So I decided to do this race like ... 12 hours before the start. Firecracker is a 5k run at 11:55 PM on July 3rd. I'm usually in bed by 11:00.
I have never done an evening race before so I had no idea what to expect.
Mistake 1: I drank tons of water all day
Before the race I went over to my friend Tina's house and made her some dinner. I made pasta with marinated veggies and garlic asparagus. And then she gave me soy ice cream with peaches.
Mistake 2: I tried not to eat too much but ... I ate too much.
Mistake 3: I had two small glasses of wine and even though I finished my second glass before 8:00, this was probably (definitely) a dumb idea.
Mistake 4: I drank a cup of coffee. I quit drinking coffee 3 weeks ago so I don't know what made me think this would be a good idea.
I get down to the race, register and my buddies Jon, Sherrard, and myself go for a 20ish minute warm-up run.
At the start I felt crummy but I figured it would pass but then ... disaster struck. I had to pee. This slowed me down significantly. At first I just slowed to a jog in hopes that, like, I wouldn't have to pee any more (???) but that didn't work so I ran for another mile being totally slow and uncomfortable. Finally, I realized that I had slowed down significantly and just said "screw it!" and ducked into a parking lot and peed between two cars ... classy. I checked my watch when I went off course and again when I started running again and I had lost about a minute and change ... whatever.
I finished the last mile in about 7:05 which wasn't bad considering.
My final chip time was 23:59 so I probably ran about 22:50 not including the pee break. Also, Sherrard was wearing a Garmin and apparently the run was 3.2 and not 3.1 which made me feel a little better about having such a sluggish time. Also, I totally believe this since my 23:59 still managed to land me 7th place out of 101 in my age group and (I think) 32nd overall.
So, midnight running is definitely not for me but this was a fun experience and being able to go out to a bar immediately following a race was kind of cool!