“Next time,” I wrote the last time I did the Mountain Avenue Mile, “I will try to finish under five minutes.”
I fully believed it was possible, and after all my speed workouts on the Colorado State University track the last few months, it should have been. But belief ensures execution only as much as a good recipe and oven could result in great tasting cookies. For me it would require the near-perfect race where my pace would be at least as consistent as pre-made cookie dough from the grocery store.
Which, not surprisingly, did not happen. My running was as erratic as Lindsay Lohan’s off-screen behavior. The first quarter-mile, for example, passed in 1:06 (or 4:24/mile pace!) as I unwisely kept tempo with the front-runners. The second quarter elapsed in a much slower 1:18—but still, my half-mile time split was still on pace for a sub-5:00 mile.
Unfortunately, during the third quarter my leg turnover and stride length fizzled out even more: 1:26. And despite my pre-race resolve to “run like a crazy man being chased by a bear” the moment I turned the corner on Mason Street for the final 300 meters, I was able to increase my speed only a little, finishing in 5:10.
Oh well. It was still two seconds faster than my all-time best. As long as I’m progressing, I cannot be too disappointed.
Plus, there’s always “next time…”
1st quarter-mile: 1:06
2nd quarter-mile: 1:18
3rd quarter-mile: 1:26
4th quarter-mile: 1:20
Total time: 5:10
If you enjoyed this article, please consider receiving my weekly newsletter. I typically write about endurance bicycling, travel, self improvement, Colorado living, marathon running and epic adventures.