‘Proof is in Pace’ is what greeted me when I walked into Mile End’s Track for Nike’s first ever Time Trail event. It was in huge letters on a banner and when I saw it I realised I may have underestimated this event. I expected it to be a normal run except that the run would only be a mile. But instead Nike treated it like a race with bibs with electronic chips in them, a DJ (the incredible Tana), and food tents. All this managed to terrify me and thrill me. It was exciting and scary and a huge amount of fun.
The whole point of this session was for people to push themselves and run their fastest mile. When I signed up (for free I might add) we all had to choose what we thought we would be capable off. I chose 8 minutes. More than anything I wanted to run a mile under 8 minutes. Did I do it? Well you will have to read on to find out….
Because of the time I selected I was in the third group to run. While Groups 1 and 2 ran, we were warmed up by British Athletics Coach James Brewer. It was as I was warming up with him that my whole body started to ache. I would feel the pain that cartwheel caused in my right hamstring, how over compensating for this pain was causing my left knee to hurt, how the chair at work made my hip ache. I was not looking forward to the race. Not at all. But there was no way I was going to pull out. Those four-and-a-bit laps of the track were going to be run, whether my body liked it or not.
The gun went off and I started to run. Each group was chaperoned by two Nike pacers who assured us that they were going to maintain a steady 8 minute mile pace. Yet as soon as people started running it was pretty obvious that this was a very fast pace but I needed that fast pace to get me below that 8 minute mile. I can’t tell you how much my hamstring hurt by the time the last lap came around and I knew that in comparison to laps 1 and 2, lap 3 had been so slow. So slow. So for the fourth and final lap I picked up the pace and proved my pace.
The cheering of the other runners really pushed me and it was thanks to them that I managed to run my fastest ever mile – in 7.57 minutes! I am so over the moon with that – if it wasn’t for three seconds then I would have been very disappointed. After the cool down we made our way to the food tents where O-Food were waiting for us with their delicious vegan salads. Lentils, avocado, red cabbage, greens, omega seeds, all with the most delicious vinegar dressing ever and some rye bread was my dinner last night. And it was delicious.
I also spoke to a Nike pacer (very cute, hope I see him again!) and he mentioned how this was the first of four time trial sessions Nike have planned for this year. James Brewer also mentioned that the rest of the session will take place on different surfaces. Now that I have this one under my belt and know that I can do it I am really looking forward to these future