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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I ran a track mile

I somehow managed to have Friday night free at the same time as an all-comers track meet in Metairie, so I packed a change of clothes and headed to St. Martin's Episcopal School right after work. I close at six and the meet starts at seven, so I had a slightly tight timeline - plus the issue of what to eat and when. I couldn't run on a totally empty stomach, but I also didn't want to have heavy food slopping around in there. I ended up eating a small piece of leftover pizza around 5:30. Not a great choice; too heavy, but oh well.
After the sun went down: the 4x400 relay (it was 86 with 90% humidity for the start, plus full sun, bleah)

After I arrived at the track, I had time for a short jog, but didn't do any strides, which I should have. The mile is the first event, and it was crowded. I stupidly lined up toward the back. I have no idea why I did this: it's an all-comers meet, and plenty of runners there are slower than I am at this distance. So when the horn went off, I was super boxed in.
Like why was I behind all these people? I finished probably top ten overall.

I haven't run a mile in forever, so I was really guessing at my ability, but I decided on a goal of 5:44 (just because that would be a PR for me!). I wanted to run 1:26s, but the first lap was a madhouse. I hit an astonishing 1:30 and knew that the last three laps would be work! Luckily, things thinned a tad for the next two laps. I honestly didn't even think that lap two was hard: it breezed by, and I hit 800 in 2:56. Yikes - too slow - my second lap was perfect, but that first lap was killing my time! Unfortunately, I couldn't catch my next lap time, because one of the officials walked in front of the clock, but at that point it was a run-it-all-out situation anyway. Well, sort of. First of all, I am not in short-distance mode, and leaving it all out there is strongly against my natural long-distance inclination. I am quite bad at that. And second of all, now the track was full of eager high school boys who had gone out fast, but couldn't hang on for the last 400. I actually had to run out into lanes two and three for much of the lap to pass slowing runners. I saw the clock and tried to sprint for 5:44 but I was too far off; I crossed in 5:46. That ties my PR. But not bad considering I haven't done any sort of training for the mile and, actually, most of our workouts lately have been strength stuff, not speed.
800m start

I was pretty tired from the mile, but the 800 was up next with only a short break for the 100m sprint. With just two heats for that race, I was right back on the line while still gasping for breath! I knew it would be hard, and sure enough: the second 400 felt like I was walking in quicksand. 2:36. So two 78-second laps: I should be a lot faster than that. Chalk it up to outright exhaustion. The mile really took it out of me.

At this point I should have taken my weak and shaky self home, but instead I hung out with Van and sat out the 4x100 relay. Van was staying for the 2 miler, but I knew I was too tired for that. I ran the 400, which was as hard as I expected (72:00) and then went home.

It's very much not my norm to run a track meet, but having an all-comers meet is such a good opportunity to test and build speed. Not surprisingly, the shorter the distance, the less speedy I am. But what a good chance to see what to work on! With the Power Mile coming up in a few weeks as my next race, I have to get some speed going!


  1. Eating before night races is so tricky.

    I would think it would be very hard to race so close in time. I'm racing a mile this Saturday evening and may do it twice (once in the over 40 women heat, and then again in the open women heat). But...I will have an hour between the two and also reserve the right to bail on the second.

  2. It would be hard to race on a crowded track like that! And then to so multiple races so close together would be tough, too. You did so well all things considered, though! If you tied your PR with all those people to weave around it seems like you could take more than 2 seconds off your PR in better conditions! You are so speedy!!

  3. For several years in a row about 5 years ago, I used to go to a bunch of our series of all-comers meets. I was always in the old and slow heats ("distance runner" heats the announcer lovingly called them) but there was something fun about it.

  4. Oh my goodness- you ran multiple events! That's so hard core. Your times were phenomenal, particularly since you haven't been training for speed. Awesome job.