Subtitled: The Second Worst Idea I've Ever Had ;)
Headed from Hudson to "Delightful Dunedin" (according to the Chamber of Commerce commercials) around 9:45 PM. Seriously, it's a nice little town that I would consider moving to if I were to stay in Florida. Not that you could see much of it in this race, but I digress. It was pretty gross out--80F with 88% humidity at 11 PM. Got my chips and goody bag, which I was pleased to see was a cloth bag. Now if they would only quit stuffing all those paper flyers that I just end up tossing in the recycle bin...Looked for Slow Twin Bill, didn't find him, but found my co-worker Wilson and his wife Diane, who was doing her first race in five years, so I hung out with them until it was time for us to line up. Diane was very nervous, so I kind of "adopted" her, and we went and stood in the middle of the 1000 or so 5K'ers (my estimate--no final numbers published yet) and chatted.
Diane is very young, like 23 or 24. Diane is very tiny. She is the size of your average fourth-grader. I felt like Fiona (Shrek's girlfriend) standing next to her. Seriously, she didn't even come all the way up to my shoulder. I bet she's not 5 feet tall, maybe 90 lbs after a huge meal and soaking wet with rocks in her pockets. So I was very suprised when she told me that she had looked up some of my races and was intimidated to run with me. Whaa?? But I guess when you're just starting out, the sheer volume and distance of what I've run might seem a bit daunting. I assured her that this was strictly a fun run, and no land-speed records would be broken on my part.
We took off, and as is usual in crowded 5Ks, we bottlenecked, got darted in front of and practically run over by people who were late to the party and trying to get further up in the pack. We came upon the first bridge at about 1/2 mile and Diane waved me on. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. Finished in 32:01, with Diane coming in about three minutes later. I had about 15 minutes until the start of the 10K, so I BS'ed with Wilson for a few minutes while I slammed down some Gatorade and a couple of sport beans, then I swapped race numbers and lined up for the next race.
Found Slow Twin Bill in the middle of the pack. He had run the 1-mile and the 5K that night. Chatted briefly, then the air horn went off. I did okay the first couple of miles, but the heat/humidity made me feel kind of like an old limp dish rag. Felt really horrible after about 2.5 miles, but managed to hold a 12:00/mile pace, praying that I would just puke already so I could feel better. Didn't happen. Swung through Honeymoon Island, where it was completely dark except for the candles in the empty water jugs lining the course. The frogs were extremely loud in the marsh, and I heard some rustling in the bushes next to me, which I tried not to think about too hard. The mosquitoes attacked me viciously, biting me through my clothes. The bug spray was rendered mostly ineffective by the massive amount of sweat coming out of every pore in my body. I scratched the inside of my left elbow bloody, and I now have a welt and a lovely companion bruise :-P I totally fell apart just past mile 4. I was nauseated. I had a pounding headache. I had huge, itchy welts from the rat-bastard mosquitoes. Sweat was running down my legs and into my socks, which is an unpleasant sensation. I was running S-L-O-W. I was walking way more than I had intended. I managed to finish in 1:19:31, which is easily the slowest 10K I've done in the past two years. So bottom line, the 10K was all bad. Not even fun.
For now, I'll be spending lots more time on the bike than in my running shoes, starting with a planned 20 mile ride tomorrow morning.
But I'll come back to kick the 10K's ass at the Turkey Trot this year, when the weather is much more conducive to running fast. And I'll be back at the Midnight Run again next year, doing only the 10K. Because I never learn.