Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How fast can I run a mile?

Apparently in 8:36.  I ran the San Rafael One Mile Race way back on Sunday morning (after a 12 hour night shift with drunks, crazies and other assorted denizens of Marin).  This was a USATF sanctioned race, so the other runners were fast, fast FAST!

My goal was to come in under 9:00 - I really had no idea how fast I could run a mile, but this seemed reasonable to me.  This mile race was on the streets of downtown San Rafael, CA. I started at the back of the pack, and then everyone else passed me.  The first 1/4 was slightly downhill, and every time I looked at Gary he said 6:29 (I should say that I screwed up the button pushing, so have NONE of this on the Garmin, much to my chagrin).  I don't think I have ever run that fast for any length of time, so.  At this point, the course turned with a slight uphill that lasted the next half mile or so, and I slowed down accordingly.  This running fast stuff just blows.  I tried to keep my head up and my arms pumping, but this uphill portion just sapped me.  At this point, everyone passed me and I was sure I was DFL, which I consider a bit of an honor.  We came to the turnaround, and the corresponding slight downhill was a relief. I sped up, kept running, and looked for the finish.  There it is!  I picked up my pace significantly in the last hundred feet (meaning, I suppose, I could have picked it up sooner, but what the hell do I know about pacing myself for a mile?), and clocked 8:36.  I had no air in my lungs, a stitch in my side, and my legs felt all wobbly.  There was no one anywhere near me, and I had a little personal celebration for my awesome DFL, only to find out there were 3 more finishers after me, with 11:xx + times.  Freakin' people, stealing my DFL.  Damn.

Thoughts:

1.  The one mile distance is far, far easier than trying to run a fast 5K.  I'll take a mile any day.
2.  I ran as fast as I possibly could, and that netted me 8:36.  This is a moderate marathon pace for lots and lots of runners.  This simple fact is utterly amazing to me.  You people run SO FAST!
3.  There were superfast runners there.  My fast friend from Tahoe came down for the run, and her finish time of 5:36 or so put her firmly in the back of the pack in her group of runners.  Amazing.
4.  I'm reluctantly intrigued by this distance.  I might try to improve my time.  Don't hold your breath, though.
5.  For the $18 entrance fee, I got a t-shirt and a gym bag.  Good schwag!

In the end, I was pretty damn pleased with my slow 8:36.  I really gave it an honest shot.  I have not run another stitch in the past week (still having problems motivating in the face of back-to-back-to-back 12 hour night shifts).  I'm home now, and will lace up my sneakers either today or tomorrow and hit the trails (yay!).  This saturday I have a 20-mile supported run, which is a training run for the Tahoe Rim Trail ultra in July, which I am NOT running.  The training run ought to be a good kick in the pants, though, and I am looking forward to it.  I imagine I will be very, very, very slow as there is some wicked elevation gain, high altitude and challenging trails, and my running has been a bit lazy as of late.  So, slow I go.

6 comments:

Lisa said...

I've never timed myself for a mile but 8:36 seems way fast to me. I don't know if I could do it. I think you did great and I cannot fathom running 5:36 miles. Why would one want to run that fast lol?

funderson said...

I think that is smoking fast! I'm intruigued by this race and wish I could find one close so I could do it too.

Tricia said...

great job!

Sarah said...

8:36 sounds fast to me! I definitely wouldn't be able to keep up more than a mile at that pace :-)

Pam said...

I'm with everyone else--sounds superfast to me!!!

Sarah said...

A gym bag?? Awesome!!! Congrats on your finish!! A great time!