“Mile Mondays” were never exciting for me. In fact, I dreaded them in middle school. I remember when the starting whistle blew, I would run in a full sprint for my minute of triumph, feeling as if I was in the lead! I was in better shape than the rest of my middle school class… Oh yeah!
… And then… at once… my legs would buckle in exhaustion, and I would suddenly halt to a lazy jog, and a sluggish walk soon after. My better mile time was right around 11:20.
I’ve never been much of a runner, but I’ve always played sports (softball and basketball) and enjoyed working out. I was overweight as a child, and struggled with asthma. Although I enjoyed the feeling of running, after about 3 minutes I was thoroughly exhausted. I recall a time when I was about 17 and my Dad and I would do laps around our block at night. I enjoyed the liberation of running- the oxygenation, the work that it took- but I would get so worn out that I couldn’t maintain a jog for much longer than 3 minutes without feeling utterly drained.
My husband, on the contrary, really enjoys running. He did cross-country and track in high school, and is still able to maintain a good pace for longer distances. He has been running a lot more lately, and is currently trying to beat his high school mile time.
This past weekend we went to a school track just a few blocks away. It was a beautiful “California” day- sunny with a cool breeze. About 78º F. Yannick assured me that this was a 400-meter track, and that I must run 4 laps to achieve a full mile. And so I began my jog.
I usually jog at the gym, and my good mile time is usually right around 9:40 (9:37 to be exact). I can’t seem to run for longer than a minute or so, and pacing is everything, so I’m usually settled at a moderate jogging pace. I have my inhaler on-hand for running, but I find that I don’t need it if I’ve been eating raw and running fairly regularly. There are so many benefits of eating loads of raw food, and longevity is one of them.
Lap 1 down- I was tired. Haven’t worked out in about 2 solid weeks and have been eating more cooked meals than usual, and boy do I feel it! Took my inhaler this morning, so breathing is semi-manageable.
Lap 2- Already starting to talk to myself. “C’mon Ariel!” Breathing is getting difficult.
Lap 3-Lap 4- Pushing myself the entire way. Gasping for breath at this point. Periodically glancing at my stopwatch with disbelief at the time… how was I running so fast?
I finished the 4 laps with my time being 7:15. Could this be possible? How could I go from 9:37 being my best 2 months ago to 7:15? That’s nearly 2:30 faster with no training. While Yannick enthusiastically congratulated me, I knew it wasn’t right. There’s just no way.
After checking numerous websites, and finally downloading a tracking app for that specific running track, it turns out that, despite the fact that I would’ve loved for it to be true, the track was not a 400-meter track. It was a 300-meter track, meaning that I still had another lap to put in before I had reached the mile. Had I kept my pace, I would’ve reached the mile right at about 9 minutes, beating my previous best time.
Despite the distance mishap, I felt encouraged. Someday I want to be able to run a mile in 7:15. But for now, I’ll focus on making it under 9 minutes. And after that, under 8 minutes. We’ll see how long this takes!