It’s Just a Mile, How Bad Could It Be?

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.

12 comments

  1. Congrats! This sounds like the beginning of a sports movie where you realize you’re good at something and then within two years you’re at the Olympics and the announcers are like, “She came out of nowhere to be here!” I have it all planned out in my head.

    Liked by 1 person

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