Over a month ago Tim Livingston asked me if I wanted to do the Millen mile - a mile race under the lights at halftime of the Kennett Eagles football home opener. He clearly needed bodies as I have no track background and have never raced a mile. My prep for the race consisted of a track workout on Wednesday. It was as light duty as they come - 3 miles consisting of 800s and 400s with long 2 minute recoveries. It was brutally humid out and my legs were trashed from the previous day's ride. My goal of a sub five quickly slipped to a sub 5:20.
I showed up at the start of the game and made a point to take the previous day off, and all of that Friday off. Also didn't really eat or drink that much to stay light. My legs felt better and the temps dropped by the time the lights turned on.
My warmup consisted of a couple miles of parking lot strides. I was able to get my HR up to 160+ and hit 5:20 pace. Confidence was returning. During the second quarter all racers moved to the corner of the track to continue warming up. As soon as halftime hit, we were all introduced one by one and took our place at the starting line. Bernie gave a ready go and we were off. The girls and guys all started together and right into the first turn we were all organized in single file. Tim Livingston took the lead, Nick Brown right behind, Kevin Tilton, then myself. We kept relatively close through the first 1200m then the lead guys started to gap me. Around the first corner of the 2nd lap, Nick made short work of passing Tim and was off to run his own race. I let Kevin pull me through the next lap, coming trough the halfway mark at ~2:34. I definitely had some work to do the next two laps. I could hear Dave Freeman announce runner bios the entire run and when he got to me I tried to pick it up. Kevin held a solid 6 seconds on me and was basically mailing it in and still gapping me without a problem. The last lap was great, I still had legs left and was able to drop another 72s for a final time 5:03.51. A new benchmark for me to base my training off of. While this isn't anywhere up to my potential, it's good motivation to build from. I'd love to drop down to 4:50 next year which is definitely achievable.
This summer I had been relying on Tuesday fun runs at Whitaker woods for my speed work and now it's time to make my weekly track visits and get my speed boost.