Twilight 5000 (20:19)

Me twilight 5000 running

The Twilight 5000 in Los Angeles was very much out of my comfort zone. In my attempt to race as much as possible, I decided a 5k on the track would be a unique way to test my speed. The race started at 6 pm, and my heat went off at 7:30. As many people know, the only thing I’m doing at 7:30 is relaxing on my couch. Being lively at 7:30 is not really “my thing.” Plus, not just that, but I would need to drive back home too (another hour and forty-five minutes back). Was running the Twilight 5000 on a track, really worth all of that?

Me twilight 5000

Before the Twilight 5000:

I woke up around 5:30 that morning. I had *hoped* to sleep later, but that hasn’t happened, and when I found myself wide awake, I knew it was time to get up. I ran 6 miles in the morning and headed for a full workday. I wasn’t sure what a good amount to run in the morning, if any, but I knew I was stiff and needed to get some of the garbage out of my legs.

From there, I worked until 3 pm and headed home, ate a quick breakfast (that day, I stuck to basic foods: bagel, pasta), and headed to the Twilight 5000. I didn’t hit traffic and made it right as the first heat went off at 6 pm. I picked up my bib, got ready, and had gone caffeinated Maurten gel. The thought of having caffeine at 6:30 at night was daunting, but I figured it was a future me problem. I ran a 2-mile warmup and got to the track about 10 minutes before my heat went off.

Twilight 5000 Race:

My heat was just people trying to break 20 minutes in the 5k. It was cool knowing we were all going towards a common goal, and we all lined up together. The gun went off at 7:28, and we were off. Immediately I found myself at the back of the pack. I didn’t know if that was where I wanted to be, but my only strategy was to run no more than 3.1 miles and that was the space I had.

The first few laps felt easy. I knew I was running fast, but I didn’t feel like I was working out of my comfort zone. About two months ago, I did a workout on the track. I planned to run a hard 5k, but when I hit the first mile, I felt like garbage and was running a 6:48. So I stopped. We crossed the first mile in 6:23, and it felt comfortable. I knew it would eventually get harder.

The next mile, I found myself bunched up. I wanted to pass a few people, but there was no space. Looking back, I might have run too hard had I passed them and faded even more. Who knows? The next mile felt like a blur, and I ran a 6:28. I could see the pacer was getting away, but I could feel running getting hard.

During the next mile of the Twilight 5000, I just tried to hold on. At that time, I ran alone, with the pacer about 10-15 seconds ahead. I finally passed a couple of people and had space to run. I ran a 6:41, which was surprising (I would have expected to be slower with how I felt).

I finished the Twilight 5000 in 20:19, my fastest 5k in the last couple of years. I originally thought my time was 20:21, but it was a few seconds faster. Wahoo. I ran a 2-mile cooldown and headed home. I actually got back at 10:15!

Me twilight 5000 running

Twilight 5000 Thoughts:

I am happy I decided to leave my comfort zone and run the Twilight 5000. My body did not feel great, which is a good sign of my fitness, and I think I can run faster. My trip to Seattle was awesome but exhausting a few days before, and I haven’t *really* caught up on sleep or treated my body well in the last week.

I’m looking forward to doing the second race in August. If you are thinking about doing one of the Twilight 5000 races (they are around the country), I definitely would recommend them. The one in Los Angeles was well put together and had pacers for each heat.

You can see Strava here and more race recaps here.

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Questions for you:

Have you run a track 5k?

Have you run a nighttime race?


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1 Comment

  1. I ran a track 5000m at a local running club meet. It was at night but very low key. I ran slower than I would’ve liked (was in no man’s land for much of the race). I was signed up for a Twilight 5k in July but got injured. Hope to be able to race in August. I am trying to break 20 too, got down to 20:28 before my injury. I do appreciate track 5ks because I know the distance is accurate. I’ve run “5ks” anywhere from 2.9 miles to 3.25 miles.on the road. I also was regularly running a night road racing 5k series last year. That was fun. Though the day it was 103 degrees at race time, less so.

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