The Mile Challenge

Karl woke me up before 5am because today is yet another bootcamp day.  (This new class is from 5:30-6:30am, and I just want to DIE.  Have I mentioned I’m not a morning person at all?  And when I wake up that early usually means I got less than 5 hours of sleep?  ARGH.)

My neighbor, Heather, who also signed up for their promotional deal, tagged along with me.

Surprise, surprise, today we had the “mile challenge.”  This after doing about 80 push-ups (which I still do girly-style…), tons of planks and ab-work, of course.

I really didn’t want to kill myself, but didn’t want to take it easy either.  Plus it was dark, I was unfamiliar with the route, and my foot is still bugging me, despite the new shoes.  But do you think I was going to sit this one out and make people think I’m a wimp?  HA!

So off we went.  At the end, I had a little more left in me as we got to the finish before I was expecting (again, it’s dark and I didn’t know the route yet), so I never got into my “kick it” mode.  But I was tired, oh, so tired.

Surprisingly, I still managed to run my fastest mile yet:  8:43 mile (I finished 5th out of about 15 bootcampers).  Granted, I never just went out and ran one mile.  I think my fastest mile to date had been at the 9/11 5k, when I finished the first mile in 8:58, but after dealing with a bottleneck early in the course that forced me to walk for a few seconds since I couldn’t get through.

I was quite proud of my time.  Then we did more arms and crunches.  And then, the instructor goes “Ok, you guys will hate me, but let’s do another mile!”  ARE YOU SERIOUS?  I wouldn’t have pushed it if I knew there was another one coming!  I still have a run due tonight!

So I figured I’ll probably finish that in about 10 min/mile pace (no Garmin with me this morning), and took it easy.  At the halfway mark, I still had a lot left, so I went a bit faster and start passing a few people (in my mind I’m thinking “after running a marathon my pain threshold is a lot higher for these short distances…”).  When we hit the downhill where now I knew was the finish, I really sprinted for it (those embarrassing sprints, where your shirts starts lifting up and your flabby stomach is out in all its glory for all to see).

The instructor then goes “8:43” (I finished 3rd this time, even passing the one dude in the class.)

Are you kidding me?  Same exact time as before???  Even though I took it easier on the first half, and I definitely felt slower?

Does that mean I could have run the first mile much faster?  Probably.

It also means that maybe, just maybe, I really should start doing the “mile challenge” once a week on my own.  Same route every week, and see if I can improve it, and how fast I can really run a mile.  It’s not like I’m getting any other speed-work in otherwise…

Do any of you ever do a “mile challenge?”

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The Mile Challenge

  1. elizabethlacy

    I don’t, but I’m tempted to now!

    • Right?

      I can’t keep a pace below 9 min/mile for the life of me, but for only one little mile? I wonder if I can get any faster if I just do this once a week… (Maybe without staring at the Garmin the whole way, since it seemed to work this time!)

  2. Annapolis Striders has a one-mile track race every summer. That’s the only time I do a single mile for speed.

    My fastest was 7:37 in 2009. This year I was just a few seconds off, but I also sandwiched the mile race in the middle of a 10 miler!

    I probably should do this on my own every once in a while … I only ever do 400s for speedwork so it’s kind of nerve wracking to set out for that race and string four together!

    • There’s no way I could have done this in the middle of a ten miler, then kept going on with the 10 miler!

      The good thing about the track is that there’s no street crossings or elevation changes — where we ran this morning it wasn’t totally flat (though I did take advantage of the downhill at the end), and there was a couple of street crossings (but luckily no one was around that early!).

  3. nope, i never have… but now i want to! lol 🙂

  4. Pingback: The good, the bad, the PR hope… « I Run, You Run

  5. Carolina_Slim

    Found you via google search for marathonfoto and enjoyed reading your blogs. I starting running 4 years ago, at age 34. My best mile was around 9 minutes at that time. I travel a lot for work and began running on high school tracks. I’ve had to hop a few fences, but I’ve never been harassed. I’ve run several races (10k, half, and 3 marathons), but the mile is still my holy grail. Keep up the good work.

  6. Pingback: Nothing like a pool reward… | I Run, You Run

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