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The RRCA National One Mile Race- go! Mile Race Report- 2014

The RRCA National One Mile Race- go! Mile Race Report- 2014
The RRCA National One Mile Race- go! Mile Race Report- 2014

If you think the expression “digging deep” applies to solely to marathoners I would have to disagree.  I don’t think you can truly appreciate the term until you have raced ALL OUT in a ONE MILE RACE.

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Outside

When I first saw this picture I was tagged in on Facebook my initial thought was “Oh no- I’ve got to untag myself.” But the more I thought about it I realized this picture says it all.  At this moment in the race I was seconds from the finish line and I was in complete pain.  I had been in pain pretty much since the gun went off to start the race five minute earlier.  I was digging deep and there was nothing left.  I thought I had nothing left at the end of my marathon in May.  I was wrong.  The last few minutes of a marathon is a cakewalk compared to the final seconds of a one mile race.

So what on earth drove me to the decision to run a one mile race?  There were a lot of factors but I would say the main reason I wanted to run it was to challenge myself.  I knew it would push me way of out of my (long distance) comfort zone.

I was contacted at the end of April by the go!Mile elite coordinator, Joyce Taylor,  who invited me to participate in this years race as part of the Elite Windstream Team.  Joyce asked me what my current mile PR was and what time I was hoping to run this year.  (Last year I was the go! Mile female runner-up with a 5:17:99.) It was hard to guess what time I wanted to get this year since I was not in one mile training mode.  In fact, at the time I was about two weeks away from running in the Poconos Marathon so I was in total marathon mode.  The very thought of racing one mile seemed impossible.  I had to put it out of my mind until I got back from Pennsylvania and I knew I would only have three weeks to go from training for 26.2 to 1.  As you can imagine, the workouts are quite different.  Still, I trained hard and did my best to get ready for an all out sprint of a race.

As an out of town elite runner, I was offered a complimentary hotel room at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock.  Because another elite runner cancelled Joyce offered our family an extra room so we were able to bring the kids.  Originally we were supposed to have two separate rooms but when we went to check in the front desk upgraded us to a connecting double suite.  Wow.

In the lobby
Ready to check in!
Family selfie in the elevator
Me with my racing buddy!

Seriously the most beautiful hotel room I’ve ever been in and it was huge.  (3 bathrooms, two living rooms, dining room, two king suites, etc.)  The kids were so excited! You would have thought we just took them to Disney World.  Huge thank you to Joyce and the Capital Hotel for the accommodations Friday night.

Saturday morning it was go time! The go! Mile has 7 different racing heats:

  • The First Mile: a race for new runners and inexperienced racers
  • Heat A- Women Ages 39 and Under
  • Heat B- Men Ages 39 and Under
  • Heat C- Women Ages 40 & Over
  • Heat D- Men Ages 40 & Over
  • Heat E- Elite Men & Women: Men who can run under 5:30 and Women who can finish in 6:00
  • Kids Mini Mile

Abi was racing in Heat A at 7:45 so we got there a little after 7. This meant I had over an hour and a half until my race.  It felt like an eternity…  I know it did to John and the kids as well.

This blow-up contraption kept my younger two occupied for at least 30 minutes…

If there’s one thing that will take your mind off running a race it’s watching your child race. 
My friend Tish was also running in Heat A so Abi headed to the starting line with Tish when it was time.  For those minutes all I could think about was my Abi sprinting her heart out.  When I saw her around the three quarter mark she was neck in neck with another girl who looked right about her age.

Abi’s in the blue on the left
Keep going!

Then I sprinted to the finish so I could watch Tish and Abi come in.

Tish kicking it in- 2nd female finisher in her heat!
Photo courtesy of Arkansas Outside
Final kick (Photo courtesy of Arkansas Outside)
Abi’s new mile PR- 7:22!

Then it was time for Jackie and I to warm-up.  As you can imagine, race anxiety and nerves were at an all time high.

pre-race pic

After a 1.5 mile warm-up including some strides it was time to line up.  I knew it was going to be challenging but I hoped my three weeks of speed work had prepared me for it.

The Plan
My “A” goal was to hit somewhere between 5:10-5:15.  Obviously anything sub 5:10 would be amazing but I didn’t know how realistic that was based on my mini training cycle.  Another goal was to break my PR of 5:17:99.  Ideally I needed to hit 77 splits.  I knew 80’s would get me a 5:20 so I needed to stay under that.  For this race I set my watch to beep every quarter.  It’s the only race I do this in but it’s really helpful to me.  There is a lot of pacing strategy when it comes to racing a one mile race.

Then there was the matter of placing.  Last year I was able to win a little prize money for placing in the top three.  This year the go! Mile became the RRCA National One Mile Championship race so the prize money was much bigger.  This also meant the elite competition was going to be a lot tougher.  I didn’t know how realistic prize money was going to be so I tried to focus on what I could control- my time.  Running my own race.

The Start

Courtesy of Arkansas Outside
The elite race
Courtesy of Arkansas Outside
Courtesy of Arkansas Outside

When the gun went off I went out as fast as I could.  I was hoping for a 72-75 first quarter.  I also hoped I would feel strong- at least at the beginning.  I didn’t.  From the very start I felt heavy and tired.

I came through the first quarter at 75.  I just had to keep pushing.

I went through the half at a 2:32. (My second quarter was a 77.) Still right on pace.

I could feel myself slowing down my third quarter.  I just hoped it wasn’t above an 80.  It was an 83.  Ughhh. Not good.

Photo courtesy of Beverly Smith

I told myself I could pick it up the last quarter and I did.  I pulled it together with a 77.
Then there was the matter of the extra tangent seconds.  I don’t know if it was the way I ran the corners or what but my watch read 1.02 so all in all my total time was a 5:20:3. I was completely wiped out when I crossed the line.

Photo Courtesy of Arkansas Outside
Photo Courtesy of Arkansas Outside
Photo Courtesy of Arkansas Outside

And this is what you look like when you are DONE.  We all look like we are about to pass out… well, except the guy to my right.  He actually looks like he might want to race another mile.  But the rest of us are finished.

My official finish time- 5:20:3. 4th female OA. / 1st AG.  Official results can be found here.  The top three females finished in: 4:52, 5:05, 5:05. Fast!!

My training partner Jackie ended coming in fifth female right behind me in 5:33- a new PR for her!  Not bad for a basketball player! 🙂

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Outside

Before I had too much time to think about what just happened it was time for the Kids Mini Mile which my oldest son was racing in this year.

Photo courtesy of Arkansas Outside
Finishing strong!

My only cool-down was jogging about a quarter mile with my son during part of his race.  I think it was my lowest race mileage day ever but there really wasn’t much I could do about it.  Ideally I like to get in a couple miles but we had all the kids and the awards were about to start.

Some post race pics

so proud of my big girl
love these ladies
Beverly- another HU cross country alumni (she’s also a health and wellness coach)
Former and current Lady Bisons!
sweet sisters hug!

Awards

Abi finished 1st in the 0-9 age group!  (Photo Courtesy of Arkansas Outside)
Jackie was first in her AG (20-24)
Tish and I were 1st and 3rd and our AG (35-39)

Two very important people who also came to this race were my sponsors from Massage Me.

Love these ladies!!

They even brought their massage table for a quick post race massage!

It hurts so good!
She even got a little help…

Final Thoughts
The mile is one hard race. I wish I could have pushed it a little more but with less than a month recovery after a marathon I know I need to be okay with where I am and what I was able to do.  Next year I don’t plan on running a marathon that late in May so hopefully I will be ready to bring on the speed in June at the next go! Mile!

Huge thanks to Jade and Shela at Massage Me and my training buddies.  I also want to thank Joyce & Erin and everyone at Go! Running and the Arkansas RRCA for putting on a top notch National race.  That’s a pretty big deal!

And last but definitely not least I have to thank my husband who always believes in me.  I couldn’t do it without him and his support.  He somehow manages to cheer and take pictures all the while corralling four children.  He is the best!

Love him!

I have not forgotten about a post on dealing/ preventing injuries.  I am about halfway through it but I had to take a break to get this race report up! With all the kids home I have not had much time to write or read blogs.  I wonder why… 🙂

cool summer shades courtesy of Go!Mile- love it!
Any other Go! Milers out there?  
When was the last time you raced an all out mile?

38 Comments

    1. Ha!! Gotta love race pictures! Good old CASA… Still my half pr. I need to go back again to see if I can make some more race magic. Are you going to do it again? I know you are planning in 3B26!! I’m excited for you!

    2. I’m thinking about it. I know that fees go up after the 30th. It would be a good training run/race before 3B26. And I’m not going to lie, still a little panicked about the full. I’ve been running over the Clinton bridge to NLR side the last 2 longer runs and started thinking about all those passes over the bridges and then the hills along the RiverTrail 15K route. What was I thinking?? LOL

  1. Great recap of the race, Tia! So great to have been able to see so many families participating together, like yours. I had a great time and it was so nice to meet you. Congratulations on your run-INCREDIBLE!

  2. I want to race a mile! There’s one in August here, but coming off an injury, I don’t think I’ll be ready for that (I won’t be allowed to do speedwork immediately when I can run again), but I think we have another in September which is a possibility. Don’t know why I want to do it, I guess because it’s an instant PR and a new training stimulus. You did a great job especially considering the tangents- congrats on your AG win and that everyone else you were with did really well too. I love the massage table pics hehe.

    1. Thanks Amy! Yes, I love racing new distances when I don’t have another time to compare it to and like you said “automatic pr.” : ) I knew I set the bar high at go! Mile last summer so I will have to work a little harder next spring if I want to pr! Good luck in your comeback racing!

    1. You’d better believe my hubby wasn’t gonna let a girl pass him! 🙂

      But seriously, it was great to watch all you super-fast ones zoom to the finish. God has given me other talents, and I will plod along at my much-slower pace. But I love the Go! Mile, partly because it’s the only race where I get to watch Bruce finish!

  3. Great job! The pic with all your kids around you at the massage table made me laugh out loud! Your hubs is quite a guy. It’s awesome that he is always so supportive and helpful. I always look forward to your race recaps.

    1. Thanks Lucinda! It’s the first time they’ve ever brought their massage stuff to one of my races and fortunately they don’t mind my kids trying to “help.” I could definitely tell which leg the non- professionals were working on!

  4. Great job, Tia! I agree, the misery of a fast short race is so different than the misery of a marathon, and harder in a way. I haven’t raced a mile since high school. The go! mile sounds like a fun event! Looks like your family had a great time.

    1. Thanks Claire! Yes, it’s not that common of a race anymore but it sure gives me a lot more respect for high schoolers out there who race it often. I must say it seemed a lot easier then than it does now. My daughter loved it!

  5. Nice recap with great pictures. I’m racing the mile next month on July 1st. Your one mile race last year totally inspired me. I have been doing speed work for a few weeks. Did you taper the week prior to the mile? My race is on a Tuesday evening and I was going to do 400’s on the Saturday before for one last speed workout. I hope that’s not too close to the race.. Thoughts? Thank you in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Dolly! I think that’s exactly how I tapered. 400s Wednesday, easy 5 m on Thursday, 2 m with strides Friday and race Saturday. Very low mileage week. I was a little tired Saturday so if I had to do it over again I might have taken out the Thursday or Friday run all together. Or maybe even bumped up 800s one day?? Or I could have just been dealing with marathon fatigue still? Not sure. I felt more fresh last year. Good luck on your one mile race!!

  6. Okay, so holy cow 5:20 is insanely fast!!!! That was an amazing race and I totally believe a 1 mile can be digging deep for sure!!!!! It is more about how hard you are pushing yourself than how far for sure!!! But 7:22 is SO amazing too!!!!! That is incredible for her! Do you mind me asking what she does for training? Do you take her running throughout the week?…

    1. Thanks! My daughter runs 1-2 miles a few days a week around our block. Not fast- just casually. Her school has a 100 mile club program (they have a year to log 100 miles and they get incentives and tokens along the way for hitting various mile markers- 10, 25, 50, 75 & 100). She runs in several local 5ks and even a few 10ks but that’s the extent right now. She loved this race distance. Shortest timed race she’s done.

    2. I LOVE that they do that! I try to do similar things like that with my girls and that is about what they run too :)…I am not sure either of them could do a 10k yet though!…What was the farthest she had run before her 10k? She did an amazing job…and so did you :)!!!!

    3. Before her first 10K the most she’d ever run was a 5K. It took her 1:02 I believe. She did it with our good friend and “adopted” college student before she graduated. Then in the summer she went 9 miles with me on her 9th birthday. This is still her distance record. Her 10th bday is coming up in a few weeks so the plan is to do 10 miles then. She did a 10K on her own in April (55- something I think). It was tough for her but she was so happy when she finished.

    1. Yes, it was a close one! Abi has been in this situation before. She doesn’t always come out on top but this time things worked out for her and I was so excited!

  7. Congratulations Tia! The guy to your right, is Jeffrey Grove, great guy, great friend and great supporter of Arkansas Outside. Thanks for being such a great photo subject and please stay tagged- the story is written all over your face! Run on! Lisa (Arkansas Outside)

    1. Wow! Thank you so much for your comment. Over the past year of following Arkansas Outside on Facebook I have grown to love it!! You all do an incredible job providing information and pictures for what’s going on outdoors in our state. I appreciate it!

  8. Another great race for you, and how wonderful to have the hotel rooms and make an event of it. Miles are tough – but so rewarding. I haven’t even raced a road mile, though, so I don’t even have a clue how I’d do. It’s on my list for when this surgery heals up!

    1. Thanks Gracie! Yes, you should look into once you are all healed up. You gave natural speed and your training could be lower in mileage. That’s one thing I’m liking with this 5k/ 1 mi training. : )

  9. I’ve never raced a mile but I can only imagine how awkward it would be, but maybe that is because I am a slow runner. It takes me a few miles to feel comfortable in my pace. I don’t know if I would ever feel comfortable in just a one mile race.

    1. Yes, usually it takes me a while to “find my pace” but this race does not allow for that. I think that’s why it felt challenging the whole time. The flip side is at least it is over soon!! Lol!

  10. I have not ran an all out mile in…YEARS and I mean YEARS. I’d love to do one though, I think it would be cool to see what I could do. They are harder races to find. There was one here a few weeks ago but I had to work (thursday Night race) so I was bummed. Congrats on the awesome time, you never cease to amaze!

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