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Middletown Half

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Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:42 am

The Hartford Marathon Foundation sponsors a number of other events, and last year introduced a 4 mile "Legends" run that featured Amby Burfoot, Bill Rodgers and Jeff Galloway. They did it in Middletown, CT, which is right across the river from where I live, and tied it to Wesleyan University's presence there, because those guys ran there back in the day. This year they added a half. I wasn't going to run it, because I run the roads that make up the course sometimes and they are pretty hilly, and I wasn't training for a half this Spring, though I've been logging some solid miles generally. Then, a week or two ago, I broke down and decided that I couldn't not run a half marathon that was so convenient (10 minute drive away), so signed up.

We were blessed with beautiful weather, and the race had a late (11:30 a.m.) start, so it was easy to get up, get ready, get over there, do what needed doing, and line up. I didn't go looking for Amby, Bill or Jeff, though they were there somewhere. Probably would have been easy to find them, because there were only a couple of thousand runners combined in the two races. I decided the best I could run this would be to maybe break 1:50, though I doubted I could do that. My best ever is 1:45 something, from a few years ago, and I ran a half in late February this year (a really hilly and somewhat icy one) at just under 2:00, and realized at the end of that one that I couldn't have run it much faster. So, I had pretty good data points to narrow down my target result.

The course is hilly. You can see below (I hope) where I pasted in a comparison of the official elevation chart provided by the race's website, along with the elevation data off my Garmin. Lots of ups and downs. It starts uphill, and I figured that was a good opportunity to start nice and slow with the crowd, and then just let it unwind a bit and see how it went. I missed one split (the two mile marker, cleverly hidden by the water station - I miss stuff like that all the time in races!), and the last split (see below) is the final 1.1.

I felt good the whole way, until at about mile 10, when I started feeling the almost-cramping in my calves. Clearly just the result of fatigue, but I knew this would limit my ability to accelerate through the final miles, and it did. Still, I was pleased to finish at 1:52:16. Based on how I felt at the end, I knew I couldn't have squeezed much more out of myself.

I read this morning that the dozen or so guys in the lead pack took a wrong turn early in the race, and that they somehow managed to get them through the course without making their run any longer (must have been by running one of the different loops in the wrong order, I guess). I'm not sure how they could have done that - I know the course map provided was pretty good for most of the course. But a good reminder to anyone who might ever lead the pack - know the course! Not a problem for me.

I think I'll target another half in a month or two and see if I can get closer to my PR before I start training for a Fall marathon in earnest. I notice that hitting a PR is getting a lot harder to do as I run through the second half of my 50s...


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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Jim Lentz on Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:53 am

Great job on the half marathon!
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Alex Kubacki on Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:53 am

Great job Michael on a hilly course. Plenty of Halfs out there now so I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding one.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:35 am

Congrats Michael on a well run race!  Knowing the area, there is no doubt that it is indeed hilly!
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:33 pm

@Jim Lentz wrote:Great job on the half marathon!

Thanks Jim! Terrific weather sure helped.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:34 pm

@Alex Kubacki wrote:Great job Michael on a hilly course. Plenty of Halfs out there now so I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding one.

Thanks Alex, and I hope Boston goes well for you.

I just signed up for the half in Simsbury on June 1 (Iron Horse), which I PR'd on five years ago. We'll see what I have left...
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:35 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Congrats Michael on a well run race!  Knowing the area, there is no doubt that it is indeed hilly!

Thanks Michele - yes it is a lot of up and down. The next one I do will be a little flatter.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  John Kilpatrick on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:19 pm

Nice job Michael!

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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:51 pm

@John Kilpatrick wrote:Nice job Michael!

Thanks John!
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:11 pm

Looking through the results tonight, I see that I beat Amby and Jeff by more than 35 minutes. Was it just that they were sighseeing, or maybe Jeff walked too much?? Very Happy 
Also, I noticed that there was a runner with the last name "Bonk." Really. No wonder she took so long to finish.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  fostever on Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:12 am

Way to leave it all on the course, excellent race!
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Jerry on Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:06 pm

Good race, Michael. Get a flat course for your next one.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  mountandog on Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:59 pm

@Jerry wrote:Good race, Michael. Get a flat course for your next one.

down hill is even better.  Congrats!
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:39 pm

@mountandog wrote:
@Jerry wrote:Good race, Michael. Get a flat course for your next one.

down hill is even better.  Congrats!

Thanks - last net downhill I ran didn't go so well (Clarence Demar marathon in NH). Of course, that had more to do with the GI shitstorm issue...
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:39 pm

@Jerry wrote:Good race, Michael. Get a flat course for your next one.

Thanks Jerry. Tough to find flat around here. The one I signed up for on June 1 is "sort of" flat. I'll take it.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:40 pm

@fostever wrote:Way to leave it all on the course, excellent race!

Thanks. I am getting pretty good at finishing strong, but exhausted.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  nkrichards on Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:42 pm

Nice job...that has to be a confidence booster.
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Re: Middletown Half

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:18 pm

@nkrichards wrote:Nice job...that has to be a confidence booster.

Yup, makes me feel like I can at least come close to a pr at this distance, still.
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