Yesterday I ran a brand new race – The Humboldt Mile. Some co-workers and I have been getting pumped for the Chase Corporate Challenge (which is this Thursday!) and one of them was planning to do the Humboldt Mile with some friends from her gym, so she extended the invitation. A few of us decided it’d be fun and signed up as well.
And it was well worth the $20 entry fee for a variety of reasons!
Concept: First of all, the concept of a 1-mile race is something unique if not on a track…which you usually only get the chance to race during high school or college. So that was enough to make me want to do it. I haven’t raced anything shorter than a 5k since college. I’ve done some 1-mile or 2-mile repeats as part of longer workouts, but not raced. So I really just wanted to see how fast I could go if I was trying for an all-out effort.
Shirt: Nike Dri-Fit! This type of race shirt is my favorite, and I think I’ve only gotten them from any of the Bank of America races. (Chicago Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle) And actually from the Columbus Marathon way back in 2011 pre-blogging days. I’ve done races that cost $80+ that come with a crappier, no-name brand race shirt. So this was definitely a bonus for me.
Cause: The Humboldt Mile was put on in conjunction with Hope For The Day, which supports starting a conversation around suicide prevention. So that was a cause I could get behind.
Pre-Race Organization: I had never been to Humboldt Park before, but getting there was super easy! Jenn, Danielle, and I just took the North Ave bus straight over, which dropped us off right at the park. I checked a bag (no line), used the bathroom (no line), socialized, took some photos, and then made our way over to the starting area when they called us over.
Race: Another co-worker, Mitch, was in the same heat as me, so I found him at the start line and just chatted while we waited. There were a little over 500 finishers total of the Humboldt Mile and when we registered, you had to choose 1 of 3 heats – the first being competitive and the other 2 being more for fun or walking. Mitch and I chose the competitive heat (Jenn and Danielle were in the 2nd one) and each were thinking we could come close to 6 minutes.
I ran the 1st mile of the Shamrock Shuffle a few months ago in 6:36, so I knew I should definitely be under 6:30. But like I said, I haven’t raced an all-out mile, or even really done mile repeats in a long time. I had done 2-mile repeats recently, but those were at 6:55 pace at their fastest. And included 3 sets of 2 mile repeats, so not exactly a way to judge my 1 mile speed.
In Orange Theory, I do my “All Out” pace at a 6:00 pace, but we never hold the all-out pace for more than a minute at a time. So I wasn’t sure if I could do it for a full 6 minutes. But yeah, that was my goal, to just get as close to 6:00 as possible. And I also wanted to race people! I don’t really get the chance to “race” in the longer races because it’s more just a race against yourself. But I did get a little bit of that feeling during some of the shorter races I did last fall, like the Hot Chocolate 5k.
So…back to the race. Right upon starting, I could tell this was going to hurt. The first 100m or so (there were no markers) felt rough, like I was sooo not used to that speed. Oh wait, let’s back up a tad to my pre-race.
I did not do any type of warm-up or strides right before the race, that’s probably why it felt so hard to get moving at the beginning. I did, however, do a 40-minute run in the morning before getting on the bus to head over to the Humboldt Mile. Basically so I could get in a little warm-up and have more mileage for the day. Ok, now back to the race…
The Humboldt Mile course was like a horseshoe shape or a “U”- out for about a third of a mile, across for about a third, and then back for a third. There were no markers, so I wasn’t sure how far in we were because I didn’t run the course beforehand, which maybe I should have done. I looked at my watch for the first time when I was at 2:30. Then some guy’s watch beeped at one point and I figured he had set it for half-mile splits so I checked my own watch and was at 3:04.
I looked at my watch again when I was around 4:30 and just did what I could to push it to the end. These last quarter-ish is where I really started to race people because there were a few girls ahead of me that I could tell were slowing down and I just really wanted to cruise past, so that’s what I did. It felt fun to feel like I was racing!
I crossed the line in 6:18 and was somewhat disappointed I wasn’t closer to 6:00, but given I haven’t exactly done training for this short of a distance, it was as good as I could’ve hoped!
Post-Race: My only complaint about this race was that they did not have water at the finish. They did have a water station back where all the pre-race stuff was set-up, but that was probably a 200m walk from the finish line, so I would’ve liked to see the water station right by the finish.
Other than that though, there was a coffee station sponsored by Dark Matter Coffee giving free mini iced coffees which was super clutch and a few other sponsors like Kind Bars and Revolution Brewery. Unfortunately I was not in the mood for beer just yet. I could not stop coughing after this race. I don’t think my lungs were prepared for that type of intensity over a longer period of time than I’m used to. Gotta build up that VO2 max!!
And then we followed up the race with brunch at Feast in Wicker Park.
Have you done a race shorter than a 5k since high school or college?
What is your favorite type of race t-shirt to get?