Last Thursday I ran the Community Heros 5k. Races at night are trickier for me. I believe this is because my body decides it’s time to sleep between 9-10. By 7pm, I’m in my PJs watching reruns of reality TV…not racing.
Lucky for me I’ve signed up for a few evening races in the near future. I want to treat these races like speed workouts. I don’t hope for a PR but a fast workout. It was my first “double day” in a very long time. When I was in my best shape of running two years ago, I did doubles with speed once a week.
Since I’m ultimately chasing a 5k PR, it seems natural for me to do that again.
On Thursday morning I ran my normal route 12 hours before the race. I felt good but didn’t push the pace at all. After relaxing the entire day I drove to the race. I got there around 6pm, signed up and warmed up with Angela. We ran into Liz and Chris and finished warming up with them too.
During the warmup I did not feel great. The weather was hot and the first double day is always the painful.
The race started at 7pm. For an inaugural Thursday race, there were over 400 participants.
We started the race and immediately one man bolted into first. Chris, Liz, Angela and I all were around the same pace. It was cool to run in a pack with my friends! The first mile went over an overpass and over several rolling hills.
For a course that was advertised as “flat and fast”, it most certainly was not. We went over an overpass and a few rolling hills. Both Angela and I hit the first mile at 6:04. I knew my body was toast and I was going to positive split the race hard.
Angela began leaving me after mile 1. I found myself alone, gazing at the NJ turnpike and trying not to go into cardiac arrest. Somewhere around 1.5 we turned around to head back to the start. Since the course was out and back, I knew the course terrain and what to expect. It terrified me. I was not ready to climb the hills or run another 1.5 miles. I hit the second mile in 6:34. The positive split continued and I knew mile 3 would be the hardest!
Mile 3 was the hardest, most boring and most unnotable. I just kept running to the finish wishing the race was over. I dreaded knowing the overpass was coming at mile 2.8. Sometimes race miles are boring…this was one of them. After getting over the overpass, I bolted to the finish line. I ran mile 3 in 6:54.
I crossed the finish line in 20:15, third person overall and second women behind Angela. By the end of the race I had run 16 miles and my body felt it. I’m proud of my time because at the beginning of the summer I was racing this pace on easier courses in the morning. I know I’m progressing!
After the race I hit up the chick fila caterers and tried to cool down. If anything, the chickfila made the painful race worth it.
I’m really pleased with this race because it shows I am progressing. I started the summer running 20:15 and now it’s more of a workout pace.
Questions for you:
Do you race better at night?
Do you like Chickfila?
The spicy chicken sandwiches are my favorite.