Race Report: Midnight Sun Midnight Run 5K

Official Results:
Time: 34:21
Pace: 11:04
Placing:
Overall: 395/569
(Other results not available)

Watch Results:
Time: 34:24
Pace: 11:04
Distance: 3.10 mi
Heart Rate: N/A

Goals:
A: 35:00
B: 36:00

Food:
What I ate the night before for lunch: Spaghetti and meatballs
What I ate on race morning for dinner: Curried chicken with rice (not the best idea)
What I carried with me: nothing

Gear:
What I wore: Tech t-shirt, running tights
Gadgets: GPS watch

Discussion:
I guess my goals were a little conservative, no? I crushed both of them, and now I’m chastising myself that I didn’t shave off that extra 15 seconds or so that would have gotten me to a sub-11 pace. That’s silly, though. Perhaps if I had not eaten curried chicken at 8:00 PM, I would have found that extra oomph? I think the course was a little short, since I only measured 3.1 miles on my watch, but I think it’s also having some issues.

I did some yoga after I got home from work, to try to loosen up a bit, but I didn’t do much else and kind of sat around watching TV until it was time to get ready to go.

I didn’t want to park in Canal Park, so my plan was to have my husband drop me off. However, bib pickup ended at 11:30, so I couldn’t just roll up with 15 minutes to go. I really should have picked my bib up yesterday afternoon at Duluth Running Co., but I didn’t think about it. I picked up my bib just after 11, and then I didn’t know what else to do. I wasn’t going to bring my phone or anything else with me, so I wouldn’t have had anything to do for almost an hour. We live 5 minutes away, so we went home. I know that sounds ridiculous, but there wasn’t anything else to do, and I had to pee, so we went home for about 15 minutes.

I got back to Canal Park at about 11:40, and did a short warm-up, just over half a mile. I wanted to do a slightly longer warm-up because there was nothing else to do, but they said there would be a runner’s briefing at 11:50 so I made sure to get back in time. It didn’t matter because I couldn’t hear anything anyway. Everyone lined up at the start behind Endion Station, and I made sure I was pretty far toward the back. They said go, we shuffled forward, and then immediately ended up on rocks/gravel and a bunch of people started walking. So I dodged them, zipping along, passing people left and right. My concerns about the congestion on the course were valid.

Since runners were going both ways on the course, we were told repeatedly to stay to the right of the path. Some people ended up on the boardwalk, but I tried to stay off it. It was hard to get around people as many were walking two or three abreast, which is annoying in a road race, but extremely frustrating on a narrow trail. At one point, a woman made a move at the same time, and we almost bumped into each other. We ended up befriending each other and ran most of the way together, dodging walkers on the hills (THANK YOU, HILL WORKOUTS), sneaking our way around others when we saw a gap in the oncoming runners. The course hit both major hills on the Lakewalk (in Leif Erickson park) both ways, so there was plenty of hill passing going on. The only good thing about getting hung up behind walkers in the narrow parts of the trail was that it forced me to moderate my pace, because my legs wanted to fly.

I started to fade in the last 0.75 miles because I felt a little nauseated. Well, not really, but I just had kind of an icky feeling in my esophagus, and that made me worry I was going to hurl yellow curry all over the pavement. I lost the woman I was running with, cheering her on to go ahead of me, but I hung on and I had one hell of a kick at the end. The last 0.2 mi I turned on the jets and ended up flying through the chute feeling strong. I passed a couple people at the end, pleased that I had finished strong, which is always one of my non-time goals.

I felt pretty great afterward too, grinning like crazy after that great finish and the time on my watch. (There wasn’t a time clock at the start or finish, so I couldn’t tell when I crossed the start or the finish.) I got my shirt and didn’t feel like waiting in line for food or drinks, so I just went to find my husband. Once I sat down in the car and we started driving, I started to feel a little bit icky, and my face was a cherry red tomato, but I just stuck my head out the window like a golden retriever and bore it for the short drive.

I am really, really excited with these results. This is a huge confidence builder for me going into the 5 miler next month, and it’s also a sign that my training is effective. If I can have a strong 5 mile race and avoid too great of a drop-off in pace, I will feel a lot better about whatever fall race I decide to do. As long as I can increase my mileage safely and without getting too worn down, I should be in a good spot to run a nice long race in the fall.

To bring myself back to earth a bit, I’m just going to remember that the Western States runners are going to run 33 times the distance I just ran, and a large portion of them will do it at a faster overall pace than I just ran. I’ll be following along!

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