Sunday, June 25, 2017

Race Report: Twilight 4-Miler

Ran my first 4-mile race yesterday.  First race in the afternoon - 7:30 PM start.

It was kind of weird having an afternoon race.  Wasn't sure what to do with myself all day.  Mostly resting and sitting around, watching the US Outdoor Championships, and basically chilling.

With the late race I also had to figure out what to eat all day.  I ate a regular breakfast and lunch, then around 3pm had leftover pancakes from breakfast.  I was still a little hungry, but didn't want to eat anything else before the race.   Worked out okay, no stomach troubles.

Age Groups:  I turned 50 a few days ago, my wife surprised me before the race with my very own, super fancy, "Over 50" race singlet - with all the appropriate sponsors on the back (picture below).  When I started to pin my number on my new singlet I realized I was registered as "49".  Easy fix, the PR folks changed it no problem (Wouldn't be good to have an "Over 50" singlet and be registered as 49). 

Weather:  Weather underground reported the specifics to be 84 degrees with a dew point of 62, and wind from the west at 4 mph.  So, that's kinda hot!  But, not as bad as it could have been in late June around DC.  RunnersConnect says to add 2%-3% to my "base" pace.

Race Strategy: Based on McMillan calculator for 4 miles, and the 2%-3% adjustment from RunnersConnect, I think I can run around 6:10 pace; which puts me at 24:40.  Met a friend before the race (hey Elizabeth) who said the 1st mile is downhill, but the 2nd is up, and the heat will catch up with you around the end of mile two - so don't go out too fast even if you're feeling good.  Noted.

My "Over 50" Singlet with appropriate "Sponsors"

Race detail:

Mile 1:  (6:03).  Slightly downhill.  Got in a group with 4 others, and promptly ignored Elizabeth's (good) advice.  Not feeling bad tho.

Mile 2: (6:12).  I expected the incline here, so slowing down didn't bother me.  Toward the end of this mile, I was dropped by the others I was running with...realizing they were a little too fast for me.  Still not feeling bad, but I also had 2 more miles to go.

Mile 3: (6:22).  Yeah, lost some momentum here.  Was running on my own most of mile - and was "feeling the heat" pretty bad.  During this mile I also lost some focus which probably cost me a few seconds.

Mile 4: (6:06).  Found a "second wind" in the last mile (mostly just got re-focused and wanted to push the last mile), and I was able to chase down a couple guys in front of me.  In the last 200m or so, I was able to put in a pretty good kick and passed my final target about 20m from the finish (turns out he was the 40-44 AG winner).

Last .08 mile: 19 seconds (4:53 pace); "big kick" - maybe some leftover speed from the mile race a few weeks ago.

Total Time:  25:00.  Good enough for 2nd in 50-54 AG (missed 1st place by 9 seconds).  Per Garmin, overall pace is 6:09.

Interesting side note:  I "would have" won the 40-44, and 45-49 AG with my time.  Goes to show, it all depends on who shows up.

Elizabeth, Greg, and Lisa - nice to meet you "O-fficially".  Hope you see you at other races this Summer.

Next up for me - "Firecracker 5k" on July 4th in Reston.


  1. Well done! I'm really impressed with your consistent pacing. Especially since you had never done an afternoon race before, you seemed to fare really well. It was great meeting you in person. I, too, had pancakes for breakfast. Congrats!

    1. Thx Elizabeth. You had a great race too. Maybe I'll see you at future races and actually be able to take your advice. :)