Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2018 (Read 698 times)


    Keen - It’s amazing how you guys have already planned all your races for next year. I envy your organizational skills.


    Piwi - If you do leg exercises try to avoid calf raises. I’ve heard from several PTs that it makes matters worse cause it makes it tighter, and instead you need to relax the muscle by stretching/rolling etc.

    LOL at waking up midnight and not being able to sleep. That happens to me sometimes, 2am, 4am. Not as often as of late though thankfully. This one time, I started reading about SpaceX and projects to colonize Mars and spent like 2h30 doing that in the middle of the night.


    Mark/Keen - I use chess on the smartphone to pass time when I have to wait for something. I’m playing against the Stockfish engine at 3% capacity as I found anything above and I start losing too often which defeats the purpose of pass the time.

    Then I hear you guys sacrificing horses for position, good lord, that’s some high level stuff, I know for a fact I never want to play against you guys haha.


    Mark - You’re good at chess and running and hockey and basketball. It’s not fair, tell us something you are bad at.

    Oh, and before it’s too late, congratz on winning the race, it seems to me you have started a little revolution on the local pecking order.


    Steve - I sometimes take a nap mid afternoon to complement my sleeping needs Big grin


    MJ - ouch, that’s the life of IT projects I guess, by the time you think you know 1% of the project you’re already moving onto something else. Good luck! My 3 month project turned out to be a 3 month project after all LOL. I can’t really complain with 2 weeks trip to San Jose + 2 weeks to Dublin all paid for by the company. I now need to find another project, as you know it’s really easy, I just need to know 593394934 frameworks from the top of my mind.


    me - 70km for the week. 6h12 of running + 3h of functional training. Will the weight drop? Don't miss the next episode!

    PRs: 1500m 4:57 5K 18:05 10K 38:12 HM 1h24 Full 3h15


      Flavio - nice week!  Don't worry, there is lots of stuff I'm bad at (I could fill an entire page if needed haha).


      Piwi - bummer the calf decided to strike back again Sad


      Me - glad I went for a pretty light taper week because I needed it on Sunday...


      M: weights

      T: 12.3km incl. short hill sprints and flat sprints

      W: weights

      T: 11km easy

      F: rest

      S: 7.6km incl. 4x1:30@moderate effort

      S: 22.3km incl. Omaha Half Marathon (1:19:15)

      Total: 53.3km

      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: Maraetai Half Marathon, 17 Mar, 1:20:09

      Up next: Waterfront Half Marathon, 14 Apr


        Mark it would have been over 20c for your race ?


        Flavio I do sometimes have a nap also. Usually by accident if Im on the couch in the afternoon sun....yawn yawn and Im out.

        I havent done any heal lifts luckily.


        I was reading about calf strains. Grade 1, 2 and 3. Im pretty sure mine is only a 1 which is a 7 day thing although Ive had it 5 weeks now. Probably just not letting it heal by doing tester runs. I wont run until next weekend now.

        50+ PBs5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18   

        10k 40:16 June 18

        " I have a plan to make my legs longer by wearing shorter shorts "      



        Hot Weather Complainer

          piwi - I definitely find that I extend a grade 1 by weeks by not waiting just a bit longer.  It's amazing how quickly it can go from sore to perfect after feeling like it is taking forever to heal.


          My week:


          Monday                   70 mins easy (although felt good so threw in 4km "moderate" pace, 4:07-4:25).  Overall 15.10km @ 4:38mins/km

          Tuesday                  Weights

          Wednesday             70 mins easy 14.96km @ 4:46mins/km

          Thursday                 60 mins easy 12.15km @ 5:06mins/km

          Friday                      Weights

          Saturday                  90 mins easy 19.46km @ 4:45mins/km

          Sunday                    Weights + 30 mins stationary bike


          Pretty solid week, felt a bit sluggish on Wednesday and had a bit of a niggle on Thursday.  Feeling pretty fit and have taken the pressure off now I'm not planning to race for a while - I could push it but I'm not quite race fit and too close to a calf niggle.  If I did race I think I'll just stay in the cycle of doing races when not quite seasoned enough and/or needing time out for yet another niggle.

          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


            Race Report, Omaha Half Marathon 2018

            (Auckland Half Marathon Series Race 2)


            After high winds and lots of rain on Saturday, the weather has mostly cleared by the start of the Omaha Half Marathon.  This race is always hot and often humid so I actually kinda would've liked the rain to hang around.  This year will be no exception as I crack a decent sweat just going for a 1.3km warmup jog around the block (it was 19C / 66F at race start... humidity was in the 90's too).


            Anyway we are staying in an Airbnb <100m from both the start line and the finish line so it's nice to feel like I am an elite athlete with my own personal pre-race toilet even though we paid a few hundred bucks for the privilege.


            The start line is always interesting as it will reveal two things - the depth of the field for this race, as well as the depth of the field for the overall half marathon series.  On the latter front, none of the faster runners from Devonport are here so series competition is not going to be as high as it was last year when it came down to the final race between me, Chris Trent and Brad Luiten.  The field for this race is also fairly shallow with Brad, a guy called Sam (who I think did this race last year in the low-1:20's) and no-one else I recognise (gotta be careful with this one though - last year the race was one by some elite Norwegian guy who was over here on holiday!!).  Turns out Brad is doing the Speights West Coaster next weekend too, I have no idea how he manages so many races!


            The hooter goes and we're off... I give my wife and daughter a wave and then lock into what I hope is a pretty comfortable pace.  Annnndd... I'm out in front and barely 500m later there's only one other runner with me, Sam.  Brad must be a little further back which is odd as normally he goes pretty hard at the start.  I'll admit this was kinda off-putting.  I expected a few overly-enthusiastic types (or maybe some genuinely fast ones) to have a crack at the start.  Instead it's just Sam and me.


            The first km is at 3:31 which is pretty perfect because it's all on-road, albeit we are then on to the pathway around the reservoir and won't see the road for another 4km or so.  I actually had fun with this, it's a relatively narrow shingle path, with a few sharp corners and lots of overhanging branches from the shrubs that surround the path.  It's clearly not going to be as fun for Sam who must be at least 6"3 and therefore has to deal with a lot more branches than me.  Anyway he is still with me and km 2 is pretty good at 3:40 considering all the turns.


            Then we're out and on to the concrete path through the dunes.  I cannot emphasise how much I dislike this section.  The pathway goes up and around and down and twists and turns and undulates and you can just never hit a rhythm at all.  There's a couple of k's before we hit the beach and Sam is still on my shoulder.  As we get to the beach I have to admire the lead bike - he has to dismount, carry his bike down 6 or 7 stairs, then get back on while never getting too far ahead of the lead runners.  He actually nailed it and I complimented him on it (he said "thanks, the other end of the beach is way harder").  Anyway I jumped down the stairs which was way quicker.


            The beach is not too bad.  Once you're down on the hard-packed stuff it's pretty comfortable and although it's a little windy it's more of a cross wind than a head wind here.  I notice Sam has basically positioned himself to draft off me but I am feeling pretty strong and I figure he is a lot bigger than me so I'm not blocking all the wind.  At this point it's also taking the edge off the heat and humidity quite nicely although I figure the NE is going to make the return over the causeway from Point Wells pretty miserable later on.


            The beach splits are a little slower at 3:53 and 3:52 but I'm feeling pretty good.  The exit from the beach is a little tricky as you have to go through the soft sand higher up the beach to get to the boardwalk... it's only 30m or so but kinda hard work so I focus on short, quick strides to avoid getting bogged down.  The first drinks stop is just around the corner once we are back on the road (hooray!!) so I grab a water, drink half and dump the rest over my head.  Sam must've slowed up a little here to pick up his water, I wonder if he will try and catch me back up and sure enough he does.


            The next 3 km's are the only long road stretch in the entire race.  This 3km was actually the best I felt in the entire race.  Around this point I finally figured out why this course is so tough, despite being flat.  It's not just the varied terrain, with probably around half the course being on beach, shingle track or grass.  It's the fact that firstly, it's almost always hot and humid, and secondly, it's just so damn hard to hit a rhythm when the terrain changes so regularly.


            Anyway only about 2 minutes after he caught me up, Sam has dropped back again.  So it's me, the lead bike and that's it.  This was a weird feeling as I actually realised that I maybe had a decent shot of winning if I could hold it together.  There were a couple of spectators here and one guy at the 7km mark said I was doing really well... I replied with 'long way to go yet!' so as not to get ahead of myself.  Took a first gel early-ish at 8km but hung onto the packet until the next water stop so as not to litter (it's a nice area and I was trying to be a tidy kiwi!).


            Anyway the splits down the road and across the causeway to Point Wells are quicker at around 3:44/km average.  Well off PB pace but pretty solid in the conditions.


            Still feeling good as we turn right onto the shingle cycle path (terrain change 5!) that cuts through the strawberry fields to Pt. Wells.  I grab another water at the 10.5km mark, look at the watch and figure I might be looking at something in the 1:18 mark for a time.  HR is a little high around 170 for this point in the race but it's pretty steady so I figure it's just the temperature and humidity.


            We're back onto the footpath in Point Wells now (terrain change 6).  A few spectators out but it's a pretty quiet area for the most part, but I like that.  The lead bike looks back at me fairly regularly, he was just doing it to check I was still there but for some reason it was a little off-putting.  I'm not sure why I'm using "we" as there was a bit of space back to 2nd by now (I don't know how much because I didn't want to look back), so I'll pretend I'm talking about me and the lead bike.


            Then we hit the grass at the Point Wells Reserve at around the 11.5km mark (terrain change 7).  It's spongy and energy-sapping and I can't wait for it to be over.  Brad said he actually backed off a bit here to save energy, which was probably smart.  You just have to work harder on every single stride as there's absolutely no bounce-back off the surface.  Also the sun is higher up now and breaking through the clouds and I remember Piwi's expression "hot suckage" which is probably gonna sum up the rest of the race.


            Anyway after just over a km of misery we're back on the road (terrain change 8) but I can feel straight away that grass has taken a bit out of the legs.  Coming up a little further down the road is a short u-turn just after the 13km mark which I figure will be a good chance to figure out the rest of the field without looking back.


            Sidenote: I hate looking back and always try to avoid it.  Whenever someone in front of me does it, it always gives me an extra little boost as I figure they're flagging and/or nervous.


            After the turn I notice Brad has moved into 2nd and I figure I have maybe 25 seconds on him.  Sam is in third but there's quite a way back to anyone else.  It's not a big gap and Brad is always a threat so I'll have to keep working.


            I hit a reasonable groove on the road for the next couple of km's (3:45, 3:44) and after we cut around the back of Point Wells we rejoin the 'out' course and there are runners heading in the other direction.  The lead bike does a great job of keeping everyone to the left so I don't really have to weave at all.  There's a few guys running shirtless and honestly, I was feeling pretty cooked at this point and starting to wonder if I should have done the same.  The HR is into the high-170's and I was actually looking forward to getting back on the shingle path (terrain change 9) because there's a lot of shade from the trees (where my HR promptly drops back about 5bpm).  A second gel, a water, and mentally I'm bracing myself for the hot slog back up the causeway.  There's a lot of support from the other runners although I'm a little deep into the cave to use energy acknowledging it (apart from one woman who went for a high five - couldn't leave her hanging).


            Left turn onto the road (terrain change 10) and here comes the pain.  The runners and walkers in the other direction provide a little shelter but this is really 2km of hot, upwind, slightly uphill suckage.  The pace unsurprisingly slows here (3:48, 3:54) and it's definitely tough going.  Mentally I know that after this there's a very short section back on the concrete dunes pathway, before the last 2km on the road with a very gentle downhill.  As we come past the surf club there's a 90-degree turn and I can't help myself so I take a quick look to my right and Brad is not far off at all, maybe 15 seconds.


            Oh. S%$t.


            (he actually told me later that this was as close as he got)


            I don't know whether it was pride, or adrenaline, or both but something kicked in here and I found just a little bit extra.  Even for the stupid dunes (terrain change 11).  I know that I can hold around here and once we hit the road, it'll be tougher for Brad to catch me.  I remember picking Chris Trent off late in the race here last year and I have no desire for that to happen to me, particularly not when I'm so SO close to my first ever half marathon win.  I push hard through the dunes and up the last little hill (90 degree turn, quick look back and I can't see Brad so he's not closing).


            Sidenote: The event photos actually caught this look back.  Might have to buy those photos tbh as a reminder.


            Terrain change 12.  Road to the finish.  Thank god for that.


            There's a water stop just after 19km but I have no intention of sacrificing seconds at this point and just concentrate on motoring towards the reserve and the finish line and pushing as hard as I can.  It worked and km 20 is quicker at 3:42.  There's not a lot left in the legs but I reckon I can hang on.


            500m to go... 300m... left turn into the reserve, a quick glance back up the road and I'VE HELD THE GAP!  There's a good 200m to go here but I can see the finish line and it is a pretty awesome feeling.  I've got this!  I can hear Jason on the PA as I approach the finish line and as I cross the tape I see my wife and daughter.  1st place!


            I was so happy I didn't even think to stop my watch for another 20 seconds, just as Brad crosses the line.  I congratulate him and tell him that I had to dig it in big time towards the end.  Sam is in 3rd, another minute or so back.  Jason interviewed me and I think I said something along the lines of the first 10km being pretty good, but then it got really hot and I had to really work at the end to hold Brad off, which is a much more succinct summary than this race report.


            Official time at 1:19:15 was slower than I'd hoped, but it was a tough day on a challenging course and I am beyond stoked to get my first proper half marathon race win.  It's always a bit of luck as to who shows up with some of these races, but you can only race the runners that are there and you have to enjoy these moments when you can.  It is a great way to top off what has been an awesome year and after it started with a whole lot of ITB misery I am pretty damn grateful for how it has turned out.

            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: Maraetai Half Marathon, 17 Mar, 1:20:09

            Up next: Waterfront Half Marathon, 14 Apr



              Credit to wifey for taking the greatest race pic of all time - both feet in the air, across the finish line, and breaking the first place tape!


              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: Maraetai Half Marathon, 17 Mar, 1:20:09

              Up next: Waterfront Half Marathon, 14 Apr

              "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


              Hot Weather Complainer

                Nice RR, and congrats again.  Sounds like this was every bit as satisfying as a PR race.


                Is that Brad with the headband?  I think I remember seeing him at the start of the Waterfront race.  He gains marks for his 80s style outfit!

                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


                  Steveit was pretty cool but I gotta say, I've gone almost totally off summer halves now.  It was hotter than the last 2 years at Omaha, which were bad enough, and being close to the longest day, the sun gets higher, earlier, which doesn't help either.  After this series is over I'm going to be very cautious about any halves between December and March.  I'm just not good in warmer conditions and my body feels more beat up than after any race I can recall recently.


                  Yep that is Brad in the headband.  He had pretty sweet sunglasses too!

                  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: Maraetai Half Marathon, 17 Mar, 1:20:09

                  Up next: Waterfront Half Marathon, 14 Apr

                  "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                    so much activity on here it's hard to keep up with it all

                    Piwi sorry to hear about the calf issue again.

                    Flavio Steve nice weeks

                    Mark congrats on a great race what an awesome feeling it must be to cross the line in first place. Nice race report too!

                    for me it has been another light week so far the last 3 weeks I have put in

                    • 36 miles
                    • 31 miles
                    • For this past week I had 30 miles with a good workout yesterday,

                    planning on 15-20 easy miles this week leading up to race day on Saturday


                    Weekly Summary
                    Monday, Nov 26, 2018 thru Sunday, Dec 02, 2018

                    <tfoot> </tfoot>
                    Day Miles Pace Description Link
                    Mon 4.1 9:15 Evening Run strava
                    Wed 5.0 8:52 Treadmill Tempo strava
                    Thu 3.1 10:14 Evening Run strava
                    Sat 11.2 7:47 3M+1E+1M+1E+2M+3E strava
                    Sun 7.0 8:36 Afternoon Run strava
                      30.4 8:36  


                    1m  5:38 (2018)

                    5k    19:59 (2019)

                    HM  1:33:56 (2018)

                    FM  3:23:07 (2018)

                      Great report Mark. Not an easy course or weather but you nailed a win. Brad looks like a totally cool dude.


                      Steve thanks for the calf advice. They are a frustrating injury. Im supposedly starting marathon training next tuesday.....

                      50+ PBs5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18   

                      10k 40:16 June 18

                      " I have a plan to make my legs longer by wearing shorter shorts "      



                        Corey - nice week and looking forward to seeing how the race goes.


                        Piwi - just trying to figure out my races for next year.  What do you reckon about that Mount Maunganui Half down your way at the end of August?  Looks like a nice course and pretty fast as long as the wind isn't from the NW?

                        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: Maraetai Half Marathon, 17 Mar, 1:20:09

                        Up next: Waterfront Half Marathon, 14 Apr

                        "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                        Glute Force

                          Mark great report thanks I enjoyed the read! 80s retro style rocks. I also like the lady in pink on the right side of the first picture. She rides her scooter barefoot obviously. But couple of hundreds for an air bnb? I thought those places were supposed to be cheap!!! Here comes the typical MJ question: what was the prize money?

                            Mark one year they had a solid headwind westerly and one year a solid tailwind easterly but hopefully light winds at that time of the day would be normal. Flat straight forward road running until the last 3kms round the mount. The sucky staircase is still there but I have the inside word that an alternative path to eliminate the staircase is been worked on.

                            50+ PBs5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18   

                            10k 40:16 June 18

                            " I have a plan to make my legs longer by wearing shorter shorts "      



                              Mark - Great race and report. I think we have to ammend the JMAC rule that you need to write a RR if you win a race, although I think you're the only one that will ever need to use that clause. You guys basically run obstacle courses, with your beaches, stairs, etc. I definitely think that racing too much causes your training to suffer, so I'm not surprised he's not as fast as he used to be. It does take a lot of dedication though, because racing is actually fun!


                              Flavio - Pretty cool to travel that much. I hope you racked up frequent flier points. I think that's the main benefit of traveling for business: getting status with an airline off of your company's dime.


                              MJ - we love your stupid posts, so please keep running and posting!


                              Me - Still not much to report, 45 miles this week, all easy running as I'm getting back into the swing of things.

                              5K: 17:51 (5/18)  |  10K: 35:59 (3/19)  |  HM: 1:16:21 (3/19)  |  FM: 2:46:17 (11/18) 


                              Next Race: Boston (4/15/19) 


                              Aspiring Hobby Jogger

                                Mark - Awesome job on the win! I'll get through the RR when I have a bit of time. Those are some pretty good pics your wife got, too. The over striding, heel striking fellow behind and to your left makes me cringe just a bit!
                                Also, great job punishing my mistakes in game 1.
                                I had never run in fog that thick before, so it was quite an interesting experience. Had I been running through a town, rather than on deserted roads, I probably would have stuck to the treadmill.

                                CFarr - Looking forward to your race!

                                MJ - Welcome back! IT folks are fast?? I work in a related industry and the only other guy I know who could go sub-90 is a former college runner!

                                JMac - You might try a look at the Brooks Canopy jacket if you're still in the market. I've picked one up and tried it on my run this morning (~30*, 5+ mph wind). It kept most of the wind off of me, but still vented well enough that I didn't overheat wearing it while running Reps.

                                It's basically a shell (no insulation), but seems to straddle the line between a soft running jacket and a full-on wind breaker in that it cuts wind better than the former (doesn't block it all), but breathes much better than the latter. It's just a bit wider than I'd like, but it fits better than anything else I've tried. With a bit of experimentation on what to wear underneath it should do well into at least the teens, which is likely as cold as I'll run in.

                                As a start to my new training cycle I did a bunch of short reps this morning, largely just to get my legs moving fast after a couple weeks of only slow, easy runs.

                                5k: 18:54 9/18 │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:28:01 4/18 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18

                                Upcoming Long Runs:

                                Chisholm Trail Marathon 3/24

                                OKC Memorial Marathon 4/28