On Sunday I am running the Capitol Mile. It is a mile race around the beautiful capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Despite my fixation on the marathon, I also LOVE getting my speed on and racing the mile every summer. In fact, my boys and I have participated and/or trained for this race every year since 2006.*
We – along with several good friends – have been training for the Capitol Mile for the last 6 weeks with the Madison Fleet Feet Miler in Training. Every Tuesday night we meet up with our group at the track to get worked over by our two coaches. Unfortunately it has been a brutal training season with the heat. Due to cancellations and unexpected life craziness, the boys and I have only been able to run 2 of our workouts on the track with the group so far. Unfortunately, we just received word that tonight’s workout (our last one) is cancelled too due to the extreme predicted temps. That means I will be up and at ’em bright and early doing my workout on my own tomorrow (well, hopefully with my friend Michelle too). Despite the heat and other set backs, I have worked hard to make sure to get all of workouts in. I will be ready to race on Sunday!
With the race right around the corner, however, I have a dilemma and I am hoping that you will provide me with some advice. That’s right Salty readers, I need your help!
The race is run in several different heats. Every 15 minutes, a different group takes off. This is a lot of fun because it is a series of mini races and we can cheer everyone else on. Without a doubt, this race is one of my favorite events of the year to participate in and spectate. This year, the schedule is as follows:
1:00 Registration begins
2:00 Walk, led by the Achilles Track Club for athletes with disabilities
2:45 Mile Walk Awards
3:00 Kids Dash
3:15 Fast Race – Females
3:30 Fast Race – Males
3:45 Youth Girls Mile Run
4:00 Youth Boys Mile Run
4:15 Open Women’s Mile Run
4:30 Open Men’s Mile Run
4:45 Masters Men and Women Mile Run
5:00 Capitol Mile Awards and Door Prize Drawing
The race is 1.75 laps around the capitol square. The course starts out with a slight decline, turns into a decently fast decline, straightaway, decent uphill (a real killer if you start too fast), then downhill to flat finish.
My problem is I don’t know which heat I should run in. Typically I run in the Open Women’s heat, but this year they have a new seeding/heat for “Fast Race – Females.” The seed time is 6:15.
My goal is under that – whether realistic or not – but really, unless I go out WAY too fast and botch my race (which I do not plan to do), I should be at or below 6:15. Over the past 6 years I have been between 5:58 and 6:21. My 6:21 was the year I went out at a 5:40 pace through the first quarter and burned myself in the second half.
Here is where my thoughts are:
I want to go out in the fast group because:
- it is the fast group of course!!
- it will give me more competition
However, I am thinking that maybe I should stick with the open group because:
- I won’t be as likely to go out too fast
- I won’t come in last (I know that shouldn’t matter – but it does)
I realize either could work, and I am leaning toward the fast group (even if I do come in last), but I worry I will go out too fast. But in a race like this, competition is good. If all the sub-6:15 ladies are out, what good is it to race in the front of the pack with no one pushing you?!
I don’t know. I was going to ask my coaches and fellow Capitol Milers but I won’t see them tonight now that our workout is cancelled. So I would really appreciate your input! What would you do? This race is one of my big ones and I’d love your advice!
* Last year I did Tough Mudder and there is no way I could have run a mile – let alone race it – the next day, but my boys ran it!