A “Meet” Syke Out & Mile Trials



Amidst all of the Olympic Trials excitement (Amy! Ashton! Lauren!) and our OMG-can’t-come-soon-enough Oiselle #totallytrials trip (Thursday), the Run Fast Summer is off to a killer start.  There was the humidity 5k, where I learned another lesson in pacing and guts. And in the last 48 hours, there’s been a few other points of merit in my young tenure as a short-distance runner…

Margot and I have been talking about testing the fruits of our Track Party Tuesdays labors, so when Chacha sent a link to the Southbay Summer Track Series we jumped all over that shit.  Group emails flew all over coordinating dates and strategizing our big entry to the world of adult open meets.

What were we going to run, you ask?  As 3 Ragnar teammates we felt an obvious compelling urge to run a relay.  4x800m it is!

Anyway, none of this matters.

Why?  Because after all the planning and excitement and research on proper relay handoffs (jk, sort of) THERE WAS NO F’ING TRACK MEET.

Yeah, apparently the “Southbay Summer Track Series” isn’t really happening and nobody bothered to update their shit.  Jerks.

But we (Margot, Chacha, Kristina & I) were all already there.  We had a track and four sports bra’d people ready to run.

So we did.

Yes, we ran a 4×800 “high five relay” around an empty track.  And it was awesome.

my big head, kristina, chacha, margot

Would it have been cooler to race against people?  No doubt.  But we made the most of it and I finally have a gauge on where my speed is.  So call it a win.  And not just because we were the only ones there.

2:46 will be destroyed by the end of summer.  (hold me to that)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Time Trials — Measure Me

I told Margot if I’m serious about getting fast, I need some measurables to see if I’m sucking or kicking ass.  Races are good, but come with a lot of variables (course, crowd, nerves, etc) and a pesky price tag that Brian and our “joint finances” don’t really appreciate being abused with.

So we decided on Track Party Time Trials.  Every month or so I want to “test” and see how things are going.  We’ve been track’ing it up for a while, but I don’t think I’ve ever done the same workout twice, which makes “I love running fast!” a little subjective.

But running 1600m balls-out without anything else to worry about is pretty variable-free.  And vomit-inducing, just thinking about it.

One of my summer goals (maybe I’ll tell you about the rest of them sometime) is to break a 6 minute mile.  Cocky as I am, I thought I’d do it on my first trip out.  But in yet another humbling lesson of YOU’RE NEW AT THIS AND NOT AS AWESOME AS YOU THINK YOU ARE, I came up a bit shy.

tv timeout to appreciate my janky old custom Nike watch – the first birthday gift Brian ever gave me, shortly after I started “really” running. I ran 3 halfs and my first full with it. out of retirement for TPT.

ok sentimental storytime over – time for the sweaty details :

I hit my checks at 200m and 400m right on the money, and unintentionally let my focus slip the next lap – BIG MISTAKE.  I didn’t check in at 600, and by the time I lapped 800 I realized I was 4 seconds behind pace.  Shit.  Unlike longer races where you can make up time and not sweat over a few slightly-off paces, every second counts when you’re only running 4 laps.

So I tried to pick it up, but I was already running in top gear.  My breathing was rough and my legs were starting to fight back.  My arms started to cramp (what?) and when I turned at 1000 I remembered Margot’s words of encouragement while I tried to fight through the last 1.5 laps :

“Lap 3 is going to f’ing suck. It’ll be so hard, but don’t give in, because once you get to 4 you just go.”

A second slow on lap 3, giving me a 5 second deficit to try and make up on the final lap.  I pushed and pushed, convincing myself there was no way my legs would seize or I’d keel over and die in the next 90 seconds.

The final 200m were absolutely brutal, and I thank the track gods no one was there to see the look on my face (Margot was running behind me).  I gave it I everything on the last stretch and lapped at 6:06.58.

400 – 1:29

800 – 1:35

1200 – 1:31

1600 – 1:32

So, not the time I was hoping for, but definitely nothing to be ashamed of.  I’m proud of my effort and that I let myself REALLY test my limits.  It got hard and I kept going.  Overall I ran really steady, which is HUGE in my erratic pacing book, and I know for next time just how important a strong focus is.

All this track business might just make me a better runner after all – and I’m not just talking speed.

ps OMG 2 days until #TotallyTrials

 Sarah OUaL

17 thoughts on “A “Meet” Syke Out & Mile Trials

  1. I would like to state, for the record, that mile is faster than any mile I ever ran as a high school athlete. The mile wasn’t exactly my race, and the one time my coach entered me in it, I stubbornly halfassed through a 6:11 just to prove that he shouldn’t do that again. My honest to God goal NOW is just to break 3 for the 800 on the track again. But that would involve trying to. Hmmm…


  2. That is an awesome time for a mile- and on your first try (well, your first try in a while). I’m sure after “The Summer That You Ran Fast” you can shave 10 secs off at least.

    I’m so jealous of you guys going this weekend. Tell Amy to include me in your BFF club and get some nice pics of Ashton’s pearly whites.


  3. I really would like to get out to a track and do some track work…it’s so different when you run on the streets or in a race. Kind of sucks you showed up and no one was there. That’s something that would totally happen to me!

    6:06 is a pretty good mile time, really good actually!


  4. Me and my fastest ever 8.17 think 6.06 is flying!!! I had to run really fast downhill to get that puppy too!!! You’re super speedy!

    Track has never appealed to me, I’m not sure why. I think I’ve just always assumed it’s for other people, speedy people, and not for slow people like me. I think I’ll stick to the pavements.

    You guys should make some home-made medals for Olympic season!!! That would make it even more fun.


  5. you rocked it! I am doing a mile time trial with my run club this weekend- I hope to break 6:20. just as an fyi a mile is 1609m and there is a mile start line on the track 9 meters back if you want a fully accurate mile next time.


  6. yeah, that was bullshit. I love how flippant that guy was about it, too. Like “oops, sorry I didn’t let people know there was no meet.” Good luck to him getting anything together this summer.

    S, you can break 6:00 in the mile with training. Easy peasy. But I think that the training of fast stuff with the training for marathons, doesn’t always work together. I am significantly faster right now in the 5K than in high school, but I’m fairly certain I can’t tough my 800 and mile HS PRs. Training for shorter distances requires different track workouts… (i.e shorter, faster repetitions).


  7. Nicely done! You will break 6 in no time. Maybe you should try running it without a watch and just go? Sometimes watches hurt me more than they help me.


  8. Track workouts and speed stuff is so totally foreign to me. I only recently learned what 2 X whatever number meant in terms of a running workout. But I so totally need to get into this for speed training and, as you say, measurable progress. I’d be happy to do a mile in 9 minutes. I’d be happy to do one lap in under 2. Haha. I will try to draw on your experiences for inspiration.


  9. I did a one mile race last year, and I ran so hard that my arms cramped up and my eyeballs hurt by the time I crossed the finish. no joke. running fast is painful. you’ll have sub 6 in NO time!


  10. Pingback: The Original TPT – A (dramatic) Goodbye | Once Upon a (L)ime


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