Hello! I’ve got a race recap to share with you today.
Last night I ran a two-mile race at Chickasabogue Park in Mobile County. I’ve done this race several times before (2012 – 2014). There aren’t many two mile races, so it’s fun to race a shorter distance every now and then. Also because there aren’t many two mile races, the age group state records are sometimes semi-attainable.
Every so often a race distance will come up where I have a shot at an Alabama record for my age. It’s usually an uncommon distance (1 mile, 4 mile, 10 mile, etc.) that people don’t race very often. Let’s face it, Alabama isn’t known for being one of the fastest states in the country. Even so, it’s still cool to say that you have a state record!
Also if nothing else, it gives me a good goal time to chase when I otherwise wouldn’t really know what to shoot for. About a month or so ago when I was planning my fall race schedule, I checked the state record website to see what the two-mile record was for my age. It is 11:23 for a 30-year-old female and 11:40 for a 31-year-old female.
The race was the day before my birthday, so 11:23 was the goal (or well, just under that). The strategy was to race as evenly as possible, but I wanted the first mile to be just a few seconds faster than goal pace because the course is an out and back with a very slight downhill on the way out and a very slight uphill on the way back. The turnaround also slows you down some.
The race started at 6:30 p.m. It takes about 45 minutes to get over to the park, so we left the house around 5. I hadn’t registered for the race, so I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of time to get there, get registered, get a few warm up miles in, etc. before the race started.
After a 3 mile warm up and some strides, it was go time!
The start was a little bit crowded, but it cleared out really quickly and by about a quarter of a mile in I found myself running completely by myself. There was one guy ahead of me (Alex) and I was running about 10 – 15 seconds per mile slower than he was. I was really hoping to have someone to pace with, as I find this to be extremely beneficial in races, but that didn’t really work out this time.
I came through the first mile in 5:41. Whew. I was right on track, but I was working really hard. I had to stay really focused during this race. There were several times when I was actually talking out loud (quietly) to myself. I was saying, “Keep this pace. Don’t fall off. You’ve got this.”
According to my watch, my second mile was 5:43. My official race time is 11:26.9, so I got an extra two seconds somewhere in there. I missed the state age group record, but this was still a 7 second PR for me, so I am super happy!
We did a 3 mile cool down after the race. The guys tricked me into running on trails for a little bit and wouldn’t you know it, I ran right into a massive spider web! There was a HUGE spider was dangling from my arm. I didn’t freak out, but eww. No thank you.
In hindsight, I needed to run the first mile a tad quicker, as the turnaround slowed me down a good bit and I didn’t leave myself much of a cushion at all to fall off of the pace in the second mile. I was kind of intimidated at the thought of running 5:40 pace to begin with though, so I don’t think I could’ve wrapped my head around a faster pace before the race.
My times have gotten faster each time I’ve done this race (12:32, 12:00, 11:33 and now 11:26), so I am moving in the right direction. It’s always nice to see the progress over the years.
What is your favorite distance to race?