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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Series 2-miler

 I managed to work my schedule in such a way that I could run one of the Summer Series 2-milers at City Park this year. It was a hot night, and surprisingly windy, but I actually felt pretty good pre-race. That was unusual, since I don't always do well at night races (mostly stomach issues from lunch timing).
I chose that night to break in my last hoarded pair of Mizuno Mushas: I finally had to give up on the maroon pair I'd been wearing for years (they had under 400 miles, but for a flat, that's a lot). I parked about half a mile from the start and jogged around Big Lake to pick up my number...and immediately stepped into a puddle up to my ankles. So much for brand new shoes. I took them off and wrung out my socks and insoles, then continued my warm up.
Dirty new shoes :(

I did about 1.5 miles warm up two shorts strides - only because the ground was so wet that there was no room for anything else. I could have done strides on the race course, but everyone was lining up and I felt silly and self-conscious out there warming up with a bunch of fast people. Where this sudden abashedness came from, I do not know, but I'm sure it didn't do my race any favors. I also wandered several rows back for the start, for the same reason, and I'm really annoyed at myself for that, because a. I knew this course is on a narrow walking path and is pretty congested, and b. I JUST had a bad race start because I lined up too far back at the Greek Fest 1-mile. So what's wrong with me?!

Anyway. Back to the race. We started, and I was clogged up in a bunch of kids. Kids everywhere. Kids left and right. Kids bunched in front. So I struggled and fought through the hoards for at least the first half-mile (including a bunch of barefoot kids - I'll write more on that later). The rough start meant that I not only dodged and wove a lot in the first half, resulting in a slow first half-mile and too much energy expended, but also I (of course) overcompensated on the second half of mile one. By the time I hit the mile in 6:14, I was panting for breath. The second mile was definitely harder for me: I was really trying to keep my pace even, and that's tough when you are running my pace: I'm right at that pace sweet spot at which many people can run one mile, but may not be able to sustain two miles. As people around me gradually slowed, I had to make sure I was dialed in to my own pace, and not pacing off them. This is a problem I face in shorter distances, and I did ok this time. As I approached the final turn, a guy yelled, "First female!" and I realized that I didn't have a CLUE as to my place. I also couldn't remember who I'd passed, and when, and how close they may be to me: I was in such a crowd at the beginning that I couldn't remember anyone specifically. So I just gunned it to the finish!
At the finish!

12:29. The clock actually said 12:19, which is very close to my PR, but my watch read 12:29. That means that I've run two races this year in which the clock was wrong! What the! But anyway, it was a win for the women, and that's always fun, even if there aren't actually places/awards at these races (it's actually more fun. I love these easy, short, low-pressure summer races).

I am both happy with the win and a little annoyed that 1. I ran the second mile one second slower than the first and 2. I'm not under 12:20. I should be able to do that! So that's my goal for this summer IF my injured calf gets better in time for the free races. It's actually a little better today, so I'm hopeful!


  1. Nice work! I hope that your calf feels better soon so you can do some other races! I am terrible at things like 1 or 2 mile races as I am not not good at running super hard over shorter distances. I'm much more of a mid-distance kind of girl, like the 10 mile is my favorite race, I think!

  2. I'm glad your calf is feeling better! You still had a great run even if you didn't quit meet your goal. Short distances are hard because if your watch is set to split at the mile, by the time it buzzes you don't have much of the race left, so there's really no time for mistakes, gotta go out at the right pace right from the gun.