Sunday, July 10, 2011

MidSummer Night's Mile Race Recap and Training

I ran the mile in a new personal best 4:27.8 this past friday. It's been a long time since I've raced the mile. In fact, technically I haven't raced a mile since high school. I was decent at it

in High School, I got down to 4:35 a couple times...but it never really was my event. I am an endurance guy. The longer the race, the tougher I am to beat. The more suffering I can endure.

Then again, I am also trying to get faster, and Joe's coach, Jerry, make an excellent point about a guy like myself racing a mile. "If you're going to try to run 4:40 pace for a 5k then

you need to run a mile at least in the 4:20's." And as you add the numbers, the faster 5k does the same thing: It translates to a better 10k, on to the half marathon. A half marathon

pace of 4:57 requires even that 5k to be pretty quick. The marathon is a little bit different, but strong performances in distances less than 26.2 do not hurt.

Onto the Race:

Beth wonderfully came to Rockville High School to cheer me on. The heats were 8 deep, and I was in the fastest one, so it was kind of tricky knowing when to warm up. After the

fourth heat I started my warm-up, and was thankful that the weather was holding out. It stormed and rained violently earlier, and I was unsure if this race was still going to be run.

But somehow, the clouds broke up, and even the sun was coming through as it was setting. As I got back I put on my ever so light Nike Zoom Victory Spikes and headed to the track to do some drills and strides.

The Red Fox, Paul, Andrew Jesien...this heat had some fast guys. Little did I know it would be the fastest in its 35 year history of the event.

The sun was just setting as we started. Paul was to rabbit the event and sccording to records he is a great pacer. Since the race was a full mile(1609 meters), we started 9 meters behind the line and were off. I found 6-8 guys with me all in a pack that I clung onto. This race was going to be fast. Jake Klim was right in front of me, Paul surged to the front, and a few other guys and Jesien in between. We came through the first lap in 67(which really was 65 or 66 since it was over 400m), and the crowds started to get into it. Second lap was maintenance and I worked my way to keep my position behind Jake. We came through 800 in 2:13/2:14 and continued our drive. I pushed the 3rd lap with Jake to stay with the pace of the leaders and worked past some runners falling off the pace. I could hear Wiggy yelling splits at 1000m but I couldn't figure out the pace...but I didn't need to...I just needed to stay with Jake. 1200 meters came up and people were really getting into the race now. Pretty awesome for an event that isn't that and these other guys were giving it a new name. Jesien surged to the lead and never looked back...the guy is an olympic trials miler and one of the better runners in the country. By now, Paul was still running-looks like he decided to finish the race after all...he had planned to drop out at 1200 since he was rabbiting. I pulled up on Jake's right hip at 1200 and split 3:20.

He then made a surge and I went with him and tried to hang on. Hang on. Just hang on. 300 to go and I felt the race was on. Jesien was throwing the hammer down, leading, paul second, some other college or post-college guy 3rd...Jake and I passed one runner on the back straight to put us in 4th and 5th respecively. Joe was going nuts cheering as we had 200 meters to go. Do I have a kick? I thought...I've been doing all this long distance mileage...Then, off the turn, I felt the runner we past come up on me and he made a move sprinting by me with just over 100 meters to go...I cursed and saw immediately he was slowing down in front and I blew by him with 50 meters to go with a nasty kick, finishing just a half a second behind Klim.

4:27.8 was my final time in 5th. Jesien won in a meet record 4:19. Paul ran for
2nd in 4:24. Klim 4:27.2

I'm happy with how this went, and it was an 8 second PR. It's a good "spark" to get my legs going again for the 2nd half of 2011-and it was nice to have that kick.

This week was another lesser week of mileage, finishing up at 75 miles for the week. The week before was 80, so having 2 weeks of 80 or lower have allowed my legs to recover a bit and do some intensity. I have a 2nd race coming up for the summer, the Rockville Twilight 8K, which is the most competitive race of the summer pretty much.

After the mile on Friday, we all went out to Matchbox to get pizza, it was a good time and I treated Beth and I to our favorite chicken pesto pizza. We had about 10-12 of us and talked over the race, and other goofball things.

Saturday morning I met up with Luci at Old Angler's Inn for a long run on the towpath. She had planned on doing a pretty solid workout and I was happy to help her out. We started out easy and took to the trails that eventually went out to Great Falls. I felt remarkably good once I got warmed up. It was quite humid as well. We ran down to Great Falls and then agreed to turn back to Old Angler's(just under 40 min in) to grab some Accelerade. After getting some fuel, we went back out to MacArthur Blvd, and ran South for 5 miles before we would turn onto the towpath again. The sun was strong on MacArthur so once we turned back onto the Canal the shade felt nice. As we got onto the towpath we added on some miles before turning around to head back...we both wanted to get in 2 hours or so. We progressed in pace to 6:30s and began to press furthur. I could tell Luci was taking this no problem-her fitness certainly is progressing from last year-qualifying for the olympic trials marathon is a realistic and attainable goal for her. She wanted to work down to 6:15s so we proceeded to do so. Our last mile was 5:58 and the total distance was about 18 miles I would say.

Mileage next week will probably be in the 80-90 range.

Looking foward to the Twilighter.


  1. Congrats on the PR! That mile will definitely translate to the potential for some great stuff this fall.

    I've really got to hook up with you guys on these workouts. Sounds like a solid effort on the 18 miler.

  2. Congrats again on this! Sooo impressed. I am itching to get back on the track again and do some speed workouts. I need my foot to hurry up and heel!!