Race #42: The Carlisle Downtown Mile
The Cause: The Employment Skills Center, Carlisle, PA
I average about 100 running miles per month, so you would think that a one mile race would be a piece of cake. But compared to my favorite race distance, the 13.1 miles of a half marathon, running a mile race is terrifying.
I’ve never focused on speed or time. I do get competitive with myself, aiming for PRs, at specific races. But the joy of running and the ability to benefit a great cause are my greater purposes.
And to be completely honest, I value endurance over speed any day. Yes, I respect super speedy athletes, but most sprinters have a completely different mindset than “runners,” meaning those of us who focus on distance. Running a mile (the 1600, in track) is the longest “sprint” there is.
The ability to endure, whether through a long distance race, or life itself, is much more meaningful and appealing to me. The only good thing I can say about running a mile is that it’s over pretty quickly.
So why on earth did I sign up to run a mile race? Especially one, minus the crowds and onsite competition, held virtually, as a solo run? Good question.
Number one, the love/hate challenge of it intrigued me. And number two, the cause compelled me to sign up. Because, even though it’s “only” a mile race, it benefits a cause that addresses life skills designed to go the distance.
Carlisle’s Employment Skills Center is one of the oldest centers of its kind in the entire state, with a track record of 50+ years. Their mission is focused on education and training to prepare individuals for better employment. Core offerings include Adult Literacy, Adult Basic Education, GED Preparation, and English as a Second Language (ESL), plus Nurse Aide Pre-Clinical Training, Workforce Development Training (meeting ever-changing needs in the community) and Computer Skills.
These programs are life-changing. The ability to provide (and earn) employable skills, translates into the ability to provide (and secure) jobs, which transform lives and communities.
So, I focused on speedwork (and I use that term loosely), once or twice a week, for about the past month. That is about the extent of my patience with speedwork, LOL.
My goal mile time? Back in December, for my mile-long Race #14, I ran almost exactly 8:00, so my goal was to meet or beat 8. I was really hoping for a cool August morning (is there such a thing?), this morning, but the weather didn’t do me any huge favors. My husband was unfortunately away, so I didn’t have a cheering squad either. There were no cow bells and no finish line photos. Still, all by my lonesome, running only against the clock, this 50-year old was able to pull out an 8:13. And I’m good with that.
Until August 19 that is. Because that’s when I’m running the Harrisburg Mile… and then, I swear I’m done with the mile. LOL
Just found out my time was good enough for 3rd in my age group, 50-59. How about that.