Sunday, July 19, 2009

Running In The Dark

Sherry and I ran the Rockville Twilight 8K last night. It was Sherry's first race longer than a 5K - so for her it was more of a "can I do this" instead of a "how fast can I run this" type of race. My plan was to run with her - start and finish the race together, run at her pace and be her cheerleader through and through. No pressure for me - just an enjoyable evening run.

The race starts at 8:45pm - after the sun is down. This is normally because July in Maryland is extremely humid and quite hot. Last year's race was run in 90 degree temperatures. However, last night was beautiful - race time temperature was in the mid-70s, low humidity and a breeze. Sherry was a bit chilly before the race started and was questioning whether a sleeveless running shirt was a good idea (I reminded her that once she started running that she would heat up and she'd be comfortable).

The first 3 miles of the course consisted of two loops through a Rockville neighborhood. Some of the neighbors were on their lawns cheering, however, most homes did not have their exterior lights on. This made for a really dark course. It was not what I was expecting. The name of the race is Twilight - shouldn't there be some "light" in a Twilight race??

However, there was another reason I was running "in the dark" last night. I had brought my Garmin Forerunner 305 to the race, and when I tried to turn it on when we arrived - nothing happened. Dead. Kaput. OH NOOOOOO!!!!! I had charged up the watch yesterday afternoon - keeping it sitting in the docking station at my computer until I saw the "Battery Charging is Complete" message. What the heck happened????

So, while we were running, I had no watch to see what our time was - no feedback on our pace. I had decided not to wear the heart rate monitor before leaving home since I was going to be running at Sherry's pace...I didn't need to know what my HR was for pacing purposes (plus, I knew we were going to be hanging out with some friends at the after-party, and I didn't want to be wearing the HRM strap for so much time). The only thing we had to judge our pace were the clocks at each mile marker. How archaic? How annoying!

BTW, Sherry did great! There were times during the first 2 or 3 miles where Sherry wasn't sure she would be able to do it. There was a pretty long hill during the fourth mile where we had to stop and walk for a bit. However, we finished together in a chip time of 53:46 - an average pace of 10:50/mile. Her first race over 5K. Way To Go Sherry!!!!

In regards to my Garmin, when I got home I put the watch in its charger (hooked up to my computer) and nothing was happening. Normally, as soon as I put it in the charger I see the "Battery Charging In Progress" message. I thought I was royally screwed. However, this morning, I checked it and it shows "Battery Charging In Progress". I'm thinking that I may need to charge the Garmin via the AC outlet instead of the USB/computer input before a race. Just to make sure...

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