Remember in P.E. class, each year you were timed in the mile? And every year, there would be two groups of children; those in short shorts and tank top attire, who would competitively sprint for the fastest time; and those dreading the exertion, walking and talking with friends? I was one of the latter. I HATED running the mile! I would rather feign illness in the nursing office than spend gym hour outside. Not anymore! I love running the mile distance! What once was thought to be an impossibly-tiresome distance in school has now become an eagerly-anticipated, fast-paced event. The Twin Cities One Mile, held last Thursday, was no exception.
I cannot say enough good things about the race! The distance is a speed-survival challenge, but therein lies the alluring excitement. Runners of all abilities and ambitions attend, though the resounding goal for all is to finish. I decided to run this event 2 years ago, on the premise of it only being a mile and not very demanding. Much to my surprise, it was the most challenging run to date, and I survived Tough Mudder (go Mudder Nation!). My time was 8:23, the fastest mile I have ever run, and I was elated. Mental note to self: I’m making this race a tradition! Each year, T.C. One Mile takes place in the evening. After work on Thursday, I was presented with the ever-impossible task of deciding what to wear. As a ritual of presentable-fashion, I try-on multiple pairs of shorts, only to fall-back on the same gray pair. I know what works, so come race time, why try to fix something that isn’t broken!
4:15 p.m – I leave the house, heading towards Jason’s work so we can carpool to the race. I don’t get far, just a few miles down the road, when… Son of a Biscuit!!! There are two seasons in Minnesota, winter and construction, and today the road repair is rampant. Stop.. Go.. Stop.. Stop… Go. You’ve gotta love rush-hour – at least my braking foot is getting a warm-up!
5 p.m. – Finally, I found my Jason! We carpool together, only to find more bumper-to-bumper congestion. After 90 minutes of combined drive time, we find parking and proceed to packet pick-up.
6 p.m. – We have everything ready for race time. My wave is set to start at 7:40, however, as the option to switch between any of the seven start times is permitted, I chose to hop-in an hour early.
6:10 pm – Jason and I begin our warm-up, then he escorts my things to the car and grabs the camera.
6:35 – Jason is back and gives me a good luck hug/kiss and sets off sprinting down the course to find a good spot!
6:40: Race Starts: I had to finagle out of the crowd a bit, but once I found an open spot, I was running at a good pace.
200M: ⅛th of the way! Yeah, I was feeling pretty good at this point. Legs were not heavy, breathing controlled, and we were in the shade!
400M: ¼ mile in. Fatigue starting to set-in. I check my watch.. Hamburgers! I thought was farther!
800M: Someone yells less than a mile to go; I can’t help but laugh. I begin to ponder whether I went out a tad too fast, as people were starting to whip by me, but then… Yes, a downhill! I gain a lil’ speed here, gain a lil’ recovery.
1200: I keep thinking you can do this, don’t slow down, you got this, almost there! Then, finally I see the finish. I haven’t seen Jason along the course, but I knew he would be waiting at the end!
1600: FINALLY, I cross the finish line with a huge crowd of amazing people cheering all of us runners on! I love that feeling. I love the public’s show of support, their willingness to spectate.
After the race, Jason and I took some fun photos together. We don’t regularly frequent the city, so we took the opportunity when we can. I know I say this in every blog for my recaps, but I do not know what I would do without Jason. His support and belief in me is so amazing! He changes his work schedule around just to make sure he is always there for me for every single race. I do not know what I did to get so lucky, to get to marry this man, but I am never giving him up!
When I was a kid, I did ANYTHING I could to get out of doing the mile, embarrassed that I couldn’t run the whole thing. I would love to go back to that little girl and tell her that it doesn’t matter and just do your best (and make myself listen and believe).
Some advice: race a mile like you’ve never raced one before. It is a great test of your fitness and strength. The atmosphere is applaudable. It is a great indicator of what you need to work on in your pacing! Even a 1 mile race requires pacing!
To See My Finish Video and Official Time, CLICK HERE
Editor: Jason Quarford