>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2018
My week was reasonable, legs definitely feeling a little tired after a couple of big weeks but still managed to punch out reasonable workouts Thursday and Saturday. I definitely didn't really enjoy running mid-morning rather than earlier, thankfully the weather is supposed to turn cooler / rainier this week and wifey gets back on Friday anyways. Cut today's run a little short as the legs were feeling pretty heavy after a big workout Saturday and I'm really hoping to PB at this 5km on Wednesday (notwithstanding that I'll have a second chance in a month's time at Night of 5's).
The track workout on Saturday was a lot of fun, normally when I'm up there at 6am it's dead quiet (surprise surprise) but being up there at 10am, there was so much happening. Sprinters, para-athletes (both track and field) plus a distance squad looked like they had just finished. Sprinters can be such posers though. There was one guy who walked around with his shirt off and did nothing for like 45 minutes before then doing a handful of drills and sitting around some more.
T: 11.2km easy
W: 14.5km easy-ish
Th: 17.2km workout (intentional negative split)
F: day off
S: 22.4km track workout
S: 14.7km easy with hills
5000m: 16:03 (Dec-18) | 5km: 16:24 (Nov-18) | 10km: 34:08 (Sep-18) | HM: 1:15:40 (Sep-18) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)
Last race: Bays Night of 5's 5000m, 21 Dec, 16:03
Up next: Maraetai Beach Half Marathon, 17 Mar
"CONSISTENCY IS KING"
Mark yeah the sprinters at the track are hilarious. I remember doing 5 x 1000s at the Tauranga track one day and was working so hard as we all do for intervals, while the sprinters did a few stride outs and stretches. Look forward to your 5k.
I did a lazy 7kms this morning at around 9/10 min/mile pace mostly to stay sane and get some blood through my calf without any effort. I bumped into my Physio yesterday outside my house and mentioned my calf injury. She muttered something about 6 weeks but I couldnt hear her
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 "
MJ - may the glute force be with you. The Brazilian secret recipe is Açaí!
Piwi - that project I was working at has just ended. I’ll wait until another one comes through. I was able to save quite a bit so in no rush.
Mark - thanks for the results from Keen.
Keen - great job, it looks like my (and jmacs) prediction ended up being very close.
me - my week is done at 37km. I'm starting again with the functional training next week and hope for some 50km of running.
PRs: 1500m 4:57 5K 18:05 10K 38:12 HM 1h24 Full 3h15
I bumped into my Physio yesterday outside my house and mentioned my calf injury. She muttered something about 6 weeks but I couldnt hear her
I'm pretty sure she said 'It's 6 weeks until Christmas'
Keen: Congratulations! Amazing time - great achievement! I am an absolute loser when it comes to running fast and at the limit - within the pink unicorn stage of the race (definition as per Flavio). But I will say it nevertheless: your heart rate looks like you left some in the tank? Do you think you could have pushed a bit harder?
So how many of the runners in this forum will be going to Boston then in 2020? Keen, Jmac....Rune (not yet qualified)?
Hot Weather Complainer
6 weeks indeed...don't let that sort of negativity into your life piwi.
I had a solid comeback week, stuck to the bike on Monday, then 30 and 40 mins Wednesday and Thursday, supplemented with bike, and 70 mins on Saturday. My fitness felt terrible until halfway through Saturday, which is a bit weird considering it was 10 days off and I was still active in that time. I'll be cautious again this week and build back into it. I'm not sure what I'll do about the race in 3 weeks yet. I need a race to keep me sane but if I can't get there I might do a park run or 2 over summer.
I took the dog for a walk up around the quarry yesterday and rolled my ankle and took a tumble. At the time it felt terrible but after I walked it off it was okay, and no swelling today thankfully.
PB: Christchurch 2016 1:29.25
Recent Races: Queenstown 2017, Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2018, South Island Half-Marathon 2018
Upcoming Goals: Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon April 14, 2019
Steve sorry to hear you took a fall hope all is well with the ankle and you continue to recover from your other injury.
Piwi hope you get back on track soon too
Mark nice week I don't know how you did 13 miles on a track I would get so bored! If you are still keeping up with your race table target vs actual add me on there.
I started my taper this past week was aiming for 40 but got in right at 36.
This week I'm planning on 30 miles and I normally race an 8k on Thanksgiving day, anyone see any issue racing this 8K 2 weeks out from my marathon?
last week for me I got in what I thought was a really good workout on Saturday, the M paces did not feel difficult and felt like I could have put in some more miles. the rest of the week was just easy miles mostly on the treadmill due to the poor weather conditions.
Weekly SummaryMonday, Nov 12, 2018 thru Sunday, Nov 18, 2018
Steve be careful ! Im going to have to concede to this calf strain and take some time off.
Mick you going to Boston ? Nice.
Cfarr enjoy taper. I will let the others advise on the 8k. I cant remember whats sensible or not
Im going to have to take some days off to allow this calf to heal up before my marathon cycle starts dec 10th.
Piwi - I remember being in a similar situation in the past, waiting for the calf to improve and taking some time off before a marathon build up. Eventually the calf never improved and I had to cancel the marathon training altogether. All of this to say if you're not 100% I wouldn't recommend to start the marathon build up.
MJ - I have a 3h15 marathon. If I can't improve on that time I'll have to wait until I'm 45 years old to have a BQ (Since you need to be under the time to actually get in). Being the optimist I am I guess I just have to wait
That said, I have very little interest in running said race since as far as I understand it's not record eligible and I don't see the point in going through the marathon training grind and running it and suffering the 6 months of injury caused by it if I can't lower my PR (plus crazy weather). I have come to the conclusion that I'll need 2 perfect injury free cycles, one for a half marathon so I can run something similar to 1h25 again and lower my weight, and then launch from there on a 75+ miles per week training to the marathon. And then I'll have to choose whatever place on the globe that is flat and will be cold at the time I'm ready to race. And then sign up for about 3 marathons in 3 subsequent weeks so that if the first one is hot/freezing/raining stones I just do a long run and race the next one.
Anyway, this is my evil master plan to try to lower my PR and avoid many of the marathon shenanigans.
MJ - Although I now have a 2020 qualifier, not sure I'll be attending. My goal next year was to take things a bit easier over the summer and travel a lot, and then jump back into marathon training with the goal most likely being CIM in December. That would leave me no turnaround time for Boston. We'll see though, if I run it this year and end up loving it, maybe I'll just grind it out and go run it with Keen
Steve - Sorry for your fall, ankle sprains always feel the same when you first fall and then they go one of two ways: knock you out for weeks, or you're up and ready within a couple of days. Hopefully it's the latter
Flavio - Boston isn't record eligbile, but that doesn't mean you can't count a PR there. I mean you guys outside of the US constantly run non-certified courses and yet count them as PRs. My rule in the US is where you can qualify for the Olympic Trials with it or not. If yes, then count it as a PR (Boston would count). If not, then no. Basically just don't run some super gimmicky 2000 foot drop marathon. Anyway, would be cool to see you training for a marathon, I'm so excited to see what Piwi can do if his calf heals up.
Corey - No issues with an 8K, short enough that you can bounce back right away. Wouldn't run it within 10 days of the marathon, but I think that's about 17 days out for you so it's good. Pfitz actually has you running a 10K just 2 weeks out from the race.
Mark - Good luck with your race. You never know with 5Ks but you should be in PR shape.
Sellout Status - Yes, I sold out and bought the Vaporflys. But, I may need the trampoline effect with how bad my foot feels! I've only run twice in 14 days since the race and it's still bothering me. Going to try to pick up training for real this week and if it gets worse, going to have to see a doctor. The problem is podiatrists in the US are notoriously quacks, as seen by the one that diagnosed me with a stress fracture last year when I clearly didn't have one.
5K: 17:51 (5/18) | 10K: 36:21 (9/18) | HM: 1:20:39 (5/17) | FM: 2:46:17 (11/18)
Next Race: NYC Half (3/17/19)
Goal Race: Boston (4/15/19)
Aspiring Hobby Jogger
JMac - One, possibly both, of the marathons I'm sorta thinking of running next spring has tracking. I know it's always more fun following races with tracking! There may be a big RA meet-up for Botswana 2020, I'm looking forward to it!
Mick - Part of the low HR was just due to low temps during the race, but I do think I could have run faster. I'l probably elaborate a bit more when I finish my RR.
CFarr - Best of luck with the taper. I wouldn't have an issue running an 8k two weeks out.
Flavio - Sounds like you have a pretty good plan in mind for lowering your marathon PR (and weight!). No, I'm not saying that just because I just finished two cycles exactly the way you described...
5k: 18:54 9/18 │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:28:01 4/18 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18
Chisholm Trail Marathon 3/24
OKC Memorial Marathon 4/28
Anxiously waiting for CK's RR...
Ankle came up fine so the excruciating pain at the time was my only punishment for not concentrating while still being grumpy about a rugby match.
Cfarr - I've added your races, and yeah I agree no issues racing an 8k 2 weeks out from your marathon. It's a short enough race that it won't be an issue.
Steve - at least we somehow snatched a miraculous win in the cricket!
White River Marathon Race Report
I chose the White River Marathon to make a BQ attempt around just a few criteria: 1: It was within a 3-5 week window after the Wurst Race half marathon, a race I've run since it began (almost annoyingly finishing 2nd all 3 years). For some odd reason I'd just like to keep this completion streak going - I'd certainly like to win it at some point, though! 2: It was the flattest, and hopefully fastest, marathon within driving distance during that time window.
Toward the beginning of the year I had decided to work a bit more on speed rather than running a marathon and after much asking around had decided on a Daniels plan. I loved how that went and so decided to stick with it for my fall marathon cycle as well. Training went very well aside from a couple down weeks due to sickness (I frequently get sick whenever one of my kiddos so much as sneezes) and I averaged ~73mpw (would have been closer to 78mpw without the sick weeks).
Things were apparently going a bit too well during the taper, so life tried to intervene - DW and all three kiddos were diagnosed with strep throat between the Tuesday and Thursday before the race. This, combined with some possibly imagined throat soreness, sent me to the doctor as well. The race is nearly a 6-hour drive away and there's no way I wanted to do that if I was just going to be sick for it - much better to just scrap the race and after recovering put in some additional training and focus on a marathon later in the winter. Thankfully the strep test came back negative! Now I just needed to get out of the house.
The day before the race I made the drive to Cotter, AR. For those of you who have never driven in Arkansas, here's a quick description. Roads seem to do two main things as you get farther into that state: 1, They get narrower, & 2, they get more and more curvy. Roads in Oklahoma pretty much go directly from one town to the next, but here they wind back and forth, up and down over the hills in the Ozarks, taking the longest way possible between two points. Kind of like driving through the Colorado Rockies. Only with less altitude change and with more chicken farms.
Packet pickup at the school was super-quick, and the "expo" was the smallest I have ever seen - basically a single stand each for shirts, nutrition, and hydration. Not too surprising for a race with marathon/half/5k capped at 750 total.
Race morning I woke up with quite a bit of sinus congestion, something I dearly hoped was just due to allergies. I took my sweet time taking a shower, eating my usual pre-race stroopwaffle breakfast and getting dressed before loading down my pockets with electrolyte caplets and 6x total gels: One for just before the start, then one for miles 5, 10, 15, & 20, plus an extra just in case I dropped one during the race so I wouldn't have to make the decision to either go back for it or keep going and just skip out on some mid-race calories.
Weather at the start was just a bit cooler than I wanted at about 34*, but there was zero wind. Figuring that I'd warm up quickly once the sun came up I decided to forego arm warmers, going with just my shorts, singlet, and throwaway cotton gloves and beanie. I had decided days earlier that getting a BQ for 2020 (sub-3:05) was more important to me than pushing for a sub-3, which I thought was within the realm of possibility.
Being quite a small race, the 5k, HM, and marathon all started at once. Knowing my goal time and having checked race times for several previous years I lined up practically on the line.
Mile 1. Yes, I think this one deserves its own entry. The first 1/4 mile of the races takes you from the start near the school, across the 2-lane highway/main street of the town, and towards the White River. After that 1/4 the road goes sharply downhill in an S-curve for the next 1/2 mile, losing somewhere between 220-230' of elevation in the process, then flattening out and passing the RV park that serves as the finish for all three races. The plan here was just to try running the tangents and stay somewhat in control without braking with my quads too much. I found myself running next to a guy in a white singlet and remarked that there's nothing quite like opening a marathon with a mile at 15k pace. I see one spectator just as the road goes downhill - a guy in a folding chair with his feet propped up on a 5-gallon bucket, with another serving as a table for his coffee and newspaper.
6:27 (all laps manual & based on course markings, which I think were a bit off in cases)
Settling into an even effort after the screaming downhill I'm still next to White Singlet Guy (WSG), so I strike up a bit of conversation. Turns out he's an art teacher who ran the 10,000 & steeple in college, and ran 2:5x 13 days before, and finding out my goal decides to stick with me for a while so we can pace off each other. It also becomes readily apparent that the race conditions at the start weren't at all representative of what they are now. It was clear and crisp at the start, but with the elevation loss and being right next to the river it's now downright cold (likely below freezing) and foggy - we can only see about 100 yards ahead of us and to the left (west) because of this, and there is a very steep (~45+ degree) GPS-blocking hill covered in trees that starts immediately off the right (east) of the road. From here on out the course is essentially pancake flat.
Finding out I could chat with WSG at goal pace was something I took as a good sign. Just after mile 1 we passed a guy wearing a hat backwards that said "Run 405", which I recognized as having come from one of the LRSs in town. He was wearing earbuds, so I didn't bother saying anything to him. We were passed by a few people who were running the half, but no one running the marathon, so I figured I had lined up at about the best place possible.
Miles 2-9: 7:10, 6:48, 7:20, 6:36, 6:47, 7:40, 7:37, 6:45
I have "lap pace" and "lap time" set to show after each lap and seeing the differences in these values tells me that either the markings are a bit off in places and/or the trees and sharp hill to my right is messing with GPS more than I expected. The effort feels consistent, so I tell myself "no matter, as long as the course ends up being the right distance".
Things went quite smoothly through here, with the road following the course of the river and curving to the left and I was struck by how quiet everything was. Most of the other racers were either far enough ahead or behind that we couldn't hear any chatter from them, there wasn't much in the way of animal activity other than a few squirrels, and the houses and fishing lodges west of the road were quite sleepy as well. I saw spectator #2 at about mile 6.5 - a woman furiously ringing a cowbell. Perhaps a 1/2 mile after this we hit the first turnaround for the full and half. This gave WSG and myself a chance to count the number of marathoners ahead of us and to see how far ahead of us they were, and it looks like the guy in first isn't feeling too well. We wonder if perhaps he mistakenly got caught up running with people doing the half.
Miles 10-15: 6:35, 7:12, 6:55, 7:05, 6:59, 7:07
Just for a change the river (and thus the road) now start moving toward the right. Early here I start to feel a blister forming on a middle toe on my left foot. What the heck?? I can't even remember the last time I got a blister! Especially with a healthy layer of Trail Toes. Since this isn't an ultra-slow ultramarathon there's nothing I can do about this without wrecking my goal time, so I try pushing it out of my mind. It's still super-foggy and cold, but meeting other racers is a welcome sight. All through here hydration (just water at aid stations) and fueling go exactly as I wanted them to, though my fingers are cold enough that it was a bit difficult to fish out the electrolyte caplets from my waist pockets. The temperature has warmed slightly, but as the temp and dew point are still the same I'm having to frequently wipe condensation (not sweat) off my eyebrows and eyelashes.
Just before mile 13 we start to encounter the marathon leaders who have hit the next turnaround at the half and we see that there has been a change in leader - the guy who was ahead before the last turn looks worse now than before. There's also a tiny little dip in the road here that results in us going up a "hill" that seems disproportionately difficult to its size. Apparently even with all the course-specific training I've done the flatness is getting to me. WSG and I hit the turnaround at the half (within 1/2 second of my arbitrary 3:03:30 goal) and head back onto the road for the last outbound leg and I ditch my beanie since it's starting to warm a bit. Nearing mile 14 brings two big things: 1, my quads start to tighten and hurt. I knew this would happen, but I didn't think it would happen until at least mile 18. 2, we catch up to and pass the former leader. He's obviously having stomach problems as he's doubled over on the side of the road. At mile 15 WSG tells me we'll need to run 6:30's to catch the leaders and that he's thinking of trying to chase them down once we hit mile 16. I tell him to go ahead if he thinks he can, but that I won't follow since that's well beyond my abilities.
The sun has managed to get clear of the cliff immediately east of the road and the fog starts to burn off and we're able to see much more of the scenery than before, including the river for which the race is named. We also discover the location of an "airport" we have seen signs on the road for when a single engine plane lands on a strip of asphalt that's halfway between us and the river as we pass mile ~15. See an airplane land during a marathon? Check! We're also able to see that several of the houses along this stretch of road have small airplanes parked next to them just like a car would be.
Miles 16-20: 7:15, 6:57, 7:25, 6:50, 7:06
True to his word, WSG takes off just as we hit the 16-mile marker. Just before doing so he tells me that he's going to fake stomach issues if he blows up before the finish, and I tell him good luck and that I'll back up his story if I need to. Keeping pace requires a bit more mental effort now that I'm running all by my lonesome, and my quads keep getting a bit tighter and more sore, though they don't feel tired. Happily, my calfs and hamstrings continue to feel just fine. I pass the cowbell lady just before mile 19 and head to the second turnaround, which is at ~19.85 and located about 1/2 mile past the first turnaround for the half and full. The new leader looks like he's doing quite well as does WSG and the guy in 2nd. Interestingly, there's no timing mat or even a race official at this turnaround, so it's completely on the honor system. Mile 20, home stretch! I decide to try a little bit of visualization to help get me through this. I abandon this thought quickly since I've only run one 10k and don't have that course memorized, nor do I have a 10k loop I run frequently. Back to looking at trees that would have been pretty 2 weeks ago before all the leaves fell off and/or turned brown. I try taking my final gel and now run into a problem: my hands are so cold my fingers don't want to work properly. I neglected to further notch my gel packets before the race, so when I try using my teeth to tear the top off it tears at an upward angle - without opening the gel at all. I don't have the dexterity required to re-tear the packet with my fingers (the reason I used my teeth to begin with), so I put that gel back in my pocket and reach for my "extra" gel. Fortunately, I'm able to successfully open this one.
Miles 21-26.2: 6:58, 7:20, 7:01, 6:49, 6:57, 1:26 (6:25 pace)
Racers heading back out to the second turnaround are fairly few and far between at this point, though I do start passing more and more people who are heading back to the finish line/full turnaround for the first time. My calfs and hamstrings are still fine (and remain so), but my quads have gotten progressively more tight and sore. I recalled backing off the pace when this happened in the second of my three marathons. Back then I had thought that my legs might cramp (which is why I slowed down) but knowing now that it was to be expected I was able to just push on. In this section GPS pace became completely unusable as it was jumping between 6:30 and 10:30/mi, so I had to completely ignore that while focusing on perceived effort and Stryd.
Hitting the (half marathon) 10-mile marker I started trying to visualize my hometown 5k course as I kept moving. I was only able to do this for about a mile before I discovered focusing on passing people (all slower marathoners or half marathoners) was more helpful. I tried opening things up and running a bit faster at this point, but my legs just wouldn't do it. This didn't feel like fatigue, but rather that my quads were just saying "no thanks, we're good with how things are now". This wasn't the worst thing in the world since I knew at this point I'd be under the 3:05 BQ time, despite having slowed a little. I was so ready for the race to be over and so focused on the finish that I didn't even notice that tiny little "hill" that seemed oddly difficult the first time around. I went into the small S curve that lead to the finish and heard WSG (who ended up finishing 2nd) yell for me and saw 3:04:low on the clock and pushed as hard as I could, finishing in 3:04:13.
Overall, I'm thrilled with how the race, and my training leading up to it, went. My slight slowdown (1:31:45 first half, 1:32:27 second half) didn't feel at all like it was due to fatigue or lack of endurance, but rather my quads tightening up as they did (perhaps those are the same, but it felt different at the time). I was able to learn from the mistake of slowing down like I did two years ago when my quads tightened up and relearned how things feel late in a marathon so I think I'll be better able to judge appropriate effort next time.
My HR was lower for this marathon than for previous ones, which I attribute to both the cold temperatures running at a pace/effort that wasn't at the edge of or beyond my physical abilities. As for my decision to secure a BQ without pushing for a slightly faster time that may or may not have been possible for me, I'm quite glad I did. It was nice to be very happy with my race execution and the overall result and besides, sub-3 is still there and another good training cycle (or two) will make it much more doable.
Aside from the gel opening mishap, nutrition seemed flawless. I used Maurten gels, and despite the increased cost don't think I can go back to Gu or any other gel. They're unflavored, slightly sweet, and have an actual "gel-like" consistency rather than the thicker syrup-like consistency of other gels and are far easier to take in while at race pace. I also didn't have to time them around water stops at all - they go down and digest fine (for me at least) without it. The one downside to them is that they don't have electrolytes, which is why I was also taking electrolyte capsules (Endurolytes if anyone is curious).
As for the race itself, it went perfectly smoothly from packet pickup through to the awards and post-race meal. The small number of racers and grand total of two spectators did result in a "solo time trial" type of feel, particularly after WSG took off. For this reason I can't say that I can recommend the race to everyone, since many people I know feel like they need the external motivation provided by cheering crowds or groups of accompanying runners.
Going forward I don't have any immediate plans except for a turkey trot (running with DW, who has just started running again), and maybe a 10k if I can find one before the end of the year. Speaking of the end of the year, I *might* also be able to hit my stretch goal of 3,000 miles if I'm able to average ~10k per day; I don't see this being a huge priority for me, though. Given that my previous ultramarathon goal races are likely to be interrupted by family trips I have two marathons I'm tentatively eyeing for the spring (Chisholm Trail in March, and OKC Memorial in April), but for the time being I don't have a burning desire to jump into a huge training plan.
Mark - That cricket was great and working on the cricket software gives me an excuse to watch replays all day...
CK - great RR. This sounds like my kind of race. Cowbell supporter sounds awesome!