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2009-07-10 - Midsummer Night's Mile

1 mile @ 6:32 min/mi

As I tell comrade Kate Abbott the day before tonight's MCRRC track meet at Rockville High School, although last year I barely got under the 7 minute mark (6:59.74 officially) this time I think 6:45 could happen "if the planets come into alignment". What about sub-6:30, she asks? "Maybe in my fantasy world!" I reply.

A flock of friends visit with me before the start, including sandbagger Wayne Carson, lensman Christina Caravoulias, coming-back-from-medical-challenges Russ Egeland, and Mical Honigfort with husband Paul and baby Erik. Orienteerer Peggy Dickison introduces me to her family. I warm up with a slow lap, pause, then do another with my son Robin. He only really began his speedwork a few weeks ago, so perhaps he will be strong next month. This evening he runs in heat #2 and kicks hard to come in in comfortably under 8 minutes after three 2+ minute laps, respectable but slower than last year's 7:08 for him.

For me, heat #4 of the race turns out OK, to put it mildly. I start 1-2 seconds behind the line and am dead last, right where I usually am, for the first 100m or so. Then I begin to pass folks who have come out too hard. Wayne, cooling down after his run in the previous group, shouts advice to me from the far end of the track, "Push hard in laps 2 and 3!" I try not to swing out to go around people on the curves and only have to do it once, entering the second lap.

Christina reminds me to pump my arms at the end, and I do. Entering the final straightaway I'm close to a young fellow who hears me and accelerates away, for which I thank him after the finish. According to my watch the laps are roughly 1:41, 1:39, 1:37, and 1:35, a pattern that looks smoother than it feels. Officially I'm 5th out of 8 in my age/sex group at 6:31.91 mile time. Whew!

(cf. 2008-07-11 - MidSummer Night's Mile, ...) - ^z - 2009-07-20