Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines One Mile

The one-mile race has always been my least-favorite distance, because of the physical intensity that it requires. I love the 200m sprint, though it’s even more intense, because it’s too short to burn out the muscles or the body’s oxygen supply. Exhaustion doesn’t happen, though injuries are possible. I like the marathon, too, even though it burns out everything, because it’s not very intense. A marathoner can take a walk, maybe up a hill or through an aid station. By contrast, the mile is self-inflicted torture, especially the second half, during and after which every muscle complains and I breathe so hard that my throat may be sore for days. I mentioned this to friend Norm one time, and he half agreed, "Yeah, but it’s over in six minutes." For him, maybe, make that seven or eight minutes for me. Nevertheless, he has a point - the pain is brief, except for the hoarse throat.

The Charities Challenge indoor races at Bethel University always include a one-mile race, and until now I’ve watched that race and run other distances, especially the 200m. Today I wanted to test myself, so I set out to run the mile, preparing by running easily yesterday and warming up with a mile or so of jogging today. The goal was eight minutes - could I run a mile at that pace? I thought so, but wasn’t sure.

An eight-minute mile on that 200m track is basically one minute per lap, with a couple of extra seconds in the first lap that get fudged later. When the finish clock read 0:50 as I passed it the first time, I knew I was going too fast for my goal, and didn’t know if I would be able to maintain the pace. So I settled in behind another runner for a couple of laps, and my time remained about 10 seconds under the eight-minute pace. Then the other runner seemed to be slowing, and I passed him. From then on I only looked at the clock to count laps. I felt good, went a little faster in the seventh lap, and actually sprinted the eighth, finishing in 7:20.

Clearly my goal was too low, just as it was in last weekend’s 5k race. Next time I’ll know better what to shoot for, and I can do better. On the other hand, though, I actually did enjoy this one-mile race! I felt good throughout, and afterward I was able to run a couple of easy cool-down miles. Coughing was minimal, compared with prior experiences at the U of M Field House. No pains, no strain.

Today's breakfast/lunch.   Blueberries were gorgeous and cheap at Trader Joe's today, so there is a bed of then underneath.  The gluten-free oatmeal is actually on top, upper right, containing a few raisins and cranberries as always,  Round it out with kiwi, mango, organic walnuts, organic yogurt, and a little Joe's very dark chocolate.  Life is really good!

1 comment:

amybee said...

I think your mile time was fantastic, but not quite as fantastic as that breakfast looks!