I know, to the runners out there a 10 minute mile isn’t a big accomplishment. To me, it’s HUGE.
I am not a runner, heck, I’m lucky to be a jogger. Blame it on short legs, small lungs, or the rain but I can’t run to save my life (and fortunately I haven’t had to). I have always had a great amount of respect for those who can and have admired how they’re able to look so cheetah-like as they’re pounding the pavement or the treadmill.
Wanting to push myself a little I set a goal of being able to run a 10 minute mile. Usually I do a mile in about 12 minutes so this would definitely be progress.
The other night I got on the treadmill and started to jog at my normal pace of 4.5 MPH. For whatever reason, it felt very easy and very good. I wondered, could this be THE night? Could I kick it up and see if I could actually get in a 10 min mile?? I pushed my speed it to 6.5 MPH and was surprised that it was actually very doable. Well, for the first 4 or so minutes. Then I became so winded that I had to kick it down to 5 MPH. Darn it, my goal just fell through my fingers, better luck next time. Again, something great happened, after 45 seconds or so though I felt good again and rejuvenated. I’m no math wiz but I did figure out at this point I could still get the 10 minute mile, I would just have to really crank it up. So after some (very moving and captivating) inner dialogue, to 8 MPH I went.
I don’t know why, but running 8 MPH actually seemed easier than 6.5. I definitely started to get winded but I just focused on other things and before I knew it the odometer said 1.02 miles and the clock was at 9:56. I actually did my 10 minute mile. Hallelujah!
Seriously, I felt that I should get an award or something. I was looking for Bob Costas expecting to do our interview and planning my victory speech. The thrill of doing something that I never really felt I could do was just amazing.
So, now just a few pats on the back and on to the next challenge. Two ten minute miles back to back? A nine minute mile???
Since the beginning of running, four minute miles were though to be impossible, this was confirmed by both scientific and athletic communities. Then in 1954 Roger Bannister ran the first four minute mile and within months others were doing the same. It’s now the standard for professional middle distance runners. Just goes to show you that sometimes the only obstacle is in our mind.