Last week I decided to give it another go at a distance I find really difficult – the one mile. I’ve only attempted one other mile race since high school and I almost passed out at the finish line of that one (the former Grandma’s 1 Mile at the Minnesota State Fair grounds). In that race, I thought I could still run in the fives and went out way too fast. I seem to recall hitting the midway point around 2:30 and then proceeded to hit a wall on the home stretch before finishing with a 6:34. This time I wanted to even out the pace better and shoot for a six minute mile (or at least a PR).
My friend Megan was running for Allina in the corporate wave of the TC 1 Mile and talked me into joining her. This was the seventh year of the event, but the first for both of us. The course is a straight shot down Nicollet Mall, starting near Washington and ending around the bend near Loring Park. It’s basically flat or downhill and the wind was helping most of the way. I could have done without the misty drizzle, but the cool temps were appreciated.
This race is really well organized – the multiple waves were timed so that runners missed the light rail trains and traffic was only minimally delayed. Megan and most of the thirty or so people from Allina ran in the second wave. I decided to run in the masters wave (along with Megan’s friend Susan), which was the fourth one out. The last two waves were the elite women and men and we stuck around to watch those amazing athletes smash the time bounties of 4:32 for women and 4:00 for men.
As for my race, I don’t think I was really prepared. I’ve run a fair amount this spring and had done some speed work on the treadmill the week before the race (7:00/6:40/6:20 reps), but I could tell right away it was going to be tough to get to six. My arms felt weird (I haven’t done a lot of upper body work yet this year) and my breathing wasn’t very smooth. I had hoped to do four 90 second quarter splits, but hit the first one at 1:22 and the midway point right at 3:00. I don’t really remember the third split and had no kick left whatsoever at the end (despite Megan cheering me on and seeing the clock two blocks away).
So 6:20 it was. That was still a PR, though, and I guess overall I’m happy with that. Megan also had a PR (6:38) and probably would have beat me if we ran in the same wave (make sure and check out her awesome new blog, Forty By Thirty). We all hit the Local afterwards for post-race drinks, which was really fun.
Watch out Minneapolis, I’ll keep coming back until I see a “5:” on that timer…