On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fifth Avenue Mile: Race Report

I guess I do remember how to run a mile.

On Saturday, I ran the Fifth Avenue Mile and I finished in 7:37, or 16 seconds faster than last year. I'll take it. I really didn't think that I could run anything sub-8, given my lack of speedwork. Now I'm thinking that next year I'll try for a 7:2x. My sister wants me to try for a 6:xx. Hahaha! Dream big. That would make me feel, like, legit.

Just think: if I keep improving by 16 seconds a year, I'll be setting the world record in barely more than a decade!

At the end of the race, I was spent but not so spent that I couldn't turn around and run 18m on Sunday. I didn't even feel like I wanted to throw up when I was done! Now, all I have to do is maintain that mile pace for another 25.2 miles and I can register for Boston - in the second wave of registrants! Hell, if I could only maintain that pace for another 2 miles I'd achieve my goal of going sub-25 on a 5k. But I don't think I could have maintained that pace for another 400m.

In the finish area, I ran into Ms. Duffy. She had the best possible hook-up: she knew where a Belgian waffle truck was parked, near the finish. Of course, I had already started eating my waffle before I thought to take a picture. That's one of the MANY reasons that I'm not a food blogger.

This is a delicious waffle with nutella and banana on it. For the potassium, natch.
Both this year and last, I felt the same way about the Fifth Avenue Mile. I was pleased with myself after the race, I wondered whether or not I could have done better if the weather/my training/the crowds were different, and I am excited to try it again next year. But... here's my curiosity:

Why would you wear a camelbak or a real backpack or a fuel belt or headphones or a fleece jacket (with temps in the 70s) for a 1m race?

That is a serious question. I mean, what would you even put on your 1 mile playlist? I finished mid-pack, and my soundtrack was 7 and a half minutes of my own voice in my head going "RUN FASTER, TRACY, FOR GOD'S SAKE, RUN FASTER" on repeat.


  1. The same reason I have people ask me if they need a camelbak or fuel belt for a 5k. Dumbness.

    Great race. I haven't raced a mile in, well, now that I think about it ever. I might need to get on that.

  2. I would probably get to a point where I would just say, "Yes. Yes, you need a camelbak. There won't be water on the course and your body can't go three miles without a drink."

    But I do recommend the mile race! Fast and fun.

  3. Fleece, definitely. Tights too. You might get cold while RUNNING AS FAST AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.

  4. Awesome time! I don't know how I missed you at the race. I was completely unprepared to run a mile (no idea how to race it) but loved the race! Definitely want to do it every year going forward!

  5. That's fantastic!
    As for the fuel belt/fleece/headphones thing... Um: NO. I don't carry water or listen to music for any run < one hour. And if it takes me an hour to run a mile... well... I've probably got bigger problems. ;)

  6. Woo!!! Way to go!!!

    WEIRD about fuel belts for a one mile race. Were the start times taking a while - maybe pre hydration? OR maybe they were actually filled with vodka?

  7. You can DEFINITELY run a sub-7 minute mile!

    The fleece jacket is just dumb. But maybe some people were combining the 1-mile race with a later, added-on long training run? And they didn't have time to go back home to get their fuel belts and camelbaks and whatever else? And they don't believe in bag check? I'm not saying that I would do that, but someone might! It takes all kinds.

  8. Jesus, really? For a mile? I saw a lady wearing a fuel belt with four big bottles on a 4.5 turkey trot and thought that was ridic. But she beat me so I STFU.
    I have never done a mile race! I'm think maybe once I pop this baby friend, that might be a fun thing to try.

  9. I would have seriously asked one of those people why they were wearing a fuel belt. Unless they had just finished a long run, but even then, take the damn thing off and put it in the "baggage" area!! I guess I'll have to run this next year and see for myself...

  10. Really? Camelbacks in a mile race? REALLY?


  11. Congrats on going sub 8! I was amazed when I did that....I am way more impressed with your 11:30 ish pace for the 18 mile run. You are going to kick ass in NYC!!

  12. Dude, that waffle looks amazing, and that's all I have to say about that.

    Also, if you need a soundtrack and a camelback for less than 12 minutes of running? Perhaps you need to re-evaluate your hydration strategy and work on your mental focus/attention span.

  13. I always wonder at the runners who carry things during the short races. Outside NYC I might carry fluid for a race longer than 10k, but NYRR always has plenty of water stops. And what about the people with backpacks, not camelbaks, but fullblown backpacks?