Thursday evening I ran the Fairground Road One Mile in Robertsdale, AL. I had been looking forward to this race for quite some time (i.e., probably since last year’s race!).
I really enjoy the challenge of a one mile race. It’s not everyday that you get to go out and see how fast you are truly capable of running. In fact, I would venture to say that a lot of us have not tapped into our true potential as far as our speed goes. A one mile race is an excellent place to test your limits and find out what you are really made of!
Going into the race, I had a few goals in mind:
A Goal: < 5:20
B Goal: < 5:23 (which would give me a PR)
C Goal: < 5:40 (which would give me the 32-year-old female AL state record)
I knew that the A goal was a bit of a stretch, but some of my recent workouts pointed towards 5:20 as being a reasonable stretch goal (if that makes any sense). I didn’t give myself much “wiggle” room in between the A & B goals, but when you are talking about a one mile race, seconds can really feel more like minutes. The C goal was purely dictated by the fact that the 32-year-old female one mile record in the state of Alabama was 5:42 and I wanted to get the record.
Daniel and I warmed up for close to 3 miles before the race. The majority of that was purely easy running, but I also threw in a few short, quick strides towards the end to get the blood pumping and the muscles primed. It is quite a shock to the system to go from running 9 or 10 minute pace during the warm up to racing at a 5 or 6 minute pace, so the strides help you “ease” into that a bit and signal to your brain and muscles that it’s about to get real.
The course is an out and back road mile. I knew that the turnaround would slow me down a touch, but I wanted to try to run as evenly as possible for the four quarters of the race. With a goal pace of as close to 5:20 as possible, I needed to be close to 1:20 for each quarter (i.e., 1:20, 2:40, 4:00 and 5:20).
Our friend, Kenny, generously offered to pace me for the race, which was AMAZING. Maybe he didn’t exactly offer, but when I heard him say that he wasn’t planning to go all out and do the race himself, I chimed in with something along the lines of, “You should totally just run with me instead.” He did and it helped me so much! He actually forgot his watch, which would’ve made pacing a bit tricky, but he was able to borrow Daniel’s watch for the race (Daniel didn’t race either), so that worked out.
I didn’t lap my watch at each quarter, so I don’t have the exact splits to share. I know that we started off a touch too fast, but we settled into the pace within the first quarter-mile. Kenny was doing a better job of tracking it than I was and he said we were at 79 for the first quarter.
I tried to cool my jets a bit during the second quarter, but still keep the effort where I wanted it to be. I didn’t really have any room to be cooling my jets, but I knew that I needed to rein it in just a touch if I was going to finish this thing strong. We got to the turnaround in 2:42, so I lost a few seconds on that quarter.
While it might not seem like a big deal, you have to slow the pace WAY down in order to do a 180 degree turn. I made a concerted effort to pick it back up immediately after the turnaround so that my pace wouldn’t lag at all. I was mentally prepared for the third quarter to be really tough. You are working really hard at that point and your brain tries to tell you that it would feel so much better to just relax and not worry about finishing this thing. We ran exactly 80 seconds from the turnaround back to quarter, getting there in 4:02.
The last quarter-mile was TOUGH! I was really struggling to maintain the pace. Kenny encouraged me and kept reminding me that we had less than a minute to go, less than 30 seconds to go, etc. and I tried my best to stay strong. In actuality, I faded just a tad during this section, but nothing crazy. In order to get that 5:20 though, I know that the last quarter is where I am going to have to make up my mind to really give it every ounce I can muster.
The split on my watch shows 5:22, which would’ve been PR, but my official time is 5:25. I know that I can’t count my watch time, but it’s still fun to have that as a reference. I am thrilled with 5:25 and am super excited to have gotten a state age group record.
Daniel and I ran two miles after the race to cool down and my legs felt better than I expected. The Kona Ice Truck was on hand after the race, which was a very nice touch. I got a large wedding cake flavored snow cone and it was quite delicious! I also won a trigger point massage roller as a door prize and a fancy insulated water bottle as the overall award. All in all, I’d have to say that it was a very successful evening!