>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2019
Hot Weather Complainer
Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon Race Report
This was a redemption race for me after last year when I crashed and burned (actually had a lie down at 15km). Last year I had some niggles around christmas so didn't have the volume behind me - it was also a bit warmer than I'm used to. Apart from that I couldn't find a decent explanation for what happened.
My training has been very solid and consistent since about September with just a few days off here and there with minor niggles. I felt way more confident that I'd built the base. Around 2 months ago when I ramped up the speed workouts I really struggled in the heat and had to abandon some of them. It was only the last month that I started to feel good during workouts and had some pretty good ones when I felt fine, and others when I completed the workout but had to dig very deep.
The forecast for Auckland was as perfect as possible. My best races have always been mid-winter under 10 degrees C - my PB was -6 at the start line and warmed up to about 6 by the finish. I travelled up to Auckland on Saturday which is a short 1 hour flight, very quiet and early night on Saturday. I did have a headache all day which seemed to disappear by bedtime.
Race morning dawned perfect and it was nice and cool, about 8-9 degrees when I headed to the start. The sun came up but there was still shade and some clouds looked to be approaching at the right time. Saw Mark at the start, could tell he was pretty confident of a PB!
No national anthem at the start this year - I went without the ipod unlike last year. Last year it didn't help when I was suffering - I think I turned it off when the wall really hit. A guy shaking out his legs at the start got me flush in the ankle which hurt but didn't impact me during the race.
Starter didn't have a gun or get the hooter going and there was no countdown so suddenly everyone took off. I settled into my pace and went through the first few kms in 4:13-4:17 which was fine. I didn't feel 100% but tried to get rid of any negative thoughts, I wasn't puffing unlike a guy who went past me who sounded like he was doing a 5km...also didn't look very fit. I didn't see him again so either he was much fitter than he looked or pulled out. the turnaround across a narrow grass area at 5km was very annoying and I had to basically stop because of the crowding. After the turnaround I started to watch the people coming the other way to distract myself and went through a spell of feeling good up until about 8km. My paces were very consistent (my watch tells a slightly different story to the live timing link) around 4:18, and I could still see the the 1:30 pacer about 100 metres ahead. During this tough phase I told myself I felt better than last year and to get to 11km when psychologically it gets easier with single digits to go. I felt good until about 14km when I had another rough patch - I ran past the spot where I stepped off the course and lay down last year and took consolation that I wasn't feeling like that. My pace was still consistent at around 4:17-4:18. With 5km to go I worked out I was about 150 metres long by the watch so got to 16.25km and checked the time to see what needed to be done...I needed 4:10/km to go under 1:30 and about 4:03/km to PB. I didn't think either was possible but decided to try. The 17th km was 4:14 and knowing that I'd lifted my effort to basically all I had it was disheartening that I couldn't get faster than that, and in doing that I felt like I might have hurt my chances of even finishing. At one point my watch said I'd dropped to 4:30 pace and I fully expected to struggle to keep it under 5 minute pace.
The live timing splits have 18 at 4:26 - Strava says 4:22. Either way, at this point I knew I was now just fighting for survival. Somehow I was still passing people. The 19km turnaround looked miles away and I just wanted to get there so I'd at least be heading towards the finish. 19 was 4:20 which was better than expected but when I got to the turnaround I'd been dreaming of I turned into a wind that had just picked up - I thought to myself that I was going to have to really earn this one. When I knew 1:30 wasn't possible I just wanted to get 1:30.xx - with 2km to go I needed about 4:20 pace I think which I didn't think I could get. I was still passing people and got to 20km in 4:18 which was a nice surprise - I was now counting down every minute. With 600 metres to go I had to tell myself that's less than 3 minutes, surely you can endure this for less than 3 minutes. I ran next to a girl stride for stride for a minute or 2 - we exchanged a glance which seemed to be "please let this be over". I expected her to pull away but I ended up pulling away from her and had no-one in front of me for some distance which led to me almost missing the turn into the finishing area - I had to jump over a garden. Might be an idea to put a marshall there. There's a slight loop in the finish area before about a 100 metre straight. When I turned and was running directly to the finish the only thought was "that still looks like a long way". There were 2 clocks at the finish, neither of which had the time (same as last year when I had no idea what my time was as I'd stopped my watch when I collapsed). I glanced at my watch and saw I had 24 seconds to get under 1:31 - the watch stopped at 1:30.49 with km 21 4:16 and the last 280 metres in 4:09 pace. Turns out the last 1.28km was for nothing as they used my pace from km #20 to extrapolate my finishing time since they didn't have the last timing mat on (seriously, wtf) which in the end only cost 4 seconds. I have my finish time at 1:30.49. I probably would have gained 3-4 seconds on my net time but instead have an official time of 1:30.53. Lucky for them that didn't cost me a significant landmark time. Thank goodness I didn't slow down in km 20 to save something to get to the finish!
In the end I was proud of what I did, given just how bad I felt at times. To not drop off significantly was surprising - my heart rate went over 190 and stayed there for the last 5km. Disappointed not to get the A goal, and to have a race which I never really enjoyed, but happy with what I did with what I was given on the day. With the upcoming holiday I doubt I'll race until at least the South Island half-marathon in early August, which is a pity because I do think I'm in PB shape.
PB: Christchurch 2016 1:29.25
Recent Races: South Island Half-Marathon 2018 1:32.39 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49
Looking at the live timing link, after 8km my placing improved every km which is surprising given the struggle. At 8km I was 218th then ended up 144th.
Steve- I hate to say it, as Waterfront has been good to me, but maybe it's just one of those races you steer clear of in the future. I've got a few like that which I've blacklisted for various reasons (North Shore, Hawkes Bay, Queenstown). Aside from which, Waterfront is already scheduled for April 5 next year which increases the odds of warmer temps.
5000m: 16:03 (Dec-18) | 5km: 16:24 (Nov-18) | 10km: 34:08 (Sep-18) | HM: 1:14:42 (Apr-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)
Last race: Waterfront Half Marathon, 14 Apr, 1:14:42 (PR)
Up next: Christchurch Half Marathon, 2 Jun
"CONSISTENCY IS KING"
Yeah I think I'll always struggle to perform as well as I can if I have to travel and/or race in a different climate to what I've trained in. I think the second point is the key there. I had decided last year to not come back but with the way things fell we could only schedule the holiday in May (and it is a much much needed holiday) and this was the only race that I could fit in at about the right time.
I'm actually really happy with the time and the experience - if I can get a good training block in leading into a local race, I think this experience will really help me. I did have a similar experience in ChCh 2017 actually - pretty good training block (although not as good as 2016) but fell away in the last 5km after being bang on target, to finish in 1:30.29. I didn't suffer anywhere near what I did yesterday though - the weather that day was shocking, cold and wet with strong winds in the last 5km.
Goddammit Running Events are fooling around with the finish times again and my time went out to 1:15:43 (implying I was at almost 5:00/km pace for the last km...)... but has now gone to 1:14:42.
I messaged one of the Running Events guys and they have timestamped photos and video of everyone crossing the finish line, so they're manually going through and editing the times based on this. Crap job but hey at least it delivers an official time!
JMac - based on this, I think the correct official time is 1:14:42. 3 extra seconds on the PB!
That would be hilarious if they were pranking you! They seem to have a good sense of humour although not so much on the timing mat debacle.
I'm taking watch time too which costs me a couple of seconds on net time but doesn't make much difference. For you as a PB though, sacrificing those seconds sucks.
I looked through the photos and can't see myself - they haven't included the ones of me lying at the finish line for a minute or so (I'm serious). Maybe they removed my photos after I criticised them on Facebook about the timing mat.
Steve - I just updated my post - keep an eye on your results as they're updating official times based on timestamped finisher video / pictures.
Still no update for mine but it must be a painful process. Speaking of painful, the last photo sums it up nicely
Ooo that's some excellent suffering there.
Nice photos and race reports guys. Steve perfect paincaving face
I remember those days of obsessing over a few secs....it really can be annoying but the main thing is sub 1.15 for Mark. In a 5k its especially frustrating to lose a few secs.
50+ PBs - 5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18
10k 40:16 June 18
" I have a plan to make my legs longer by wearing shorter shorts "
MickJogger - Oh, Romario. He carried the whole national team on his back on the 1994 world cup in the US & A.You sure know a lot more about Brazil than the average Joe.
Jmac - LOL LOL LOL, in typical Bostonian fashion, the day after is going to be perfect conditions for the marathon.Go get them!!!
Mark - Are you left handed?
Re: recoveryIt seems strength makes all the difference in the world.You are obviously freakishly strong.I mean, think about it. If we have 2 guys, one has a max pull up of 30 reps, the other is 10 reps.If we ask both to do 10 reps on the bar, the guy with 30 reps will recover much faster.The lesson then is to try to become as strong as humanly possible. And off course genetics do play a part in that.
Steve - From your account it seems you were struggling with the workouts until about a month ago, so it's possible this is an issue with timing.I strongly believe if you get back on the horse and train for another half during winteryou will PR.
Did you try the 10k tempo at HM pace? I know you train by time, so it'd be 42 minutes at HMP.
If you do that 10 days out it should be a very good predictor of your performance.
PRs: 1500m 4:57 5K 18:05 10K 38:12 HM 1h24 Full 3h15
Aspiring Hobby Jogger
JMac - I'm pulling for you, bud!
Mark - Super-congrats on a huge PR! I'm looking forward to reading that RR.
Steve - Sounds like you did a great job giving it all you had. I've got your RR queued as well.
Piwi - Enjoying jolly ol' England?
Marco - Nice 10k, and that's a massive LR!
Flavio - Why not do a little walking or very (very) easy jogging as rest between those 400s? That might could help clear the legs out a little better than just standing. And you're certainly right about us not being representative of most runners.
I narrowly got my LR finished before the rain showed up over the weekend. DD2's game was surprisingly not cancelled, and she ended up getting her first goal in a cold, windy, rainy game! Super proud of how she stuck with it despite bad conditions.
I was super-lazy this morning and almost didn't get up for my run. Getting it it (even short by ~1.5 miles over the usual) sure helped me fell better today, though.
Busy day at work tracking a few runners!
Monday, Apr 08, 2019 thru Sunday, Apr 14, 2019
5k: 18:54 9/18 │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:28:01 4/18 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18
Upcoming Long Run:
OKC Memorial Marathon 4/28
Tunnel to Towers 5k 8/31
Wurst Race Half 10/5
JMac through in 2:44:43!!
Keen - yeah, that's actually what I do during recovery.
Jmac - ridiculous time on a hot day. Now could you PLEASE stop running these hard marathons and pick a good weather flat one? Thanks, signed Uncle Flavio
Matt unfortunately crashed and has about a mile to go. That's going to be a long mile for him
Mark - We, the people have gathered around and defined our demands, listed below:
1 - We demand to see you suffering as well. Go ahead and post those less than ideal pictures. Even I look good after the finish line.