Delaney Dash 4-miler

On Saturday May 26, Derek and I ran the Delaney Dash 4-miler.  We had never run this race before.  This year – we got enticed by the offer of a free jacket, and we signed up for the Shoreline Race Series – run 6 of 8 races (including the Sea Leg Shuffle 10 miler) or 7 of 8 races (without that race) and get a free jacket – no additional cost required!  Since we typically do at least 2 of the races (the Branford Road Race and the Sea Leg Shuffle) – we figured that signing up for the series was a good idea.

The Delaney Dash is our 3rd of 6 races.  The first was the Leprechaun 4-miler, then the New Haven Symphony Orchestra Run for the Music 5K.

The week leading into this race was not auspicious.  On Tuesday, I spasmed my back – doing yoga of all things!  Frustrating and painful.  On Wednesday – it felt a little better in the morning, but got progressively worse as the day went on – but early evening, I could barely walk and hobbled home from work.  At this point – I was unsure if I’d even be able to start the race and walk it, much less run!  Thursday morning, things felt a little better – but Thursday afternoon is when things miraculously seemed to turn around – my mobility was mostly back and I wasn’t in pain every time I moved!  Friday was almost 100%.  So I figured I’d run it – maybe play it conservative and not push too much.

Come Saturday morning – we drove out to Old Saybrook for the race.  The morning was foggy and humid – the temperature wasn’t too bad (I think it was high 60s), but the humidity was a bear.  Despite being so recently injured and recovered, I still harbored a hope that I would be able to do 7:45s or better.  Ha!

The race started out fast – we could tell that even though it was a small race, it was a fast race – lots of great runners out there.  I was trying to just run comfortably, but when I glanced at my Garmin – I saw that I had taken it out at 7 min/mile – whoa!  Need to tail it back.  So I kept trying to slow down, eventually getting it down to 7:30 min/mile.  The first two miles went pretty well – 7:30ish, 7:45ish.  Then I hit a seeming wall.  I got wicked bad stitches in my rib cage area – especially on the left hand side – it made breathing painful (which made running a bit hard).  So I really slowed down.  Ended up finishing in 32:05 just about 8 min/mile.  Really – I should appreciate it given the bad back spasm I had just recovered from.  But I’m still frustrated at my lack of speed and conditioning.  In January I ran 13.1 miles at 8 min/mile – and now I can’t run 4 miles any faster?  Aarggh!

Derek was a rockstar – he paced himself really well, getting faster each mile – just like you want to.  He ended up finishing in 27:32 (6:53 min/mile) – flying!  And he feels like he may have had some gas in the tank at the end – it’s amazing to me how fast he is getting.

As for the race itself – it was a nice course.  Right by the seaside for a part of it – long straightaways with a bit of turning through a neighborhood at the turnaround point.  Really very flat overall.  They don’t use bib timers – so you only get a gross time – which is okay for a small race.  But that means you have to queue in a chute after you cross the finish line – which can get backed up – and I like to be able to keep walking after I finish, otherwise I start feeling sick sometimes.  Having said that, I would do the race again and hopefully next time I can run it faster!

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