Crystal City Twilighter 5K: race report

After I ran this race last year, I swore I would never do it again.  The heat was just plain ridiculous plus I went out hard and choked.  In a 5K.  But when first the poet, and then I stumbled across free bibs, I said okay, but there was no way I was going to race it after declaring my hatred for evening summer races a few weeks ago.  A 3.1 mile easy run with water stops sounded great to me, plus I had lots of mafia blog buddies running the race as well.  

I tapered for the race by doing a 3.5 hour brick much earlier that morning with Emily.  We went out and rode the Reston inner loops again.  The hills felt much easier than even 3 weeks ago, and I really concentrated on keeping my HR low while climbing.  As it turned out, we averaged a faster pace over the 51 miles than we did the first time.  It was starting to get pretty hot when we got back to the car, so I whined obnoxiously convinced Emily to only brick for 15 minutes and then we headed back.  My legs felt wonky and weird for the first 5 or so minutes off the bike as usual, and then settled down and I just felt tired.  

We showered and had lunch, and then I completed the second half of my taper by napping for over four hours.  I woke up with just enough time to down several glasses of water and head up to volunteer at packet pickup.  I was drenched in sweat after standing still handing out teeshirts for an hour.  The poet and I agreed again to just run easy, and I even joked that if I felt tired, I'd drop out when we ran past the finish line at mile 1.5 and hang out with Lauren, who had come down to cheer and take pictures and hold our giant pile of crap while we ran.  

The starting corral was PACKED with sweaty nearly-naked people, and it was a relief when the gun went off.  My blog friends had higher aspirations for the race and took off.  I hung back and started telling the tall girl about my gait analysis - she had decided to run the 5K about 15 minutes before the race started, after biking 10 miles to the start.  Badass.  We chatted for a bit, but the poet and I lost her in one of the many turns.  I ignored the water stops because I had my baby handheld, and the "cool water misters" were actually just blowing out hot air.  I had set my Garmin to only show time of day so I wouldn't stress about time, and it was too dark by the first mile to see the split.  The poet and I kept chatting and dodging people walking, but a bit after the first mile marker, my naggy shin yelled hello up at me, so I stopped to walk for a few seconds.  Walking was worse than running, so I took off again almost right away.

I had told the poet to go on without me (SAVE YOURSELF!) but caught up with him around the next turn.  Somewhere before the 3-mile marker, my shin pulled again, so I stopped to walk again for about 10 seconds, and then just decided to haul ass into the finish.  My head felt like it was boiling and about to explode.  We crossed the finish line right around 30 minutes.  My mile splits were roughly 9:30, 9:45, 9:30 - exactly what I would do on an easy run.

We hung around for a bit afterwards taking pictures and dripping and robbing the finish line.  Melody (nice to meet you!) found us after the race and stood around making everyone feel bad about their abs chatting with all of us for a while. 
And that was that.  I think I'm finally getting used to the fact that I'm just going to run like crap while it's this hot out, and I'm okay with it.  If I don't get faster when it cools down, well, then I'll have something else to complain about.

How was your weekend?  Did you run any disgustingly hot races?