Sub 2:00 Half Marathon thread (Read 2394 times)


    Keep up the good work, everyone and congrats to those who have raced recently!


    I guess I'm next up to the blocks with JML; my race (Colonial Half Marathon) is this Sunday.  I've been taking it relatively easy this past week: nothing over 5 miles and nothing faster than 9:30/mile.  No sense doing anything that could result in soreness or injury.  Weather Underground's forecast for race day looks really good, actually (especially with the 1 PM start time): "Overcast in the morning, then clear. High of 57F. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 15 mph."  That's a far cry from the "high of 45F with 40% chance of snow" they were predicting a week ago.  As long as those breezes don't get too stiff, I'd say the weather is pretty much ideal; looks like short sleeve tech tee and shorts weather.


    The race website also posted a course map and the elevation profile didn't look so bad (something I was somewhat concerned about given my limited ability to throw hill work into my training).  When I mapped it out at RA, however, it looked quite different.  Granted, it's a net elevation loss of 10.8 feet, but as you can see, it's up and down quite a bit.  A guess my plan at this point is just to maintain effort level on the climbs and rely on downhills and flatter spots to keep pace.

      Good luck!


      I googled the race and didn't finid the elevation chart but the course description mentions that it is hilly so I wouldn't be expecting something pancake flat.


      If the grades aren't too dramatic it can sometimes be more enjoyable to run up and down some hills though rather than on a perfectly flat course.


      Remember to have fun and I'm sure you'll do great.

      Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)


        Bah . . . my link is messed up.


        Here's the course as I mapped it here at RA:


        Here's the course as mapped on MapMyRun and posted to the race's Facebook page:


        Something's off with one or the other of those, but I'm not that worried about it.  A little bit of contour along the way isn't going to ruin my fun!


        If you ask

          Harrier - good luck tomorrow!  Have fun,


          Chris - I truly hope that you can avoid the surgery.  I'm sure that if you have been accommodating your foot by changing your gait/stride, another part of your body would start to hurt.  Way to finish the race despite the pain.


          Hector - it seems like you've been doing quite a lot of running.  do you allow yourself a rest day?  Rest is a very important part of training. Take care of yourself.


          MeRuns -  yikes!  I've run in 15 degrees before, but always with my face covered!  Good job on racing.  Heck, good job just showing up!


          Bpink - congratulations on a great time!


          Zelanie - starting at a slower pace just about guarantees a strong finish.  Way to go.   I always try to finish a run with a strong kick, which certainly helps come race day.


          Twofoot - I hope the healing happens quickly.


          Paden - I ran 13.1 miles the week before my marathon so I'm sure you could run one a month before!  I hope you decide to do it.


          Me -  I ran 5 miles with a friend on Tuseday, then 7 trail miles on Thursday, and another easy 5 yesterday. Today is a total rest day as I have a trail race tomorrow (7.2 miles) which is described as challenging, meaning very steep hills, lots of roots and rocks, and with the rain today, it is sure to be muddy tomorrow.

          • Charlie Horse Half Marathon - May 25
          • PA Grand Canyon Marathon - July 27
          • Labor Pain 12 Hour Endurance - August 31 (50k...or more!)


            bpink- I swear I remember typing this to you before, but I can't find it (maybe it's in the HM group?), so just in case- huge congrats to you on beating your goal!  Very nicely done!


            Luke- When is your next 5K scheduled?  I would like a sub-25 too but care more about the HM for the time being.


            Bluerun- Glad the foot is better, and the longer taper makes a lot of sense to me!


            Meg- Wow, sounds like some tough conditions to run in!  You are going to be all set for your spring and summer races!


            Hector- Hope the soreness has passed by now.


            Chris- I'm glad you saw the doc about your foot!  I hope you are able to find a treatment that's effective!  I think my MIL mentioned something about most of her kids having an extra bone in their feet too.  Crazy stuff!


            Pcaharrier- Good luck today!  I'm hoping that you rocked it!


            Edith- I'm not sure what time zone you're in, so I hope that your race went well or that you're doing great out there on the course right now!


            me- I had a 5K race yesterday.  It was very informal, maybe 50 people, and was a fundraiser for a local school's class trip.  It was also perfect in that my plan calls for a 4 mile time trial next week.  I swapped it with the V02Max intervals from this week, which I will run next week.  The course ended up being a quarter-mile long, which was especially silly since it ended with 1 and a half laps around a track and we had to cross the finish line twice.  So the first time we crossed, *that* was 5K!  Most of the second mile also turned out to be muddy grass across an embankment between a parking lot and a road, with no path at all.


            My overall pace was about 8:20, so faster than my Dec. PR by pace, and that's with an 8:42 second mile (the cross- country bit).  But with the long course, my time (via Garmin, not sure there will be official results) was 27:54.  So a mixed bag, really.  I think that I haven't really developed that willingness to push hard and suffer that people talk about for a 5K.  I'm hoping that's because distance is my thing!  I love getting into a groove and staying there!  Hope so, anyway, since I'm still new enough that I haven't raced any long distances yet.

              Man, I am so behind on all the goings on here. Swear I will read them later and post....


              me-Awesome run today. Did a 18K run with the temperature at the freezing mark. The roads were a mix of snow, bare asphalt, slush and puddles. Even a few drivers who decided that soaking runners was such fun!!


              DW and I started at the same time today, but she ran a 16k, and me the 18k at different paces. At the last 1k, I caught up to her and we finished together. We are both doing the Scotiabank 1/2 in late April. Her first ever 1/2, my 4th. I am sure she can hit sub 2, as she ran today's 16k in 1:40 even with the bad road conditions.


              We also experimented with some new chews. I tried Sharkies, not bad. What have you guys tried and liked?


              For those who know, I ran with my lace locks. R&D and running mixed together, love it!! I have ran with then since the early summer, and never had to stop to tie laces since.


              5K/22:33   10K/47:52   21.1K/1:44:06  42.2K/4:07:37
              2014 Goals: 5K<22:00 10K<45:00 HM<1:40  FM<3:45

                Steve- I was recently turned on to Lock Laces. I think that they're great and now have them on three pair of running shoes.


                  Luke79 - !!! Excellent job hitting your sub-2!


                  ChrisT - everyone has a tough race now and again.  And I totally agree that you crossed the finish line and absolutely deserve that medal.  Think of all the people who can't finish a half!  Sounds like conditions weren't great, anyway.  Glad you found out about the foot and hopefully can heal it up.


                  MegRuns, sdizazzo and bpink - congrats on going sub-2 also!


                  Jan - glad you got a few outdoor runs in at least.  We had a big snow storm here this week and its totally cramping my style.


                  Edith - KC is great for running.  And between the Trail Nerds and the Lawrence Trail Hawks there are a lot of trail race opportunities.  Speaking of which:  how'd it go today?


                  pcaharrier - how'd it go for you, too?


                  Zelanie - goofy that they screwed up the race distance, especially with a track finish!   Congrats on your pace, though!  And being a unique distance, it's an automatic PR.


                  stever - sounds like a great run today!


                  me - had a pretty good running week.  My hip flexor is feeling largely better.  I had one of my DO residents adjust my low back and that helped a lot.  I think I really need to get better about core work.  We had a giant snow storm this week.  I ended up making it in to the hospital Thursday morning after one of the scariest drives of my life, and then stayed until Friday night since no one could make it in Thursday afternoon/evening and Friday morning was still tough.  I was crazy busy on Friday.  Except for Friday, I ran every day, including a nice 13 miler on Tuesday in which  I snuck out from work for a while.  Today was 16 miles with 12 at goal marathon pace.  I had a hard time holding the pace today, and ended up averaging 8:36 for 12 miles (1:43:14 total for 12 miles, and 2:26:32 for 16.21 overall.)  I think I'm still not 100% recovered from the 20 mile trail race.  And also, maybe 3:45 just isn't going to be in the cards for an April marathon.  I think that pace is really on the very edge of my ability at this point.  It was a nice day to run, though.  I met some friends at a local nature conservancy and we ran 4 loops on drive pavement through the park.  They started the first 3 miles easy with me, and then they continued on their long run pace and I did my goal pace miles.  It was fun to pass them every so often and get to see friendly smiling faces!  All of my regular routes are still deep-snow covered.  And more snow is predicted for tomorrow ...


                    I have to help the wife get the kids ready and then head out to work so I'll try to get a full race report up later today.


                    In the meantime, if my watch and the auto text message sent to my phone by race staff are to be believed, I didn't beat my previous personal best.  I totally smashed my previous personal best with a time of 1:45:46.


                    I'm still waiting from some announcement from the race that they accidentally marked the course out a bit short because I'm still trying to wrap my head around that time.  If my body didn't give me a stiff reminder every time I stood up I probably wouldn't believe that I ran that fast at all.  Great weather, great course, and great course staff/volunteers!


                    More to follow.


                      Pcaharrier-  very solid effort.  Congrats!

                       201x goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...


                        EdithRevisited – I run 6 days a week whenever possible for last couple of months and Sundays are my rest days. My long runs are on Saturdays and I stated ending long runs hard for last couple of weeks and I have noticed that I am still sore on Mondays because of it. I am thinking about either shortening long runs of shortening Monday runs. I love running on trails and running in the rain excites me even more, but for sure I would not prefer either of it for my race. Good luck with your trail race tomorrow.


                        Doctorjen – good luck with your 16 miler


                        Pcaharrier – congratulations on your awesome race!


                        Me – week has been fine. Had hard run on Wednesday and I surprised myself by running 7.4 miles at 8.05 min/mile. I am not getting too excited about it as it was on TM. Got 40s miles for the week. My long run on Saturday went ok. Out of 15, I ran last 5 miles at significantly higher intensity on flat course, but was not able to run faster for higher effort (ran around 10 min/mile).
                        I run on TM on weekdays and on trails with good elevation on Saturdays and not sure about the pace that I should run during the race. So I am going to run the race course this Saturday at high intensity level (min 80% HRR) and see how it goes.

                          I didn't beat my previous personal best.  I totally smashed my previous personal best with a time of 1:45:46.


                          Great weather, great course, and great course staff/volunteers! 


                          Congrats, that's a great time!  Good job!

                          Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

                          Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)


                            Now for a proper race report.


                            I met up with a friend at the starting line shortly before the race.  The weather was partly cloudy and just a little bit cool; I was in a short-sleeved tech tee and shorts and felt like I wouldn't have wanted to just stand around like that for a really long time.  In my book, that's just about perfect running weather.  The sun was welcome in the woody stretches and the clouds kept it from being too much when we poked out of the for several portions.  It had rained the day before there was some mud in spots, but the only real problem that presented was on some of the downhills where I was a little worried about slipping.  Fortunately, that didn't happen.


                            After the 5k runners were off, the half marathoners lined up on the narrow street on the edge of the campus of William and Mary.  We started pretty near the back which let me start more where my friend wanted to and also (I hoped) would keep me from going out too fast on the first mile.  It must have worked because when I glanced at my watch at Mile 1 it was at 8:25, just a hair under my goal pace of 8:30.  There were a couple short, steep hills in the first mile, so I was really pleased with that time.  I don't know how, but I sped up on the second mile for some reason and got there in 16:20; I told myself that I absolutely had to slow down and I think I did.


                            I don't remember my splits off the top of my head (and I don't have a GPS that will record them for me :-(  .), but I remember that miles 3 and 4 were a little bit closer to goal pace.  Mile 4 was the last mile marker I remember seeing until Mile 10; I think I missed one or two in there, but I was actively looking for them where I thought Mile 7 should have been and didn't see them.  Maybe they were facing the wrong way (it was an out and back course).  That, however, is really my only complaint about the race and it's a relatively minor one.  I kept telling myself "Maintain, maintain, maintain" since I wasn't 100% sure what my pacing was like.


                            It was definitely a hilly course.  There were some long, gentle slopes and a lot of shorter, steep slopes and they were all over the course.  I walked at the water stations (skipping only the last one, I think) and took some sort of Powerade gel at about the halfway point.  When I finally did come to a mile marker that I was sure of, I knew I was several minutes ahead of my goal pace.  With about two miles to go, I took a short walk break up one of those long, gentle slopes.  I knew I was going to "empty the tank," but I wanted do to that at the finish line, not with a mile to go.  I tried to pick up the pace starting at mile 11 and I ran down some folks that were maybe 100m ahead of me.  A couple guys passed me in the last mile, but for the most part, I spent the whole race catching and passing people.  I wasn't trying to be overly competitive (even in my age group I didn't come anywhere close to the top 3), but "catch up with that guy" or "see if you can pass that couple over the next mile" seem to be good motivators for me.


                            With a couple hundred yards to go, I put the pedal to the floor as I made the last turn to head to the finish line inside William and Mary's basketball arena.  I steamed across the finish line and fumbled for a second or two before stopping my watch at 1:45:48.  "The course must be short" was my immediate thought.  I didn't know what that time translated to in terms of minutes per mile, but it's way faster than my hoped-for 8:30/mile so it can't be right; there's no way I held that for 13.1 miles.


                            I had planned to stick around to hang out with my friend, but my wife and kids were there and it was that cranky time of the day so after I grabbed a bagel and some Gatorade we headed for home.  It's two days later and I still almost can't believe that I beat my previous best by almost 19 minutes, but then I stand up or bend over to pick up one of the kids and my body reminds me that "Yes, you definitely ran as fast as the watch says you did."  Being sore is no fun, but I'll gladly put up with the soreness that came with what is probably my best race ever.

                            the kenyan

                              With my half on May 18th, I've just hit the 12 week window and commenced with W1D1 of my training plan yesterday.  I've been a bit inconsistent for the past month or two; my long run has gotten up to 11 miles in one of my better weeks, but for the most part I've only been getting out 3-4 days per week and averaging 15-20 mpw.  Hopefully having a concrete plan in front of me will give me an extra kick in the butt Joking


                              My basic skeleton looks something like this, building up to around 45-50 mpw:


                              Sunday - rest

                              Monday - easy (3-5) + strength

                              Tuesday - medium distance (7-10)

                              Wednesday - easy (4-6) + strength

                              Thursday -  Tempo/Thresholdy stuff

                              Friday -  easy (3-5) + strength/strides

                              Saturday - long (10-15)


                                Sunday - rest

                                Monday - easy (3-5) + strength

                                Tuesday - medium distance (7-10)

                                Wednesday - easy (4-6) + strength

                                Thursday -  Tempo/Thresholdy stuff

                                Friday -  easy (3-5) + strength/strides

                                Saturday - long (10-15)


                                This actually looks a lot like what I did over the past 12 weeks.  I did harder stuff on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a long run on Saturday, and filled in the rest with easy runs of varying lengths.  I topped out at 40 mpw, though.


                                Good luck!