To a distance runner is there really any distance more intimidating than the mile? Just thinking about racing all out for one mile makes me tired… and nervous. I know one of the best things you can do to improve as a runner is to get out of your comfort zone so races like Go! Mile and the Arkansas Runner 2 Miler definitely do that for me!
This was my fourth year to run Go! Mile. This race is actually the RRCA National One Mile Championship. It’s also a Grand Prix Championship race. Originally we were just going to drive up early Saturday morning but a couple days before the race director, Gary Taylor, emailed me and offered hotel accommodations for the night before the race. Our family decided to leave Friday afternoon so we could make a fun trip out of it. First, we stopped at Go! Running in Little Rock to pick up everyone’s race packets. Then we checked into our hotel and unpacked. In our race packets we found coupons to Zaza’s for free gelatos. It was the perfect place for dinner- salad, pizza, and gelatos!
Go! Mile offers several different heats. We had runners from our family in four of the seven heats with the first being my girls who were running in the Women 39 & Under heat. Last year John was home sick so it was just me and the kids. I got completely stressed trying to get everyone to their race and I was not focused for my own race. Having John with me this year was a game-changer. He helped with the kids and made sure we were all at the right place at the right time. I got in a good 2.5 mile warm-up and was able to jog on part of the course to cheer on the girls and then later my son for his race.
The kids did well. Abi was so close to breaking 7. She ran 7:06. My middle two set big PR’s. Last year Anna ran an 11:39 and this year she ran an 8:45! Who takes off almost 3 minutes from a one mile race time?! Apparently an 8 year-old can! Last year Rocky ran an 8:50 and this year he ran an 7:28. I loved getting to see them all finish.
The elite heat is second to last, just before the mini mile and my race started at 8:50. By this time it was nice and toasty out but I just kept reminding myself it was just a mile!
My fastest mile to date is 5:17:99 which I ran at Go! Mile in 2013. At the time I was doing a lot of short speed work during a 5k training cycle. Last year I ran a 5:31 at Go! Mile and felt awful. I went out too slow and just never found my rhythm. I kept reminding myself that I’m in better running shape this year than last year and I needed to start more aggressive! Obviously a PR would be great but my goal I was really aiming for was 5:20 which meant I needed to keep it under 80 second quarters. I would really need to hug the (five) turns pretty tight to run the shortest distance. I told myself that every time I started to think, “I’m tired” or “I can’t keep this up” it was a reminder to keep pushing!!
Somewhere in the third quarter someone shouted to me that I was the second female. I did not go into this race with overall placement goals. Last year I was 8th female (4 women ran sub 5!) so I was really focused on my own time more than anything. Once I realized I was second I didn’t want to lose it in the last quarter. I kept sprinting and was able to hold on until the finish line.
Official Time: 5:20:21 (2nd Female OA). Official results can be found here.
I was very happy with how this went. I ran hard and stayed focused. Maybe next year if I’m healthy and not in the middle of marathon training I can really focus on a sub 5:17. I know I’m not getting any younger but I’m not ready to throw in the towel on this distance yet. Once I turn 40 I’d like to break the female Masters record which is currently 5:37. But I still have a couple years. 😊
Minutes after my race finished it was time for the mini mile event. I was running this one with Ashton and he was ready! The mini mile was a little short of a half mile and perfect for the little ones. It was just the right distance for Ashton.
After the race we headed back to our hotel. John took the kids swimming while I showered and packed up our stuff. Then we all had a late brunch at the hotel restaurant before heading home. All in all a very successful Go! Mile and fun trip for the entire family!
Now that Go! Mile is over I am completely focused on the San Francisco Marathon. It’s 5 weeks from Sunday! This weekend is my first 20 miler. Mileage is ramping up and I’ve got a few tougher workout sessions coming in the next few weeks. Marathon training is in full swing. Hopefully all this training in the heat of summer will pay off next month! I’m optimistic that the bay area will be a little cooler race weather. I hope so!