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37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

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37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:07 pm

This summer I've been training for Chicago, after spending the spring running half marathons. I'm running Hal's Int II, and have added Yasso repeats to it on Wednesdays. I also started the mileage a little higher than the plan, and made the ramp up to the peak a little more gradual. It's been a good summer of running.

I registered for the New Haven 20K because I've run it before and like the race, my buddy was running in it, and I was looking for a bit of a test effort in advance of Chicago. One problem with the race is that it is often way too hot. True to form, during the race yesterday, temps were between 77-80 degrees, with a dew point of 73. Merciless. This was one of the few races I've run where the elite runners (this is the national championship for the 20K, so there are some serious folks among the two thousand finishers) actually admitted during their post-race interviews that the conditions greatly affected them and significantly slowed their pace. It was a mess out there.

I knew enough to carefully pace this. The last half marathon I ran in the spring (June) came in at 1:48, and training has gone well since then, so originally I had my sights set on maybe breaking 1:40 in this 20K. When I saw the forecast (and got a preview of conditions the day before the race), I scaled it way back. Plan was to go out slow, speed up to something that felt sustainable, and hope to have enough left for a final blast at the end. I had my doubts while standing in the chute during the anthem - I hadn't done anything yet, and I could feel the sweat rolling down my back!

I hydrated well, took in some salt, paced carefully and just paid attention to how I was feeling, and it worked out pretty well. Maintained splits in the 8:30ish range for much of the race, slowed down for the big hill in mile 10, and was able to goose it at the end (broke 8:00 for mile 12), for a strong finish. Came in at 1:47:48, which was just fine given the conditions. During mile 11, I went past two guys, both of whom looked pretty fit, who had collapsed along the course, and were being attended to by the EMTs, and there were lots of sirens going off around us. After the finish, I watched some of the runners still coming in, and there were lots of wobbly legs, and another collapse about a quarter mile short of the finish. Yikes.

They should move the start time up to 5:00 a.m.!
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:06 pm

Isn't that always the case, Michael - the weather hits right for the big race.  Nice job handling the challenging conditions out there.  It wasn't so bad in western NY where I was, but watching many of the US Open players have issues in the heat really brought it home.  I think you are ready for anything now.
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  Jim Lentz on Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:40 pm

Nice job with that type of humidity!
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  ounce on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:01 pm

Yes, Michael, well done (speaking to the effort, not how you were cooked Wink ).

It's bad enough running in 77/73 temperatures with no sun, but to have ran it with daylight is another horse altogether.
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:01 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Isn't that always the case, Michael - the weather hits right for the big race.  Nice job handling the challenging conditions out there.  It wasn't so bad in western NY where I was, but watching many of the US Open players have issues in the heat really brought it home.  I think you are ready for anything now.

It does seem that some races are jinxed, 1L! Thanks.
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:02 pm

@Jim Lentz wrote:Nice job with that type of humidity!

Thanks Jim. My wife is always giving me grief about how (in general) I should take it easier. So, on the ugly hot day yesterday, after I'd run the race, she asked me whether it wasn't about time I repaved the driveway yesterday afternoon. Ha! I do hate the humidity!
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:03 pm

@ounce wrote:Yes, Michael, well done (speaking to the effort, not how you were cooked Wink ).

It's bad enough running in 77/73 temperatures with no sun, but to have ran it with daylight is another horse altogether.

Oz - as I was watching some of the stragglers come in, the guy standing next to me wondered out loud how people managed to train in places like Florida. I said think about Houston! I don't know how you folks in TX get by with this craziness, and yes, it's as bad there at night as it is here during the day sometimes!
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  fostever on Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:20 pm

Nice controlled smart effort, congrats!
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Re: 37th Annual New Haven Road Race 20K

Post  KBFitz on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:07 am

Well Michael, we couldn't escape the whole summer without at least one blast of humidity. Looks like you got it there and we're getting it here in the Mid-Atlantic. You fared well by dialing the pace back. Well done. This bodes well for your fall racing season.
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