>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2020
I just finished up my week. Some good, some bad but I'm happy with it. I decided since I was reducing miles much I'd drop the cycling at least until my race so this is my first pure running week in awhile. It didn't seem to make a huge difference probably because work was so busy that I was super stressed from non-workout stuff (and it impacted my sleep).
Mon - easy 50 min + 5 strides
Tue 85 min total w/ 6x3on/2 off. It was partly the rain/snow/slush and hill I did this on but I was about 15 sec/mi slower than the same workout last week. I credit most of that to poor sleep. + bodyweight strength work
Wed - easy 50 min, no strides
Thur - 1 hr 45 min w/ 8-7-6-5-4 @ HME w/ 2 min recoveries. Averaged 7:17/mi while running into the wind and there were a couple hills. Pretty happy with that.
Fri - 45 min, 5 strides
Sat - 18 min steady w/ the dog after tons of chores. Legs felt good.
Sun - 80 min around the lake (hilly trails).
50.3 mi, 7h 15m
Next week I'll do a couple really short efforts at HME and a bunch of strides before hopefully PRing on my club's home course, a 20k trail which difficulty wise seems to be equivalent to flat HM PR + 1 min for anyone who runs the two while in similar fitness. I'd love to break 1:30 (7:15/mi pace) but I'll be happy with anything better than 1:37:23 (7:51/mi pace). It should be noted that most of this course is pretty tame; it's got a few hills but the trails are wide, well maintained and there's no worry about your footing. Starting at mile 9.7 through 12.0 the terrain is really hard, rocky, rooty, has lost of steep hills and currently has a couple of downed trees over the trail which will require enough coordination to hurdle. I've never run either of those two full mile under 8:30 so this is a race where I will have to positive split if I want to do well. According to my current watch the whole course is 12.35-12.44 miles long and 680 feet of elevation. I almost can't call this a trail race =).
1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 45:24 (2017), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Mary - 3:37:17 (2018)
DWave - great splits and way to run strong when the end wasn't in sight. Congrats on the medal.
JMac - I'm waiting for the 5k + mile RR. That's brilliantly stupid.
Zebano nice week and good luck for next week.
Flavio nice week for you too. Yes I'm sponsored now
DW very nice sub 20 no Lady Gaga for you either !
Met some fella called Marky Mark today so went for a jog
50+ PBs -
5k 18.25 Tauranga Parkrun Sept 20 81.36 % age grade
10k 38.55 oct 19 strava run
" If you don't use it you lose it but if you use it, it wears out.
Somewhere in between is about right "
Mother of Cats
Yay! A forum encounter in the time of Covid!
Zebano - based on your description I would call that a trail race. Remember that this is coming from the woman who whines about too many leaves on the paved bike trail...
61 miles, 500 yards swimming, and 2:30 hours of pool-runningM: upper body weights/core and 12.5 miles easy (8:58), plus drills and 2 hill strides.T: 17 miles, including 2x5 miles at marathon effort in 34:25 (6:54/6:55/6:58/6:48/6:50 - 6:53 pace) and 34:28 (6:52/6:54/7:00/6:54/6:48 - 6:54 pace) with 1 mile float in between (7:42). 500 yards recovery swimming in afternoon.W: core, 50 minutes pool-running, and streaming yoga in afternoon.Th: 8.5 miles very easy (9:05), streaming yoga, and 2 miles very easy (8:59) plus drills and two strides.F: 5 miles, including a quick fartlek of 3:00 at half-marathon effort; 4x30 seconds at 5K effort, 4x10 seconds at mile effort. Followed with 50 minutes pool-running. Sa: 3 mile shake-out in the morning (9:39). In the afternoon, 4 mile warm-up, 5K-ish race on an uncertified course in 19:46 (splits of 6:17/6:16/6:10 and then 1:03 for the final .17 miles - as measured by my footpod). Followed with 5.5 miles easy (8:50)Su: streaming yoga and 50 minutes pool-running
Since I didn't do a long run last weekend, just a tempo workout on Saturday, I decided to move this weekend's long run to this Tuesday so I could race on Saturday.
In other news, like any other ugly capitalist American I took advantage of "black Friday" to buy a new watch (Garmin 245) and a new treadmill (Horizon AT7.8). I'm setting up the watch now; the treadmill won't be here for at least a week or two. Which is good because the room is not ready yet.
Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.
And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.
Hot Weather Complainer
zebano - Nice week, building up nicely to a 20km trail run.
darkwave - Nice work avoiding Gaga with a very solid race.
JMac - 5km and a mile on the same day, you are a wild man. I wonder how many seconds you could take off that mile if you're fresh.
me - just a quiet recovery week, legs slowly getting back to normal but even an easy 10km on Saturday hurt the legs a bit. Felt fresh for about 3km and loving it, then the soreness kicked in again. Another recovery week before starting a marathon cycle.
PB: Christchurch 2016 1:29.25
Recent Races: Queenstown Half-Marathon (trail) November 21, 2020 1:35.11 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
Plan for 2021: Christchurch Half-Marathon April 11 (tempo/training run), Wellington Marathon June 27, Queenstown Half-Marathon November 20
Steve did you really run a mere 34m of elevation over 38 KM? I thought Iowa was flat.
Christchurch is very flat, especially around where I live, which is as far as I ventured during recovery week The only hills in the city would require a drive to get to and are pretty brutal, although there are some summit trails that are more undulating. If I do end up going to Queenstown next year I better spend some time up there.
JMac FAWKING FAWK MAN! 5:20/MI 5K?!?!?!?!? In-SANE! 4 seconds at your level must feel like a world record. I've run 5:20 or faster pace ONCE in my life so just taking that feeling and making it last for another 11 minutes is just mind blowing to me. I saw the mile time online and wondered why you wouldn't be happy with a 5 minute mile and kind of agree with everyone that stacking it with the 5k MIGHT have made the performance lower than you'd desired.
dwave something about your "the question has to be answered on race day" approach/mentality resonates with me recently and I think it's due to bailing on my 10k virtural run (20:19 5K) and mentally telling myself to see how it ends during the rough times of the 5k. 5ks seem so simple when I train for marathons until. the same amount of suffering comes in, and in a more concentrated part of the run.
piwi is that a 4 door Yaris? White Toyota...you get a stamp of approval in MY book. Cool that you got to meet up for a run. oh yeah, nice mailbox.
I'm spoiled with flats and hills all very close to my location. I could climb 1,000 ft+ or run the same "flat" loop for a 10 mile tempo run. I could even do a 20+ mile long run on a pretty flat out and back running path/sidewalks without much effort. It's almost as if I live in a perfect training location with a 5k semi-closed course (public walking path) at my disposal.
lame running week for me outside of the 5k PR which was the point. I had to actually convince myself to get out and do it. Lots of "it's too late to run" on Thursday followed on Friday with a lot of "you said you were going to do it so you can't back out now." 20 minutes later I'm sitting with a 5k time I didn't think I'd ever reach. Seriously. The scary part now is it predicts a 3:08 marathon which might just be clsoe enough to sub 3 that I should keep up training for Boston 2021.
Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.
Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.
RP well spotted although its a Toyota Corolla the most reliable car ever. We had people movers for years ( 4 kids)
but now they are leaving home could down size.
Good use of my security camera for selfies don't you think
RP - congrats on sub 20
Piwi and Mark - nice races. Rather annoying it is another short course.
My recovery is going well. Shoulder Ultrasound just showed inflamed bursa, so good news. Range of motion getting better in elbow and shoulder. I can do everyday tasks now such as toe shoelaces and type two handed.
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 19:31 (Oct 2020), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)
Piwi Wife had one for 10 years (maybe longer) and upgraded to a Highlander. Pretty much guaranteed to be "okay" in my book if you drive a Toyota or white crew cab diesel 4x4 truck. *does not apply to Toyota Tundras or 1/2 ton crew cab trucks.
watson man that sounds painful.
Theragun has sold out of their black friday sale. They're giving out rain checks if you provide your email to them. Kinda cool. Guess they found a price point people are willing to pay, or everyone it out here pushing themselves to new limits and wants that fancy recovery ray gun now that they're exercising more. The wife and I are gifting it to each other apparently. Maybe she'll get that back massage she has always wanted now. "sit closer and hand me the ray gun." She tells me I don't push hard enough. whatever.....do something miserable enough she'll learn not to ask me to do it anymore. I aint no fool!
Race Report - 2020 Mt. Maunganui Half Marathon, 28 Nov 2020
This race was originally scheduled for late-August but due to the second community outbreak of Covid here in NZ and an accompanying lockdown, it was rescheduled to late November. I had it originally planned for a marathon tune-up, but it's now become a post-marathon fitness test of sorts. Had it been held on the original date I would've thought something around the 1:13-1:14 mark would be reasonable. But after 7 weeks of being variously tired, broken or sick, I have no expectations for this race and no real sense of what a reasonable time would be, so I figure I will just run on feel and treat it as a tempo run. With a relatively late 8:30 start and sunny weather it's likely to be pretty warm too.
The course is flat for most of it, with an initial 7.5km out and back along the beachfront road from Mt. Maunganui down to Papamoa. The last few km are on the gravel track around the base of Mt Maunganui, which I expect will be fairly slow.
To be honest I'd forgotten how much more fun races are when you're relaxed and not stressing out about times or placings or whatever. I see Chris Trent on the start line who has come down from Auckland, he is targeting 1:15 - personally I think that's probably a touch optimistic but who knows? Lydia O'Donnell is there too, who would've represented NZ at World Half Marathon Champs, as well as Matt Baxter who is the current NZ 10km champion and will be a near certainty to take down the course record of 1:10. Also my coach who I say hello to on the start line!
Anyways the start goes, and it's always fun to get a cheer from my wife and 3-year old daughter who are about 50m down the road. There are about 10 or 11 runners ahead of me, Matt Baxter is already way off in the lead, there's a second group with Lydia, Chris and one other, a third group of 4 or 5, and a few others in between. I'm just a bit behind the third group but I'm finding a good rhythm and I'm happy doing my own thing. Pace is steady at around 3:45-3:50/km which would put me on pace for around 1:19-1:20. There is a noticeable SW wind, it's died down from yesterday but it's still a headwind on this initial 7.5km out, ranging from negligible to noticeable. The initial out-and-back is on the road, which is closed in one direction for runners only. I don't know why they didn't promote this aspect more; there aren't a huge number of races in NZ that get road closures and it's something runners LOVE!
One of the early highlights is a high-five from fellow forum member Piwikiwi who is headed back in the other direction, he is running the 10km which started 15 minutes earlier. He is looking strong and dare I say it enjoying himself out there! I have not noticed too many other 10km runners so he can't be far off the front.
Around 2km down the road I pass a couple of guys who have probably gone out a little quick and have fallen off the third group. I then catch the rest of the group around the 3km mark, a couple others catch the group back up too so there are probably 4-5. I am setting the pace along with one other runner in an Auckland Marathon singlet with one of those long, loping strides that always make high-cadence runners like me feel rather slow! Another tall guy is breathing really heavily at this point. Now, personally I find that a bit off-putting, but I also know not to read too much into it because I've known runners who could do entire HM's sounding like that. Having said that, I'm seriously hoping we can lose this guy because it's a beautiful sunny morning and his heavy breathing is kiiiiinda irritating.
Around the 4km mark, tall guy drops off (thank goodness), and the other two must've dropped off around 1-2km after that. Turns out Auckland Marathon guy was pacing one of them and that runner has decided to throw in the towel. I had a brief chat with Auckland Marathon guy, thinking we might be able to work together but he pretty much boosted off after that, he ended up finishing 3rd so fair enough. The wind is kinda annoying in places so I'm looking forward to the turnaround, although there is great support from many of the locals outside their houses.
There is a random venture of around 100m down a side-street just past the Omanu shops with a u-turn, exactly the sort of trick race directors use when they are trying to increase the course length. The course has tended to run short in the past, I mentally amuse myself for the next few minutes thinking what JMac would have to say about that. Personally I don't really care today as I'm just out to have fun, and to be honest I'm very grateful we can even have races as that isn't the case in most parts of the world right now. But I wonder what Jmac would elect if he was forced to choose between no races, or races but only on inaccurately measured courses? While most of the course is flat and fast, with the slow 3km at the end, overall this is not really a PB course for serious runners.
At this point, I should mention that I had gone for the blue singlet, blue shorts, blue sunglasses outfit. Blue watchband, blue sweatband. Pink shoes, but they don't make the Next% in blue. I know Flavio would give me a hard time for this, but it's fun. I'm also very glad I packed the sunglasses as it's pretty bright.
Anyway coming up to the turnaround, which is down another dead-end street, Matt Baxter is flying back in the other direction already, with Lydia and one other guy a little ways behind him, and Chris a bit behind that. There are no groups now, and I figure I am probably around 9th. I notice Lydia is rocking the new Alphaflys.
One of the good things about hitting the turnaround is that you then have the welcome distraction of runners heading in the other direction. There's always a fun mix of people at these events - serious runners, more social runners, locals giving the event a crack, so the people-spotting aspect can be entertaining.
At this point, the temperature is nudging up towards probably 20C / 70F. The wind is SOMEHOW STILL A HEADWIND after the turnaround, it turns out it spun around to the W / NW at pretty much the least opportune time. But at least it's helping cool things down a little.
First people-watching observation: it's a sunny, hot day, and a beachside race, I bet there will be at least one very well-tanned, musclebound dude running with his shirt off... and yep there he is.
Second people-watching observation: why do some women run in a sports bra, but with full-length leggings? Surely if it's hot enough to run in a sports bra and no t-shirt, it's too hot to be running in full leggings? *shrugs shoulders*
Third people-watching observation: hey, there's tall heavy breathing guy who was blowing hard at the 4km mark and... he's walking?! He's probably around the 6km mark now. That has to be one of the most epic blow-ups I've ever seen in a half marathon, from 3:50/km pace at the 4km mark, to walking 2km later. I feel a bit for him as I know it's going to be a looooong day, but wow he REALLY overestimated things.
Fourth people-watching observation: hey, there's my coach! OK serious face on, but not so serious it looks like you are working too hard. Hey coach!
Pace is still holding pretty well around 3:45-3:50/km, and I'm feeling very much in control. It was a bit weird though - I felt like I could carry this pace on for ages but even a slight increase in pace would probably not be very sustainable. There's still obviously some decent endurance in the legs from the marathon, but I guess I need to do some work to get the speed back - those two rounds of antibiotics a few weeks ago have definitely knocked a bit of that out.
Anyway around this point I started slowly reeling a guy in a black t-shirt in (again, not a great choice of clothing on a hot day!). He gets a massive cheer from some supporters around the 11km mark and I passed him around 500m after that. Around the 12km mark I see Piwikiwi again who is headed back home having finished his race, always nice to see a friendly face out there and we agree to meet up at the prizegiving.
Shortly after this I get a sinking feeling when I realise I have made a total rookie mistake. I have worn the short shorts, which are prone to chafe, but have failed to apply anything to prevent said chafe. I actually remember thinking about it when I was getting dressed but somehow I forgot. Oops. I try and figure out whether thigh chafe is going to be more or less embarrassing than the bleeding nipple-chafe I got last time I made this rookie error on a particularly sweaty day wearing a light coloured singlet at the Coatesville Half Marathon in 2018. Either way, you have to laugh about it!
Coming up to the start/finish and the end of the initial out-and-back, I realise I am reeling in a guy in a brown t-shirt. He gets a massive cheer from some supporters and I catch him around 50m after that. Wow, I really am taking the wind out of a few people's sails today. Turning the corner, we are straight into a fairly horrible headwind and I realise that we'll be stuck with this most of the next km. Yuk. It's a real slog down to the turnaround, just past the Port of Tauranga head office, I take a second gel partly for the energy and partly for the distraction. This was a slower km, thanks to the headwind, and I'm pretty grateful for the turnaround.
I'm starting to catch slower 10km walkers now, hopefully this doesn't lead to too much congestion on the Mount base trail. I realise I am catching another runner too, a tall guy who exudes triathlete. I pass him just after we hit the Mount base trail. This was a big confidence builder for me. As much as my training has been an unmitigated mess the last couple of months, it's very reassuring to know that I still haven't lost the ability to pace a HM well. I've started out probably around 11th or 12th but have steadily passed people throughout the race, and I'm probably more like 5th or 6th now. It took me 2 or 3 years to develop that ability and it's reassuring to know it's still there.
While the running along here is scenic, it's also hard going on a gravel trail with a lot of short ups and downs and turns and absolutely zero ability to hit any sort of rhythm. Thankfully the 10km walkers are pretty considerate in terms of staying to one side of the trial to allow runners to pass, the pink shoes got a few good cheers too. I focus on pushing up the hills and using gravity to my advantage on the other side. Pace is in the low-4:00's/km and I figure I'll probably be just over 1:20, depending on the course length.
There is a photographer just after the 20km mark, I'm coming through at the exact moment a couple of walkers have paused to get a picture, so I did what any serious runner would at this point - keep my pace up, photobomb on the way through, and apologise for it afterwards. Sorry, random couple, I hope you got a decent shot without me in it!
Emerging from the Mount trail at just over 20km, I am feeling full of energy and I'm almost disappointed to see the finish line as I feel like I could power out 2-3 more km quite comfortably. It's actually a seriously cool finishing line, with an elevated temporary walkway and finish line having been constructed on the beach itself. I throw down a big sprint for the last 100m or so and give the family some big high fives at the finish.
Miss 3 comes with me to get the medal and my official time is 1:20:08, I had the course at 20.7km. I suspect the GPS measured a bit short on the trail section, but no way would it have been 400m short, so overall the course was probably at least 200m short. 6th place overall and first M30+, it's also very nice to finish a race feeling happy and full of energy, not completely and utterly shattered like that marathon back in October.
Pretty good outcome considering what a complete mess I've been the last 2 months, and I tell myself that this is the beginning of the journey towards a goal half marathon in 5 months - it's not a bad place to start from, really. I've run much faster HM's, much better HM's, but today it sure was nice just to be out there racing!
5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19)
HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)
Last race: Mt. Maunganui Half Marathon, 28 Nov, 1:20:08
Up next: Southern Lakes Half Marathon, 1 May, and hopefully a few others before then
"CONSISTENCY IS KING"
Mark - Nice RR. I had exactly the same issue in Queenstown with a heavy breather. It must have been about 5-6km in and we'd swapped positions a few times before he started to fall away and I was thinking how such a nice setting was being ruined and looked forward to him falling way behind which took about 1km. Actually forgot to mention in my RR that there was another guy around this point running with his phone on full volume playing old school Paul Young and Pink Floyd. I asked if he had any Kings of Leon but he wasn't amused.
Great race though - I'm really struggling to understand the difficulty in measuring a course. It seems like there's heaps but I guess we don't mention the properly certified ones like Queenstown. If they have a series of out and backs to add in some distance, how can thy possibly get them wrong??? I'm starting to rant like JMac...
Just catching up on things here...
RP - congrats on the 5km result!
Flavio - another nice week, honestly I think you've had my number on the consistency front of late!
James - hope that shoulder is nothing serious
Zebano - good week, stay on top of sleep if you can, it's so important.
Piwi - Corolla's are awesome. I used to have one and it just went and went and went. Super cheap to run, super unlikely to break, and super cheap to service.
Steve - as much as I'm immeasurably glad that marathon training is over for me, I'm excited for you to get into it. I will say, make sure you stay on top of any niggles or fatigue though. Really important to listen to your body.
Watson - that's good news. I remember when I was in a knee brace and my wife had to tie my shoelaces for me as I couldn't reach my foot. Amazing how basic things like being able to tie your own shoelaces can be very rewarding!
Darkwave - enjoyed your RR. Must've been odd being close to / over the distance and still not quite sure when the finishing line was coming. It's funny how the 'participation' medals that many of us generally didn't worry too much about (hell, I think JMac threw out many of his!) have become a lot more special at the current time.
Me - Belated weekly due to holidays and travel. I felt pretty ordinary at the start of the week but the race was still fun. Great to catch up with Piwi as well and really enjoyed having a run with him on Monday around the waterway trails in Papamoa.
Actually forgot to mention in my RR that there was another guy around this point running with his phone on full volume playing old school Paul Young and Pink Floyd. I asked if he had any Kings of Leon but he wasn't amused.
Oh, this is one of my real pet-peeves. I mean, I might've been OK with some Pink Floyd but in general I really dislike when people are playing music on a portable speaker while running, or even worse their phone. If you want music, get some headphones rather than inflicting it on everyone else!!