A couple of posts ago I asked everyone to guess my mile time. Even with the promise of a prize, I can’t believe that I got 14 entire people to care enough to make a guess. The prize, by the way, is a really good one, but I’ve been sick/lazy so it’s not ready yet. It’s taken me almost an entire week after running the mile to even write about it, so that’s the kind of pace I’m progressing at.
Last Wednesday, Laura and I headed down to the Cleveland track to do the mile. I had tried to get someone to come run it with me so I would go faster, but that didn’t work out, so I was on my own.
Somehow I lucked out and got somebody to time me who is also an amazing photographer, as you can see. I hadn’t worn my racing shoes (they’re like flats but with rubber spikes – do those have a special name?) for over six years, but I felt confident that they would work their magic for me like they sometimes did and sometimes didn’t back when I was wearing them while running for Whitman.
I stretched for about fifteen seconds, mostly so Laura could take a picture, and then started the mile. My plan was to shoot for a 6:20 mile, which means I should have done each lap in 1:35. I did the first one in 1:19. This worried me a little bit, I felt extremely confident I couldn’t keep that pace up. In high school when I was running track, my coach could tell me to go run 90 or 100 second laps and I would know how to pace it and run exactly that speed. I have completely lost that skill and pretty much just went nearly all-out for the first lap.
The second lap I slowed down to 1:38. The mile started feeling really hard, like I didn’t want to do it anymore. I had totally forgotten about this part of running anything less than an 8k. During almost every race I’ve ever done between the distances of 1500 meters and 5000 meters, at some point I start imagining all the ways I could get out of finishing it. The most common thought that would run through my mind was, “what would people think if I just stopped running right now?” I fantasized about just ending the race right then, and never running again. Sometimes I would think about trying to roll my ankle or something like that. I never got around to actually doing it, I always just finished the race.
Those thoughts only happen around the middle of races anyway. Once you’re over halfway done it’s always a lot mentally easier. The third lap I slowed a little more, to 1:41. There are no pictures of the actual running because we decided that getting accurate times was more important than photo-documenting it. Maybe next time though.
My final lap I tried to pick the pace up, and finished with a 1:31 split. I really think I could have broken 6 minutes if I had paced myself better and not started out with a 1:19 lap.
I didn’t quite make it to 6 minutes, instead I finished in 6:11.
The time range I had predicted for myself was between 6:15 and 7:15, which is where most of your predictions landed. In fact, only two people dared to guess outside that window – one of them being Laura, who didn’t bother to look at what my prediction was, and the other was our winner, Vincent Rupp, who actually made two guesses that fell outside the prediction on either end. Fortunately for him, I didn’t allow people to change their guesses, so he was stuck with the winning prediction of 6 minutes flat. The runner up was Quinn, who guessed 6:24, but there are no prizes for runner ups in this game.
Winners should contact me with their mailing address so I can send them their prize, which will be revealed in the next post!
Miles run in 2011: 11