>Racing>Sub 2:00 Half Marathon thread
pcaharrier - good luck on your marathon! I think you will smoke it!
miele - congrats on the weekly mileage PR. I think you are on target for a new marathon PR as well for sure unless your race weather holds up and you end up having to run in another hurricane or something!
me - easy week before another local half marathon on Saturday. This is the one that advertises itself as the "The Most Challenging Half Marathon in Texas". Last year the weather was challenging as well as the course with 70+ degree weather and 25-30 mph winds. At least this year the forecast is WAY better with upper 40's at the start climbing to upper 50's at the finish and winds around 10 mph. My last 13 mile run was my last half marathon back in September so not expecting a PR between the tough course and the low volume of training, but hopefully I'll knock a few minutes off the 1:54 time that I put up on this course last year. I'm leaning toward pacing myself for a 1:50 and just enjoying the run without trying to put the envelope. We'll see what happens once I get to the starting line though!
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)
I've been reading this thread for inspiration and thought I would contribute my own story! Would also love feedback on setting realistic goals. I am a 42 year old woman. I ran somewhat seriously in high school and college (5k and 10k)and then lapsed into being a lackadaisical user of elliptical machines and stationary bikes in my 20s and 30s. I rediscovered running this past year.
I ran my first half marathon at the end of August with the goal of simply finishing comfortably. My time was 2:19:17, a per mile pace of 10:38. I loved it, was immediately hooked, and signed up for another one.
For my second half marathon in early November, my dream goal was to hit a per mile pace of 9:30. My more realistic goal was 10:00 per mile. My tertiary goal was to simply improve, however little. I am happy to report that I came within a smidge of hitting my dream goal, finishing at 2:04:46, a per mile pace of 9:32. More importantly, I had a blast again and remain in love with this race.
GOAL SETTING: So my next half is in late February. I realize my rate of improvement will slow at some point, but I think I can aim to improve by yet another minute per mile, thus aiming for around an 8:30 pace (around 1:51 overall). I have time to run around 40 miles a week (I currently vary between 30 and 40).
OTHER GOALS: My secondary goal for the next half if I can't hit 8:30 is to hit 9:00 per mile, and my tertiary goal will again be to improve my previous time, however little. This may be looking too far ahead, but I'm also fantasizing about hitting 7:30 in the half by the end of 2014.
QUERY: I'd welcome anyone weighing in on whether my goal setting is realistic- especially is it realistic to get down to 8:30 per mile In the half within the next 3.5 months or so, given my age and sex (42 yo, female), a training schedule 30-40 miles per week, and a recent per mile pace of 9:32 in the half?
Current PRs: Half-marathon: 2:04:46 (Nov. 2013) /10k: 55:01 (Oct. 2013)/ 5K: 25:40 (Dec. 2013)
Upcoming races: 5k Jan. 25, 2013
Half marathon Feb. 23, 2014
Oh, and I REALLLLY enjoyed Doc Jen's marathon story. COngratulations! It's reading that stuff that makes me want to get out and run!
pc- It's getting sooooo close! How's the carbo-loading going? Are you totally sick of eating yet? I just checked the weather for your race and it's still looking good. The site I was on said there would be a 14 mph wind. I hope that calms down or is at your back. Looks like a beautiful course. Is your DW running any of the shorter races? Good luck and have fun!!!
Lurch- Nice 20 miler! Did you recover well from it? I'm counting down days, too, but that doesn't make it get here any faster.
Free- Just realized you're on the Loop. I almost always forget to check it out but I enjoy reading all the experiences. Have you ever participated in a LoopFest?
hector- I'm watching a lot of Premier League right now (when they decide to show it but, fortunately, they've been showing quite a few matches lately). And now there are some Champion League matches being shown. Love it. Did your BIL play on a European team? I'm not so familiar with the players/teams of other continents. I remember your annual 5k Thanksgiving run. Sounds like a blast.
stever- Yay for painless knees!!!
Nathan- I hope you're right about a new marathon PR. I wish I could just ignore my HM time but I can't assume I'm fitter or more capable than that would indicate. Doc, on the other hand, didn't let her rotten HM get to her head and just look at what she did! Amazing! It's still too early for me to start checking the weather but if there's another hurricane then, well, so be it. Have fun in your HM! Sounds like a solid pacing plan to me.
Pandora- Welcome! Nice work on your HM times after only two of them! I tend to think that 3.5 months might not be enough time to speed up that much ( a minute per mile faster is a lot) but I don't know what your natural potential is. I do know that 40mpw is great for a HM. Are you following a particular plan? Are you doing any speedwork? If you're not doing speedwork it would be beneficial to throw in a tempo once a week. No telling how fast you could end up being but it's good to have goals and to try. A few people on this thread are super fast which is very inspiring and you might end up being one of those before too long.
me- 13 today with 9@ 8:50. I had a mini-streak going of 21 days but I took a much needed rest day yesterday. In fact, I decided to take a week off from the gym, as well, so all my little muscles are atrophying (don't know if I spelled that right) as I type. Nothing but easy miles the rest of the week.
10K: 47:12* / 13.1: 1:50:56 / 26.2: 3:53:48
it's great to get some feedback. I think I will start off aiming high and then revise my goals as need be as the race gets closer and I have a sense of where I am. I am using training plans in a book on women'so running by Claire Kowalchik. Her plans involve one long run per week, one speed work out per week, one tempo run, and then a couple of short, easy runs. I am probably going to experiment with some other plans, plus running a couple of 5ks in the next few months. And I will keep checking back here for inspiration!
Pandora-welcome to the group! Your stats sound a lot like my wife's HMs. Her first HM in April 2013 was at 2:20, but she had a horrible side stitch in the last few k's. She ran her second HM in September and finished in 2:06. Her next HM is in April 2014, and she is trying to go sub 2h. I'm sure she'll nail it.
For her, long runs on Sundays (up to 17k), tempo and speed work and some hills during the week. Her average mileage is about 15-30kpw.
On my side, I ran my first HM in 2011 at 2:04, and now my PR is 1:44. I found that speed work and long runs and proper fueling were the key. No magic in it at all. Keep at it with a good plan, and you will become an certified sub 2 member.
5K/22:33 10K/47:52 21.1K/1:44:06 42.2K/4:07:372014 Goals: 5K<22:00 10K<45:00 HM<1:40 FM<3:45
Thanks stever1966! Wow, you've gotten fast!
i do find it's easy to get carried away imagining future successes (I've already qualified for the Boston Marathon . . . In my MIND!) so it's nice to remember that significant improvement does happen for real, but with patience and with putting in the time and the workouts. I'll definitely be checking back in here.
A cool quote I thought up and wanted to share :
"At first you are waking up to run, after a while the run is waking you up !"
Keep up the grind and push hard people, have a great weekend!!
5k = 19.48 10/1/13
10k = 45.28 4/16/13
Half Marathon = 1:38.53 Summer Sizzle 7/13/14
Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/12 4:39.11
Solo O Marathon 06/02/13 3:52:10
Operation Jack Marathon 12/26/13 3:40.34
If you ask
Hello again to all.
Congratulations to DocJen on a very Awesome race!! Quite inspiring, to say the least.
I have been reading and (somewhat) keeping up with the goings on here. Thank you for all of the kind words.
Last Sunday my bro and I ran our last long run before tapering. We ran 16 miles and I was really surprised to find that I kept a 9:30ish pace. Now I am very confused how to approach the marathon next Sunday. I think I am planning to start conservatively at a 10 m/m pace and then pick it up at halfway, and a bit more for the last 5-6. The problem is that my training has been totally messed up so I really have no idea where I'm at. I wish I had a few more weeks...
Ugh, because of heightened security the race is asking for runners to arrive by 5 am (race starts at 7) for bag check, possible gear check. I may need to wear about 3 layers of throwaways on top, 2 on bottom, if I'm going to be standing outside for over 2 hours. I hate being cold, Sigh....
Wow, everyone seems to be getting in some pretty serious running.....
Miele: impressive mileage! Sacramento better watch out!
DocJen: what can I say that hasn't been said already. Quite an honor for the sub-2 thread to have a BQ in its ranks!
Edith: Good luck in Philly. The 5am arrival sucks! I left my hotel at 6am last year, and got to the start at around 6.15am. Wrap yourself up, and don't beat yourself up about the time
Pandora: I would second Miele's advice. Knocking off a minute in three months is a lot, depending on your genes. We all have a genetic limit to how fast we can run, but we do not know that limit until we reach it! Personally, I think a goal between 1:55 and 1:59 woul dbe more realistic, but you may surprise yourself. You certainly have the necessary mileage to run fast (40mpw)
Me: averaging 35 / week. Two good speed sessions (by my standards) this week: 4 x 1600 in 8m each followed by 2 x 800m in 3:40 in the middle of the week, and a 5-mile tempo this morning at 8:10. Hoping this will pay off for some races between Thankgiving and December 15th.
Seriously considering investing in some expensive Gore / Goretex gear to ensure I can stick to my marathon training through the winter without having to resort to the dreadmill too much...
Personal bests (bold = this year): 5K - 23:27 / 5M - 38:42 / 10K - 49:31 (track) / 10M - 1:24:26 / HM - 1:51:17 / M - 3:58:58
Next races: NYC Marathon, Nov 2014
Had an unexpected PR this morning on my half marathon. I guess the stars aligned and I ended up running a 1:43:26 on a course that they label as "The most challenging half marathon in Texas." It is fairly hilly, but it nets downhill and the weather was really good this morning and it all combined to make it a PR day for me. It was a big improvement over last year when I ran a 1:54:23 on this same course but on a pretty warm and really windy day.
I'll try to update with a full race report soon.
Thanks Two-foot shuffle! It's good to hear what might be reasonable. Honestly, much as I love imagining improving by amazing leaps and bounds, I would just be SO thrilled to see anything under 2:00 -- an artificial line perhaps, but so exciting!
Congratulations Nathan! People's race re-caps are a lot of what make me excited to run so am looking forward to reading yours.
Okay, here's my race report.
This race doesn't start until 9:00 so I went ahead and ate a full breakfast around 7:30 and left the house around 8:15 for the short drive over to the race. I forgot that you have to go through the entrance gate for the lake that they hold the race at so I ended up running a little late when it was all said and done. They say they stop check in for the race 30 minutes before race time, but they usually let you straggle in for a while and I was checked in about 25 minutes before the race. As far as pre-race goes, the only tidbit to remember for the future is that 2 diet cokes in the morning before the race was probably too much. My stomach was sloshing around a bit for the first 5 or 6 miles of the race.
Ran an easy mile to warmup, but no strides or anything like that. On my easy run Friday afternoon, I felt a knot in my right calf muscle and wasn't able to work it out. I had used my stick and massaged it last night, but it was still hanging around this morning. It didn't seem to affect my running, but it is noticeable for sure. I felt it pretty much every step of the race and can still feel it sitting here in my chair typing this up.
The weather was close to perfect, 48 degrees and about a 10 mile per hour west wind at that start, when I finished it had climbed up to 58 degrees and 13 mph wind but still WAY better than last year when it was 70 degrees and wind 25-30 mph.
My HRM strap wasn't working so I just took it off and wrapped it around my race belt. I was going to have to be able to run this one by effort and pace. I kept telling myself to go out at an 8:15 pace and then I could pick it up later in the race if I still had anything left in the tank.
Well, I didn't listen to myself very well. I had my phone set to tell me my time every 1/4 mile and I think the first split it gave me was around a 7:15 pace, I tried to slow up a bit and did, but I really felt like I was running a relatively easy pace and my first mile ticked off at a 7:41. There was a 2 mile race that started at the same time so several folks split off for that, but there was still a pretty good group continuing on for the half marathon. I felt like I had a pretty good pace going, something I could sustain for a long time and there were several folks passing me, but I kept telling myself that it was a long race and they probably weren't pacing themselves very well. Mile 2 ticked off at a 7:47 pace, faster than I had intended, but it was still feeling fairly effortless. We has the slight wind behind us and it was pretty flat so far so that was probably helping too.
After mile 2 we dropped down into the lake. About a 125' drop over about 1/3 of a mile. I let it loose and ran down the hill. I passed up several of the folks that had just passed me, you could see that they were not letting the downhill take them and it was almost like they were working against the hill. About 1/4 mile of flat over the dam and then the worst hill of the course by far to me, That same 125' back up, but steeper going up with all that elevation gain over about 1/4 of a mile. My phone called out a 6:XX something split pace on the way down the hill, but I gave it all back on the way up it. After getting about 1/2 the way up my heart rate was climbing and I could tell it even without a monitor. I switched into power walk mode and pumped my arms and strided up the hill. I was still breathing harder and putting out more effort than when I was running those first 2 miles at under an 8 minute pace. I started jogging again right before the top of the hill and then it goes right back down to the lake again. Mile 3 ticked off with a net elevation loss of 19', and a split of 8:07. Not bad considering I did some power walking, but by pushing it on the downhill I came close to making up for it.
The downhill to the lake continued on mile 4, but into the wind seemed to slow me down some, then it flattened out and started some pretty good zig zagging along the shoreline. Mile 4 was a net downhill of 48' and a 7:41 split. Mile 5 continued around the shoreline, a few sharp turns and little ups and downs, I tried to run the tangents as well as I could and keep an even pace. I had a few pretty steady folks in front of me that I was keeping pace with so that helped. My GPS on my phone cut some of the corners and got ahead of the course in here, so at the time my phone was giving me some fairly slow splits through this stretch, but I went back in and edited my track to follow the road and it gave me an 8:03 split for mile 5. Mile 6 was on the back side of the lake, a little uphill in there but not bad, wind switched to our back and I felt pretty steady with a 7:56 split on that mile.
Mile 7 takes you back up to the top, and I followed my standard operating procedure on that hill as well. Ran up the first 1/3rd, switched to a power walk, then started running again just before the top. There wasn't a downhill to mask it on this mile and it ended up my slowest mile of the race with a 8:34 split and 76' of elevation gain. I actually picked a couple other runners off on that mile though that had slowed and walked up the hill. A flat mile at a 7:44 split for mile 8 followed that, and I really felt like I was running a pace I could sustain to the end of the race. Mile 9 had a net downhill to the dam and I logged it in at a 7:35 split with 124' of elevation lost on that mile. Mile 10 had an up and then down in the same mile, I followed SOP on the hill with a power walk, then ran hard down the other side and finished mile 10 with my second slowest mile of the race at an 8:11 split.
I was really getting confident about that time in the race. I had picked off several more runners on the down then up then down section and was feeling pretty good still. Mile 11 was along the lake shore with the zigs and zags and my phone again cut some corners with the GPS track and told me I was running slow, but I was making progress on the folks in front of me. I wasn't quite ready to commit to picking up the pace a whole lot yet and after going back and editing my track it ended up showing a split of 8:02 for mile 11.
The previous year I had ended up having to do some walking about this time in the race. My only half marathon that I have had to do that on (other than power walking hills as a strategy). This year I was feeling fairly peppy. My right calf muscle was still tight, and had a big knot in it, but it wasn't seeming to affect my running at all. I decided to start picking up the pace a little bit here and finished mile 12 with a 7:42 split.
At mile 12 I decided to commit to giving it a shot at hitting my PR. My phone GPS still was showing me short, but even then I was on pace to PR and I was feeling good still. I picked it up and passed a few more people including a couple runners that typically beat me in every race. Even though it was slightly uphill, mile 13 ended up being my fastest mile of the race, a 7:26 split.
One last runner to beat and I caught up with him right at mile 13, I pushed past him and he picked it up and matched me and I picked it up some more and he dropped off. I was pretty much going full out to the finish line. I saw the clock ticking with a 1:43:XX and really wanted to make it in before it clicked over to 1:44:XX. Turns out I had plenty of room to spare on that as I ended up crossing the line at 1:43:26. According to the GPS the last .17 was at a 6:30 pace.
Here's the splits without the narrative if you are interested in just looking at them.
Pretty pumped to do so well on a tough course. At the end of the race they actually had some volunteer massage therapists and I had one work on my calf muscle. She said my hamstring was actually tight too and that might be what was causing it. My hamstring didn't feel tight to me, but came close to crying like a little girt when she was working on my calf muscle. It is still a big knot, I iced it a couple times and am hoping it will let up soon.
One thing I know several of you talk about it fueling. With my big breakfast and 2 diet cokes I skipped the first aid station completely and just grabbed a gatorade at the aid station at about mile 4.5. I drank another 1/2 cup of water at mile 6.5, skipped the aid station at mile 9 and then drank a cup of gatorade again at mile 11ish. I actually brought a GU and had it in my race belt, but didn't ever bother to mess around and eat it. With the nice weather I just didn't need to water and I still think that you don't really need to fuel during a half marathon, I guess at least I don't it seems.
Was kind of nice to run without my HRM, but it would be nice to go back and see what the numbers would have been. I really felt like I didn't cross my lactate threshold until somewhere around mile 10 or 11 even. I was breathing hard when I pushed it in, but really didn't start that until the last mile or so.
Oh well, that's the long version.
Looking forward to some other race reports coming in tomorrow!
Pandora- Sounds like a good plan since it includes speedwork. Just be patient and enjoy the milestones along the way. It's a continuing process.
Edith- Seems like you have a good strategy even though your training didn't go as planned. Sorry you have to be there so early. What a pain. You might want to consider a trash bag, also. I found it to be a really good insulator even though it's so thin. And it's easy to rip off whenever you're ready.
Wolfy- You're going to be our local running poet.
2ft- 'Some races between Thanksgiving and Dec. 15th'? What races do you have planned? Nice speedwork! You've got some new PRs coming. Got a question for you...I know you volunteered at the NY marathon so maybe you know who makes those orange and pink woolie caps. I watched the race and a lot of people were wearing them at the start and I really like them but I can't seem to find out anything about them online. Are you going to get some snow spikes to go along with your Gore-tex?
Nathan- Um, you kinda blew away your conservative 1:50. Unbelievable! You ran an outstanding race, as usual! You gotta believe you have a sub 1:40 on a flat course now. Congratulations on the nearly 11 minute course PR! And the new PR overall!
me- Don't know if I mentioned it but I got out my racing shoes to start breaking them in for the race. Figured it would be a good idea to make sure they would work for me. They're the Kinvara 3s and I've only ever run in the original Kinvaras so I wanted to make sure all the 'improvements' made to the shoes worked for me. I didn't have any issues during the 18 miler but I'll do some speedwork and another LR in them. Tomorrow's PC's big day! Goooooo PC! The weather's still looking good for his race.
miele - I'm glad your new racing shoes seem to be working for you. What kind of shoes do you train in? I've never tried wearing different shoes for my races. I think you're in for a huge PR at CIM. Your training has been excellent, and so is your mileage. Two of my friends recently PR'd using the Hansons plan. One took over an hour off his best time, and the other nabbed a 10 min. PR this year after getting a 15 min. PR last year at the same race.
Pandora - Hi! You're making great progress on bringing your HM times down. I agree with the others that taking a minute per mile off your time may take more than a few months, but you never know. Add some tempo miles into your training, give it your best shot, but if it doesn't happen right away, keep at it.
stever - Wow. I guess I didn't realize how fast you've become in 2 years. I'm so glad your knee issues seem to be behind you. Fingers crossed they stay that way.
Nathan - Congrats on the half PR!!! What a difference a year made. I loved your RR, and I agree with what you said about fueling during a half not being necessary. I've done it both ways: with nothing but water, and with a GU at about 6-7 miles. I've never really noticed a difference in how I felt at the end. Well done, and I'd say your headed to that 1:40 zone soon.
Edith - I think you're going to surprise yourself next weekend. Your training might not have been exactly what you planned, but you've still put in some solid work. I'm with you on being cold - hate it! Wearing a lot of throw away layers sounds like a great plan. You'll be warm, and the people who receive the tossed clothes will certainly appreciate them. A few of my friends ran NYC last Sunday, and they waited 6 hours to start. I can't imagine doing that (which is one of many reasons I don't want to run that race). Good luck next weekend! Is there tracking?
2ft - Hi! What races do you have coming up? Your training looks solid, that's for sure. Let me know what kind of winter wear you end up getting. I hate running in the cold, but the TM gets old awfully fast.
pcaharrier - Hope you're having a great race!!
wolf - Hi! Love the quote, and it's so true.
me - I've been loving my runs since the training part of my year is over. Even though my time in last week's 5k wasn't anywhere near my best, it made me realize that I'm willing to endure a lot more pain for a short time than I was in the past. I've always had pretty good speed for short distances, but the speed-endurance is where I'm lacking. I also realized that 5 and 10k's are where my strengths are with racing, and I enjoyed running halves a lot more before I started "racing" them. My body is also appreciating shorter, faster runs. Seems like all the little aches and pains that had been accumulating over the past year are pretty much gone. Oh well, we'll see what next year brings at the races.
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