Yesterday was a hot and windy one. I had signed up for the TC 1 Mile, and was hoping to break 5 minutes after failing to do so last year. I got to the race pretty early, so after picking up my packet, I walked to Brit's, a pub near the 3/4 mile mark where some Minnesota Running Wild friends were hanging out.
The TC 1 Mile consisted of several heats, culminating in the elite men and the elite women running the road mile championships. My heat was the open wave, just before the elite waves, so I spent some time at Brit's, where Laura eventually joined us.
After requesting that Laura order me some food so I could eat it when I got back from my mile, I did a little warmup and headed to the start. It was still windy and unfortunately it was a strong headwind. The heat wasn't too bad, but I decided I'd better prepare for the worst since I heard there would be no water stops during this one mile marathon.
So, I strapped on my fuel belt, loaded with two 16 oz water bottles. I also had a couple of gels in case I hit the wall around the 3/4 mile mark. After chatting with a Matt, a Running Wild member who's had to relocate to Arkansas, and Seth, and friend who I did Ragnar with, I lined up near the front of the pack.
After the gun went off I was passed by a good amount of runners, but I kept my pace and stayed relaxed. I went through the quarter mile mark at 72 seconds--a little bit too fast but not as bad as last year when I was at 70 seconds.
Somewhere after the quarter mile mark I went past the pack I was with and then I could really feel the wind. I could tell my pace had slowed substantially running into the headwind, and the mile mark confirmed it when I came through at 2:34. Yikes. I knew sub-5 was going to be very difficult at this point, so I took a gel and washed it down with one of my bottles.
From then on I would catch a pack, get a break from the wind, and then speed past the pack, only to get blasted by the wind and slow down until I could catch another pack. Fortunately most people had gone out too fast and I had several packs to catch up to.
At the 3/4 mile mark I was at 3:52ish. I thought I just might have enough to hit 68 seconds for the last quarter, so I took my last gel and downed my other bottle of water. I don't really remember much from there other than seeing the clock at 4:50 and realizing there was no way I was going to get to it in less than 10 seconds.
My final time was 5:03. Without the headwind and without having paced Laura in a marathon five days earlier, I think I may have been able to break five minutes. I also probably should have taken one more gel.
Oh well. Laura had ordered me a chicken tandoori wrap because she's the best wife in the world. We then watched the elite runners and enjoyed an evening of good food and beer. Tomorrow I'm going to see if I've got anything left in my legs when Laura and I run in the Eagan 5k Your Way.