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2nd Half Marathon / High Expectations? (Read 416 times)

Awood_Runner


Smaller By The Day

    I'll try to keep this short, and yet get the important details in there.

     

    Last June I started running, and had this grand idea of running a marathon in the fall.  Some great people from the forums talked me into running a half instead.  Great idea looking back on it.  I dropped from 290 pounds to 237 pounds in preparation, and ran about 400 training miles with a few races in there.  My 5K went from 31 minutes to just under 27 from September to October.  I ran a 2:03:XX.  I felt great, and I may have left a little on the course.  It was my first though, and I loved every minute of it.

     

    I'm going to be running another half March 24th.  I managed to maintain my weight during the holidays, and I'm starting to drop lbs again.  Since my Nov. 3rd HM, I've run almost as many miles as I did in all of my training for the first HM.  I've also run a 25:48:XX 5K back in December.

     

    So, I know I'm faster.  If I lose 2 pounds a week leading up to the HM, I'll be 20+ pounds lighter.  I'll also have close to another 400 miles under my belt.  In other words, my first HM will be with 400 miles under my belt.  My second will be with almost 1200 miles under my belt, and 20 fewer pounds.

     

    Am I being unrealistic to think that I could take more than a minute per mile off of my HM time?  It seems ridiculous when I actually think about it, but after looking at VDOT charts, and taking everything into account that I've changed, I think it may be possible.  Any thoughts?

    Improvements

    Weight 100 pounds lost

    5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

    10K 48:59 April 2013

    HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

    MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013


    Don't call me Buttercup!

      I honestly have no idea, but I have a question - are your regular training runs faster? Is your speedwork faster?  Is there anything, other than extra miles and a smaller waistline, that makes you think you could cut 13 minutes off your previous HM time?

      Slow and steady wins the....  wait a second! I've been lied to! 


      day after day sameness

        No, you're not being unrealistic. Go for it. Set that as your target pace to be running after mile 2 (start slower), and if you fade from there over the last miles, it's still a massive PR. And, a lesson learned about pacing with your current fitness. Trust your fitness improvement, test it.

        Choosing my words carefully has never been my strength I've been known to be vague and often pointless

        Awood_Runner


        Smaller By The Day

          I honestly have no idea, but I have a question - are your regular training runs faster? Is your speedwork faster?  Is there anything, other than extra miles and a smaller waistline, that makes you think you could cut 13 minutes off your previous HM time?

           

          Yeah.  My easy pace is almost a minute faster.  I don't have a watch with instantaneous pace, but the average speed on a tempo run is lower than the speed of my old tempo pace.  Everything just feels easier, and faster.  My 12 mile run Saturday was right about 10 mm, and it felt very easy and comfortable.

          Improvements

          Weight 100 pounds lost

          5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

          10K 48:59 April 2013

          HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

          MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013

          Awood_Runner


          Smaller By The Day

            No, you're not being unrealistic. Go for it. Set that as your target pace to be running after mile 2 (start slower), and if you fade from there over the last miles, it's still a massive PR. And, a lesson learned about pacing with your current fitness. Trust your fitness improvement, test it.

             

            Sounds like a solid strategy.  I'm going to try to find a shorter race in February just to see what to shoot for, but I wouldn't feel bad about fading a bit if I knew I had given a 100% effort.  I felt like a cheated myself a bit in November, when I looked at the pictures and realized that I was the only person smiling in EVERY picture.  It was about 1:30 faster per mile than my training runs, but it still didn't feel like I "raced" it.

            Improvements

            Weight 100 pounds lost

            5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

            10K 48:59 April 2013

            HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

            MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013

              I think it's worth going for it too.  Last year I went from a 2:05 half at the end of July to a 1:58 in mid-October, and I've been running for 2 yrs so you'd expect my improvement curve to be a bit slower than yours (and I didn't lose more than a pound or two of weight in between those races either so losing that extra weight will definitely help your speed too).

              Awood_Runner


              Smaller By The Day

                Thanks LizC.  My situation reminds me of the time leading up to my first, and someone suggested a tune-up race to find my pace.  For the life of me, I couldn't accept the pace the McMillan said I should shoot for.  It just seemed too fast, but as it turns out I ran faster than that and felt great.

                 

                Sometimes you look at the numbers, and it's a bit overwhelming.  I think it's a mental hurdle that I have after years of being a huge slow guy.

                Improvements

                Weight 100 pounds lost

                5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

                10K 48:59 April 2013

                HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

                MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013

                MJ5


                Chief Unicorn Officer

                  I don't think your expectations are unrealistic.  While your first HM time was good, it's not like there's not a whole ton of room for improvement, you know?  It would be a lot harder to drop 13 minutes off of a 1:40 than it would to drop it off of 2:03, do you know what I mean?  It's definitely great that you're running more miles, too--significantly more miles.  More miles = more better (I think Stevie Ray might have said that once before.)

                   

                  I also agree that you should go out conservatively--my last HM, my first mile was a 7:40, but my overall average pace ended up being 7:23.  Same with a 9 mile race I did in November, I went out at a 7:30 and my overall average pace ended up being 7:06.  DO NOT get trapped into going out too fast.  Your first mile will probably feel real easy and still be faster than your average pace of your last HM, possibly.  It is not like a 5K--you will have plenty of time to make up a conservative first or second mile later on, whereas in a 5K or shorter distance race, if you totally blow the first mile, well, you've got barely any time to make it up.  A longer race allows you a little more leeway with your pace.

                   

                  Good luck!  Keep working hard!

                  Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

                    20 lb is huge.  That and more miles?  I would think it's reasonable to take a minute a mile off.  Just don't get over excited and go out to fast. A lot of people trained for a great PR lose their great time early on by getting too ambitious and going out too fast.

                     

                    (Having gained with no training decrease in short order a while back, I can say my half marathon time went up by enough to compensate for something like two thirds of the drop you're looking for.... And you still have somethign like 6 weeks of solid training left before even taper.  6 weeks is A LOT for a beginner in terms of improvement.

                     

                    I would decide on a goal going into the race, but I see no problem with the goal as you're setting now.

                    PR's (certified courses)

                    5K-; 21:45 ; 10K- 45:17; Half: 1:41 --- full : 3:40   (2009)

                    Distance - 54 mi, 10 hours (2012)

                     

                    Current Weight: 174 lb

                    Goal Weight: 130 lb

                     

                    Nov9 -- Peachtree City 50K/25K!   http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=27700

                       

                      Sounds like a solid strategy.  I'm going to try to find a shorter race in February just to see what to shoot for, but I wouldn't feel bad about fading a bit if I knew I had given a 100% effort.  I felt like a cheated myself a bit in November, when I looked at the pictures and realized that I was the only person smiling in EVERY picture.  It was about 1:30 faster per mile than my training runs, but it still didn't feel like I "raced" it.

                       

                      And there's even more time to be gained, then, if it wasn't an all out race (Normal for a first at a distance. Good even.  Would you be so keen on another if you felt like you were going to die?)

                       

                      Tune up races are great if you are the type to doubt yourself.  I think almost every one of my PR's came as a surprise to me because I KNEW I couldn't run that fast and would have to drop out of the race until almost the finish.

                      PR's (certified courses)

                      5K-; 21:45 ; 10K- 45:17; Half: 1:41 --- full : 3:40   (2009)

                      Distance - 54 mi, 10 hours (2012)

                       

                      Current Weight: 174 lb

                      Goal Weight: 130 lb

                       

                      Nov9 -- Peachtree City 50K/25K!   http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=27700

                      Awood_Runner


                      Smaller By The Day

                        MJ5 - I know what you mean, and I think you're absolutely right.  Also, I believe that is an accurate SRL quote :-)

                         

                        heather - I definitely don't have any regrets about how I ran that first HM.  It definitely made my decision to sign up for another an easy one.  I fully expected to feel like I was going to die, and afterwards wondered what pace would I have had to run before that feeling set in.  During my taper, and the week leading up to it I really focused on hitting a few miles here and there at my projected HM pace.  It made it a lot easier to find my pace on race day.  I was aiming for 9:32, and was almost right on at the 10K mark.  I picked it up over the last few miles, and ended with an average of 9:27.  I think my pacing was the thing that I was most proud of.

                        Improvements

                        Weight 100 pounds lost

                        5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

                        10K 48:59 April 2013

                        HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

                        MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013