>> Wednesday, July 10, 2013
This was the first time I did a few "1-mile specific" workouts leading up to a mile race, and I did that for 2 reasons: First, I'd been slowing down over the years, and Coach Jen gave me a few good
nasty track workouts because I wanted to try to change that. And secondly, my heel has been feeling OK lately, so I didn't feel like I'd get injured doing some shorter, harder workouts (which has happened in the past).
I posted a bit about the 2-loop course on the streets of the Minnesota State Fairground in my last post. I noted there were some *small* hills, but I was more concerned about the 4 90-degree turns and if they would slow me down too much. My only other previous "road mile" was this race last year when it was point-to-point straight down Rice Street (the course it had been on for years). Being I was shooting for a TIME goal and didn't care what PLACE I finished in, I was worried that the turning would slow me up.
I got to the race over 90 minutes early, and there were a few people showing up.
State Fair Potties.
One of my favorites: the horticulture building. Which is right next to...
... the Skyride. And when I turned around...
... there was the Space Needle.
I ran another 1.5 miles with Jeremy R and Jeremy D, and we threw in a few sprints. I ran 2 sprints around one of the 90-degree corners to see what that would be like "at speed." I'm glad I did that - I needed more space to swing wide than I thought I was going to. Then I hit the potty one last time:
I took this while peeing in the trough. This is why no one wants to borrow my camera.
That's the *tiny* hill I was slightly worried about.
2nd row in the purple.
Running next to Jeremy R in SWEET shorts!
• FIRST 0.25 MILE: 1:11.88. "NICE! Solid! Keep this up!" I told myself to run between a 1:11 and 1:14 for this first quarter mile. I was thrilled with this.
I ran the tangent well as we were finishing up the first half of the race - a lot of guys swung far to the left, but I stayed straight to run the shortest possible line through this little "S" curve. AND I NOTICED SOMETHING AT THIS POINT THAT CAN BE SEEN IN THIS NEXT PHOTO! I was still REALLY close to speedy Ben Merchant!! In this photo, you can see Ben to the far left (#545), and I'm just a few seconds behind him:
Working hard. It shows on my face. And on my nipples.
• THIRD 0.25 MILE: 1:15.19. "Downhill to the finish! Everything you've got: NOW!!" I really tried to find another gear for that final stretch, and I felt my body speed up. I passed a few guys right at that point, and then I had 2 young guys in front of me to try to keep up with. I knew I could make this a FAST split (using the slight downhill to the finish too).
What's THAT face?
Where'd my neck go?
Monster stride to the finish. I was trying to think about short, fast strides,
but everything goes out the window in the final 200 meters of a race.
• FINAL 0.25 MILE: 0:58.34. (Garmin said 0.22 miles. That's on pace for 1:06.0 for the final 0.25 miles if I held the pace of that final 0.22, or 1:07.34 if I ran the pace of my SLOWEST quarter mile split.)
Steve Stenzel, St. Paul, 32, M
12 out of 151 overall
12 out of 101 males
8 out of 31 in the 20-39 age group
- My Garmin had 4:40.19 for 0.97 miles. If I held the pace of my final 0.22, I'd have finished 1.00 mile in 4:47.85. Even if I held the pace of my slowest quarter mile for a final 0.03 miles, I'd have finished a "Garmin mile" in 4:49.19. My best mile ever on a 200 meter indoor track was 4:49.53, so I'm calling this a PR!! UPDATE: Rick Recker, who has certified a TON of races (seriously, I think it's over 700) told me "The USATF Cert is correct." So I don't know what to think of my official time anymore. 4:40? 4:48? Either way, I'm happy!
- I was 20th last year, and 12th this year. Last year at this race, I was 28 seconds behind speedy Ben Merchant, and I was 28 seconds behind him at the Meet of the Miles earlier this year. But today I was only 8 seconds back! Two years ago, I finished my (former) mile PR 1.5 seconds behind Brian Davenport, and today I finished 5 seconds ahead of him. Last year at this race, I was 17 seconds behind someone named Blake, and this year I was only 9 seconds back. So even if the race is short, I really seemed to have raced MUCH better today!
- I owe this all to Coach Jen! She gave me some killer workouts over the last 3 weeks, and she gave me the confidence to push hard at this race. Sure, it was slightly downhill to the finish, but I've NEVER closed with a 1:06-1:07 final quarter mile! Those 200s she had me do paid off! And I really was thinking of her in that final stretch. "Don't let Jen down... don't let Jen down..." Having a coach would make me a lot faster, but I don't have the time (or money, or desire) to follow a strict training regime. All this tells me is that if I have the time, money, and desire in the future, I feel like I could REALLY benefit from a coach. (Specifically, from Jen!)
Jeremy D and I post-race! Still breathing heavy!
(And my "vein of approval" still throbbing in my forehead!)