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).

Dancing pre race with Marie
Dancing pre race with Marie

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.

Happy New Years!
Happy New Years!

Overall thoughts:

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?

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  1. I’ve ran one evening race. I find I get anxious before races so evenings aren’t good for me! Nice time though! 5k are not my favorite either

  2. Congratulations on such a strong race! You really dropped your 5K time a lot from the previous one. It seems like the first race back after injury is a rust-buster anyway, but your training is going well too. Love the idea of a new year’s eve race and I wish we had one here!

    I’ve done tons of evening races as most summer 5Ks in Charleston are in the evening, but only one night one, and it wasn’t even a sanctioned race but more like a big group run at midnight (we did have shirts and bibs, but no timing). I don’t remember what I did to prepare exactly, probably just ate normally but it was a big group run atmosphere so it didn’t matter much (it was also July in SC and notoriously hot).

  3. omg 11:15pm race..did you nap before hand!? haha! But anyways good job-I’ve never raced at night and I feel like that could be interesting!

  4. What a brilliant race ~ I can’t think of any better way to kick of 2015. Your times are definitely coming down gradually and I can see them improving even further later in the year. If you can run a 19 minute 5K in the middle of the night, then that’s got to be worth an 18 at any other time of the day. Love that pic of you with the sparkly glasses too ~ they really suit you 😉

    I would love to give a night race a go, but the closest we have here are a few evening 5Ks at 7:00pm ish. I did run one of those in the late summer, but it was when my injury was at its worst, so I can’t really judge how well I do in evening races by that. I do know that my stomach absolutely hated me for it though – I think I would have to stick to plain rice and applesauce all day long to be able to race that late with no issues!

  5. You are refreshingly funny and dorky – two of the things I dig about you. 🙂

    No night races for me, although I am not opposed to doing one – except for Rock N Roll Vegas. I can’t even imagine how I would prepare for a marathon that starts at 4pm. PS – doesn’t your Garmin have a backlight? Mine lights up when I press the power button quickly, and I can set the duration it stays lit from 5 seconds to constant on.

    We just celebrated New Years at home with games and champagne and cake at midnight. 🙂

  6. Great job! Odd-hours races are so hard to prepare for. I have issues figuring out what to eat if I work out anytime besides 5:30 a.m.!. I’d be so groggy at 11:15 pm.. A great way to ring in the new year – right up my alley!

  7. Side fives are the best. I swear they give me juice… especially side fives from kids. Now, if only they could give me enough speed to run anywhere near as fast as you 🙂

  8. I’m the same way with warm-ups! When I ran my 18:19 5k pr, I felt AWFUL on the warm-up. lol. It used to make me nervous, but now I know thats normal for me.

    I give you a lot of credit for doing a night race! I’m normally in bed before 10. I think the last time I ran that late was at a HS track meet. My school had a relay meet that was held at night. Back then I stayed up late so it wasn’t bad, but now I love those 8am races

  9. We have a similarly-themed 5K here called the Beat Beethoven 5K. Instead of a starter’s gun or an air-horn starting the race, they start playing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. If you “beat Beethoven” (by finishing before the symphony is over, 29:58), you get a free ticket to a concert by the local symphonic orchestra.

    1. That is really cool. Breaking 30 minutes is such a big accomplishment too, that is a really good idea.

  10. Yaya! Great way to end 2014/start 2015! I didn’t exactly make it to the evening run I planned. Hey, life happens. 🙂

  11. I’ve only run at night for NYE races – I PB’d on the last one lol. I was so cold I couldn’t feel my legs – that was probably why I PB’d. I’ve also never run by myself before in a race situation – there was barely anyone behind me, and the leaders were far away

  12. I spent New Years with my best friend, a few of our guy friends and a bottle of hard cider. I suggested a Beat The Ball 5k race to my local running club and so hopefully I can get one going for next year. The last “night race” I did was the It’s a Wonderful Run 5k that started around 4:30pm. I never race at night so I jogged it for fun with my sister. Happy New Years!

  13. I raced this year at the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid – it was a 10k race starting at 8pm on New Years Eve!! A super quick course as I went through 5k in 15.39 which is a road PR for me. Unfortunately then at 7k I tore a muscle in my foot and had to pull out. Worse end to 2014 ever…I am glad you had a better one!!!!

    Happy running 🙂

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