The Mile: A New Running High

My name’s Dan and I’m a runner-holic.  Like many people, I dabbled  when I was at university and then had years on the wagon.  Then 5 years ago I got into a crowd who were doing it and whilst it started as just a recreational thing, I’m now hooked.  I’ve never tried the hard stuff (26.2M is too strong for me) instead preferring to use 10K and Half to get my running highs.  That is, until I was tempted by an old fashioned, quicker hit that is coming back into popular use.

I’ve always been aware of The Mile but I was never tempted to give it a try until earlier this year.  There was a heap of hysteria surrounding the 60th year since it became a worldwide favourite and I got caught in the excitement.

Keen to give it a go, but nervous, I thought it’d be best to try it out with a group of other people so I put word out and found over 60 people who wanted to give it a try too.

So in May I tried The Mile for the first time.  Many different experiences were shared by the group and whilst some people were happy with trying it once I was already thinking where my next hit would come from.

I didn’t have to wait long.  I decided to travel to London in June in the search of a more refined example of The Mile.  The City of London Mile provided me with a higher high, a bigger buzz.  There was no turning back.  Before returning back home I was already googling where I could feed my new addiction.  Again, I wouldn’t have to wait long and this time I wouldn’t have to travel as far.

Yesterday I travelled the short distance into Oxford to try yet another version of The Mile.  This time I was putting myself well outside my comfort zone.  I would be trying the purest form of this running high; The Track Mile.

Not one to do things by half, I’d decided to take my first Track hit at the iconic home of The Mile: Iffley Road.  I was hoping this would enhance my experience but nervous that I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

I had nothing to be nervous about.  I was joined with about a dozen or so others; most of who, like me, were doing this for the first time.  We nervously moved towards the white line put our heads down and waited for the BANG!

Unlike the unrefined road version, The Track Mile, has 4 distinct but very quick phases:

First comes an instant injection of excitement.  My heart raced, my breathing became heavy and my thoughts jumbled.  A huge smile started to spread on my face.  This is awesome, I thought, but it wouldn’t last.

Suddenly doubt and paranoia took over.  Is my heart going to explode?  Can my lungs cope?  Am I going too fast?  What have I done?  Why didn’t I just stick with what I know?

Then a calm serenity washed over me.  I reassured myself I was fine.  My heart and lungs were still pumping but I was in control again.  All I could focus on were the white lines that stretched out in front.

The sound of a bell rang in my ears and things started to get tough.  This was make or break: would I get my high or would I wipe out.  I pushed my heart, lungs and legs to continue through the pain.

And then the pain was replaced with an ecstatic euphoria!

This is what I’d come for.

My heart was pounding, my lungs were clawing for air, my legs were burning but it didn’t matter.  My mind was empty of everything but that high.

And what a high!  It was so intense but so short lived.  I hadn’t even stepped of the track before the cravings for more began.  My body wouldn’t cope with another hit so soon; it’s so intense.

It won’t ever replace my go-to highs of 10K and Half completely but the buzz of The Mile is unique so I’m not going to be able to walk away from The Mile.  I’m hooked!

I don’t want to lead you astray but I wouldn’t want you to miss out on a special buzz.  No matter what distance you would normal use to get your running high I have to recommend you try The Mile.  I guarantee* you’ll love it!

* unfortunately this guarantee cannot be honoured  as at the time of writing I may or may not still be under the influence of the running high

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