One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from running so far is that anyone can become an athlete.
Until this past weekend, the last time I ran a timed mile was in elementary school. I will never forget the presidential fitness test. Was it actually developed by a president? Who knows. Nevertheless, what I remember most about running “The Mile” was struggling and wishing it could’ve been over from the start. I never felt adequately prepared.
Last summer when news of the inaugural Brooklyn Mile overtook my timeline, I just knew I had to be out there the following year. The race looked like so much fun. After a running several long distance races earlier this year, something short and sweet would be a great change of pace!
I registered for the Brooklyn Mile in March. Since I was training for the Brooklyn Half, I put mile training out of my mind for a while. After my half was over, I was ready to switch gears and run my fastest mile. Since I already spend hours googling running (it’s a serious pastime), I searched for a training plan. I finally landed on one that I liked, which was a 6 week plan that still incorporated long runs since I am running another half in a few weeks and still need to maintain my endurance.
Let me tell you, all these interval workouts were no joke! They were just about as ruthless as my recurring shin splint. My excitement about the race pushed me to persevere.
After 6 weeks of running faster than I ever had for as long as I did, it was race day! Being the unabashed “I’ve only been to BK for Smorgasburg girl” that I am, I decided to take an Uber to the start line.
Unfortunately, my Uber driver did not have a better idea of where I was going than I was. I start getting a combination of nervous and frustrated, which led me to just ditch my clueless driver at Bedford Avenue, planning to walk the rest of the way. However, while I was walking, I realized that I didn’t see any signage for the race. Long behold, I was walking in the opposite direction! I was at the finish line instead of the start and the race was starting in 20 minutes! With no Ubers around, I decided my best course of action was to run to the starting line. I wanted to warm up before the race, but this was not the warm up I had planned. Thankfully, I made it with 8 minutes to spare.
At 10:10:10, I was off, sprinting down Kent Avenue with an overwhelming feeling of relief that I had made it. The first 800m went by so fast. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard either. It was all good until I saw the 3/4 mile sign. I felt a slight twinge in my right shin, which had been bothering me on and off for the past 6 weeks or so. I could tell I was slowing down, but I knew that I could still make my goal time. After running what proved to be the most trying 400m of my life, I crossed the finish line several seconds ahead of my goal time!
Although I didn’t finish the race feeling particularly hungry or thirsty, I was thrilled to be done. The past 6 weeks have been a particularly unique training journey, and I’m pleased with how I arrived at the destination. The post race festival, while small and quaint, was full of delicious treats. Who doesn’t love fresh doughnuts? I grabbed a complementary cold brew and watched the other races from the sidelines.
All in all, I would definitely run the Brooklyn Mile again. And next time, I’ll make sure I arrive at the starting line before the finish.