Being a Miler Again

It’s been an entire week and I’m just getting to write about my mile race I did last week.  As a whole, it went very well and I couldn’t have asked for much else – except a faster time, of course.  Here’s how the night went…

I drove my HS athletes to Monmouth and we arrived with plenty of time to spare.  I sometimes feel that sitting around is the worst – I am not a sitter, even though that’s what I know I need to do.  So I made sure I talked to all my coaching friends I don’t typically see – Chris, Craig, Dave, Rob, Kevin – and caught up with them before we each did our separate tasks.  It’s good to see my friends in their various capacities.

Warm Up

We warmed up inside because it was something around 5 degrees outside.  I did roughly a mile on the indoor track (at an easy pace) and then stopped for drills and bathroom breaks.  I run through a circuit of dynamic stretches and skips to loosen up my body and prepare me to run at a high level.  We followed the drills with 2 more miles of easy running.  I finished with a handful of progressive striders in the few minutes before the race went off.

Haddon Heights milers and Coach Pel

The Race 

I was on the California start with the two athletes I was pacing.  I immediately got bumped to the back of the pack – and I was ok with that as they went out fast – and tucked in mid-pack.  The first 800 felt as if I had never run in my life.  Legs flailing, heart beating through my chest, anxious about spike wounds… And then I calmed down, relaxed, and started passing people who went out too fast.  It felt amazing to be competing as I whizzed by the early leaders.  With 400 meters to go, I felt like I had lots left in the tank, so I made a move to gap myself from the nearby runners.  It worked for a short while, but with 50 meters left, 2 student athletes passed me.  I believe I finished 4th or 5th in my heat with a time of 4:42.3 for the full mile.

The Cool Down

Part of being an athlete is cooling down after your race.  I take cool downs very seriously as they are integral to being able to run and compete in the immediate days after a race.  Unfortunately, I had a runner in the heat after me, so my cool down had to wait as I jogged up and down the straightaway yelling encouragement.  He set a massive PR, so it was all worth it!

Have you raced already this winter?  What was your biggest take away from how you did?  What do you need to work on to improve?


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