Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

PRed a few weeks ago. It wasn’t as big as I would have liked I, but a PR’s a PR, and it was a nice boost of confidence being able to race faster and smarter this time around.


  • A Goal: Break the 90-minute mark for a HM.
  • B Goal: PR in the HM (break 1:38)
  • C Goal: Avoid serious injury during or post-race.

I did accomplish two of the three, at least, but I wasn’t in the best place to PR either so I will have to keep chasing the goal.


Splits, courtesy of Strava

Pre-race conditions

I was up at 6am to walk over to shuttle pickup downtown by 6:45. It was my own fault for getting no more than 3.5 hours of sleep that night, but at least I had packed my bag and planned my outfit. The bus over to Helderberg was a little longer than I expected, taking probably 20 minutes, but it was good to have the time to sit. At least, I was able to hydrate, eat, and enjoy some music (the basement Skrillex act was certainly in the queue.)
I jogged some of the surround trails through the park, and took breaks to eat my snacks (banana and Belvita crackers), and then switched into the racing shoes with the 20-minute notice. I also downed a pack of Gu Chews and checked the two packs of Gu gel were in my rear pocket.

The Race

From the start, we rounded a corner and cruised downhill for what felt like at least a mile. My main short-term goal here was to avoid burnout as much as possible. After running the Hartford HM back in 2020 and dropping several sub-6’30 miles to start, I knew it was essential that I reserve energy and strength, and maintain as low a body temperature as reasonably possible.

I was feeling strong, and just keeping pace with another pace group until the downhill flattened out a bit. I skipped the first water stop, which worked out to be fine in the long run, mostly because the temperature hadn’t picked-up yet. But around mile 4 or 5, we linked up with the Hudson River trail and that was where the heat would eventually start to cook things.
From the second water stop on, I was grabbing one cup to sip and another to shower in. Things were going OK through the 10K mark, but by the 15K mark I was hurting. It seemed like some others around me were also feeling it, and not that that’s an excuse, just that it seemed like my reaction wasn’t an outlier.
A big part of getting through the trip on the struggle bus came down to reminding myself to focus on good posture. Becoming fatigued, my stride was the first to fade, and I was starting to land further back on my foot, loosing some efficiency and creating a harder impact through my body. So, I had to explicitly tell myself to land around the mid-foot and propel primary by use of my glutes.


Unsurprisingly, I had barely made it out of the finish chute before I bumped into two friends from the local run groups.

I don’t know what I’d do if not for the support of the local groups and the friends I’ve made in them. It’s easily the highlight of my week going to some of these group runs and making friends, or seeing the ones I’ve already made. That’s how it was in CT, too, and so I’m thankful that I’ve been able to move here and find another good group.

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