Since I’ve been running further distances—and further I mean two or three miles—I haven’t been too concerned about my mile time. I’m more focused on my 5K time, although I know that’s built up of three individual miles.
A few weeks ago, my boss said that he and one of my coworkers were thinking of signing up for a one mile race at a local brewery, and I thought, hey that should be easy. So I also signed up, and we ran the race last Friday night.
The brewery is in the town where I live, so it’s like I had home field advantage. I had been there twice before last year, and they sell cans in the local package stores. They have a Scottish Ale that I really like.
In prep for this mile, I ran a mile as fast as I could in the last few weeks, and my times were 9:20, 9:06, and 9:12, all of which I was happy with. After a few of those miles, I also did walking/jogging/sprinting work between light or telephone poles. Last Wednesday, it was 90 degrees out, and I just ran a mile to see if it’s humanly possible for me to do so. That was my 9:12 time. The weather on Friday was calling for 90 degrees, too, but by the time we got to the brewery and by the time the race started at 7:30 p.m., it was a little cooler out.
The route was a half mile out and a half mile back, starting and ending at the brewery. It started on a side road out of the brewery lot, across a main road—which a few policemen were there to block off—down to a dead end road, and back.
We got there about 45 minutes before the race started, and it was a lot of standing around and stretching. Parking was going to be tough, so we got there early to get spots.
I also bought a running belt—finally—to hold my inhaler. Since it’s getting hotter out, I was worried about not being able to take it before a race. I still use my arm band to hold my phone, but I was able to put my key in the belt, too.
We were off a few minutes after 7:30 p.m., and once we turned right at the corner by the brick building on the right side, there was a slight hill I wasn’t expecting. I was in the middle of the pack and couldn’t wait until we got up to the main road where it flattened out. Once we crossed the road, we were in a residential area, and the road was lined with trees, so we were in the shade.
When I got to the turn around, I glanced down at my phone—I use the Nike Run Club app when I run—and saw that at 0.50 of a mile, my time was around 4:20 or 4:30. Which I thought was wrong. I knew I was running faster than I normally do for a 5K but it didn’t feel like I was running too fast. On the way back, I was mostly running by myself, meaning there were people up ahead and further behind me, which was nice. Sometimes when I’m running close with other people, I get nervous.
After crossing back over the main road, I knew it was going to be downhill, turn the corner, and cross the finish line. I did pass one girl on the hill, and once I turned the corner and saw the time on the clock said 8:25, I was like, WHAT.
So this is the story of how I ran one mile and finished in 8:42.
There were two timing mats, and I think that when I crossed the second mat—not shown in the pictures below from IRunCT—that captured the total time, so my official race result says 8:42.
REGARDLESS, I RAN A MILE SUB-NINE MINUTES FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER IN MY LIFE AND SURVIVED TO TALK ABOUT IT.
My boss finished in 5:56—yeah, he’s crazy, don’t ask—and my coworker finished in 7:12. Both were at the finish line waiting for me and just as happy as I was since we all PR’d.
My time still doesn’t seem real to me, but just as I was going to cross the finish line, my running app said that I had hit one mile. I forgot to stop the run after crossing, so that run in my app includes me walking back to my truck to toss my stuff and get my wallet. I was too excited to remember to stop the run.
Our run came with a beer ticket, so we waited less than five minutes in line for beers. The brewery space itself is kind of small, but we luckily found a table in the corner. I got the Strawberry Fields. I would have gotten one of their IPAs but it wasn’t on the menu that night.
I finished 47th out of 91 runners and 10th out of 16 in my age division (20-29). I was going to be happy with anything faster than a 9:30 mile, but I still can’t believe I ran an 8:42 mile.
So moral of the story, folks, is that anything is really possible.