Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Midnight Run 10K

Well, the name of this post *could* have been "I Shoulda Done the 5K But Apparently I'm a Glutton For Punishment." The 10K started at 12:15 AM, at which time I am usually snoozing away in my comfy bed with my super-fluffy pillows and my prized-possession 600-thread count sheets, in which I plan to be buried (I get deep, deep discounts from work, which is the only reason I have stuff like that. I certainly don't pay retail. But I digress...) So I'm standing there at 11:35 PM, yawning and watching all the smart people take off for their 5K, knowing that in 40 minutes I would be running twice as far, asking myself, "What the hell was I thinking??" But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I ditched school yesterday (like pretty much everybody else) with plans to sleep in, relax a bit and rest up since I knew I wouldn't be home until well after 2 AM. Hahaha, yeah, right. I woke up at 7:30 to wait for the storm shutter guys to show up, and then we painted most of the afternoon. Guess I shouldn't complain--it was my room we painted :) And I was not given the night off from work like I had requested (I don't know who I have to kill to get a day off from that place, I swear....), so, because I'm a dedicated employee (read: chump), I showed up at 5 PM and worked my shift. The closing manager told me he would try to get me out early, and he did--10:20 PM. I had forgotten my Balance bar, so I ate a bag of pretzels and drank a pop at work, and shared a big bag of Swedish fish with the girl who worked with me. Counted the money, did my office duties, and changed into my running clothes and was out the door and on my way to Dunedin, tired and dehydrated.

"Slow Twin" Bill, whose boss paid for my entry (thanks again, Bill and Bill's boss!), gave me some tips on where to park. I wound up in the Publix parking lot across the street from the race start. I picked up my bib and t-shirt and looked for Bill. It's much more difficult to find someone in the dark, and since it was the Fourth of July, there were way more Stars and Stripes doo rags than usual. I figured, correctly, that he was doing both the 5K and the 10K ("Crazy Twin" Bill), and I didn't see him until he was coming in from his 5K. I hollered at him, but he must not have heard me.

We lined up around 12:05 AM for the start of the 10K, sang the "Star Spangled Banner," and we were off. I had my beloved iPod, which helped me forget how tired I was. It was kind of spooky running in the dark along the causeway. There were some light posts, and a half-moon, I believe, which reflected off the water. Very pretty. (I have a thing with water--I always have this weird urge to jump in.) I would like to actually SEE where I was running; I bet it's pretty. Once we got past the gate to Honeymoon Island, there were NO lights. The course was advertised as "well-lit." Umm, not so much. There were candles in empty water jugs lining the course on the island, which was cool-looking. But you couldn't see five feet in front of you. So I just followed the line of illuminated jugs :) Ran back into Dunedin where Bill found me right before I hit the parking lot where the finish line was and ran me in. I finished in 1:18:19, which is stellar for me. My typical 10K time before
this was in the 1:22 range. Talked to Bill for a while, drank some Gatorade and ate a banana, then left for home at around 2 AM. Got there at 2:45 (after I stopped at Steak 'n Shake for a vanilla shake), showered, and was in bed by 3:15. This was actually a fun race. Hot and humid, but fun. I would do it again. Although I would NOT get up early and work all day beforehand :)

Hope everyone has a Happy Fourth!

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