The 2011 'Meet of the Miles' 1 Mile

>> Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Or, "That Makes 3 Track Meets in 3 Weeks"

Or, "Brian, Pull Me to a PR!"

Last night was the kick-off to the MDRA "Grand Prix" series - it was the "Meet of the Miles." I got to the U of M Fieldhouse, and started warming up.

There were going to be around a dozen heats, and you had to sign-up for a heat that corresponded to your expected finishing time. I signed up in the second heat (the second sheet from the left) that was the 4:45 - 4:55 group:

(Also note the cough drops scattered across the the table to the right in that image. Those help to soothe sore throats after breathing hard in that dry, dry air.)

I jogged some warm-up laps with Brian (from MN R.E.D. running club) and we chatted about how much 1 mile races suck, but also agreed how they're a good kick in the pants. I stopped to stretch a bit, grabbed my camera, and snapped a photo of the "speedy" heat:

Speedy guys

The winner finishing in 4:11!!

There are four things I want to point out about that photo above:

1. First of all, 4:11?!?!?! Good God!

2. It was a true MILE and not just a 1600. So note how they put out markers to mark the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 points. (The start line is just off the right side of that image.)

3. The guy in all black in the middle shouting out splits was the "old guy" (meant lovingly, of course) from my 1 mile race a few weeks ago who nearly out-kicked me coming to the line. His name is Paul, and he's a great guy.

4. And note the red and white jersey to the very left of that image. That's Brian, and that view of his back was all I saw during my upcoming race.

The first heat finished up, and I got lined up in the second heat - there were about 8 of us. Brian lined up just to my right, and we were ready to go.

"Runners to your mark..... GO!"

Everyone jumped out in front of me. We jostled through the first turn, and by the time we worked our way onto the straight-away, I think I was second to last. Brian was just in front of me. I felt like I was going too easy, but I just stayed with it. I was passed shortly after, and now I was dead last. Yay me. ;)

First 400: 1:13.8. "Good. Where it should be. Now keep it up." Ron was shouting advice to Brian, and I was taking it in too (being I was just 1 stride behind him). We passed 1 or 2 runners before the 800 point.

Second 400: 1:13.0. "Again, good. Now BE STRONG HERE!!" My big goal this race was to keep the 3rd 400 STRONG. I felt like I let up too much during my last 1 mile race, and I wanted to SUFFER through this one. I swung wide at one point to try to get around Brian, but I couldn't make the pass - he was surging too. So I just jumped back into my position off his back hip.

Third 400: 1:12.4. "YES!! Now go harder yet! Start that kick NOW!" I don't think my 3rd 400 has EVER been faster than the first 2! Brian had no idea of my race goals, but he was pulling me to a near-perfect race! I felt like I was running towards a PR, too. So I went as hard as I could. Brian and I worked our way up to 3rd and 4th, and we passed one more person with about 100 meters left. We held 2nd and 3rd (in our heat) the rest of the way.

In the final lap, I swung wide on the final turn and gave it my all towards the finish line. I was happy with this race, and happy with my "push." I think I may have pushed harder than in any of my other 1 mile races because I was running in front of "runners" - the spectators were members of the MDRA (Minnesota Distance Running Association), and I didn't want to look like a schmuck. It sounds dumb, but it helped my mental effort.

Fourth 400: 1:10.2. "Holy hell - I've NEVER ran a 1:10 split in a mile!"

My watch read 4:49.62. I figured it might be more like 4:50 officially. I went over to the timer a bit later, and found the 3rd place time in the second heat. Officially, my time went down as 4:49.53, or a PR of 3.48 seconds!

As I was chatting with people and snapping photos after the race, Heidi grabbed a photo (with Paul's camera) of me with my camera:

Proof I was ACTUALLY there. ;)

I chatted with Sean, Heidi, and Omar who were all getting ready to race. I hung around Stephanie, Ann, Ron, and Brian in the infield, as they were "coaching" a nervous 20-something in her first mile race.

I snapped more photos throughout the rest of the heats:

Willie with the guys. She turned in a 5:34!

Heidi leading a pack in her wave.

Brian running another heat, running along side of the nervous 20-something

The start of the 6-6:30 heat.
That's Sean in the orange shoes near the outside.

Sean leading a group (and that's Brian back there... AGAIN).

I talked with a few more people, and I headed home. There was a slice of French Silk Pie in the fridge from a weekend party that had my name on it.... ;)

Two quick final things:

- If you want to see more photos from the Meet of the Miles, CLICK HERE to see a slideshow of images on my Examiner page.

- And last night I got an e-mail saying I was up for "Endurance Blog of the Year" again! If you don't mind, please CLICK HERE, scroll down to the poll, and vote for "Steve in a Speedo!" Thanks!!


Justin Nunez 1:08 PM, January 11, 2011  

Big congrats Steve! Definitely inspiring to read as I try to get my mile time down closer to yours.

Suzy 1:20 PM, January 11, 2011  

Congrats on your PR! You are speedy!

Matt Ellenberger 2:02 PM, January 11, 2011  

Sounds like fun. Mybe I'll join you next year

Bob Mitera 2:15 PM, January 11, 2011  

That is solid any time of year. In January, its a great sign of things to come.

FinnyKnits 3:24 PM, January 11, 2011  

Holy fast. A mile in the 4s? That's totally insane and outside my realm of personal comprehension HOWEVER that is one of the reasons I read your blog - it keeps me inspired to run hard and work on my pace.

Also, I enjoy your adventures in shaving.

Whatever though! I voted for your hairless ass and I hope you win. It's looking good so far.

Christi 4:05 PM, January 11, 2011  

Great job on another speedy PR! Already voted for ya man!

Anonymous,  1:46 PM, January 12, 2011  

Imagine the time if you'd have been in your yellow shorts!

Seriously though, awesome mile man, very inspiring.

Dr. TriRunner 7:57 PM, January 12, 2011  

Hahahah!! the second comment says "Big congrats Steve. Definitely..." and I read "Big congrats Steve Daddy!"

Time for new contacts. Or another drink....

Really. Amazing job!! I just wish I could have been there! Are you going to / do you want to go to the Jack Johnson Classic (21st)?

Dr. TriRunner 8:07 PM, January 12, 2011  

p.s. i smell a tc 1 mile in your future!

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