Let me start by saying I identify myself as a distance runner. No pressure, just run and run.
One of my lofty summer running goals was a sub 6 minute mile on the track. Pre-summer my previous mile PR was a 6:43. I had some serious work to do!
My summer training began with long consistent runs while my kids had a couple weeks of camp. When the girls’ camps ended and my running time became synonymous with kid time, I took to the track. Sometimes going several times a week. My workouts weren’t that long. A mile warm up (done with the girls at a 14 min pace), 2-3 miles of intervals with recovery laps between with the girls and a mile cool down was my formula. I got in some speed work, the kids ran a few miles and we would bring the dog so he could run around. It was a win, win, win.
I never really felt the benefit of track while on it. Track is hard. It is always really hard. Especially for a distance runner. Even if you improve your times, you feel every bit of the effort and pain. Little did I know my track works would pay off.
A not so short pre-race prayer by a prayer leader, real track gun start with a very loud blank and this intense and foreign race distance almost paralyzed me. The one mile race. It was all a blur. The gun went off, my ears were ringing and the people around me took off from their track like starting positions. I was way, way out of my element. I had no time to laugh or cry, just get moving!
My hubby helped me plan the race. He found me a bunny. The person to keep in my sights. She was a young, cute high school aged girl with long legs I would kill for. I was also told to expect quarterly splits by people on bikes. When the race started I was so thankful someone would have splits because during the ‘short’ prayer my Garmin went into power save mode. Lovely.
My bunny was great, but I knew this race was a constant push. I had more, so I passed her. Unfortunately, my quarterly splits didn’t happen. The only person I saw on a bike was mumbling and riding against the race flow. All I could do was run faster. My next bunny was the next woman I could see. I could hear her breathing heavy and just knew I wasn’t that extended. So I passed her too. Then the craziest thing happened. After my next turn the finish line was right there! I picked it up just a little more and finished with a time of 5:56! I can’t believe my body ran a sub 6 minute mile!
One mile races are catching on and more than doubling in quantity over the last 10-15 years. I can see why they are so popular. They are a fun and different distance for most of us. My hubby rocks the one mile race. Two years ago he ran a ridiculously fast 4:51 mile! The crazy part is, that doesn’t win the race. He placed 11th overall and 2nd in his age group!
I don’t know if any additional training could have prepared me for that race. I learned a ton and was able to reach my time goal and be the first woman finisher! I’ve been running since I was 9 years old and never placed first in any category! Maybe there’s a little sprinter in me after all…