When I signed up for the Medtronic TC 1 Mile back a couple months ago I really didn't know if I was indeed going to run and for sure didn't know how to race a road mile. My main motivation for running a mile was the simple fact I have NEVER raced a mile and I have been running since middle school. How? Well, in high school I was a 800 meter, long jump, high jump and relay guy. I was never pushed into the mile and I never asked. In college, we had a 'club team' for indoor and outdoor track and our coach was just happy if we entered races and ran as the program was entirely funded on our teams fundraising events and out of our own pockets at times. During those years I ran the 5000 meters, 3000 meters and 3000 meter steeple chase a few times. So, that is how a runners avoids running a mile race until the age 40.
The evening was a cool (55 F), windy, and damp one. I really didn't care as that was how the weather has been in Duluth for the last week or two. I arrived downtown early to get a good parking spot next to the starting line just incase the rain was excessive. After several trips up and down Nicolett Mall I made myself familiar with land marks and tangents of the course. I was signed up for the Masters wave and I wasn't quite sure if I had the option of running in the " USATF club" wave so I was getting ready for potentially leading my wave and wanted to be able to push in the proper segments. I didn't have to worry about leading come race time as I did indeed get the green light to race in the 'club' wave and that was the best move of the night. There were tons of guys to chase and keep me "honest".
After the horn blew I decided to take it out a bit strong and see if I could recoup on the flats and have the slight downhill be my friend after the half way. When I saw my split at 1/4 mile I thought and felt like I blew my race. My mind was everywhere. I was thinking of too many things like, "where are the other 40 year olds, how much I am going to slow down, should I try to push now, can I break 4:45?" With all of these random thought just flowing in my head I finally quite thinking and decided to just run and I told myself if I just ran hard, the chips will fall as they may, and I probably will run a decent race. So that it just what I did. Just prior to 1/2 mile I made the decision to pass a group of guys that were slowing down. I made a good move on the outside and tow or three of them went with me. I kept my sights up ahead at some younger runners and just wanted to keep the gap the same. I had a good sense of where the 3/4 mile marker was and I had decided in warm up that is where one of my pushes would come from. I picked up the effort just a bit and it seemed to work because I was catching some more runners. After that move it was a subtle left turn and looking ahead I needed to push as hard as I could to the line. Some 200 meters later I crossed the line and felt like I was about to die. Marathons make your legs tired. Mile races make you feel like you are going to die! My heart was pounding in my chest and throat and I was thinking for sure it was going to explode out of my chest. After a quick walk around the finish area and a bottle of water I was told the timer was off and we needed to erase about 5-7 seconds off the clock time. Really? I didn't want to get my hopes up but if that were true I was thinking I just PR'd a mile at age 40. Sure enough I did! Wow, what relief. I didn't think I had that kind of race in me with all the 'marathon' training I have doing.
At the end of the night I ran a 4:37 mile. Not blazing fast by many peoples standard but I am happy with it and I think it shows some positive energy going into the summer. I don't think it means anything in regards to my marathon potential but it sure feels good to know I still have a little speed left in my legs.
I ran a short loop Thursday morning just to burn some energy.
35:00 4.8 miles
Warm up at race: 5.5 miles easy
Race: 1 mile
Warm down: 2 miles
Total for Thursday: 13.3 miles
easy road loop in Kenwood.
57:19 8.1 miles