Connecticut Irish Festival 5k

I ran the Connecticut Irish Festival 5k in North Haven, CT on Saturday 6/23.  I knew from the start this wasn’t going to be a PR race, with temps in the low 80s. I haven’t run in anything like that since last August.  I came through the first mile in 6:24, but after a 6:36 2nd mile, and a 6:33 3rd mile, I knew I would be well off my best.  I was in no mood to really kick it in at the end, and I finished the last .13 miles in about 46 seconds. My official time was 20:22(20:19 on my Garmin). There were a couple of bright spots, though. My 5 year old son ran his first race, a 600m fun run, and he had a blast. I also managed to keep my 5k AG award streak going.  I won the M30-39 age group, my 3rd AG win my last 4 5k races(I finished 3rdin the other one, which was actually where I set my current PR of 19:41). I didn’t feel great today, but I’ll take it! I got a nice trophy, and a $25 gift card to The Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton.  We actually used it today. I wanted to play mini-golf, but we ended up doing fun bowling, which was pretty cool , too. Have a great day, everyone!

Alex and Jenna before the Kids race. Jenna decided not to run, though

Alex is ready to start!

Look at that finishing kick!

A congratulatory hug from Jenna!

The start of my 5k. I swear I’m in this pic!

Nearing the finish

I won my AG again. I’ve won my AG 3 times in 5ks, and placed in 3 others. Someday, I want to get an award in a longer race!

a close up of the trophy

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New Jersey Marathon

This was quite an experience! I ran the New Jersey Marathon in Long Branch, NJ on Sunday May 6th. This was my first marathon, so I’ve really been looking forward to it. I think I learned a lot from this one! At the start of the day, I thought 3:25 would be a good stretch goal, and the weather was great(54° at the start),  so the 7:53 first mile felt nice and easy. Mile 2 was 7:34, but I knew I should back off a little, and I did. I settled into a nice rhythm over the first half coming through the half mark at 1:41:42. The next 3.5 miles went by uneventfully, and I was feeling confident that I could do this. I had also been taking in fluids at every hydration stop, so I THOUGHT I was staying on top of that, too(I was wrong, REALLY wrong).  I noticed I was slowing down at mile 16(8:12), but I still felt good, so I thought it may have just been a lapse in concentration. But by the next mile, I knew that wasn’t the case. My legs were about to pack it in. I started having  really bad cramps, and my only option was to try to walk them out while massaging my legs. I managed to work them out enough to run, but they kept coming back, so my splits kept climbing. It was a little disheartening to see so many people passing me near the end of the race(three different pace groups passed me in the last 10k), but I was still very happy to complete my first marathon, and give myself a time to crush in my second(10/7, Hudson River Marathon ). My official time was 3:43:36, so there was a pretty big positive split(almost 22 minutes!). Other than having an ambitious goal for a first marathon, hydration was clearly my undoing. I think I did a horrible job in the days leading up to the race, and taking in fluids at every station  know if wasn’t going to make up for it. And it wasn’t just water. I took Gatorade at most aid stations, or water when I downed a GU packet(I took three of those during the race). I don’t know if I would have hit 3:25, but without those cramps I feel like I could have finished quite a bit faster today( close to 3:30 maybe). Things got pretty interesting after the race(this is when I discovered how dehydrated I really was). I found my wife and kids, walked around for a few minutes, and then went to the bathroom. When I came out, I found a nearby sign, and put my head down. When that wasn’t good enough, I tried to lay down on the ground but I just collapsed. The EMS people were there almost instantly, asking questions, helping me onto the back of a truck, and taking me to the tent. I actually need assistance walking from the back of their truck into the tent! Apparently I was REALLY dehydrated, so they gave me fluids intravenously, and  my blood sugar was low, so they gave me some glucose(and a banana). The Dr. was also concerned that my HR was too low so they hooked me up to an ECG.  All while my wife and kids looked on(my son thought this was all incredibly cool, he had a huge smile on his face the entire time!). After my IV bag was done, and I seemed to be ok, they let me go. They just told me to make sure I ate something right away(that was definitely NOT going to be a problem), and try to take it easy.  What an adventure. Hopefully , I never have to go through that again. If I do, I’ll have no one to blame but myself. I’m feeling much better, but I’m going to give myself a lot of time to recover, and then training for Hudson River will start in early June(I’m also running a 5k in about 6 weeks, and a couple of other races later this Summer). Have a great day, everyone! Sorry this race report was so long! Here are the pics!

And we’re underway!

I think this was during mile 25. I was definitely hurting at this point. I think I spotted the camera right after this shot.

Hello cameraman. My legs are about to explode, but I’ll pretend to be happy!

Less than a mile to go

My attempt to kick it in was met with more cramps. Ouch!

Both legs cramping at the same time. Pain. Lots of pain.

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Danbury Half Marathon

I ran the Danbury Half Marathon on 4/1. This was my first chance to run a race in my current hometown. The weather was perfect, too. I think it was 44° at the start. At first, I was disappointed with my results, but after looking back on the race, I’m feeling a lot better about it. It was a very hilly course, I didn’t taper at all, and that was my third consecutive 50+ mile week. 1:34 was not going to happen. My Garmin battery was also dead(my daughter went into my bedroom and turned it on the night before), so I had to use an app on my phone(Cardiotrainer). I’m not used to carrying my phone in a race, so this threw me off a little bit. I accidentally paused the run at around 7.6 miles, so I only have accurate splits for the first 7 miles. That cost me some time, too. I didn’t realize I had slowed down when the app was paused. By the time I noticed, I had probably dropped about 40 seconds or so. And that was before I hit the hilliest part of the course! Luckily, they were shouting times at most of the mile markers, but the damage had been done. My goal for the day quickly went from 1:34, to 1:36, to just PR. I did manage to pick it up a little over the last 2 miles and finish in 1:37:10, a new PR by 1:33. My splits for the first 7 miles were 7:28,6:50,6:55,6:54,7:02,7:25,7:16. I wasn’t able to see my splits as I was running so I didn’t know how much I had sped up in miles 2-4. If I could have kept those miles at around 7:05-7:10, this would have been a much more enjoyable experience. As I was finishing, I heard someone yelling my name. I looked over, and there was fellow Dailymiler Chris, whose wife was also running the half! It was great meeting you, Chris! Take care, everyone! Less than weeks until the NJ Marathon(and less than one week until taper!)!

Smile!

I really HATED carrying that phone. My arm was sore for the rest of the day!

With Chris after the race. I had sweat in my eyes, but Megan snapped the pic anyway!

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Old Corner Café 5k

I ran the Old Corner Café St. Patrick’s Day 5k in Naugatuck, CT on Saturday March 10th. The wind chill was around 22° at the start of the race.  When I arrived to check in, they couldn’t find my bib, but luckily the race was chip timed. They told me it wouldn’t be an issue, and thankfully it wasn’t. I had a chance to warm up on the course before the race, so I knew it was pretty much flat(just a few subtle elevation changes). I wanted to get off to a decent start so that I could make a run at a new PR. The first mile was fairly uneventful, just a loop on the roads near the Café. For the second mile we went into a small park by the Naugatuck river for a couple of loops. This is where I probably lost a little bit of time. The first loop was fine, but during the second loop there was a bit more congestion as we tried to pass runners just starting their first loop. I had to run on the grass and gravel next to the paved trail a few times, and the footing was slightly uneven, so I may have lost a few seconds. For the third mile, we were back on the road for another loop before finishing.  Someone tried to pass me with about .6 miles to go, but he made his move a little too early, and faded back. I surged to try to catch a runner ahead of me, but I ran out room. I crossed the finished line and stopped my Garmin at 19:38, but my official time was 19:41(there was no mat at the start, just the finish), a PR by 5 seconds.  My splits were: 6:25, 6:19, 6:22, and .1 miles in 32 seconds. I finished 17th overall, and 3rd in my AG. All AG award winners over 21 years old received pint glasses, which was pretty cool. They had Corned Beef Hash and hot dogs in the Café at the finish, but I missed out on the Hash(I ran my cool down before I went in to eat).  Overall, I’m happy with this race. Marathon training was beginning to make me wonder where I was at speed-wise, so it was nice to get out and race. I just wish I’d gone out a little harder. I think I was racing to squeak out a PR, and not to see what I was really capable of. I have one more race before the NJ Marathon, and it’s a half marathon (Danbury) in 2 weeks. I’m really looking forward to that one now. Have a great day, everyone!

Holding up my AG award, a pint glass(no free pint, though)!

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20 Miler

I ran my first 20 miler today! I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt today. I’m actually starting to feel like I’m a little more prepared to run a marathon. I’m certainly not ready yet, but this is definitely a big step in the right direction. I still think I might tweak my finish time goal(or ditch it completely). The McMillan calculator might show it as being feasible, but I think it’s fairly ambitious. My run next Sunday calls for 16 miles w/ 12 at marathon pace. I’ll have a better idea of what to do after that one(I hope). Enjoy the Oscars. Or the NBA All Star game. Or “Walking Dead”(that’s what I’ll be watching)!

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Boston Buildup 10k and Marathon News!

Ok, so this is really late, but I ran the Boston Buildup 10k on 1/8. This was my second consecutive year doing it, and I was fairly happy with the result. I was hoping for a sub 42 finish, but the hills in the 2nd half of the race got the better of me, and I finished in 43:01(Garmin time was 42:56. I knew I should have started closer to the line). It was 44 degrees at the start, and I felt pretty good. I wanted to get off to a fast start, because I knew the first 2+ miles were really downhill, and the last 2.5 miles were mostly uphill. I’m guessing the hills probably cost me around 30 seconds, but that still would have been well short of my goal of sub 42. Slits were 6:35, 6:24, 6:51, 7:01, 7:11,7:27, and the final .25 in 1:26. Mile 2 looks a little too fast, but there was an elevation drop of around 90 feet in that mile(and an elevation gain of over 100 feet from mile 5 to 5.75). I might run another 10k in March(on a course that’s not as hilly), so hopefully I can get sub 42 then. And I got a chance to say hello to fellow DM’er Shira before the race(we actually just became friends on DM the day before!).

In other news, I’m also training for my first marathon! I’m running the New Jersey marathon on May 6th in Long Branch, NJ. I’m actually already in week 3 of my training. I’m using the Pfitzinger 18/55 plan. My preliminary goal(besides finishing) is 3:20, which might be a bit too ambitious, but I’ll stick with it for now.  Have a great day, everyone! Here are a couple of pics from the race.

Eyeing the clock, try to come in under 43. I'll get it next time.

I really thought I had it at this point.

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Ted Corbitt 15k

I ran the Ted Corbitt 15k in Central Park on 12/17.  I was hoping to finish close to 1:04, but I faded a bit in the final 5k. It was around 30 degrees at the start, and I was feeling pretty good.  I think I did a good job of not going out too fast. My first mile was 7:05, 14 seconds behind my stretch goal(1:04), so I thought I would be ok. I made up time over the next three miles, and by the time I finished mile 4, I was only a few seconds off. But after the next hill, I just started to lose a little steam each mile for the rest of the race. It was strange because there weren’t any big hills, but there were enough constant elevation changes that I was never able to get into a groove. I thought I might still have a shot at 1:05:30, but I didn’t do a great job of running tangents(Garmin was probably a little off, too), so I ended up logging 9.45 miles in 1:06:29(that was my chip time and my Garmin time). My splits were:7:05,6:39,6:56,6:49,7:05,7:04,7:12,7:22,7:18, and the final .45 in 2:56. It would be easy to say that mile 8 killed me, but I really should have picked it up in mile 7(and mile 2 was about 10 seconds too fast). I think I could have, but I just didn’t. Oh well. I have a 10k on 1/8, and now I’m really looking forward to it. My current 10k PR is 44:45(set last May), and my 10k split from this race was 43:07. Hopefully I can start next year off with a big PR!

Happy to be finished! GO BLUE!!!

A floater! Woohoo!

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