Sunday, March 30, 2008

The History of #3

I went to the book store today, and picked up a copy of, My Side of the Mountain, and while looking for, The Art of War, came across another book that I thought would help. I picked up, The Perfect Mile, which chronicles the efforts of three individuals to break the 4 minute mile.

Running the mile, to me has always been one of my favorite things. It goes back to 3rd grade. At the end of the year we had a mini skills day at my school. The school was so small we only had one class per grade. My class maybe had 8-12 boys in it. While I was fairly athletic, I was not good at most of the skill competitions that they had.

The one I excelled in was the mile. Due to my best friend, Nate Wolff, I can't say that I have ever won a mile race. I did come in second a lot. It was my one ribbon on skills day in elementary school.

This spilled over into Middle and High School. In Middle School we had a track day. Where both middle schools, Birnamwood and Wittenberg would come together and you could compete in Track and Field events. Here again I looked forward to the mile as my time to shine, I would come in second to Nate, but loved in none the less. My favorite moment here, and my favorite mile, was when my father, a middle school teacher, ran the mile with us. I was in eight grade at the time, new my father ran on a regular basis, and also new that I couldn't lose to my father. I again came in second that year, and my dad came in third.

In High School the mile got more competitive. I now ran against other schools. So finishing second to Nate, typically didn't happen anymore. He still came in first, I was now a couple of spots back. High School is where I ran my fastest mile. I ran a 4:51 at the conference meet my sophomore year. I came in 6th.

My Junior year, I seemed to upset my coach, and I was not run in the mile again in high school. I will never know how fast I could have run it then.

My ultimate goal is to run a mile under 4:51. I figured that under 5:30 by 30 is a good start.

A lot of people wonder why I love the mile. I will watch Track on TV, just to see them run the mile. The mile to me, is one one of the most challenging races. You need to be fast, and have endurance. You need to learn when to kick, when to draft, when to run with the pack, and when to leave them behind. All races under a mile come down to speed. How fast can you go and for how long. You don't have time to make a mistake, because you just run. Any race over a mile, and it comes down to endurance. You can relax for parts of the race, run as a group, and burn off the laps until it is time to kick. You can make a mistake here, and still recover.

The mile is, the Perfect Race.

So I hope that the book brings me inspiration. Helps me keep going when I want to stop. People used to say it was impossible to break 4 minutes in the mile. They said you would die trying. People also thought the world was flat and that George W Bush would be a good president. I am sure there a people who don't think I can dunk a basketball or run a 5:30 mile, or lose weight. When I complete my 30 by 30 and shed 30-40 pounds, they will be the ones wondering what they have accomplished.

1 comment:

Revenant said...

mile: distance at a sprint. It is pretty damn hard.