Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Magnificent Mile

I ran this race for the first time last year, and it was the first mile I'd raced since high school.  I thought it was really fun and definitely wanted to do it again, but I was a little apprehensive because I haven't been doing much fast running lately and was doubtful that I could run as fast.  Getting slower just seemed like it would be discouraging, even though I know full marathon training is much different than half marathon training.  But I decided to go ahead anyway, and told myself that I could just do my best and attribute my slower time on yesterday's 20-miler.  

The Magnificent Mile is an afternoon race in downtown Raleigh.  I really love the setup of the course - about a quarter mile up Hillsborough St, counter-clockwise around the Capitol, then back down to the finish.  It's basically flat, with a slight incline right at the start and corresponding awesome decline on the way in to the finish.

Monte and I arrived at the race around 1:30.  Packet pickup was quick and easy, but I was really disappointed that despite registering way ahead of time, they did not have a shirt in the size I'd selected.  Oh well.  We walked around and chatted with a few friends, watched the men's race at 2:00, and then I did a very short warm-up before heading to the start line around 2:15.  

I found Alicia and Caren near the 5-6 minute/mile sign, and hoped to at least keep them in eyesight.  Last year they seemed to do a very good job of making sure that people were in the correct corrals, but this year there wasn't much organization and there were at least a dozen little girls in a group right in front of us.  This made for a lot of swerving and dodging for the first bit of the race, and I didn't want to go out too fast so before I knew it Caren and Alicia were well ahead of me.  Tried to run was felt fast but relaxed, and hit the first quarter in 1:28.  By first turn, I'd cleared most of the kids, focused on Caren, and settled in for the middle half (1:30-1:32).  

I tried to pick it up through the last quarter mile and felt like I was gaining a little, but could't close the gap on my Bull City Track Club teammates, though I was able to pass the one woman in between us and put some distance on the runner who'd been on my heels for a while.  I felt tired but not completely exhausted when I crossed the line, despite running the last quarter in 1:22, so I am a bit disappointed that I didn't run the my best possible race... In fear of going out too fast, I ended up leaving too much in the tank.  But... official time - 5:52, and first in my age group!  I was shocked to break 6 minutes last year, and I was just as surprised to PR this time around!  It was pretty exciting to finish right behind Caren and Alicia, who are awesome and super-fast!

Big congratulations to Caren, who finished in 5:47 and is now the NC USATF masters champion in the mile!  

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