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Friday, July 27, 2018

A mile PR

Racing weather!
I've been taking advantage of the summer all-comers track meets hosted by St. Martin's Episcopal school this year. They're supported by the New Orleans Track Club, and free for anyone who shows up (which is mostly high school track teams). At the last one, I tied my mile PR; this time, I bettered it!
It was a rush again to get to the school after work - I often work late Friday, and I need to change, drive to Metairie, sign in, and get a warm up in by seven (my store closes at six). But I made it in plenty of time, and proceeded to warm up in the 95 degree evening. It's annoying that the mile is the first event: the sun is still beating down at 7pm, and the track doesn't start cooling off until well after the sun goes down, anyway. I drank some water before the race started, and this time I lined up at the front, to the far right. Much smarter move than last time! Last track mile I was terribly boxed in after choosing (for who knows what reason) to start all the way in the back.

Fellow Power Miler Van and I after the mile (he smoked me)
This time, I was able to easily go out at the gun and cut inside, putting me near the front of the group. I knew I'd only move up further, as most of the runners last time tired in lap three. I had run a nine-mile aerobic workout that morning, since this mile was a last-minute addition, so I didn't feel super fresh, but I felt like I was putting forth adequate effort. I caught my half split at 2:51, but once again, I slowed a little in my third lap. I think that is because the people around me start drastically slowing, and I get influenced by my position relative to those around me. Despite that, I was passing people, and I started lap three as sixth person overall - although it was hard to keep track at that point, since I was lapping youth runners. I was feeling a little sticky, sweaty, and overall miserable as I rounded the track, but at 200 to go a runner near me egged me on: "Do it, let's race!" I kicked a little more - I am not good at kicking! - and ended up with 5:43.1. That's a PR! So thanks, track dude! I'm 35 and have done ZERO fast work in over a year, and I PR'd the mile!

Next up? The Power Mile, a one mile road race my club puts on: on the road. It will be my first road mile, and you know I'm nervous. I don't even know if I can break 6 minutes on the road!

Anyone have any tips for running a road mile? 


  1. Congrats on the PR! Very nice!

    I do road miles exclusively now (I hate racing miles on the track and it seems to beat me up more).

    I wouldn't assume a road mile will be slower than the track - it all depends on the course. A straight road mile with little or no elevation changes can be faster than the track, IMHO. Those courses are also nice because you don't need to be worried about getting boxed in like you do on the track.

    My biggest bit of advice is to wear your Garmin and set it to take a split every .25 miles, and vibrate when it does so.

    I wouldn't look at the splits during the race (though it's nice to have them after). The benefit of the auto-splitting with vibration is that it lets you know exactly where you are, relative to the finish line. If you don't have that, and your race doesn't have signs at each quarter mile, it can be very disorienting. Even when you see the finish line, it can be hard to judge how far you are from it.

    I also like to jog the course before, and find a landmark ~200m from the finish line. That landmark is then my cue to really start kicking it in.

  2. Good advice from a mile pro in the comment above me. Congratulations on getting another mile PR. I think it's so amazing to be PRing the mile at age 35 especially since you aren't really training for that distance.

  3. Congrats on the PR! You are so speedy! And to run that fast in 95 degree heat with the sun beating down on you? I'm in awe!! Well done, lady!