Mile... stone.

So yesterday was the 1 mile run in this year's Office Olympics. Our actual Office Olympics are being held tomorrow, but because this event can't be held amongst the cubicles, this event has taken place over 4 or 5 heats in the past week at the local high school track. Yesterday was the final heat, and the only one I was able to make.

It should also be noted that this is the first year that the mile was added to our Olympics... we've had a lot of people take up running in the past year, though, so there was considerable interest, which was cool.

As Nate blogged about, there were four of us, all knowing what we wanted to do and where we hoped to finish.

My goal going into it was somewhere between 5:50 and 5:54. My secondary goal was to win... and the other fastest time in a previous heat was a 5:57. In my entire life, I've never won a race out-right. Not when I was running 4:57 miles, 11:01 two miles or 17:55 cross-country 5ks -- back then, I ran with some mighty fast dudes.

I planned to run straight 88 quarters for the first 3 laps and then burn off whatever else I had left. One other thing that kept sneaking into my mind was that I'd done 12 miles on Sunday, which did a lot for my marathon training, but one would think not so much for 1 mile race 24 hours later.

First lap: I did it in 89 seconds, 1 second slow, but feeling OK.
Second lap: 91 seconds, 3 min. for the whole thing... Here, I'm worried. I'm 4 seconds behind my pace and not feeling like the bucket is full of energy.
Third lap: 87 seconds - Now, I'm at 2:27 - just 3 seconds slower than goal pace, and realizing I need a 90 to take first place.

Fourth lap was all guts -- all mental "this sucks, you're fading" and "no way, dude -- i'm almost there." repeat, repeat, repeat.

Coming down the final stretch was interesting. I was at 100% max effort -- well aware that I was all alone, but unsure where my time be. I broke the line in 5:52:99 on my watch -- 5:53 on the official time keeper's.

A variety of thoughts:

1) I ran a negative split, the way the mile should be run: 88, 91, 87, 86-87.
2) Possibly, less than 12 miles on Sunday could've given me another second or three.
3) 5:53 really isn't that good. I ran a 5:30 as a high school freshman.
4) 5:53 isn't that bad. It translates to a VDOT of 49.14, my highest post-retirement measurement to date, and correlates to a 3:13 marathon. This means that my speed is adequate to qualify for Boston. The big question is whether or not I can build sufficient endurance at Marathon pace.
5) Sunday's run and Monday's race were both done with other runners and they added a social element to the workouts that's been largely missing from most of mine. I tend to work out alone and most times - that's what necessity dictates. But having other people around helps and I'm going to make a more concerted effort to hit the Sunday trail runs at the park.
6) 22 years after I started running, I finally won a race. Or - put more correctly - I beat everybody who showed up. :)

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