never have a strategy for 5ks, I normally just run as fast as I can until I get tired…then I positive split. It was a dark, painful, lonely mile. The mile was painful in an exhausting way not an injury way. I knew the finish line was getting close, so I focused on that. I don’t have a lot to say about the last mile other then I just wanted it to be over. I admired the views of Norfolk across the water. It was a stunning view. My last mile was a 6:30.
I heard my watch click three and I sprinted to the finish. I collected my 5k medal and hung out for the New Year.
My 5k a few weeks ago left a very sour taste in my mouth. I had no idea how Beat the Ball would go and my only real goal was to beat the previous 5k time of 20:35. Although the two races were under different circumstances, I thought I could better my previous time. I’m pleased I did and I might actually like 5ks. While I felt strong during the race I didn’t feel overworked. I believe with more 5ks, I can get back down to 19 and then hopefully below 19 minutes again. I could have better prepared and possibly run a few seconds faster by training at midnight or eating better but I didn’t. I had a great time and have no regrets.
Questions for you:
How did you spend New Years?
Have you ever done a night race?