Since joining Team Florida Track Club and running my first ever organized track workouts, the track has become my second home. Not that I started living there, but the track workouts became something I now enjoy and look forward to each week.

I ran in the 2018 Twilight Track Meet, hosted by Florida Track Club in Gainesville, FL on the University of Florida track. Having never ran high school or college track, this was my first ever track meet. The event races included a 400m, 800m, 1 mile, 2 mile, 4x400m relay and kid’s 100m and 400m. I ran the 1 mile race and then 2 mile race about 45 minutes after.

My goal for the 1 mile was to beat the road mile PR of 5:17 that I set about a month prior. One of my future goals is to break under 5 minutes. I knew that a big PR would be a challenge as the weather in May already reaches summer temperatures, with a high of 80°F during the race. After a week of almost endless rain, the weather cleared up for this meet, which started at 7 PM in the evening.

2018 Florida Track Club Twilight Meet Recap

Top: 1 mile pre-race pep talk. Bottom: Start of 1 mile race, heat/wave 1.

Pre-Race Fuel

Evening races are tricky to me when it comes to fueling, because I run the majority of my runs in the morning with eating anything before to avoid personal digestive issues. I had a long day at work ahead, so I knew intaking some energy would be needed regardless and chose light and easy to digest foods. I chose to eat energy bites made with dates, oats and hemp seeds for breakfast and a banana, mango, protein powder and chia seed smoothie for lunch. I also drank green tea and water throughout the day to try to stay hydrated and used Clean Machine Clean BCAAs in my water to drink right before the race.

Warm Up: 10 minutes easy running, drills and strides.

1 Mile: 5:15

The one mile was ran in 2 waves, an above 6 minute wave and under 6 minute wave. I ran in the under 6 minute wave that included someone as a pacer for a 5 minute mile and someone as a pacer for a 6 minute mile. A few people were going for a sub 5 minute time. At the start, I was able to stick close behind the 5 minute pacer but by the first 400m mark, I fell behind the pack as it got brutally hard physically and mentally.

The sun came out in direct view during the race and I could feel the effects of not being fully hydrated and warmed up. Overall, it was a good race for me as I feel that I ran the best I could with the circumstances and do not feel like I gave up at any point. I may have started out a little too fast and there are a few things I could fix for a future 1 miler.

2018 Florida Track Club Twilight Meet Recap

2018 Florida Track Club Twilight Meet Recap

2 Mile: 11:50

The two mile race was ran in just 1 wave. Someone came in to pace at around 5:40/mi pace. My goal was to run it at 5K goal race pace, around 5:47/mi to be on track for my next 5K PR goal of under 18 minutes, rather than run it at 2 mile race pace. Right off the start, I felt better and found my groove, but started to feel fatigued and slowed going into about the 1 mile mark.

What helped was that the coach told the pacer to slow down so I could catch up and then he sticked with me to the end of the race. From there, I bounced back up, started picking up the pace again and  got back onto 5k goal finish pace. Overall, this race went really great pace-wise, the weather was better as it became overcast with rain clouds. I had a little left in me to run the fun 4x400m relay right after.

2018 Florida Track Club Twilight Meet Recap

2018 Florida Track Club Twilight Meet Recap

Cool Down: 10 minutes easy running.

Post-Race Fuel

Since I ate and drank mostly light and sweet foods throughout the day, I was craving salty and savory foods after the race. I picked out some leftovers I had in my fridge, which included coconut cream of broccoli split pea soup that I made, a bagel, a sandwich with a black bean burger and I saved room for chocolate chip cookie dough bites for dessert. As you may tell based on previous race recaps, I tend to be quite hungry after races.

2018 Florida Track Club Twilight Meet Recap

Top: 1 mile race finish. Bottom: 2 mile race finish.

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