Sunday, August 12, 2012

Race report: PVTC Track Mile, August 12, 2012

I ran the mile today at the PVTC All-comers meet, finishing in 5:30 by my watch (*my fingers are oh so crossed that I hit my watch late…it’s be fun to have broken 5:30).  Either way, it’s a mile PR, so yay.

Edit: official time of 5:30.7

This meet usually breaks into 2-3 heats.  In the past, I’ve seeded myself in the second heat (the announced cut-off being 5:20), and ended up running solo for most of the race.  This time, I decided to jump in the faster heat, under the theory that at the worst, I’d be running by myself BEHIND people, rather than by myself in the lead.  The former is more conducive to a fast time.

As it turned out, a teammate of mine was also in the race, and would be doing the fast heat.  She and I usually end up doing workouts at similar paces, though she specializes in the mile, while I focus on 10 miles and beyond.  I figured that she’d be a bit ahead of me, so I could use her as a mental towing point.  And then even more fortunately, my coach decided to jump into the race, with a plan to hit the first quarter at a time that would work pretty well for me.  So that was my game plan – stick with my coach for the first quarter, and then take it from there.

And, it worked pretty well.  My splits ended up being:
First 409m – 1:25
Next 400 – 1:22
Next 400 – 1:22
Final 400 – 1:20
So, pretty well paced, with the last lap the fastest. 

My one wish is that I could have picked it up more the last lap.  I had plenty in the tank to do so, and all the will in the world.  I had someone right ahead of me to chase down, and chase I did, but couldn’t catch him (UGH).  I think I just don’t have this “sprinting” thing down – instead I just do my distance running thing but turn over my legs faster.  This works pretty well for my kick in longer races, but kicking in a mile is a whole different ball game.

At some point, I’d like to learn how to actually “get up on my toes” and do all the other sprinter things – I think that will help a lot.  I did try pumping my arms more down the home stretch, and that seemed to help some.  Afterwards, a teammate who can run a very fast mile explained that he actually slows down his cadence and just tries to push off harder with each step – I tried this later today, and it actually seemed to work well.  So I may try that in my next mile. 

But that’s for the future.  This was probably my last mile for the year, as the weather’s starting to cool, and I’m getting excited about longer races.  Though I believe I have a much faster mile in me (especially if I ever decided to focus on the distance), this was a satisfying way to end my summer.  And I think all this mile racing has been really helpful for me in terms of speed development and making my stride more efficient, which will pay off in my goal races this fall.

Other notes:
  • Warmed up with 2 miles very easy, then  1 mile easy, then some drills+strides.
  • Weather was fantastic – temp 73, DP 60.   I felt pretty sluggish at first, but that was totally attributable to pollen (which is now starting to rise).  As is always the case with my allergies, as soon as I actually started running hard, I felt good.
  • I was really good about running hard but relaxed here, and running faster withOUT tensing up.  Gold star here.
  • If my coach permits, I may tack on some 200m repeats from time to time, this faster stuff does good stuff for my form.
  • I was a bit tempted to hang around and hop in to run the 400m or 800m in this race, but decided to go for a longer run with some teammates instead - marathon training officially started this week.  Next summer I think I'll make more of a point to run some of the really short stuff, just for the heck of it (plus perfecting my kick).
  • If I can run a 5:30 mile, and feel that I could have slowed and gone a bit longer, then maybe a 5K at sub-6:00 pace ain't that far away.


  1. So exciting!! Fantastic race, those splits are to die for (I mean, to PR for). What a great Fall season you're going to have, can't wait to see how low you go.

  2. I am really liking these mile races. I learn a lot in very short period of time. Great job today!

  3. You looked really strong out there today. Congrats on the new PR!

  4. Fantastic! A PR and you learned stuff for next time!

  5. Wow, great race! Congrats on a speedy PR!!

  6. Congrats on the PR! Do you find that running faster improves your form? I think it makes mine worse. Hmmm...