This past Wednesday evening, it was time to see if we were able to “get fly” and test our mile time at the Nike Get Fly Relay.
I got to the track at Lake Shore Park around 6:30pm to find my team, check in and get ready.
The set up was pretty neat. Each team had custom bibs and a baton with their team name, and Nike had pairs of the Fly Knit Frees that runners could test out for the night (the four of us were wearing the free pairs we got when we did our Professor Pierce workout). There was a gear check, a stage with a DJ hyping up the crowd, and post race snacks (water, bananas, granola bars). There were two [chip-timed] starts on each side of the track [the chips were on the batons], which I was glad to see. I was worried with it being a 4 lane track, and 25 teams, that we would be there for awhile. Luckily we only did two heats, and the running started at 7pm and was done by 8:15 or so.
We got a “schedule” but I couldn’t really decipher it, so I wasn’t exactly sure when I would be running. We were team 5, so I guess I thought we’d be going 5th? We decided our order would be me, Erin, Jennifer, Erica. Being first, it probably would have been a good idea to ask what time I could expect to be running. Because while I was trying to post our team pic to Instagram, someone (Erin?) shoved the baton in my hands was like “Maggie, you’re #1 … line up!!!!” or something to that effect. Oh, so we’re in the first heat. So I didn’t get a chance to warm up.
But this was all just for fun, so fun I would have!
I think there were 8 teams starting on each side at the same time for the first heat. But the track never felt crowded (it’s usually much more crowded on a typical weeknight). There were clocks at both start areas, so between those and my Garmin (which I was using more as a stopwatch because the satellites are bad with the skyscrapers), I could keep track of my pace. I think I ran my inital mile time trial in 7:25, but my fastest mile ever was like 7 minutes flat, so my goal was to get under 7 minutes. So, I had to stay under 1:45 for each lap. I was also wearing my heart rate strap. However, I have no experience racing such a short distance, and I did no warm up, so I didn’t really have a plan for my heart rate.
My first lap was 1:35. A little fast. I forgot to lap myself after #2, so laps 2 and 3 were 3:35. A little slow. For the last lap, I told myself to pick it up – it’s just one lap around the track. I clocked it in 1:40, for a final time of 6:50! I beat my goal!
And now it was time to cheer on my teammates!
Cheering on / taking pictures of Erin
Jennifer handing off to Erica
Erica finishing strong
Heat 2 taking off
Official time – we took over two minutes off our combined time! Source.
After the second heat was done was a short awards ceremony. The fastest team finished in 19-something (no surprise – they were made up of members of the Fleet Feet Racing Team). The most improved team took 6 mintues off their combined time. Think of that what you will. (And there were prizes involved, more Nike swag, although I’m not sure what.)
Overall, it was a fun program, and I’m glad we participated. I got some Nike swag, I got to work out with a personal trainer who I assume is $$$$ to hire on my own … And I now have an offically timed mile!