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New Haven 20K labor day road race report – 2010

I ran this race last year and it was my last race shod, a week after the race I took my first barefoot run, and the rest is history. I had a somewhat uncertain goal for this race to beat last years time, the difference I would be running it barefoot. Last years time was 1:35:07, pace 7:39. I really didn’t know if I could achieve this, but I was going to try. I was having a few good tempo runs in the 7:30 pace a month prior to the race, but the question was can I maintain it for 12.4 miles.

I got somewhat of a decent sleep the night before the race, as of now I am probably averaging 5 hours of sleep due to various late night feedings for my two month old son. I usually don’t sleep well before a race anyways. I woke up at 6:30am and it was about 60 degrees out, i knew it was going to be perfect running weather. By race time which was 8:40am, it was about 75 degrees, just perfect.

There was about 2700 people running the 20k, it was a great turnout. So the race starts, already I wish I moved up closer to the front to avoid all that stop and go, the first mile was basically weaving in and out trying to establish some open space so I can get into my groove. It took me until the first mile marker to really settle in and things started to open up, I noticed I was around a 9:00 min/pace, but that had to change quick in order for me to achieve my goal, so I really picked up the pace to make up for the lost time.

Jump to the 5 mile mark my time was 37:15, I was pleased where I was at now. I don’t wear a garmin, just an Timex Ironman watch, but my last tempo run I did 4 days before race day was a 5 miler with a time of 37:05, so I knew it was good. Now could I hold this pace?

Mile 7,8,9 I knew I was slowing down, but there is always a low point in a run, and I was hoping this was it and I could break out of it. Miles 8 and 9 were my worse miles of the race, I don’t know what it was but I just felt off, got really tired, and kind of lost my groove. Luckily I snapped out of it at mile 10.

Right at the start of mile 10 is the second hill of the race, I had to take advantage of this. I consider myself a pretty strong hill climber, so I switched gears, and started to pass people. I knew this was the last hill then it was all straight roads until the finish. That little boost was what I needed to dig down deep and really increase my pace again.

By mile 11 I was feeling really good, had a very fast pace going The last two miles are downtown, so there are a lot of spectators and the crowd energy is awesome. Mile 12 still holding strong, it’s a complete straightaway to the finish line. The last mile was the most fun, the crowd energy was incredible, and all the runners are just trying to maintain or go all out. I start surging even more, and had enough gas in the tank to increase my pace again, I wish I had a garmin at the point to see where I was pace wish. The last 1/2 mile was almost like sprint.

Cross the finish line! I totally forgot to look at the race clock when I crossed the finish line, but my watch said 1:33:46. I think I reached my goal! But I really wanted to wait for the official race times. So I go to the beer tent to get my free Red Hook beer.  Noting like a cold beer after running, the best post-drink ever if you ask me.

I get home, shower, and gather up the family to head out for lunch. Got home, go online to check for the race results and they were posted. My official time was 1:34:37 – Pace 7:37. I achieved my goal,I beat last years shod time. That was my last race for the summer and couldn’t think of better way to end it.






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