Last year I did the recreational portion of the Grand Blue Mile. It was the first time I had raced the one mile distance since high school. I lined up somewhere in the middle of the pack, thinking that I’d be in the right place to run fast and unhindered. Well, I ran fast. I just had to weave and dodge around slower participants. I finished in 8:46, which was under my goal of 9:00, but I knew I was quicker than 8:46. I just had obstacles in my path. However, I wasn’t sure I’d be under the 8:00 guideline for the women’s competitive division.
So this year, I toed the line in the competitive mile. This was a race of a plethora of newness. Smaller field size. Seriously, I think there was maybe 40 women of all ages at the start. I lined up at the back and chatted with another gal before the race. We speculated on our paces and wished each other good luck. I was decked out in my Oiselle 3/4 top and Mile 21 shorts. I was trying my best to channel Kara and Lauren in my fly style.
This time my path on the course was unhindered. I hugged the inside of the street most of the course, though I did end up passing quite a few runners on the stretch down Locust. I vaguely remember seeing and hearing Heidi cheering for me before the turn. And then I saw and heard her again as I was heading for the finish on Grand. Shortly after, I saw and heard Megan, Mike and Ann cheering. I definitely felt the love as I was hauling ass to the finish line. I also felt the pain. I was sucking air and making ugly faces. Digging deep, determined to run a great mile, and leaving everything I had out on the road. I was going to be under 8 minutes!
I was! 7:46, my official time. I knocked off a whole minute off my mile time! I’m getting closer to my PR mile time from high school of 7:30. Perhaps next year?
Speed work and consistency have definitely been paying off in my running journey.