On Friday night I did a 4-mile race with some friends in a nearby town with a cute downtown. It was a 7pm race so I had no idea how to fuel.  My cycle also started that day so I was having mad cramps and bad eating habits.  I didn’t do a great job about not picking at food from 3pm on, although my goal was to have lunch at 2, and a small snack around 4pm. Didn’t have the willpower. I ate some brownies around 3, picked at the grilled cheeses I made my kids for dinner around 5:30… didn’t go too well.

7pm race – I was prepared to go all out for 4 miles. I had a great 5k a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to see if I could keep up the pace for 4 miles.  It was around 75 degrees by the start time. As soon as we started running, you could feel the heat! My first mile came in at 7:08 and by 1.5 miles in, I had a horrible cramp/stitch right on my top ribs. I couldn’t keep sprinting because of the severity of the pain! I didn’t want to walk so I slowed down considerably. Blah! I am pretty sure it was the poor fueling late in the day that led to this, or maybe the combination of the heat and this. I didn’t fare too well.

My splits:

Screenshot 2014-06-09 14.45.34


I ended up finishing just under 32 minutes, while I wanted a sub-30 finish. I was bummed… but was able to go out with my girlfriends after, so I moved on.  Have you ever done a night race? How do you fuel throughout the day for one?

The good news was that I wasn’t sore from sprinting, since I didn’t, so I could still run with my running partner on Sunday morning and get some good paces in for our 6-miler.  I love map my run and analyzing our splits!


Screenshot 2014-06-09 14.45.57


I am really favoring the shorter fast races over training for anything long. I don’t know that I’ll train for the half marathon this fall, but instead might focus on shorter races and interval workouts.  Now that the heat and humidity is here, I’m not sure that another 5k is on the radar. Do you race in the summer?




  1. Sounds like you still did pretty well all things considered! I’d love to come close to those kind of splits! 🙂

    I’ve done the Media 5 Mile Race for the last two years and will be running it again the 20th of this month — a great race with incredible spectator support along the entire route. It also starts at 7:00 PM. My approach to eating before a night race is to reverse-engineer what I normally do for a morning race. I eat a banana with peanut butter about 3 hours or more before the race — nothing after that. Prior to that I eat very bland, easily digestible food and keep it light. Never any vegetables or high-fiber foods the day of the race. My first year I ran Media hard and felt a little nauseous just after finishing — the first time I ever felt that after a race, but it went away quickly and I was able to eat soon after. It was also a hot evening so that may have accounted for the nausea. I didn’t have that feeling last year even though my time was fairly close.

    I’m definitely not a sprinter so I’m not generally fond of the 5K distance, but a 5-miler is still a pretty fast race for me. I still prefer the longer distances where I can settle into a pace and I am able to carry on a conversation with other runners and the spectators! 🙂

    I’m also a fan of MapMyRun although my new Garmin 620 gives me some pretty sweet data about vertical oscillation, cadence, and ground contact time along with heart rate info and splits.

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