Because I’m slightly crazy, actually ran two races this past weekend. The first was of course my Moose Mountain Marathon attempt, which left me feeling completely trashed, but euphoric. Then, because my wife wanted to try a speed race, she signed up for the Minnesota One Mile race in Duluth, MN. It’s a very simple race that starts at Fitger’s Brewery and goes straight into downtown, with a slight downhill slant to the road. It’s a wonderful course to see what you’re made of when it comes to speed.
There was no reason in the world that I should run this race, except that by running it, I get a better chance at the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon next year, which is always a lottery process for signup! So, despite my body telling me that this was a bad idea, I signed up for the race as well.
One of the perks of our hotel snafu is that it put us in Canal Park the night before, meaning that we could walk to the start line from our hotel, and sleep in a bit. I welcomed the extra sleep, that’s for sure. Eventually we got ready, picked up our packets, went back to the hotel room to drop off our swag, and then returned to the start line for the shortest races we’ve ever run.
The race is divided into different waves, depending on your expected speed, and male/female. My wife got to run first, and she was excited to try and break her goal time. Since the race is point-to-point, I had no idea how she did until I got to the end. As I lined up in the corral I was expecting that my body would let me pull out a slow 11-12 minute trot and I wouldn’t be setting any records for the day. But then the horn sounded and the pack took off like crazy. I kicked into high gear just to not get left behind of everyone in the pack and before I knew it I was cruising along at a solid 8:50 pace.
I knew I couldn’t hold that speed for long with my legs in the condition that they were, but that’s the nice part about a one mile race. You don’t need to hold the speed for very long at all. As I approached the finish line I was shocked that my legs were moving as well as they were, but they seemed to carry the day. I crossed the line just over 8:50 with I’m sure what looked like a completely pained expression on my face. It wasn’t a PR, but I’m super happy with the time, considering my lack of speed training this year.
I hobbled into the finish corral to find my wife, glowing that she beat me with a new PR time of less than 8:40! I gave her a hug, signed up to get my t-shirt mailed to me (they were out of large…), and then proceeded to feel my body scream at me for torturing it so much in the past 24 hours, as I walked back to the hotel. In the span of a day I had put my body through the longest race in my life, as well as the shortest. Pretty crazy, but I guess that’s what runners do.