Glad to revisit the New Haven 20k with my wife and my buddy Michael who had a solid race off very little training. My 22 months old son Max finished the kids race (800m) after vomiting twice on the way in the car. If you think we're committing child abuse, keep it to yourself.
It was good to also have Cary and Jim of CPTC at the start. I saw Cary the whole race ahead of me. He's going to solidly smash his 2:38 PR in Chicago.
Not sure why not more team members take the trip. It's only a bit further than an hour away to a well organized race over a rarely run distance (each year it's also the US championship). Yes, the race is not easy due to heat and humidity which makes for slow times but it's a good test for anyone going into fall marathon panic season.
I'm very happy with my time which used to be a modest half marathon time for me. Sure, I shouldn't dwell on the past but I'm a solid six minutes slower than five years ago at age 35 at that race.
Of course I was better trained then but that's probably what annoys me most. I can accept aging but I don't like failure, no matter how unrealistic it is. It's unrealistic because I have a different (even better!) life than back then. I'm happily giving up a handful of minutes for this.
I didn't taper for the race but in hindsight I don't feel like resting would have brought a better result. After a progression run over 10 miles on Thursday, I ran an easy 6 miler on Friday and rode 4 hours easy to moderate on Saturday. Legs were heavy yesterday but I did a 90 min. easy run.
I lost feel for my pace a bit recently for two reasons: 1) I simply haven't raced much and 2) I haven't trained and raced much at this lower fitness. I started the race with what felt "right", whatever that means. The first two miles were 6:09 and 6:20.
The course is pretty easy but not entirely flat. It has a few rollers. The toughest part about it are some stretches in the sun. It's Labor Day in Connecticut so of course it was humid and warm.
I picked it up steadily after the first mile and hung onto a group with three chicks who had a couple of friends pacing them. Miles 3 and 4 were 6:10. My legs opened up a bit so I pushed it ever so slightly, left the group and started reeling in single runners. 6:06, 6:06, 6:05, 6:05.
The last three miles were tough due to a couple of hills and me just not having enough strength to keep it going. Total time for this section was 18:38 (I was too tired to take splits) which means 6:13 on average.
Based on today's race, I'm confident to go sub 1:20 at the Brooklyn Half on October 10. It will be colder and I will be better trained (fingers crossed). That would indicate a marathon fitness of 2:47-2:49. Not exactly the 2:45 I was hoping for but I'm not going to stop myself from improving even more. :)