Each year, the Hal Canfield Memorial Mile is held on Labor Day. Last year was my first time participating, setting my PR at 8:14. I was disappointed with my time, because I knew I could do better. My major hang up was starting too fast. This year, I researched race strategies (Mr. Google is woefully lacking in this regard), asked friends, and came up with a pace plan.
Unfortunately, Jay brought home the crud, which I caught from him 3 days before the race. Not only was my body fatigued from the sickness, I also had a cough which came in fits any time I tried to take a deep breath. All this considered, I knew my performance would be affected. The only question was how badly.
Before the sickness, I wanted to best (quite significantly) the mile PR I set in this past spring's 5ks. In two races, I got in the 7:50 range. (7:50 and 7:51 to be specific). With the sickness, I just had to commit to doing my best, whatever that mean.
I did a slow and easy warm up of 1.5 miles. My breathing didn't suffer, but my energy was definitely lagging. I then set up my watch to lap on the 0.25 mile marker. One change from last year was making this an out and back race. The half way point would be clearly marked by the turn.
1st - 1:53
2nd - 2:00
3rd - 2:03
4th - 1:52
The final push was were energy stopped being the issue and breath really came into play. After a coughing fit in the finishing corral, I looked down at my watch to see my overall time.
Official time: 7:49
Not what I wanted, but its hard to be disappointed with a sick PR.