Like I mentioned in my last post, I signed up for this race about a week before the event, even after having paid for and registered for a 5K on the same evening, because how often do you get a chance to race a mile? It was part of the Spartanburg Cycling Criterium. They decided to throw in a mile run between all of the pro-cycling races. They had nice cash prizes, too. $300, $75, and $50, for each gender's top 3, plus 3 $50 raffles.
It was an evening run, to take place at 6:30 in 82 degree heat.
Work that day was crazy, and an issue came up that required me to work until the very last minute. Time was getting so close that I changed while at work while waiting for some dependencies to my piece. Then, I rushed out as soon as I could.
Went to Spartanburg. Thankfully, traffic was good, and I didn't have trouble finding the parking garage. Got my # (5), cooled off with cold water all over my body, ran a 4:00 warmup with 15 min to go, did a bit of dynamic stretching and range-of-motion movements. The previous races went longer than expected, so I may not have started until 6:50 or so.
There were few registrants, with no race-day registration. You can bet I was sizing up my competition, as always. 2 some told me Kenyan girls... who know if that person was right about the Kenyan part, one person wearing Brooks ID gear, one person that has beat me at 5K races before, and people more my age.
We finally got around to starting, and I lined up. It was hot, and I was not at all trained for this distance, so based on a cold-weather PR of 5:59, I figured that 6:10 would be a great success if I could manage it, but 6:23 might've been more likely. I just thought "6:10", though... the 6:23 estimate is retrospective.
They quickly sent us off... I almost didn't realize they were about to start, and I saw people leaning over to get in position, and I was like "oh snap", and I leaned over and readied my watch's start button, and we were off.
I knew from experience to negative split by all means possible. So... it felt like 80% of the field passed me (it's probably less than that, but it was many people) within the first 100m. The neg split would maximize my overall speed, and it would hurt MUCH less.
The course was 2 loops, on a straightforwrd path, with well-marked barriers due to the cycling race. There were some small elevation changes, enough to keep pacing interesting. I reeled in the first girl after about 0.3 mi. Plan was working. But there were still 3 girls (2 Kenyans, and the speedy 5Ker). I want to go ahead and apologize in case the 2 Kenyans aren't really Kenyans. That' what the other person said. They looked to me like any other high-school / college-ers / early post-collegiates.
Anyway, there had been some really friendly spectators bantering with me while I was on the start line, and they thought I could win it, or at least joked-encouraged that I could. I was trying, but I was sad to be disappointing them as I came back across the start line on the first lap.
Now, it was a matter of how much more I could reel the field back in. I caught 2 men over the next 0.3 mi. By then, it was the final stretch, and the speedy 5Ker was about 50M ahead, so no, I didn't catch her, and I knew that the Kenyans were always well outside of sight, so I didn't place. I think I was 4th.
My time was 5:48, and I figured that the course had to be short. What's the likelihood that they found this centrally located course that was exactly 0.5 mi, anyway. I was disappointed not to place, but I knew that I wasn't trained for this distance. To train, I would've done a BM pyramid track workout, guaranteed to kick off like 7-11s off my mile time each time I do it. But at least I was tapered... maybe over-tapered. But better to undertrain than to overtrain.
I did enjoy watching the pro cycling races afterwards, though. They went sooooooo fast, it was scary being so close to them, even behind a barrier. The men would bring a huge rush of wind as they came by. Intense. They were biking at 25-30mph on the 0.5 mi course, which meant that they came by often, making the spectating very interesting. There were 50 laps for the women, and 70 laps for the men, so it was not a short race... took about an hour.
Went home, spent another 2 hours working until 1am.
Next morning, I remembered that I wanted to check on the real distance of the race course, so that I could maybe adjust for the shortness of it to roughly extrapolate how a full mile time would've been.
It was a mile!!!
I broke my FIT360 goal of breaking a 5:55 mile without even meaning to really try! And I felt like I could've even cut off another 5s if I had kicked earlier and endured a bit more pain.
That's freaking awesome. I'm going to be wrapping my head around it all day. I'm going to go on a long run now. After watching the races yesterday, and loving the life of training, an with the Olympics coming up (not for me, haha.. but in general), I want to train the daylights out of myself. I have to restrain myself from doing anything stupid and overtraining. But oh man, I'm excited.
0.5... the sweetest number I've ever seen.
I had even walked around the course after my race to see exactly where the barriers were, so that I could retrace everything exactly on mapmyrun.com afterwards.