Every Father’s Day – there’s a big 5 mile road race in Branford, CT. They have a festival on their town green and other fun goings-on. Derek and I have done this race for the last 3 or 4 years. It’s a pretty fun race and a big one in the area.
Because they want to tie it in with the festival – the race starts pretty late for a summer race – 10:15am. That always makes it dicey with the temperatures. Today’s temps were low 70s – but luckily it stayed overcast throughout the race. I was using this race as a tune-up for my marathon training plan to see if I’m on track. It’s supposed to be a 5k, but a 5 miler will do.
I am an “endurance” monster and seem to have mostly slow-twitch muscles – so shorter races are not my strength. According to my TPL (target pace levels) from Matt Fitzgerald’s Brain Training book – my 10k pace is 7:34 and my 5k is 7:18. So – theoretically – a 5 miler should be somewhere in-between there.
Now – I know, from how I feel during training and how I’ve run these types of distances in the past – that it was highly unlikely I would get under 7:30 as an average pace. This race is hilly – gradual downhill in the first 1.5 miles to the waterfront, flat til about 2.5, then a pair of good uphills, and a couple of rollers in the last mile. Last year – I had finished in 39:03 (7:50s) and the race conditions were somewhat similar. I feel better trained and felt I could definitely do better. My real goal was 7:40 average pace – gold goal being anything that looked like 7:3x average pace. And I would be over-the-moon if I actually ran under my “10k pace.”
We started way too far back in the pack – and the first 3/4 mile was really frustrating. Tough to get around all of the slower runners, people darting everywhere, lots of erratic running. Finally at about 3/4 mile, I felt like I was in a pack of runners all running about my pace.
The race was tough – my heart rate got high pretty fast – but I didn’t feel all that bad – so I just decided to go with it. In the end – I finished in 38:13 or 7:39s. Yay – PR! And I hit my main goal of running a 7:40 average pace. And yes – it’s technically in the 7:3x’s – but when it’s just by 1 second – it doesn’t feel that meaningful!
But I’m happy – that’s reasonably close to my “10k pace” and closer than I think I’ve been in the past. I think I finished 7th in my age group – so that’s not too bad. I continue to want to be faster – and I’m improving, but fighting the age curve. So we’ll see!
Our wedding anniversary was this past week and we, very unromantically, had no plans. I’ll admit it – I’m like a guy when it comes to traditional romantic gestures – I forget about our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, etc. To make up for it and to have something to look forward to during the week, on Tuesday we decided to book a nice dinner reservation. I had been wanting to try Pacifico out again, so we reserved there. Continue reading
I do love me a long weekend! Especially because I have needed a break recently. But this weekend was packed with activities – so there wasn’t a lot of down time. I have to admit, I wish there had been more. Continue reading
So for months, I’ve been hearing my running group friends talk about ART therapy – Active Release Technique – and I’ve been interested, but didn’t really know where to start. I know that all of these things really depend on finding the right practitioner and I wasn’t sure who to go to in the local area. Continue reading
Ahhh…a few quiet weekends in a row. Last weekend was some serious Olympic junkie time. It’s kind of an ironic juxtaposition – we watch these amazing athletes and, to some extent, get inspired – but we spend most of the day sitting on our butts, virtually immobile on the couch, while watching them…LOL. Continue reading
The next morning we were up and at it again. When we headed out to the car, the conditions actually felt worse than the day before. The humidity felt more oppressive and it definitely felt hotter. And the sun was out! I know – most people love the sun, but for a running race – it’s not your friend. Continue reading
Ok – at the beginning of the spring/summer running season, Derek and I decided that we would sign up for the Shoreline Road Race Series. Essentially – you run 7 of 8 races or 6 of 8 (if you include a particular race – the Sea Leg Shuffle) and you get a free jacket. Sounds like a great deal, right? We were already planning on doing several of them anyway. Continue reading
We tend to be pretty low-key when it comes to birthday celebrations nowadays – and this year was no different. However, Derek did want to go out for a fun, relaxing evening with our close friends and neighbors – Jim and Sarah Fisher. He decided that we’d try out a new place (new to us) in New Haven – The Cask Republic – for dinner and then move on to 116 Crown. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
One of the restaurants that we love in New Haven is Barcelona. Great tapas, wonderful wines – who could ask for more? Well – Gretchen, the wine director for all of Barcelona’s restaurants, periodically arranges wine or cocktail dinners. A lot of the times, they’re held at the Barcelona Wine Bars elsewhere in Connecticut, but occasionally we get lucky and they’re held right here at the one in New Haven. Last week, they held a dinner called “Exploring Chilean Wines.”