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

    Good luck, Jen!


      The race I'm planning is the Diva Half in Myrtle Beach SC on 4/28. I did 7.4 in 1 hr 10 minutes today with some friends and it felt good, so I think I'm getting myself mentally ready.


      Thanks for the encouragement everyone! And I will have to check this thread more often to be able to keep up with everyone's progress. Good luck to those racing this weekend!


        Edith - How'd your trail race go?  Mud + snow does not sound fabulous, I think those should be an either/or situation.


        pcaharrier - sounds like you put together a great week.  And mustache-icicles?  Yikes.


        Zelanie - How's your weekend panning out sans-long run?


        ann - nice 7-miler.  Also, I love your avatar.


        me - Race Report!  Ran the Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 20 miler today.  It's more like 20.7 miles, actually, and "ran" may be stretching the truth just a bit.  Weather was 30F at the start, and overcast, and it probably rose maybe 10 degrees during the run.  It had rained on Thursday, and the course was super muddy.  The elevation map sent out with course map said about 40% would be uphill, 40% downhill, and 20% what passes for flat in a trail race.  It's mostly on bridle path through Wyandotte County Lake Park, on a loop wheeled at 10.35 miles.  2 loops for the 20 miler, 3 for the 50K runners.

        I met several friends at the start, and we sat in one friend's jeep to stay warm, and then walked to the start together.  Even the start was entertaining - bunch of runners milling about in the grass, and eager dogs everywhere.  The race director caled everybody to line up, blew a horn, and we were off (the 20 milers and 50K runners started together.)  The first little bit was just through a field, then we crossed a bridge and hit the bridle path.  On this first loop, then path was muddy, but not too bad.  The first 2.8 miles to the first aid station are winding single track through the woods, up and down hills, with a shallow water crossing.  I was really enjoying the friendly company.  The first aid station was at 2.8 miles, and it was immediately apparent that this is a different deal than a road aid station.  The volunteers were super cheerful, asking everyone what they needed.  There were miniature candy bars, brownies, potato chips, orange slices, banana chunks, and gatorade and water.  I just had some gatorade at this station, and set off again.  The next little bit was ziggy-zaggy single track that changed direction about every 5 strides.  This was one of my favorite parts of the race.  A little over a mile of this looped us back to the same aid station, and then we took a sharp right turn.  The next part of the course was on mostly higher ground and not as muddy.  I could actually run long sections of it.  Before the next aid station, we crossed a long field next to the dam and came up on the road to an aid station along the dam.  Here there was more yummy food, and sports drink and water.  I ate a snickers bar and couple of potato chips, and drank some more gatorade.  At this point, we were halfway to halfway, and I was thinking this was not so bad.

        The second half of the loop soon set me straight.  Mostly in the woods, it featured sharp climbs and steep drops, through deep mud with rocks.  Thank God for trees, because sometimes they were the only thing keep me upright.  Also, I had a lovely nerd moment out there.  At one point, I was sliding down a steep muddy, rocky hill, when the guy behind me said "Oh, let me give you some more room before I take us both out.  Because F=ma, and I got a lot of m in this a!"  I giggled over trail runners making physics jokes for like the next 10 miles!  Turns out this guy and several other around me work for Garmin, and were all out running various length races (Garmin headquarters are local.)  Several of the steep climbs actually had ropes strung so you could pull yourself up - which it turned out I needed!  The last 2 miles of the loop were pretty rocky, and I slowed a bit not wanting to fall.  Starting from 4 miles out from the start/finish there were signs every 1/2 mile  "4 miles to go, 3.5 miles to go..." etc.  I swear it was getting longer between each sign!  Finally, there was a relatively flat tenth mile section, and I could hear cowbell.  I rounded one last curve and there was the finish - or in my case, the turn off for the aid station and the start of the second loop.  I refilled my handheld water bottle, ate some Gu, some peanut M&Ms, and some gatorade, and set off again.

        I'd promised myself I'd drop to the 10 miler if I fell, but I arrived at loop 2 with no excuse to stop.  Legs were a little tired, but not too bad.  I'd been secretly hoping to break 4 1/2 hours, and I hit the end of the first loop in 2:10Tight lippedx and thought maybe I had a shot!

        But, it turns out, hundreds of runners running through mud tear up a trail pretty good.  Even the start of the second loop was now very treacherous, with deep grooves in the mud, and slick areas were folks had slid.  I could still run up some of the hills, but going down was pretty hard.  About 2 miles in to the second loop, I had what I guess I have to call a fall.  The mud was really deep here, and shoe-sucking, so I'd slowed to a slow walk and had just climbed over a down tree when my right foot got caught in ankle deep mud.  Unable to pull it free, I slowly sank to my knees and put both hands down in the mud.  Fortunately, the different angle freed my foot!  The guy behind me checked to make sure I was ok (the "fall" actually felt like sinking into memory foam!) and then laughed and said "Well, at least nobody saw it!"  Apparently other trail runners don't count.

        The volunteers at that first aid station were super impressed with my coating of mud.  One nice guy took my handheld water bottle and cleaned it off well and refilled it so I could still drink from it!  Next, was the very twisty section through the woods.  Now the mud was worse, and my shoes were picking up more weight and leaves were sticking everywhere.  A nice lady and I traded spots several times - I'm much better going uphill, and she was much better downhill.  We passed the aid station again, and then for the nice part of the course on higher ground that was not too muddy.  At mile 14, a guy blazed past me calling out "looking good!" as he blew past me.  I was pretty puzzled - surely he couldn't have lapped me already?  I found out later that, yep, he'd lapped me.  He went on to win and blow away the course record for the 50K and finish in 3:59!

        We came up to the dam aid station again - 3/4 of the way there!  I was getting tired now, and was kind of dreading the really steep hills the second time around.  I didn't look at my watch, but I knew I was significantly slower on the second loop due to how chewed up the course was.  I had more candy, and several orange slices which were fabulous, and then off I went.  The second half of the loop was really treacherous by now.  The uphills made my quads scream, even at a walk, and then downhills were like big slides.  After sliding several times on one of the downhills, I finally just gave up, turned backwards, put my hands down, and slid down the hill on purpose.  That got me several laughs.  The last 2 1/2 miles were hard, hard.  Every time I'd struggle up a hill I'd think to myself that maybe I was done running, but then I'd start to jog again.  My shoes seemed to weigh about 800 lbs each, being so full of mud, plus leaves and gravel stuck to them.  Those 1/2 mile countdown signs seemed to get even farther apart on the second loop.  There were several very rocky sections in the last 2 miles, and I walked those thinking it was much better than risking a fall again.  I got lapped by 3 more guys in the last 2 miles, all running strong and looking good.  They all said something encouraging as they passed me.  I like trail runners!

        Finally, I was on the last flat tenth of a mile, and I could hear that cowbell.  I managed to run almost my normal road pace somehow for the last little bit.  Around the last corner, and the happiest word ever "Finish"!  A couple of 50K-ers were near me, and I was not envying them as they turned instead to head out on the third loop.  All I could think about was sitting down.  I took a right turn at the finish, and a friend who had run the 10 miler (which started an hour after us) had to point me back to get my medal!

        This may be the most tired my legs have ever been - and I've run 3 marathons, but it was truly a grand time out there in the woods!  Final time 4:38Tight lippedx for 20.7 miles.  Super cool medal with a tornado that actually spins!  And lentil soup and hot chocolate at the finish.

          Jen- Wow, sounds like a fantastic race!  Congratulations to you!  Are you glad that you went ahead for the 20 miler even though the trail was all choppy?  And lentils and hot chocolate sounds about perfect for the finish!


          Me- Just back from a really enjoyable 8.25 mile MLR.  Hit the mid 9:30s in the second mile and just cruised along at that pace until the last mile, which I ran in 9:19.  I was supposed to stop at 8 but was having a good time and didn't want to stop right before this little hill that I know is good practice.

            Sounds like a fun time Jen.  The trail race people do seem to be VERY supportive compared to a road race, I guess they really have to be because it is a whole different world out there.


            I ended up missing the mark on my little 2 miler by 1 second!  Ran a 14:32 and the record for the fat boy division was 14:31!  I thought I was running hard, but I know I could have picked up a couple seconds out there somewhere.  I actually thought I was giving it my all and saw 14:12 or something like that on the clock and started sprinting it in and came so close to making it.  I still haven't figured those short races out, my legs don't feel bad and my HR doesn't max out, it's my breathing that gives me trouble.  Like an almost side stich for about the last 3/4 of the race.  Of course it doesn't help probably that I ran 8 miles Thursday and 6 miles Friday before the race on Saturday.  It was still fun though.  Did get first place in the fat boy division for this year anyway.

            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)


              docjen - Awesome race!! It sounds like it was so much fun, yet so hard, all at the same time. I'm glad you didn't sustain any injuries, and that you had a great time.


              Zelanie - Nice run! You seem to have hit a sweet spot with your running where they're all good ones. Yay for that!


              Nathan - Congrats on the race!! I think it's harder to miss a goal by seconds than it is minutes, but it sounds like you ran an excellent race and you have the finish time to prove it!


              me - I ended the week with 32 miles, and for once most of them were outside! Yesterday's 10 miler started outside, but the wind made it soooo cold. After about 4 miles my friend looked at me and noticed my lips were blue. That was our sign that it might be a bit too cold, so we both headed home to finish on our TMs. Luckily for me we were close to my house when we called it, so my transition time was much shorter than hers. Last night we got about 5 inches of new snow, which would b run-able if it weren't for the 40 mph winds blowing it around.


              Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!

              PR's: 5k - 23:33/ 10k - 48:30/ 5 mi. - 39:21/ 13.1 - 1:53/ 26.2 recent - 4:34


              Upcoming races: Resolution Run HM 1/1/13

                                          Phoenix R&R    HM 1/20/13


              If you ask

                Amn - I did a Diva Half in Long Island.  Do you have a pink outfit?   It seems to be the dress code, heehee.


                Docjen - Your RR is everything I love about trail running!  I am so happy that you had such a great experience...with mud!!  I, too, find myself more physically tired after a longer trail run compared to after a marathon.  You're lucky to be skilled with up hills.  I'm great on uphills in road running but climbing the super steep trail hills gives me grief.  It may have something to do with living in a fairly flat state.  However, I FLY on the downhills, danger be damned!  congratulations!  Oh, and as for the 20.7 miles, it seems that trails are always a bit off.


                Zelanie -  nice pace!   I love when I feel so good out there that I just have to run  more.  Non-runners would never understand that!


                npaden-  two measly seconds from the record!!  Darn!  But great job, for sure.  I think trail runners are so supportive bc we understand how we are just plain crazy to be out there doing what we're doing.  Crazy fun.


                Jan - nice weekly mileage (again).  You rock.  Sorry you're back on the TM but you did get some nice outdoor time.  good call in going indoors. That wind sounds atrocious!


                Me - ran the 5 mile trail "race" yesterday.  It was an informal race, set up by one of the guys with whom I trail run.  He had posted it on a local road running group's fb page and we actually had about 17 people show up (which is about 12 more than I expected!).  I really enjoyed the run, as I know the trails fairly well.  I decided not to race and ran with a friend instead.  That being said, it is hard to get to the end of the race and KNOW you should've/could've beaten at least 5 runners who finished before you, but  I run hard through the woods when I run with the boys (always a speed workout ) so I really enjoyed running an easier pace with my friend.  She pushed herself and did a great job so it's all good.   We had everything you would want in trail running... snow, ice, roots, rocks, water crossing, downed trees, and squishy, sinking MUD.  Heading out now for 5 or 6 miles on the roads.  Will be nice to run with dry feet.


                Happy Running to All!

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


                  So glad that everyone on here from the NE (in the midst of the storm) is okay.  So many posts to reply to; I do love the end results of completing your races or training runs no matter what, or taking a rest day.  Sometimes that is what we need.

                  Been back in northern AZ since Thursday, plane delay in PHX messed up my planned trail run of at least 8 mile before an evening meeting.  I was hungry and tired by the time we finally arrived.  Had just enough time to eat dinner before my meeting, then quick grocery shopping, bought wood pellets for the stove, and went home. Storm predicted throughout the night but it stayed in the mountains where all the skiers took advantage of it on Friday but it was windy, and woke up with a severe migraine.  Had not had one in years!!  WTheck?!? Barely made it through my online meetings and conference calls, sleeping when I could in the complete darkness and total silence, couldn't keep any food or liquid down which aggravated the migraine even more. I took 4 tabs of ibuprofen and was asleep by 9 pm.  Didn't wake up till 6 am to a winter wonderland!!  What a difference that made!!  Felt marvelous and hungry and thirsty Approve Saturday morning.

                  Ate breakfast, got my running bag with trail running stuff and just in case, indoor gym stuff, went to my HOG chapter meeting to say hi to my biker buds, snowed all morning but roads were okay despite the slush and wind.  Went to the trail I wanted to run and had to stop after a mile:  too muddy and slushy making it too slippery, snow packed, and windgusts of 30/40 mph, about 15 degrees but with windchill, felt like I was back in MN Roll eyes and continued to snow!!  I was hellbent on running no matter what so I used a guest pass for the local health club from a friend, and ran 12.5 miles on the TM!! I could have run more but after 12 miles on the TM which I have a love/hate relationship with, well ........ got bored and hungry!!  Felt soooo rested, unbelievable!!

                  But I need to taper now for my HM on the 17th.

                  Jen:  awesome!! glad you didn't get hurt. thanks for sharing your race day!! way to go!!

                  npaden:  bummer on the 'almost' made it but it feels good to know your training is paying off!!  You'll get it next time!!

                  anm77:  plenty of time to train for the April HM; I know you'll rock!  That sounds like fun, been wanting to run in one of those but schedule conflicts.  "one of these days" .......

                  jan:  sounds like my Saturday attempted trail run, Joking. Our hearts were in it and we still got it done, yay!!


                  Stay safe and warm everyone!

                  PRs In my 50's:  10k trail=52:00;10 m rd=1:23;10 m trail=1:31; HM=1:52; 25K Trail=2:40; FM=4:10; 50k=7:18



                    Npaden –. It is great that your streak is 37 days! You almost broke the record! Congratulations in getting 1st place!


                    Doctorjen – 20 mile trail race immediately after it rained! That’s awesome!


                    EdithRevisited – good job in resting so that you can have fresh legs at the race. It is cool that you stick with your friend and had fun at race


                    Pcaharrier – 6 miles at 8.30! that is quick!


                    Zelanie – you had a nice 8.25 miler. Great job


                    Jan26.2  -it is interesting that you run 30+ miles on your ‘keeping it easy weeks’


                    Me – I did this progressive thing in which I start running a little faster than 10 min/mile and increase sped at every 3rd minute till I hit my desired HR. I did one of those today and last 3 minute intervals was at 8 min/mile. It was a tough one for me.

                      npaden- How frustrating that all you needed was one more second!  Sounds like you ran a great race though!


                      Jan- Sounds like a good call moving your run inside!


                      Edith- Sounds like you had a good "race".  I've never been able to enter and not try to run my hardest, but it definitely sounds like a good time supporting your friend and the event.


                      az2- Good luck with your taper!


                      Hector- Nice run!  Always fun to see what you can do when pressed. Smile


                      me- Another good run today!  The schedule called for 7, with 4@tempo.  I was a little nervous because I've never run more than 2 tempo miles without a recovery (and that was only once, two weeks ago).  I also figured the biggest challenge would be the mental one of worrying about making the entire distance.  So I started on the easy side of my range (actually just above) for two miles, then upped the pace every mile after that.  Tempo miles were 8:57, 8:57, 8:49, 8:42 (yes, I was on a TM since I knew I wouldn't finish the run before dark and DH is getting nervous about me running alone in the dark).  It was tiring but not totally exhausting.  So I'm feeling pretty good about that!


                      Super B****

                        Jen -- awesome race, it sounds like!  Trail running is just so much more fun that road running, isn't it??


                        npaden -- nice race, though it must have been frustrating to get SO close.  I did laugh at the "fat boy division" -- it's not actually called that, is it?!


                        I haven't run since February 4th, and I'm going a little stir-crazy.  But I DON'T have a stress fracture, which, with my history, is good news.  Last night I had a dream that I ran 26.2 instead of 13.1 in Jerusalem and I didn't even notice as it was happening.  Yeah, right.

                        chasing 5:59


                        because i never shut up ... i blog


                          Zelanie – great tempo run. It is awesome the you had the longest tempo run and increased speed every mile!


                          Bluerun – great news that you done have stress fracture.


                          Me – wife and I are preparing for the same race. I am going for HM and she is going for 10k. yesterday she ran 10k without stopping for the first time! It was great to see how excited she was after her run. I ran 6.3 on treadmill this morning


                            Jen - Great race report!  Sounds like you had fun and, as you pointed out a while ago . . . a medal with a spinning tornado?  Too cool to pass up!


                            Zelanie - Sounds like you had a good week, especially stretching yourself a bit on the tempo run.  "[T]iring but not totally exhausting" is pretty much how those should go, I think.


                            Nathan - Too bad about that two mile race.  One second!  Is that meet a regularly-recurring thing?


                            hector - Yeah, it felt quick too.  I would not have thought I could do it even a few months ago.


                            I'm now within 10 days of race day, so I don't have any more hard workouts on the schedule.  I'll do an 8 mile, easy run this weekend, but other than that it's all shortish, easy runs.  This last week made me feel pretty well-prepared for my race on Sunday.  Last Saturday, I did a long run of 12.55 (no good landmarks for an even 6 turnaround spot) and clocked in at right around 9:00/mile.  I had no intention of going that fast, but I ran a course on which I'm not as familiar with where the mile markers are.  In any event, if I can do that without feeling like I'm pushing the pace, I have to think that the training has definitely set me up for a PR in the HM.


                            Or rather, I would have thought I have a great shot at a PR if it weren't for the extended forecast: "Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. High of 45F. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of snow 40%."  Granted, we're still more than a week away from that, but I guess I just have to hope that the forecast gets better and not worse.


                            I also had a good workouts on Tuesday (6x1 mile at slightly faster than goal pace) and another really good tempo run this morning( during which I came closer to hitting right on my goal pace than I have for at least a couple of months).


                              EdithRevisited-guess I'll look for a pink outfit so I'll fit in Smile  What did you think of the Diva, fun race and well-done? It looks a little cheesy I admit, but fun. Plus the timing and location couldn't be better-I am not far from Myrtle Beach and my parents actually live close to there. So, why not?


                              Zelanie-impressive tempo run. I have found I'm not great at those and need to work on that. Yes, I am a few days behind...


                              hectortrojan--love that you are doing a race with your wife. Fun! And sounds like she is doing a great job training too.


                                Well my race is this Sunday.


                                After some very good weeks of very good workouts and progressions, I hit some kind of wall a week ago. Nobby pronounced me over-trained and prescribed a very light load of almost all easy running to get me out of the hole. I have been running all of the easy miles by perceived effort and kept them all within his guidelines. Today called for just 2 easy miles. I glanced at my watch at the halfway point and was pretty surprised to see that  I was at about 15 seconds faster than my HM goal pace. I'll take that as a good sign.


                                Weather here has been unseasonably warm all winter, so far. The last two days have been 77 & 76 degrees with 90 percent humidity. Not exactly ideal. (I know, cry me a river.) However, we are due to get a front coming through Saturday and race time temps on Sunday are forecasted to be in the mid-40's.


                                THAT would be a gift from above.