I decided to do a race*! This was a last minute decision, considering both the nearness of the race, and the lack of training I've been doing lately. This Thursday (July 24th), the Michie Tavern Downtown Mile will take place as part of the Runners Love Yoga Healthy Expo. I'm pretty excited about it! The Expo goes from 5-8:30 at the Downtown Pavilion in Charlottesville. It will include vendors, food, the race, and a FREE post-race yoga class led by Ann Mazur, the founder of Runners Love Yoga, and my favorite yoga instructor at the UVA Aquatic & Fitness Center. The entire event will benefit the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, and it is being organized by Notus Sports.
One great thing about the race, is that there are different start times for different groups of people. This will make each start time much less crowded! The Team Relay will start things off at 6:30. Next includes the non-timed events of the Family Race and the Non-competitive Run/Walk at 6:50. The Middle School Mile starts at 7:10 - this is such a great idea to get kids out and running. Finally, the Elite Downtown mile for competitive runners starts at 7:30 for women and 7:40 for men. This set of races comes with cash prizes for the first finishers!
As I mentioned, I have NOT been training. I've gone on maybe one run a week in the past few weeks, and before it was even more sporadic than that. Every time I've run outside, the heat and humidity just kill me. Last week I planned a 3 mile run outside, and told myself that I would walk whenever I needed to - no judgement. I ended up walking for 2 minutes after the first mile, and for another 2 minutes somewhere after the second mile. Last night, I ran on the treadmill, since the air basically felt like pea soup outside. Lately I've been listening to books on tape while I run, but I had unfortunately just finished the book I had on my phone. So instead of going at a steady pace while listening to a book, I did what I used to do (before I knew anything about running) - I just listened to music and let that dictate my pace. During a faster part of a song, I would increase the pace, and then bring it back down to recover. We all know that intervals are good for us, but sometimes we get caught up in the intervals being a specific amount of time at a specific pace. I just did what felt right, and I think it worked out well for me. I wasn't keeping track of the time, but my steady pace was 5.6mph, and my fast pace ranged from 6-7mph. I did 1.25 miles running, walked 0.25 miles, did another 1.25 miles running, walked 0.25 miles, and ended with a 1/2 mile jog at my steady 5.6mph. I left the gym feeling wiped!
My plan is to do a light run/walk outside on Wednesday, and not much more than that. I don't want to wear myself out too much with running, since I haven't been doing much of it lately. I'll probably try to do some light lifting as well, to help strengthen my muscles.
For the race itself, since I haven't been training, I don't want to have any major goals in mind. I know that I'll only end up disappointed if I hope for a time that I don't succeed in getting. I think that I'll say that I hope I can finish in under 10 minutes. That sounds completely doable (it isn't much below my steady pace).
All in all, if you're in Charlottesville this Thursday, you should come out for the run! Whether you are an experienced or novice runner, a mile is such a good starting point. In conjunction with the Healthy Living Expo, the Downtown Mile will be a remarkable event and a fun way to spend a Thursday evening. Plus, you get a shirt for doing the race (tech tee for the last events, I believe a regular shirt for the others), and who doesn't love shirts??
*Disclosure: I am being offered a free entry into the race, if I promote the event and write about my experience here.