Friday, July 04, 2008

RR: Potomac Twilight 4 Mile Run

Potomac Twilight Festival 4 Miler - Ashburn, VA
Saturday , June 28, 2008
Time: 52:34

SUMMARY: How you feeling? HOT, HOT, HOT!

LONGER REPORT: I drove with my friend Monica, about an hour west to Ashburn for the Potomac Twilight Festival 4-mile race. There were 5 of us total from the CANCER to 5K group who got together to do this race as a SOCIAL RUN. (Racing for fun - HA!) Or maybe I should say there were 5 of us total from Team CANCER to 5K who were goofy enough to suffer in the HEAT - yet again.

The weather on Saturday night was ridiculous! At 6:30pm at the race start it was still 98F. At least we had a little breeze. Monica and I got to the race village about 5:50 and had just enough time to pick up our race bibs and bring our race packets back to the car for safe keeping. It turned out that I had registered my own Champion Chip for this race and then forgot it at home, so there would be no official finish time for me. Probably not a bad thing in this kind of heat...

As we stood at the START with the other runners (quite a lot of people, just shy of 1,000 runners, considering the HEAT!) my cell phone rang and it was Ben Fabella. He wasn't running but he said that Amy was near the back of the START and to keep an eye out for her. I got off the phone with Ben and contemplated yelling "Amy!!" and Monica suggested I add her last name, because there were bound to be a few Amy's in the crowd. Instead, what I did was pogo jump up and down, looking to see if I could see a familiar face near the back of the crowd and I did! I saw Jessica Tanner and I jumped and waved a few times until she saw me and smiled and waved back.

The race announcer started there race and we were off in to the HEAT! The course was a 2 mile loop that we would run twice so we got to see the front runners a lot. I still don't understand how anybody can run sub-5, 5,6, 7 or even 8-minute miles in general and then to run them in that heat!! That is just freaking amazing to me! Knowing that my body doesn't handle heat well, I was just planning to take it easy and have fun. Even so I had to take my first walk break at 5 minutes in and was a little frustrated. I could not believe it but I tried not to let it bug me too much since I knew there would be no PRs in the heat. I just focused on having as much fun as possible.

Eventually Jessica and her friend Chaaron caught up with Monica and I and we learned that Amy Fabella was already ahead of us. I joked with Jessica that not every race I pick has crappy weather (I promise!) and we continued to leap frog back and forth for most of the race. I ran with Monica for a little while and then ran briefly with Christine D and her friend. who has been a CANCER to 5K pace leader for our FALL program. It was great to see them but my pace was lagging so I only ran with them for a little bit before I needed another walk break. Monica ran on up ahead for a while and I spent my time running and alternately walking when I need to, cheering on the front runners, playfully admonishing Monica for doubling back IN THE HEAT to check on me halfway through our second loop (I sent her on her way and said "Meet you at the finish!) and cheering on Amy when I finally saw her ahead of me mid-way through the second loop. Eventually Jessica, Chaaron and I stopped leap frogging and found ourselves running and alternately walking the last half mile of the race together. I again apologized for the weather (which I know I can't control but I am an apologizer by nature) and we stuck together to the finish line.

My run was somewhere around 52 minutes and the Garmin showed that the first mile was 11:30 and every mile after that was a full minute longer. (12:30, 13:30, 14:45) I did something new for this race and I brought my water-bottle and filled it with 1.5 NUUN tablets. NUUN is an electrolyte replacement supplement that I thought might help me in the heat (and it did) BUT I had no idea that the water in my water-bottle would now be carbonated as well as endurolytes! LOL The first time I open my water-bottle it was like popping a cork on champagne! There was NUUN water everywhere! After I got used to the fizz and the taste, the NUUN did a great job of keeping me steady at a hot race so I'll definitely try to start incorporating it into my training routine but the spray of water was definitely a surprise!

After crossing the finish line, I met back up with Monica and we found Amy and Ben. Amy was the first of our group across the finish line (they listed her as Amy Franklin, though....) and she worked hard for that finish, needing a little recovery time from the effects of the heat. It turned out that Michael (Jessica's Fiancee) did the 1 mile fun-run in about 9 minutes. I guess he can't tease Jessica about racing and PRs so much any more ...hehehe. (Another one potentially hooked, my friends!) The post-race was great and we just barely missed a tremendous thunderstorm as the wind picked up, blowing tents around and ending the after party earlier than anybody hoped.

Oh but you can bet I got my FREE glass of BEER, post race! It was HEAVEN!! Worth every sweaty mile!

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