Meet of the Miles Race Report

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Charlie and I were patiently waiting for Mama to get home from work so I could head off to a track meet on Monday evening:

My wife got home, and I left the house at exactly 5:00 pm. I hit the interstate during rush hour traffic as it started to snow. I got to the U of M, got parked, ran into the track, paid my $5, signed up for the 4:40-5:00 heat, and noted that it was now only 5:19 pm. Nice.

Registration is literally just handing a guy $5 and putting your name and age
on one of these sheets (divided up by expected finish time).
Oh, and notice all the post-race cough drops. #DryAir

The first heat is the speedy fellas: sub-4:40 milers.

Receiving pre-race instructions from Paul G.

Start of the speedy heat!

I was next up in the 4:40-5:00 heat. I just wanted to be somewhere within those times. Tom R grabbed my camera and got photos of my heat. Thanks Tom!


I started a little more aggressive than in past years. We hit that first turn fast, and I was in the thick of it. I let up a little, and then the entire pack did too along the back stretch. I was in the 2nd lane for the first 300 meters.

150 meters into the race.

5th from the last after 1 lap, about to be passed by 2 more on the next turn.

Finally on the back stretch after 300 meters, I was able to jump in to lane 1. I swear I ran farther than anyone in my heat. I'm not a great "track runner."

Back in 3rd-to-last. I'd stay here for the majority of the race.

FIRST 400 METERS: 1:14.42. "Good. Keep it strong here and hit that split again."

My "A-goal" was really just anything under 5:00, so this was a good start.

SECOND 400 METERS: 1:14.26. "NICE! Up the effort here to maintain this speed!"

This was a super uneventful 400 meters. I held my position, suffered well, and tried to speed up with 450 left. My mouth was 100% dry and nasty - love that hard indoor winter running. (If you're from MN and run year-round, you still don't know what this is like. This is a special race-effort dry air throat nastiness that I only get from indoor miles or indoor 5000 meters. Even indoor triathlons don't cause it - not running hard enough.)

Coming to the line with 3 laps left (600 meters), I was still 3rd-to-last in my heat, but I would pass a young runner on the next backstretch.

I was able to pass the kid in white gasping for air in the next 100 meters.

Just over 2 laps to go! I passed the guy in black on the next curve.

THIRD 400 METERS: 1:14.78. "SUB-5 IS LOCKED UP! I've never had such consistent splits in a mile! Now BANG out these final 2 laps!"

Final (unsexy) 50 meter kick!

FINAL 400 METERS: 1:13.66. "Wished this could have been a second or 2 faster, but sub-5 is all I cared about. Color me happy."

My watch said 4:57.12, but I stopped it a bit late. (So that final 400 meters was a BIT faster.) I was 10th in my heat, so I went to check the results:

SWEET! 4:56.60 officially!

The guy in the white t-shirt who's just behind me in most of the photos above patted me on the back as soon as we were done. He said something like "I've been chasing this goal for a decade. I was on your back for the entire race, and you pulled me to it tonight. Thanks!" I loved that. I assumed he was talking about sub-5, and he nailed it. It reminded me of my 1-mile PR at this meet 5 years ago when Brian D pulled me through a perfect race to a 4:49 PR. Nice running, stranger!

I cooled down, cheered on some friends, and took some more photos. Here are 5 more shots:

Evan (who beat me in the Loony Challenge) gutting it out with 2 laps left.
Oh, and the guy in yellow just beat me in my heat, and now he was running a few more miles.

Angie leading this heat, with Y buddy Casey back there in red.

Bobby (green), Danielle (pink), Tom (black), and Kirt (blue).

Bobby (again) helping to pull this kid to a 6:00 mile. If I had to guess, I'd say
Bobby did 6 miles. Your first one is timed, but then you can run as many as you want!

Tracie leading her heat. With Bobby yet again.

This was my 8th 1-mile race since 2008. My first indoor mile was slower, but this race was tied for my 2nd slowest along with my 2013 "Meet of the Miles" race - both exactly 4:56.60. But coming off of lots of easy running since the TC 10 Mile trying to get my legs healthy again, I can't complain. These splits were BY FAR the most even I've ever been able to run a mile, so I think I paced it right.

The day after the race (yesterday), I intermittently coughed up some small, dense, yellowish/green loogies from breathing in all that dry air so forcefully during the race. I had a few cough drops post-race, and I even brought along some tea with honey in it to help my throat too.

Back with the official results and race video from Steve Q shortly!


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