Half Marathon Trainers

Race Reports (Read 1692 times)


Loves the outdoors

    Congratulations Vino! great race. My friend who ran her first marathon at Auckland last weekend found the km's up to the turn around hardest too. 

    One day I decided I wanted to become a runner, so I did.

      White Rock Marathon - Dec 4th 2011


      So, you've been training for 16 weeks and it's Marathon time but the weather forecast is grim,,,, there's no WAY you are backing out so you hope and pray that for once they have got it really badly wrong..... they didn't Smile

       

      Race morning, I am up at 5am; Get dressed, load the car take a first comfort break and head on out by 05:25.It's 44F (7C) and it is tipping it down. I pick up my neighbor and part time running buddy, Virginia (she's running her first half), five mins later and we're off down I35 to Fair Park in Dallas for the race. It rains the whole way. Traffic’s not too rough and we’re in the parking lot by 06:45. Get out to use the porta-johns before the line gets too long and back to the car to change. One last check of the weather forecast to see if this stuff is clearing, it isn’t and so it’s decision time. Here’s my confession; I don’t run in cold+rain, especially if it’s windy! Warm + rainy… all good; shorts & t-shirt and you just get wet but I have nothing, from a running apparel standpoint, that would work for a cold wet marathon. So my choice of clothing was what I always wear on a cold long run; shoes, socks, shorts, UA compression shorts, tech tee + NB infinity half zip top with beanie hat & gloves. I would like to point out, none of that is remotely waterproof. To get me through the start I added a throw away long sleeve cotton top and one of Target’s finest XL trash bags! I slapped on as much body glide as I could!

       

      As we walked to the start corals both the rain and the wind lightened up, we stopped to use the bathroom one last time and got to the corals just in time for the anthem and at that point the rain had pretty much stopped. Finally! I thought. We’re going to be OK. I trashed the trash bag (mistake!!!) and lined up with the other folks in coral C3. Ten mins later we are still standing in the coral, have not even started walking up, and it’s raining again. We start walking and I am able to grab a disposable poncho from the fence discarded by one of the earlier runners. It keeps me kind of dry for the next 13 mins until we get to the start line, then it’s got to go… and we’re off!

       

      At White Rock, everyone starts together half, full & relay. That means the first few miles (about 3 and a half) are all arms & elbows with no real room. I was ready for this from previous years but it was made all the worse this year by people stopping to work their way around all the standing water on the course. This didn’t last long as the heavens opened at about mile 1.5 and everyone got soaked – puddles didn’t really matter after that.

       

      My goals for the race were, in order; to finish (absolute minimum), run all the way (basic), finish strong (pushing it), go under 4:20 (stretch).

       

      The first few miles passed with little incident. I shed the cotton top at mile 1. It was wet, heavy and useless (a bit like I felt!). I had to stop and pee between miles 5 and 6 (dammit!!) and rounded the corner at mile 6.5 knowing that I was halfway up the first of the two big hills on the course. Status check. On the down side; I was wet and cold. Soaked to the skin, never been this soggy before on a run, miserably wet. My left shoe was either shrinking or my left foot had water retention issues as the laces were rubbing real hard and everything felt heavy. On the plus side; my splits were OK, my nutrition plan was 3 shot blocks every 3 miles and I was bang on target with that and I couldn’t get any wetter. Onwards!

       

      My wife and boys (ages 5&6) were coming out to watch and we had prearranged the kind of areas I may see them; mile 7-8 was the first. Didn’t see them. I stepped to the side and sent them a quick SMS while jogging a long (don’t text & run kids!) I did not want them to drive all that way and not see each other! Turns out they did not think I would have taken that long to get out of the gate and had already moved to mile 11.

      In my training runs the mid miles had always been good to me and today I was hoping that once I got to the top of the hill at mile 9 and the Half/Full split, things would pick up. It wasn’t happening today. I saw the support crew at mile 11. This was awesome. I have never had supporters come to a race so I stopped and hugged the boys and gave my wife a kiss before she told me not to stop and keep going! Then it was on to the lake.

       

      I started to struggle at mile 13. I saw the family again at mile 14, waves only this time, but my splits were getting longer. It’s a strange race in that it’s also a relay so suddenly, at mile 16 or something, you’ll get somebody blast past you at about 7:30 pace, weird. The rain was heavy and the wind off the lake was pretty rough. I started noticing people dropping out at mile 15. Andy had said; get though 16 miles and then see where you are; At mile 16 I really did not think I had anything left I the tank to push for a faster time but I had enough to keep going. High fives with my boys again at mile 17 and then round the final corner of the lake until the sharp downhill at mile 20. At mile 20 I am thinking “You’ve just run 20 miles, you’ve got this” but also thinking “there is another cold miserable hour ahead”. We go through the Hooters water stop at mile 20.5. If there is anything more disappointing about a cold rainy Marathon it’s a bunch of Hooter’s girls in a rain jackets and waterproof pants. Such are the hardships one has to deal with! Now for this last climb.

       

      Things are feeling a bit twitchy now. Hammies, quads, calves and mile 22 is a beast. There are a lot of people walking and I am slow and getting slower but I know that if I can get to the top then it’s 5k, mostly downhill to the finish. There is no way I am not finishing this thing nor is there any way I will stop running if I can help it. I get to the top of the hill and  think “5k, only 5k to go”. I try to pick up the pace and… there’s something there. Don’t know where it came from but I am passing people. I know the finish of the race, it’s the same as the half and at mile 25 we join them (not that there were many of them at this stage). I look at my watch and think “I may still have 4:20, after all that!”. So I push with all I have into fair park and round the corner. I think I am about to burst and with less than 0.1 miles to go my Garmin ticks over 4:20. I keep running through the finish knowing that I have just missed out on my stretch goal. At white rock the families can’t meet you at the finish, they can watch but they are kept separate until you have gone through runner’s “processing” (Shirt, medal, beer etc). I am kind of glad that is the case as I think if they had been there I would have burst into tears. I’m not usually the emotional type but, with the weather and everything else, that was, physically, the hardest thing I have ever done. It was great to finish. Met up with the family at the reunion place, for a picture, and went to get dry. It's still raining here by the way!

       

       

       

      Out of everything today I am pleased that I ran and ran hard (for me), especially at the finish. There were no walls hit and nothing left out on the course (except for the long sleeved cotton tee!). White Rock have the funky Runpix result system which gives you a bunch of additional stats. This one is my favorite: “Over the final 6mi you passed 276 runners and 12 passed you”. I’ll take that any day.

      This was the most miserable race I have ever run. I can’t wait for the next one! Big grin

       

      Official Results:

       

      MTA: Spelling & Official time

      2013 Goals
      1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
      2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)


      Climbing Mt Ruapehu

        Awesome effort Matt.  Loved reading that.  Shame about the Hooters girls Big grin Come off the high properly is now key. Do some fun stuff and recover well!

        Personal Race Records:

        M 3:52:48 (Auckland 2011), HM 1:38:16 (Taupo 2010), 10km 45:05 (Sir Barry 2010), 5km 20:21 (How Pak 5km 2010)

         

        2012 Goals:
        Run the 75km Hillary Trail in a day (done 10/3/2012)

          Great race and report Matt! Way to tough it out.  I remember once being stranded on the side of the road in upstate NY in the middle of a blizzard for something like 5 hours. I kept telling myself, "this is as bad as the conditions will ever be". I think you can say that about your first marathon.

          It's only up from here!

            Great report and wonderful photo! Smile

            "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

             

            "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."

              Good job, Matt! Congratulations!

              PBs since age 60:  5k- 24:36, 10k - 47:17. Half Marathon- 1:42:41.

                                                  10 miles (unofficial) 1:16:44.

               

              vegefrog


                Good job! Impressive time. As I train for my first marathon I love reading these race reports! Thanks for sharing Smile


                day after day sameness

                  Out of everything today I am pleased that I ran and ran hard (for me), especially at the finish. There were no walls hit and nothing left out on the course (except for the long sleeved cotton tee!). White Rock have the funky Runpix result system which gives you a bunch of additional stats. This one is my favorite: “Over the final 6mi you passed 276 runners and 12 passed you”.

                   

                  This stat just deserves to be repeated a few times for what it means.  You splits show the same thing, you never faded. That's the direct payoff from your focus on executing your training plan in the days of heat, travel and all else.

                   

                  Matt -- that is spectacular. Wow!

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

                    Texas Half Marathon - Jan 28th 2012

                     

                    Just a short report today. Pre race stuff all pretty normal, picked up packet at the event this time, no hassles. It was cold (for Texas) about 45F and a pretty brisk wind blowing directly from the North which chilled things off considerably. Weather.com said it “feels like” 30F; I don’t know about that but it was chilly. This is a small event and I was parked pretty close. I left my car 5 mins before the race started, ambled over to the start line and only had to wait for about 2 mins before we were off

                     

                    I felt OK when I got to the start line and despite my gloomy pre-race post over in the monthly thread I did go out with a pretty positive mindset, all be it with a slightly modified set of expectations. The plan was to run the first 5 miles @ or under PR pace (8:35), try to hold it steady in the next 5 miles and then see what I had left at mile 10.

                     

                    The first 5 miles were away from the lake, mile 1 & most of mile 2 downhill and down wind 8:26 & 8:24 respectively. “Hello”, I’m thinking, “what’s happening here?”.

                    Mile 3 was up and down and I was starting to get a bit warm. I had layered up because of the wind but was not feeling the effects of it. Took my hat off and was about to ditch the gloves too when we came out on the top of the dam. DAMN! The wind kicked in, I quickly put my hat back on and was fine for the rest of the race! Miles 4 & 5 were windy and not entirely flat. At the mile 5 checkpoint I scoffed my ShotBloks and checked the pace 8:32… OK.

                     

                    The reality at this point though was; I was slowing. Running into the wind I decided to pace this 5 mile segment by HR and see where I was. I held fairly solid round the top of the lake and was good though mile 9… then the wheels started coming off; I just got slower… and slower. I felt tired at mile 10 but my average pace was still 8:40. Less than a min behind PR pace. At this point Lady Gaga is on my iPod trying to convince me that I was “on the edge… of Glory” so I figured; Why not? Let’s see what we’ve got!

                     

                    The pretty quick answer to that was; erm… not much… actually.. nothing at all! I put on a brief spurt for about half a mile but could not hold it at all. At mile 10.5 Journey are now telling me to “Don’t stop.. Believing!” and all I’m thinking is…. “Don’t Stop!”. I held it around 9:00/mile all the way to the line, watched the 1:50 goal and my PR (1:52) go on by to end up today with a 1:55:26. Not terrible in the circumstances but not good either.

                     

                    Grabbed a beer, banana & random pseudo-Mexican egg thing and stood, ate and chatted with some of the other runners under the portable heaters for half an hour or so before heading home. Nice crowd. Fun race.

                     

                    In a glass half empty moment I would say:

                    • No PR is very disappointing. I had hoped for better.
                    • Sub 1:50 seems a very, very long way away right now.

                     

                    However, I will put those thoughts away because, on the positive side of this:

                    • Many people don’t get out and do this type of thing (because they can’t or they won’t) – they don’t know what they are missing!
                    • The race took me over 100 miles for the month of Jan and keeps me on track with this 4 seasons challenge I am doing
                    • Two years ago I would have been very pleased indeed with a 1:55 on a messed up training schedule. Progress has been made.
                    • The race being on the calendar kept me running through a really hectic work time. When this happened in 2010 I stopped running for the best part of 4 months. Not this time.
                    • I was tired and had no real right to think I could/should run a PR. It is an OK result, given the circumstances.
                    • There’s another race right round the corner. Let the training begin!

                    2013 Goals
                    1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
                    2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)

                      Texas Half Marathon - Jan 28th 2012

                       

                      However, I will put those thoughts away because, on the positive side of this:

                      • Many people don’t get out and do this type of thing (because they can’t or they won’t) – they don’t know what they are missing!
                      • The race took me over 100 miles for the month of Jan and keeps me on track with this 4 seasons challenge I am doing
                      • Two years ago I would have been very pleased indeed with a 1:55 on a messed up training schedule. Progress has been made.
                      • The race being on the calendar kept me running through a really hectic work time. When this happened in 2010 I stopped running for the best part of 4 months. Not this time.
                      • I was tired and had no real right to think I could/should run a PR. It is an OK result, given the circumstances.
                      • There’s another race right round the corner. Let the training begin!

                       

                      You have a lot to be proud of Matt! Good job!!

                      Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.


                      Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                        You have a lot to be proud of Matt! Good job!!

                         +1

                         

                        Great race Matt! I hope to have a good report on the 3M Half later today. My goal is to have a good time and finish since its first half since my Dec 2010 Decker Challenge debacle. Stretch goal is to break 3hrs, super stretch is pb better than 2:55. Its cool which I like, 38F at the start, light wind and mid to upper 40's by the time I finish. Am trying not to get to excited..LOL

                        bob e v
                        2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                        Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                        Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                        History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

                           so I figured; Why not? Let’s see what we’ve got!

                           

                          This is my favorite part. You came to that part of the race where you have to make a decision, go for it, pack it in for another day...and, heck, you went for it. I like that. Even if there wasn't much there, at least you gave it a shot. Nice.

                           

                          That, and "There’s another race right round the corner."

                           

                          Exactly.

                          Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                          We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes


                          Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                            36/38F at the start, 48/50F & Sunny at the finish. The good news I finished and was dressed right, handled hydration & nutrition right, bad news is bladder didn’t cooperate which is discouraging. Even the overactive bladder med I've been taken had no effect. This was basically a downhill run with some rolling hills in there, but overall downhill. It’s a PB half for many people, not for me today tho. I met goal of finishing, but none of the stretch goals, and it was my slowest half yet, even slower than the Decker debacle in Dec 2010.

                             

                            I had a potty break about 5 min from the gun. Took me about 10 min to get to starting line. Bladder was full and asking to break before the first mile mark. Knew I couldn’t go to the 4mi potty’s, so stopped and waited in line at mi 2, and waited, and waited. The only benefit is being able to pass folks you already passed once you start out again! Then although clipping along pretty good, but not knowing heart rate because HRM was nuts for the first 4 mi bladder did it again and had to stop at mi 7.5 or so.  Never recovered previous pace and started to hurt. Ate shot blocks after mi 7 after starting to feel hungry. That worked well. Walked each water stop, alternating sports drink and water. Never did use the bottle I carried during the race. Used it post race while in line for breakfast tacos and fruit! Everything really came apart in mi 9 and it was downhill (running wise) from there. I did save enough to jog the last hill and when it leveled sprint to the finish.  My Garmin time has it as 13.19 mi, 3.12:34, 14:37 pace. I think that’s a minute slower than Decker.

                             

                            Lesson – need more 2 ½ & 3 hr time on feet training runs. The training I did seems good for 10k’s if I can keep bladder controlled. Need longer long runs for sure.

                            bob e v
                            2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                            Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                            Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                            History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

                              Good work finishing, Bob, despite the challenges. Maybe your doc can prescribe something additional to take on race day.  I don't have a hyperactive bladder at all, but race day excitement certainly seems to create that sort of situation for me. I think it has to do with adrenalin or something. It seems reasonable that it could make your own situation worse.

                              Use your momentum...keep going.  You know you can make it.


                              day after day sameness

                                Great perseverance Bob.  Sounds like perfect race temps to me. Fantastic that you're translating it into plans rather than just being frustrated (I would just be annoyed and brood over it all). Time on your feet in training is alwags a challenge to find the line between what is beneficial and what just beats you up.

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