2013 Sub 1:30 Half Marathon (Read 1807 times)

Northstar Running

    1:30:11. So close. What a bummer.


      1:33:24 for me yesterday at Rock 'n' Roll Philly. Sub-90 would have been a dream result and I can't say I really expected it. It's OK though, this was really more of a tuneup run for Marine Corps Marathon next month. I spent a good portion of the summer sidelined with injury so my new focus is on peaking around 10/27. And yesterday's run establishes I am well on the way to that. I'll make another run at sub-90 yet, though at age 49 I am finding I have to pick my spots.


        1:29:43 for me at RnR Philly on Sunday.  Got it!  I didn't really expect it due to feeling very fatigued with marathon training since late July, likely as a result of training in the heat and humidity. Mentally, I did not feel so great.


        It was my 2nd Half Marathon and the weather could not have been better... I didn't sleep so well the night before, and was wide awake at midnight until 2:00A. Good thing I slept well two nights prior. I was loving it when I was driving to the race and I checked the dash on my car saw 47°F. I seem to run well when the temp is between 45° and 60°. Felt good during the warmup, got to the corral 20 minutes early and began stretching and was eager for the start.  When the gun finally went off, I tried to stay nice and slow in the first mile by starting in the back of the first corral and aiming for about 7:00 pace effort in that first mile. I did exactly that and remained conservative the first 4 miles. In fact, I was just taking in the sights, not worrying about pace too much in the first 4 miles which had plenty of turns. I started picking it up slightly while heading down Kelly Drive for miles 5 thru 9, and began to focus a little on hitting my splits.  I felt good and ready to race coming over the Falls bridge (about mile 9) -- was comfortable dropping it to a 6:30 pace, and felt like I could knock a few seconds off on each mile split. Although between mile 11-12, I started to feel some tightness in my left hamstring and was concerned about possible cramping, so I eased up a little (about 6:40-6:47 pace) confident that I could cruise it in, conservatively, to the sub-1:30 (with a time of 1:08:30 at the 10 mile mark, I told myself, I just needed  run a 21:00 5K to the finish). As I saw the clock cresting the hill in front of the art museum, I had a booming smile on my face.


        I felt really good after the finish and I was happy with negative splits for each phase of the race. It's nice when you grab a few interim PR's in a larger PR effort... I got a new 10K PR and 10mi PR during the race.

        PR's - 5K - 18:58 (2013) | 10K - 42:50 (2012)  | 13.1 - 1:30:41 1:29:43 (2013)


        2013 Goals -   sub-19 5k  | sub 40 10K  | sub1:30 13.1 | Complete First Marathon, hoping for BQ (sub 3:15)


        Up Next:

        Steamtown Marathon - 10/13/13

        Philadelphia Marathon - 11/17/13

          I'm taking a crack at sub 1:30 this coming Saturday at the Akron Marathon.


          It's a tune-up for the Columbus full next month, so I'll be running it with a slight taper this week. I'm anxious to see what comes of it!


          Good luck to all the other runners this coming weekend.


          I'll post back the good, the bad, or the ugly.

            Got it! 1:27:43 with a port-o-jon pit stop. Great day to race, awesome event and a great way to get the sub 90 monkey off my back.


            Race report in my log, should you be so inclined.


              New attempt on the horizon. I had already planned to take a long Columbus Day weekend with the wife in Key West, before I even knew that there happened to be a race going on. But it wasn't long before I did figure it out, and now it's on...Southernmost Half Marathon on 10/12. Absolute final tuneup race for Marine Corps Marathon on 10/27, so sub-90 is not a do-or-die goal, but if it's there in front me with 5 miles to go, I will get after it. As a DC area guy I have only run one other race in FL and that was a 5k in January 2012. I came in 4th OA that day so I have a good history in the state. Smile

                I'd pretty much resigned myself to missing this this year—I basically lost September for training purposes, courtesy of a nasty head cold that kept me off my feet for a week and my mileage low for a while after that. Toss in travel and a 10k around the same time, and the month was shot.


                I'm glad to report, however, that my goal was not. I ran the City of Oaks Rex Healthcare Half Marathon today and according to my watch, hit 1:28:58 (official results still aren't up, alas, and I left well before they were posting them on site—the one thing I wish were different about this race). Given the hilliness of the course and previous experience, I was expecting something around 1:32 going in, so this was a great outcome for me, and my fastest race by far. (I actually ran faster today than I did in the aforementioned 10k I ran back in September).


                Seems like a confluence of factors for this: I hit a breakthrough in my training runs in the last two weeks, the weather was perfect (47º, sunny, very light breeze), and for all the hills, this course just felt fast. I was pleasantly surprised to realize as I started on mile 7 that I had a very good shot at breaking 1:30, and extremely pleased when I realized at the start of mile 12 that I just had to hold 7min/mi or better to break 1:30. (I actually only needed to hold about 7:23).


                You can see activity log here. I'll update it once I have the official results with field size, chip time, etc.


                SO HAPPY.


                  Excellent race Chris, congrats on a great time, I ran the oaks half this morning too. Conditions were near perfect! Did you record a long course?  i ran the tangents religiously and my garmin clocked 13.3. Several of my friends had it that long too. congrats again on your stellar time at our hometown race,

                    Got it a couple weeks ago in Kansas City!  1:29:43.  Cold day, and hilly course, but that seems to work for me.  I followed the 'Smart Pace Team' 1:30 guys for first 5 miles or so, then peeled away on a long downhill stretch.  They caught back up, which gave me incentive to push harder.  Finally peeled away again with a couple miles to go and didn't slow down.  I think without that pace group I would have probably just cruised in at well over 1:30.

                      Not happy about this thread.


                      I ran a half a couple of weeks ago.  It was 7 days after my marathon PR (3:07) and although all the calculators told me sub 1:30 was possible, I knew my legs still felt like concrete so I was very cautious.


                      Either way, I figured I might as well take a shot!!!


                      Got a great start, if not too fast and was well ahead of the 1:30 pace bunny.  As I went though mile 10, I was averaging about 6:45 per mile and was pretty sure that I had a sub 1:30 in the bag.  The problem was, that as my still sore legs started to complain, my brain got involved in the process.  I figured that as long as I was ahead of the pace bunny, I could back it off a bit and save my strength for the final push.  Right?  Are you with me?


                      Well, would you believe that the pace bunny never passed me and I came in at 1:30:34????  Stupid pace bunny ended up finishing in about 1:36.  WTF?


                      Moral of the story.  Trust your watch even when your legs are screaming for you to find another path.

                      2016 Goals

                      2000 miles

                      Get ready for my 2nd Boston Marathon

                      No race goals, just stay healthy and work on flexibility and strength. 


                        Excellent race Chris, congrats on a great time, I ran the oaks half this morning too. Conditions were near perfect! Did you record a long course?  i ran the tangents religiously and my garmin clocked 13.3. Several of my friends had it that long too. congrats again on your stellar time at our hometown race,


                        Thanks, Dougal 12. Conditions were indeed pretty much perfect.


                        As for the course length, I didn't have a GPS with me. Mapping it out by just following the roads with RunningAhead put it at 13.35. I may go back and measure it more carefully, but that makes me very doubtful that the course was remotely that long—measuring the roads like that with no tangents usually gives a pretty significantly longer course.


                        Courtesy of the side-to-side variations in readings, Garmins are usually (read: nearly always) going to record high—⅕ mile over the course of that run comes out to about 1.5%, which is pretty typical from what I've seen and read. (That's one reason I haven't bothered picking up a Garmin: Runkeeper's algorithm has gotten so good that they're measuring around the same error these days when I check, which is darn impressive.)


                        edwards.ag, that's solid. I definitely used some footsteps behind me to keep me moving on some of the hills on this course. Cold and hilly worked better than I expected it would, too—I'd be curious to see how I did with similar weather but a flatter course. I suspect I might have been able to break 1:28, but who knows.


                        Rick, that's tough and frustrating. Must have been a pain for the runners with the pacer, too! I hear you on the legs and brain, though. Mile 12 was the mentally killer mile for me (and one of the slowest); I was able to pick it up hard again once I hit that marker and knew I had 1.1 to go.


                        Out of curiosity, how big were these races that it had a 1:30 pacer? I've never seen pacers for anything below 1:45 on a half (though admittedly this was only my fifth—but my fifth different race).

                          Mine wasn't a huge race.  I am guessing 1500 in the half?

                          2016 Goals

                          2000 miles

                          Get ready for my 2nd Boston Marathon

                          No race goals, just stay healthy and work on flexibility and strength. 


                            Huh. That's really interesting. I'll be curious to see if I see those in the future. The one I ran yesterday was over 2k in the half, and definitely didn't have 1:30 pacers.


                            Dougal 12, I remeasured it as carefully as I could using RunningAhead's tools, and ended up with about a 13.25 mile course. Given it was certified, I'd be surprised if it were that much longer, but I couldn't see any ways to make it shorter. Interesting if it is in fact substantially longer.

                              Mine (KC) had about 6,000 in the half.  I was impressed, as I think they had a pace group for every 5 minute increment from 1:30 and up.  And these guys were good, not equal intervals, started out slow, went slower on the hills and made up for it on the downhills.  The other races I've done have not had pacers for the half, only the full.

                              Funny thing about this race, I looked at last year's results and my time would have won my AG by 5 minutes.  This year it put me in third!  Would have been kind of cool to win my AG in a big race Smile

                                When I ran the Fort Worth Half Marathon last fall, the turnaround guy went missing, and I ended up running 16.5 miles instead of 13.1 Even so, my pace was such that I'd have come in third overall.


                                This race in Raleigh was the North Carolina Half Marathon State Championship… I never had a chance at placing, even in my age group. I may pick a smaller race in the spring just to see, though.