Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adam's Open Mile - Sub 5:00!

1609m later, I'm done!
Distance: 1 mile
Time: 4:59.77
Place: 1 of 1
Age Group1 of 1

There are a few running milestones that will always stick out in my head.  The first time I ran a sub 4:00 marathon was an amazing experience. Same as when I ran a sub 20:00 5K (and sub 40:00 10K).  Within the same vein, running a sub 5:00 mile is certainly one that will very quickly rise to the top of the charts.

Running a mile all out serves a few really good purposes.  It is a great dipstick to tell you where you are from a fitness standpoint.  If you can run a 8:45 mile one month and can run a 8:30 mile the next month, you are more fit than you previously were.  Simple!  Additionally, it is a great speed work session that doesn’t (or I guess, shouldn’t) totally destroy your legs for the remainder of the week.  Finally, and this is the most important, it is fun to tell your friends that you ran a mile, all out, elementary school track meet style.  (Hopefully this time you didn’t end up with the pink participation ribbon like I always did.)

As I was thinking about where to pace my mile try, the law of diminishing returns really became apparent.  The faster the pace, the more effort that you have to put forth to become faster.  For example, going from 5.0 mph to 5.2 mph increases your pace from 12:00/mile to 11:30/mile.  30 seconds!  However, going from 11.8 mph to 12.0 mph increases your pace from 5:05/mile to 5:00/mile. Only 5 seconds!  Yikes.  I used a bunch of different formats (wigi board, magic 8 ball, the usual), but ultimately decided that I’d target somewhere between a 4:50 and a 5:00 mile.

So, on Sunday morning, I packed the family into the car and went to the high school track - only to find it locked up. AWESOME.  So, it was off to my trusty dirt middle school track to run all 4 laps!

Step 1: Take off your shirt and try to accidentally twist your ankle

Step 2: Run 1.5 miles in normal shoes and then run 0.25 in your race flats

Step 3: Give your son VERY specific instructions to stay off of the track
"whaaaaaat daddy? You're crazy"

Lap 1: 1:12....  Oh crap oh crap oh crap....wayyyy too fast
When you start to push at 97% or 98% of overall max it is very hard to not poop judge exact pace. This was certainly the case for me.  I went out WAY too fast.  Yes, going 3 seconds faster than pace is WAY too fast.  When I saw the time flash up I knew that I was in for some HURT in 2 minutes or so.  It is kind of like when you take a massive bite of Froot Loops - you know that you can't chew them all, so they're going to scratch on the way down.

Lap 2: 1:15....  Yay!!  You're running!
On the second lap I had found a decent pace and rhythm.  My feet were reaching out to grab the track and my breathing was well under control.  So far so good!

Lap 3: 1:17.... So this is what death feels like
When running a mile, the 3rd lap is always the worst.  You're half way done but not so far that you can start to click down the meters left.  No one ever says "Finally, only 780 meters left!"

Lap 4: 1:15.... All.out.sprint.gahhhhh
Lungs were burning, throat was dry (also burning), legs were tired. Seriously... This SUCKED.  When I rounded the corner with 150m left, I looked at my watch and it said something like 4:40.  In my oxygen depleted state, I thought that I had beat my 5:00 goal by a long shot!!  Unfortunately, turns out that I don't run a 10 second 100m so I was VERY close.

This is what death looks like

Yes, this smile was 100% fake

When I told people what I ran (4:59.77), more than one asked if I was just going to round up to 5:00.  Honestly? The thought never even crossed my mind.  My argument is that road racers use minutes and seconds....(My Marathon PR is 3:04:00).....Ultra marathoners only really use hours and minutes...(I want my first 50K to be less than 3:59)....Track runners however, use every bit of the clock that is available.  (Usain Bolt has the world record in the 100m at 9.58 seconds.)  Seems sound to me?

While I know that this bulleted list will solicit a number of responses that say something to the effect of "Really, jackass? You're not happy with a 4:59!?!?" but I honestly think that I could have ran a bit faster on the right day.  So, here come the laundry list of excuses:
  • It was a gravel track. Each time I tried to push off I could feel my foot slip ever so slightly. Turns out, track runners wear spikes to avoid this VERY specific issue! I likely lost 1 second per 400 because of that
  • It was 80 degrees. Dry heat or not, that is hot
  • Running a time trial is always harder than running in a race situation.  I tell all of the people that I coach that it is the cowbell effect.  Everyone always runs harder when they have someone cheering for them. No exception.
  • I MIGHT have ran a bit too far and most certainly ran too fast the day before (14 miles, 7:04 pace).  I could feel that I didn't have fresh legs during my warm up.

Just like last time, I had my wife capture the entire thing on film.  Let me tell you, it is the most boring 5 minutes of your LIFE.  Unfortunately, she was trying to chase my son off of the track while I was running so the video gets a little (a lot) shaky.  Either that or there were like 10 earth quakes during my run.


BabyWeightMyFatAss said...


Jen said...

Sweet run and congrats at hitting your goal! I need to do one of these timed mile things someday.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllisonFay said...

Your son is too cute! He was like "Why does Daddy keep running away from me?"

You should totally do this on a real track- I think it would make a significant distance.

I'm really glad you are a winner so I don't have to fire you. :)

AllisonFay said...

Also- you have to update your Running PRs section!

Chelsea said...

Are we still in a fight? Whatever.

1) DIPSTICK. lol.
2) I didn't understand what you meant until you talked about Fruit Loops then I was like OHHHHHH.
3) When is the HS track open? I want a re-do.

Heather @ Just a Colorado Gal said...

Your comparison to Fruit Loops about killed me because it is SO TRUE! That is the worst feeling ever!

PS Great job on the mile! :)

Colin Hayes said...

I fart, er, bow in your general direction. Very nice work, my man! If you were on a proper track, in spikes, running against competition, I’d bet on a 4:05 or so. Or maybe 4:50. One or the other.

Pam said...

Awesome. Seriously awesome.

quix said...

Freaking awesome!!!! I haven't done a mile time trial in a while and my husband never has. Think it's in our plan soon. Definitely try it on a real track, I always feel like I run slower on gravel.

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I'm too lazy to watch the video, but I want to say "good job."

That's pretty impressive. I mean, it could be more impression. Like, if you ran a 3 minute minute mile, THAT would be impressive. But, eh, this will do.

A said...

Not boring at all! At least not to runners. :)

I watched this whole thing... love it. You look really strong out there & the few times the frames froze up on my shitty computer, your form looks like Meb's. Pretty soon you'll be running with him!

My favorite part is when your son claps for you halfway through. Congrats!

Redhead Running said...

Woo hoo! Congrats Adam! You are the PR KING!

Also, that pic of your son all up in the camera is awesome.

Emily H said...

Very cool. I enjoy doing the mile time trial. It's tough but short enough that I can keep my mind engaged.

What are those band thingys below your knees?

Sue's Ramblings said...

Go with 4:59! Number starting with 4 vs 5? Need to you ask?! LOL! Anyway, congrats and double thumbs up!

Johann said...

Wow, that is really great, well done! "Round up to 5:00..." Hilarious!

C2Iowa said...

Seriously -- CONGRATS. Nice work.

Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles said...

Nice job. I am going to be in the Chandler/Gilbert area and would love some recommendations on where to run.

The Kidless Kronicles

Runners Fuel said...

That is awesome!! Congrats!! I'm training to get my 5k sub 30 minutes.

The Banter said...

You know that your heart rate monitor goes across your chest and not below your knees, right?

Laura is Undeterrable said...

Freaking awesome dude. Do not round that time! I think if its run on a track, it deserves hundredths of a second. Do you think you'll run a road mile race?

eric said...

Way to go!!! Its such a great feeling, you will ALWAYS have that.. cool huh?

Nicole @ 22in20 said...

Anyone who suggests you round that is crazy. That is totally a sub-5 mile.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Truly amazing! Sub 5:00 is no joke.

Laura said...

Every time you do this, it makes me swear I'm going to go out and do a mile time trial. And then I don't.

But THIS Saturday, I'm going up to my mom's house in Albany... where there is a track 1/2 mile from her house. So... maybe?

Meghan said...

"Is Daddy dying." HAHAHAAH. I sure would have been. Awesome job! Of course keep the 4 as the leading #!

Patty T said...

AWESOME job! Had to laugh at the "is Daddy dying" comment also.

Nelly said...

Wow, serious props! Congrats!

I watched the entire video, very entertaining! Your son almost going out to meet you during the laps, lol.

It did seem like you went out a bit too fast on the first lap, then tried to find a good pace on the 2nd but struggled a bit, and settled in on the 3rd and 4th lap.

I totally agree with you that you can get an even better time, I bet something like 4:50 is possible. If you ran on an all weather track in spikes, in cooler weather against some competition. Are there any all-comers meets in the area that race the mile? This would be a perfect place to improve your time even further.

Also if you do some shorter speed work that might help too. Not sure what you are training for, but to pull off a 5:00 mile while training for likely a half marahton or marathon is very impressive.

Lastly, my mile PR from high school is your exact time - 4:58 or 4:59, so it was weird to see someone else get that exact same time on film =)

Suz and Allan said...

Wow,, very speedy! Great job!

Mike said...

Congrats Adam! Sub 5 is elite fast, enough said.

Razz said...

You're a badass. A goofy badass, but a badass nonetheless.

BrianFlash said...

Kick ass time! Definitely no rounding up - you are sub 5.

Just makes me feel how slow I've gotten. I would kill that time in high school but after twenty years of nothing, breaking six minutes would be a major feat for me!

Running Moose said...

WOOHOO Speedy! I haven't run a sub 5since my early 20's...doing it 20 years later would be awesome...Congrats!! Try again in a month on the non dirt track. I know how they can be!!