Race #42 – One Mile that Matters

Check out the masked runners on the t-shirt design!

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.

I adore the company Natural Life ❤ and their words of widsom–especially this one


  1. I agree with your assessment of distance versus speed. I find the mile, and even 5K’s daunting. I’m far more comfortable at 10-mile to marathon pace. The mile, though, is a wonderful test and a reason to do a bit of speedwork building up to the event. Love this post.


    • Many thanks for reading & for your kind comments, Mary Lou! I completely agree with you on 5K’s–they often feel too short of a distance. But it’s good to dabble–and then go back to what feels most comfortable…. 🙂


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