So today was the first real day of marathon training. My schedule called for 7 miles with 10 sets of strides. I didn’t follow the schedule, though, because I chose instead to run the All Comers Mile. I ran it last year, and decided to run it again to get some more Grand Prix points. With the prizes this year being gift certificates to the new running store, I’m a lot more interested in winning. And a free race is hard to beat.
I got to the track (not rubber, but not exactly dirt – not sure what it’s considered) pretty early and was the 3rd person to sign up. I sat around for awhile, and chatted with DD (a speedy guy I know through the Engineer) and his fiancee. I ran an easy 3/4 mile, and stretched. I then had to decide what shoes to wear. Last year, I wore my race flats but didn’t get very good traction. I had brought the flats and a pair of my track spikes. (Side note: I last wore my race flats in August, so it took me a good 5-10 minutes to find them today. I still have all my old track spikes, so picking out a pair was almost a challenge. I really wanted to wear my Nike Zoom Shifts, which were my 1600m spikes and are ridiculously light, maybe 4 oz? But they are really meant for a rubberized track, so I left them behind and grabbed my Nike Zoom Vs).
I decided to put on the spikes and see how they felt on the track. I did a stride and oh, I forgot how much I LOVE spikes. Nothing says “I’m going to run fast” like a pair of spikes. Because they’re so light, they are even better than race flats. And I really like race flats.
Like last year, they split the race into 2 heats – 6 minutes was the divider. I was surprised to see a couple of guys opt for the 2nd heat (the “slower” heat) and talking about running 6:30; I wasn’t sure whether that was their honest goal or if they were just sandbagging before the race since I thought at least one of them ran under 6 last year. All of the women opted for the 2nd heat.
Lining up was funny, because we were all being shy about actually lining up on the line. Luckily, there weren’t as many kids as last year, so I didn’t have to do any dodging. The race went by fast. I tried to go out hard and hang on. My legs started feeling tired by the 3rd lap, and my throat felt really dry. My post title comes from something I thought a couple of times: this isn’t supposed to feel good. Very few things about running a mile hard do feel good, aside from the feeling of running hard. I don’t often feel fast, but running on the track with my spikes felt pretty cool. I ran a pretty decent last lap, and picked it up for the last straightaway.
1:37 | 3:09
1:37 | 4:46
1:32 | 6:19
1 mile | 6:19
Check out those splits! How’s that for an even race? I passed one guy either towards the end of the 2nd lap or in the 3rd lap, and no one passed me. I’m pretty sure I was the first woman finisher, which is cool.
After a few minutes of chatting with DD, I changed my shoes and headed out for my run. I headed out south on the bike paths for awhile, and then turned around and followed the bike path north towards the pavilion. The first mile was a little difficult, as my stomach was cramping up a little. But a nice side benefit of running after running hard is that slower paces feel so incredibly easy.
5.3 miles | 47:10 | 8:54/mi.
I’m very pleased with my mile race. I haven’t been doing any speedwork, just running miles. Zeke posted something awhile ago about seeing the benefits of base building (paraphrasing, obviously), and I have to say it is really rewarding and encouraging to be able to go out and run fast just off of a few weeks of higher (for me) mileage. I’m excited to see what marathon training will bring!