Thursday, July 26, 2012

Running a Night Race

Have you ever run a race at night? I sure haven't! I have run at night; some of those runs were good, some of those runs were okay, some of those runs I contemplated why I ate heartburn inducing food for lunch! However, none of these races were timed except by my trusty Garmin (Who I like to affectionately refer to as "Poco Loco"; he reminds me of how slow I'm truly going!). I am fearful of night races because so many factors are contingent on a successful race; sleep, nutrition, hydration, OUTFIT, arriving on time, location, and much much more!

Despite my fear I made my night racing debut last night in the 5k Prospect Park series. I had no idea what to expect. First of all, I've been to Brooklyn twice on purpose (AMAZING John Mayer Concert and during the marathon last year!) and twice by mistake (There is a Whitehall Street stop in Manhattan AND Brooklyn FYI). So I left extra early, packed emergency things (Huge Nalgene of water, safety pins, a gu, extra electrolyte pills...yea I felt like a newbie!) Second of all, I haven't run a 5k since November 2010! I'm not a "racer", but I figured maybe I'd try for a PR (Current is 27:19)

The Plan: Starting Line decision. I really didn't know what I wanted to try for. I told my friend Leticia it could change at any moment. Since I tweaked my hamstring Saturday and it was feeling fine, I did not want to aggravate it again. At the start line I decided to pace Leticia, who is making a triumphant comeback from a stress fracture! She said "10:00's." I said "YESSSS." 

The race: 10:00'S?! Nothing can hold this girl DOWN! Leticia was HAULING; I believe my constant comment was "We're in the 8's." Mile 1 we went fast because the crowd was fast. Mile 2 we went a bit faster than we wanted but were finding our groove. Mile 3 we found our groove but ended up running under 10:00 anyway. Race running, it's so different! I find it hard to be comfortable in any pace because I always feel like I should be going faster!

Finish time: 28:41 2nd Best 5k Race for me!

The verdict: Night racing is fun! I'm not sure how I would fare in a 10k or more, but a 5k at night is a nice way to hang with friends, run a bit in an organized way, and grab some food afterwards! I personally grabbed a delicious turkey burger...and maybe some french fries. My only mistake was not bringing a handheld for water; there were no water stations and it was HOT and HUMID, and I love to guzzle down some water fo sho! Check out race websites like Running in the USA or local running clubs, they often do small 5k series similar to this one throughout the summer! There's still time for you to try out night racing this summer!

Seeing these lovely ladies made the race fabulous:

We were all sweaty messes and loving it. Great running with you Jocelyn, Carla, Leticia, and Stephanie and new runner friends! (Other girls in the photo, I don't know if you have blogs!)

Have you ever run a night race? Did you PR? Did you regret your lunch? Did you love it or hate it? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

100 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!....Oh. My. Gosh. Getting down to double digits.
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