For my happy quarter-century I decided to run the downtown San Rafael mile this morning.
There were all these high school kids from my track and cross-country teams there helping out and they kept asking if I was going to win. No, I am not going to win. Why? Because I’m not a runner and I’m not a miler. Two key things.
I figured there would be a couple really fast girls, so I planned to just go with them and hang on to the back of the front pack. The course was a short few blocks into a turn, then a long slight uphill until you turnaround and head slight downhill into the finish. (Relatively flat.) I’d just try to stick with the fast girls for as long as possible and once I got to the turnaround and could see the finish 6 or 7 blocks down I would just dig deep or whatever.
The only problem was there wasn’t a couple really fast girls. There was a dozen.
We didn’t even make it to the first turn about 250m in before I was like ‘huh, we are running really fast.’ It’s probably good I didn’t wear any kind of a watch, because we definitely did the first quarter-mile around 70 seconds.
I fell off the back of the pack and I was running on this gradual, slight uphill that felt like the longest hill ever and I was 10 feet behind the nearest girl, by myself, and I then I got passed.
In conclusion, it was hard.
But, I hit the turnaround and could see the finish so, so far down the road. And two girls 20 feet ahead of me. I dug deep and I thought I would never make it. And, then 100m to go, I was worried a girl behind me was going to pass me and I started trying to pick it up. And when I started trying to pick it up, that girl 20 feet ahead of me got closer and closer and then I thought I can pass her. So I started running hard. (And I never kick hard anymore.) And I passed her with about 5 feet to go.
I ran a 5:31. Which is the fastest I’ve ever run a mile.
Of course, the winner ran a 4:48. And there was like 15 girls between her and me. And all the high school students were like ‘you didn’t win?’