It’s always a little intimidating to follow up a race distance after a PR. Back in March I unexpectedly set a new 2 mile personal best time- finally beating my time from 1997! I went into that race with zero expectations since it was 6 days after a marathon but once I got out there everything just clicked and I went with it. The result- negative splits and a new PR of 11:34.
This past Saturday’s 2 mile race was a little different. Obviously I couldn’t go into with the same training mindset. (i.e. Run a marathon, then not run all week and eat a lot of cake….) In the past couple weeks I’ve settled into a good training groove and workouts are starting to come together. Of course my goal race is the San Francisco Marathon next month but the Arkansas Runner 2 Miler is on the Arkansas Grand Prix schedule and I thought it would be a good way to shake things up and see where I’m at speed-wise. I went out at the same pace I did in March but could not stay with it for whatever reason. Mile 1- 5:43, Mile 2- 5:56. Big positive split. In my defense the second mile has slight elevation gain and a few more turns. Also, in March the temperature was in the 40’s. Temps for Saturday’s 2 miler is was in the mid 70’s (with 70+ dew point). I should have started more conservative given the weather because that second mile was tough!
Official Finish Time- 11:41. (1st female). Official results can be found here. While I missed my PR by 7 seconds it was a personal course PR and my first time to win this race so I was happy about that. (I came in 2nd in 2014 and 3rd in 2015.) After I grabbed some water I headed back to find the kids. We actually had all four kids running it this year. One of my favorite things about this race is the registration fee. All kids 19 and under are FREE! When your family races often entry fees add up so a free kids race is a deal! I also registered my husband since he was going to be run/ walking with our youngest. My older three ran on their own. I’m often asked when did I let my kids start racing. They all ran their first race between 5-6 years old. (We started with a 2 mile or a 5k race.) My husband or I run with them until they are 7 or 8 and if we do let them run on their own it’s in a race that we’ve done before and are very familiar with the course. In this case the streets were closed to cars and they all ran in it last year. My husband and my dad were behind them and I was in front of them so I felt good about them running somewhere in between us. We also know many of the runners in the Arkansas Grand Prix running community.
My older 3 kids finished in 15:11, 16:54, 19:08, respectively. Once they were situated on the side with friends I ran back for my husband and youngest son. When I found them they were actually right by my dad who was power walking. My youngest son is 5 and a half and he LOVED the 2 mile race in March. He wanted to run this one with John and since it was free I went ahead and signed him up. He’s actually been more active the past month with swimming and kids track night so I thought he would be prepared but the heat really got to him. There was not a water station and when I saw them he was struggling. We stopped, I gave him my water bottle and we walked a little. Then he walk/ jogged the rest of the way. It was a hard race for him. He did so well this past March but the weather and course were much different. I definitely don’t want to him to hate running so I’m not sure if he’ll do this one next year. It will really depend on weather and we just have to go into with different expectations. The reality of running with kids is that sometimes it goes great and everyone is happy. Other times it is the exact opposite. That’s the honest truth. I try to keep in the forefront that they’re kids and they have an entire life ahead of them to run. It’s really ok if things don’t go exactly how they thought it would or even how I envisioned it would. I try to use the opportunity to explain to them that I have bad races too and when it happens you just have to shake it off and move on.
This coming weekend is the big RRCA State Championship 1 mile race in Little Rock. My older 3 are racing it as well. My youngest is signed up for the mini mile which is a quarter mile race- very low key and fun! I think this will feel more doable for him and he will have a better experience since it’s a much shorter distance. This will be my fourth Go! Mile race and I’m hoping I can find some speed in these marathon training legs!
Any other summer 1 mile racers? My sister just ran one in Connecticut last weekend- the Spring Street Mile. Point to point downhill race with 130 ft elevation loss! I’d love to race a mile like that sometime!