Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2020 (Read 538 times)

Marky_Mark_17


    Steve - I think one thing to consider would be to take a couple of down weeks.  There's still a decent ways until Queenstown and training volume hasn't been an issue for you.  Do a few easy ones and try and reconnect with what you love about running.

     

    Me - OK final call on race odds before today's announcements:

     

    • Rotorua: 15%
    • Wairarapa Country: 70%
    • Auckland: 2.5%
    • Queenstown: 1.5%
    • Whanganui 3 Bridges: 1%
    • The sh!t really hits the fan again and I don't run a marathon: 10%

    To be honest I'm now getting to the stage of 'I just want to get this thing done'.  I've not been below 80km / 50 miles in a week since February!

    5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

    HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

    Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

    Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

    "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

    watsonc123


      Mark - the club is pretty big on trails including trail ultras.  One of the hardest weeks I have seen was from a club mate last year, who did 160km with over 9000m elevation.

      PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)

       

      40+ PRs: 5km 20:10 (Dec 2019), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)

      SteveChCh


      Hot Weather Complainer

        Mark - Gutted for you after all this training

        PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

        Recent Races:   Cherry Blossom Half-Marathon, September 13, 2020 1:33:38 Half-Marathon Time Trial May 31, 2020 1:31.51 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49

        2020 Planned Races:  Queenstown Half-Marathon, November 21

        Marky_Mark_17


          Not sure about that Steve - Rotorua might be on after all!

           

          Rest of NZ outside of Auckland tentatively going to Level 1 at midnight next Monday (21st), based on how this week goes.  Will wait and see what Rotorua Marathon announce this afternoon, but their previous position was that they would go ahead if Rotorua was at Level 1 on race day (26th) so I'm guessing they're a go unless the government changes its position.

           

          It's nuts to think I've been training for a marathon for almost a year, and I won't know until race week whether it's on or not.  Good times.  Might go check the weather forecast though.

          5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

          HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

          Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

          Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

          "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

          SteveChCh


          Hot Weather Complainer

            Oh right, I thought they were making a final decision today on the race?  It does seem like they should still plan to go ahead with the likelihood of level 1 on race day.

            PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

            Recent Races:   Cherry Blossom Half-Marathon, September 13, 2020 1:33:38 Half-Marathon Time Trial May 31, 2020 1:31.51 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49

            2020 Planned Races:  Queenstown Half-Marathon, November 21

            Marky_Mark_17


              Yeah their announcements have consistently said:

               

              "If the government confirms on 14 September that Rotorua will be at Alert Level 1 by 26 September, then the event will go ahead."

               

              At this stage I think they will just announce they are planning to go ahead (since it looks like that is what will happen) but will have to wait for next Monday to confirm.

               

              Who'd be a race director right now?  Sheesh.

              5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

              HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

              Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

              Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

              "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

              SteveChCh


              Hot Weather Complainer

                That looks really positive then - it definitely makes sense to plan to go ahead and only cancel if something changes next week.  They can't un-cancel it if they made that call.

                PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

                Recent Races:   Cherry Blossom Half-Marathon, September 13, 2020 1:33:38 Half-Marathon Time Trial May 31, 2020 1:31.51 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49

                2020 Planned Races:  Queenstown Half-Marathon, November 21

                Marky_Mark_17


                  That looks really positive then - it definitely makes sense to plan to go ahead and only cancel if something changes next week.  They can't un-cancel it if they made that call.

                   

                  Exactly.

                   

                  The only other risk is that they exclude Aucklanders if we are at Level 2 and they are at Level 1.  They will probably have to explicitly deal with that in their announcement.  TBH I'd be happy to go get a Covid test if that's what it takes.

                  5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                  HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

                  Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

                  Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

                  "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                  watsonc123


                    You could then enter a second time with a non-Auckland address. 

                    PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)

                     

                    40+ PRs: 5km 20:10 (Dec 2019), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)

                    Marky_Mark_17


                      You could then enter a second time with a non-Auckland address. 

                       

                      That's not a half bad idea.

                       

                      I'm certainly not against running WCM if I have to, but Rotorua is a legendary race and I'd rather run that if I can.  It also gives me 6 weeks to recover before NZ Road Champs, as opposed to 4 after WCM.  Assuming that can go ahead as well lol.

                       

                      The weather forecast is looking OK.  But I'm hitting refresh on the Rotorua Marathon website more than the weather website at this stage.  I might have to reinstitute the race probabilities though.

                      5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                      HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

                      Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

                      Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

                      "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                      SteveChCh


                      Hot Weather Complainer

                        Cherry Blossom Half-Marathon Race Report

                         

                        Build up

                         

                        This is a race report I really don't feel like writing but much like the race, I'll put myself through the pain to get it done (JMac, take note).

                         

                        My last race was a time trial in Hagley Park with 8 2.61km laps (plus the extra 270 metres) and it didn't go too well with a fade in the second half of the race.  After that I re-engaged my running coach and we had a plan to focus on race pace in training rather than Vo2 Max type work-outs.  The idea was to get my body more used to the race pace and I had a good foundation of speed work already.

                         

                        I targeted the South Island Half-Marathon on August 2 but got sick in race week so pulled out of the race.  The sickness wasn't bad and I could keep training at easy pace but was enough to choose not to race.

                         

                        My build up was good with most training runs feeling comfortable despite some heavy loads.  I had my biggest tempo workout 11 days out from race day which included 9km over 3 blocks.  At no point did I feel like it was hard work.

                         

                        I agreed to enter an adventure race 2 weeks out from the race day before I'd had to pull out of the South Island half and decided to do this race as a replacement (originally planned on a 10km).  That turned out to take more out of me than I expected but I was recovered for my workout 4 days later after sticking to easy pace on the Sunday of that weekend.

                         

                        Race Day

                         

                        The forecast was always good for race morning, although there was potential for some north west winds which bring warm temperatures but the day dawned calm and cool and stayed that way until the afternoon.  The weather was as perfect as I could have hoped for.

                         

                        The race course was almost a replica to my time trial - 8 2.5km laps with a 1.1km out and back at the start.  I love running in Hagley Park so I was okay with it, despite the bad experience in the time trial.  I arrived about 45 mins before the 8:30am start - I did 3 warm ups progressively getting faster, then a final easy jog with 5 mins left to stay warm.  The field was small, maybe 30 people, but I'll update this when the official results are out.

                         

                        Quick race briefing then a moment of silence as is tradition for Sri Chinmoy races and we're off.  One guy quickly moves into the lead and a group of 4 (I think) settle in and I'm next in 6th place by myself.  My plan was to start conservatively (4:20/km) for at least the first km and then try and ease into 4:15/km and hopefully have something for a fast finish.

                         

                        I worked hard to stay at the target pace and my watch said 4:20, and it felt like it was slow enough.  The first km flashes up in 4:15 which isn't a disaster, but I do make an effort to slow down further.  The first 2 laps are all about staying calm and getting into a rhythm which I feel like I do, with kilometres 2-5 going by in 4:21, 4:17, 4:17, 4:19.  So far so good, and I think I felt fine at this point.  I was keeping track of how many seconds behind 4:15 pace I was, early in the race anyway, and I was comfortable with a deficit of 14 seconds after 5km.

                         

                        It was on the third lap when I had my first bad patch of a couple of minutes and it crossed my mind that I'm having another bad day and maybe I should live to fight another day.  I talked myself out of this and felt better soon after but my pace was still slower than I needed and it was getting harder to imagine a strong finish.  My brain flashed back to a Steve Prefontaine movie when he said "I can endure more pain than anyone you know"...I don't know why I thought oncoming pain was an inspirational thought.

                         

                        Kilometres 6-10 went by in 4:17, 4:18, 4:22, 4:16, 4:20.  I did get passed by a guy on this lap who I'm pretty sure was doing the half (full and 10km were also running).  He must have started very conservatively based on how fast he went past.

                         

                        At the end of 4 laps there was exactly 10km left and my watch told me I needed 42:30 to finish in exactly 1:30 and I thought I may have a shot...but then I noticed my watch said 10.96km when it should have said 11.1km.  I decided not to worry about that for now and just try and slot into 4:15/km.  It was on lap 5 when the demons returned and during this lap I knew I was in trouble.  My girlfriend had arrived during the 4th lap and was biking around the lap so I'd usually see her 2-3 times per lap.  I pretty much decided to pull out back at the start/finish line, and she was at a seat 100 metres before that point.  For 30 seconds I'd decided to stop where she was, but at the last minute I thought "you're going to feel bad about missing your goal, don't make it worse by quitting".  I talked myself into getting to the end of lap 6 where I might feel like I was close enough to home to keep going.  I was hating life at this point and it shows in the splits from 11-15km:  4:20, 4:20, 4:22, 4:25, 4:29.

                         

                        I did get to the end of lap 6 and said to my gf "I don't know if I can finish".  She said "no no, keep going, you can do it".  I checked the distance again at the end of the lap and saw that the course was definitely short.  This occupied my mind for part of the 7th lap and I hadn't decided what to do at the end.  I figured for now I should just worry about getting there rather than an extra 140 metres.  I saw the gf several times on this lap which really gave me a boost.  Where she may normally have been more brutal in her support, she was now gently encouraging me to the end.  At the end of the 7th lap, she looked quite upset which was a combination of her disappointment for me knowing all the work I'd put in, and seeing me obviously suffering in the pain cave.  The last time I saw her before the finish was early in the 8th lap when I said "one more lap then I'm never racing again".  Some walkers heard me and laughed but I didn't have the energy to say "I'm serious!"

                         

                        I was slowing down quickly and hurting more and more with every step.  You would think after 20km I'd be sure I can get there but I still thought I may not make it.  I was wobbly, my form was gone and I was struggling to run in a straight line.  16-20km splits tell the story:  4:38, 4:38, 4:41, 4:44, 4:40.  In laps 5 and 6 I still had enough presence of mind to wonder what the hell is going wrong but for the last 2 laps I just focused on one foot in front of the other.

                         

                        I decided during the last km that if I get to the finish I'm not stopping until my watch says 21.1km.  I wasn't having all this pain being for a distance that isn't even a half-marathon.  On previous occasions when I've bonked my way to the finish I've managed to find something to speed up in the last km - not today.  The last km is my slowest in 4:45.  I went through the finish in 1:33:05 in 6th place and kept running until 21.1km in 1:33:38.  If this was a PB, I have no idea how I would have handled the short "certified" course.  Our American friends will again be shaking their heads at NZ race organisation.  I found out on Strava that I wasn't the only person to run through the finish line to get the distance.

                         

                        So what went wrong?  Some discussion about this above but it's too early to know.  My heart rate was 172 after 2km which is way too high (and much higher than training sessions at race pace or even V02 max).  That is what I need to work out before my next race (okay, I un-retired an hour after the race).  The fear factor goes up even more which clearly will not help.  I do know that I showed plenty of courage to finish - it's nice to know I can endure pain but a good race and faster time would be better.

                        PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

                        Recent Races:   Cherry Blossom Half-Marathon, September 13, 2020 1:33:38 Half-Marathon Time Trial May 31, 2020 1:31.51 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49

                        2020 Planned Races:  Queenstown Half-Marathon, November 21

                          I'm late to this conversation but just checked the news and the rest of NZ moving to alert level 1 monday at midnight which would mean no Rotorua ?

                           

                          Steve thanks for the race report. 1.33 is still a very good time. I'm not really sure what other advice to give. I know a 10k tempo run at half race pace 2 weeks prior will tell you if you can hit that pace ( if you have a healthy weekly mileage and been doing long runs )

                          50+ PBs5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18   

                          5k 18.29 Christchurch Parkrun July 20

                          10k 38.55 oct 19 strava run

                          Next race Mount Maunganui half 10k 31st Aug 2020

                          " If you don't use it you lose it but if you use it, it wears out.

                          Somewhere in between is about right "      

                           

                          Marky_Mark_17


                            I'm late to this conversation but just checked the news and the rest of NZ moving to alert level 1 monday at midnight which would mean no Rotorua ?

                             

                             

                            Rotorua is 2 weekends away (Saturday 26th).  The planned change would be effective Monday 21st.  The question for me is how they deal with the fact that Auckland is at a different alert level and will probably still be on race day.

                            5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                            HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

                            Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

                            Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

                            "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                            Marky_Mark_17


                              OK just thinking out loud about the Rotorua Marathon situation in terms of Auckland runners:

                              • Rotorua will probably be able to go ahead as Rotorua should be at Level 1 on race day
                              • Auckland will (almost certainly) still be at Level 2 with some sort of restrictions on gatherings in place (either 10 or 100)
                              • The general principle is that when Aucklanders are outside of Auckland those restrictions still apply, although this is practically unenforceable most of the time
                              • Rotorua Marathon will probably need to make sure they stick by those rules as it's a large, well known event, owned by Athletics NZ, and sanctioned by Athletics NZ as National Marathon Championships this year
                              • This in turn means they will be obliged to try and find a solution to ensure Aucklanders can participate within the restrictions (at least in the NZ Marathon Champs category).  This might include wave / distanced starts for Auckland-based marathon runners, wearing masks on the start line etc.
                              • The alternative is that they don't permit Aucklanders to run and revoke the event's National Championship status (this happened with NZXC Champs 3 weeks ago when Aucklanders were physically restricted from leaving Auckland)

                              *hits refresh on Rotorua Marathon website again*

                               

                              Said it before and I'll say it again... who'd be a race director right now?!

                              5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                              HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

                              Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

                              Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

                              "CONSISTENCY IS KING"

                              Marky_Mark_17


                                Steve - I apologise for my stream of consciousness babble derailing the discussion of your race report! I'm a bit preoccupied.  Anyway I think what your RR shows is that you're undoubtedly one of the most courageous runners on here even if the results haven't been what you've been aiming for.  There's a few ideas in there of things you could do differently or check out, but don't rush into trying to solve it right now.  Give yourself a few days, you've got plenty of time until Queenstown.

                                5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) 

                                HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)

                                Last race: NZ 10,000m Champs, 21 March, 32:34 (PB) 

                                Up next: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

                                "CONSISTENCY IS KING"