I had hoped to run faster in the Twilight 5000, but it wasn’t in the cards. It’s not surprising when I reflect on the week before, tired legs and just “not having it.” But at the moment, I was, of course, sad. Some days you have “it” and other days you don’t. That day, I did not.
Before the Twilight 5000:
I did a shorter shakeout run on the morning of the Twilight 5000. I felt pretty good, and the weather was as close to ideal as you’ll get in the middle of summer. I felt pretty good that morning. I worked a full day and left Edwards around 4. My nutrition for both track races has been pretty good. It can be hard to fuel for a night race but I stuck to the boring, basic foods. Bagel and pasta for most of the day. I got to Occidental College around 5:40. I was lucky there wasn’t too much traffic going into Los Angeles during the rush hour time. When I looked, it said it would take 4 hours to get home.
I met up with Rich, and he worked on my legs prior. I try to see Rich from VFE as much as my schedule allows, although working is much harder full-time now. Vision for Enrichment is awesome if you have a running injury or are looking for some TLC on your legs. After that, I warmed up and waited for my race. It was kind of hard to warm up in the area because it was so hilly with a lot of main roads. I didn’t particularly enjoy my 20-minute warmup. After that, I sat around for another 20 minutes and it was finally time for my race.
My heat went off around 7:40 and had both 20 and 21-minute pacers. I lined up behind the 20-minute horse since that’s my current goal.
Twilight 5000 Race:
My goal for the Twilight 5000 was to come as close to 20 minutes as possible and, if lucky, go under. But that’s not what happened. During the first mile, I stayed as close to the pacers as possible. That meant I was running in a pack, and it was crowded. There were a few moments of jostling, and my rhythm was impacted a few times. It wasn’t worth it to me to run in lane two, though. We went through the first mile in 6:39. I hadn’t left the pacer.
During mile 2 of the Twilight 5000, I just focused on keeping it together. During the first Twilight 5000, I held on for 2 miles and then faded for mile 3. It was a hard crash fly-and-die, and I wondered if that would also be true. But the difference this week was we started at a much slower pace. I was confused of why we were running so “slow” but I also didn’t have it in me to go any faster and I knew I was running on the edge from the beginning.
During the first mile of the Twilight 5000, I knew my body didn’t have it. Running hadn’t felt great at the start, and I didn’t feel good now either. I ran the second mile of the Twilight 5000 at 6:35.
By the last mile, the pack had spread out. I could see the pacers pulling away; my body had nothing left in the tank. Running felt extremely hard, and running around a track felt even more hard I was counting down until we finished. I was running alone, trying to hold on as much as possible. I passed a few people running 21+ 5ks. It was kind of uneventful and I was also trying not to make eye contact with anyone of the sides. Finally, I rounded the last turn and gave it everything I had (6:15 pace). I crossed the Twilight 5000 in 20:35.
Twilight 5000 Thoughts:
I was disappointed to run about 20 seconds slower than the last Twilight 5000, but my body didn’t feel great. It was hot and humid (around 80 at the start), but I also didn’t feel great. Sometimes you have those days. It just stinks it was on the flattest course available. The drive home was pretty uneventful, and I got back around 11. I enjoyed the Twilight 5000, and if you are looking for a fun track event in a fast environment, they are a great option. Hopefully, I’ll do it next year.
Questions for you:
Have you done a track race?
What is the goal you’re training for?