>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2019
Race Report - Hobsonville Point Parkrun, 22 June 2019
My new 'local' Parkrun at Hobsonville Point had been going for a few weeks but with wifey at work most of Saturday, I finally got the chance to run it this week thanks to a couple of helpful babysitters (thanks, Mum and Dad).
As part of volunteer acknowledgement week, and given it was the 2 2 of June, this was a 'tutu' parkrun. Now as we know, most races are totally dependent on volunteers and lord knows I've run a few, so I kinda had to do the tutu thing. Luckily my 2-year old daughter loaned me one of hers (hey - she's a big kid and the waistbands have really good elastic!).
This wasn't a goal race and was really just a bit of a fitness test as I'm building volume towards races in late August and September. Being a parkrun, you never know who might show up but sub-17 runners are generally pretty thin on the ground. Hobsonville Point used to be home to an Air Force base until the early 2000's when activities were consolidated at nearby Whenuapai, with the area being opened up for a major new residential development. The area where the Parkrun is held, around Bomb Point, is basically a park with the old disused base roads so it's pretty fast apart from a couple of very short gravel sections, some small undulations (not hills!) and a few tight turns. It's an out and back course, although the finish is around 200m from the start line so it's not quite an even split. I run around this area pretty regularly which means I can just focus on the run without having to think too much about the course.
Conditions are perfect with no wind, clear skies, and 10C temps. There are around 100 runners, but no-one that I recognise. There are also plenty of other men in tutu's.
The race starts and there is only one other guy on my shoulder. I am curious to see how long that lasts as I don't recognise him - turns out it was about 400m. I planned just to go out hard and try and hold it; I don't run 5km often enough to really have a more concrete pace strategy. Km's 1 and 4 should be the quickest, with the others probably a little slower due to small climbs and tight turns.
The first km was the fastest at 3:13 and the second km I felt like I was in a good groove at 3:16. There's a short climb up to the turnaround point just after the 2.5km mark and this was where I definitely felt like I was starting to work hard and was looking forward to turning around and heading back down.
The other nice distraction at this point is seeing the runners heading in the other direction. A couple of them even cheer me by name so I guess I have achieved some sort of local running fame. The guy who stuck with me at the start is probably a good 20-30 seconds back now, and there was a group of 3 a little behind him who I figure are probably around sub-20.
Coming back down from the turnaround I am working hard but catch my breath just a little bit. Km 3 is 3:21 but I know the last km is going to be painful due to the course layout. I focus on pushing hard along the flat coastal section and Km 4 is 3:16. The lungs are starting to burn now. I had forgotten what 5km pain was like! When I ran the 5000m in Dec last year, I remember thinking when I finished that I had probably left a bit in the tank; the way I felt for the last km of this race confirmed that (good news - if I run that event again this year I'll be gunning for sub-16!).
Short climb into the first hairpin, and the lungs are really burning now. I feel like Magikarp flip flap flopping around on the pavement with it's mouth wide open and no oxygen. Crap, there's still another climb and another hairpin turn to go. This is going to suck. And suck it did. The upside is that as soon as you round that last corner it's a very gradual downhill 300m or so to the finish. Well it turns out the upside was actually a bit limited because I'm still frantically gasping for oxygen, but I maintained at least enough awareness to remember to avoid the big pothole in the road that I always remind myself to avoid because of the potential for rolled ankles.
At this point I just wanted to minimise the period of time for which I felt like dying, so I just focused on pumping the legs as fast as I could towards the finish and over the line. My watch is stopped at 16:13. At 4.91 km which is definitely a touch on the short side, but the combination of trees and hairpin turns may have been unhelpful from a GPS perspective (or the course may have been short). The course record is 16:04 so I'm not far off at all (set by Greg Darbyshire, who I know - gonna have to try and take that one down sometime, I think).
Anyway after seeing my family (my 2 year old has behaved herself admirably, according to my parents) I go for a short warm down and although I have just been reminded of good old 5km pain, the warm down reminds me what I like about 5km as a distance - my legs actually feel pretty good and not completely trashed.
'Official' time was also 16:13, figure I'll count this as an 'unofficial' PB for a road 5km.
Anyway then we had a family brunch at our favourite cafe nearby and some dolphins swam by (no, really!). Good morning all in all!
5000m: 16:03 (Dec-18) | 5km: 16:24 (Nov-18) | 10km: 34:08 (Sep-18) | HM: 1:14:25 (Jun-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)
Last race: Christchurch Half Marathon, 2 Jun, 1:14:25 (PB)
Up next: Auckland Road Race Champs (10km), 25 Aug
"CONSISTENCY IS KING"
Hey Guys just checking back in hope everyone is doing well.
I am continuing to struggle with pain in my abdomen and groin area have not ran or rode in 4 weeks. I decided to completely stop everything in an effort to recover from this ongoing issue.
I went back to the PT today she advised me to continue not to run. I am going try and start riding again and hopefully be able to start running again about the end of July. I am heading to Italy in 2.5 weeks to meet my son and travel around Europe. (France Italy Germany Austria).
I'm continuing to do my prescribed exercises and hopefully along with the rest and recovery will allow me to be able to start running once I return.
For now I'm feeling frustrated at my inability to do anything that resembles training.
1m 5:38 (2018)
5k 19:59 (2019)
HM 1:33:56 (2018)
FM 3:23:07 (2018)
JMac - my time was 35:40
PRs: 5km 18:43, half 1:26:16, full 3:09:28
40+ PRs: 5km 20:34, half 1:29:39
2019 aims: Unlike 2017 & 2018, be consistent. So get 40+ weeks of 40+ miles incl. two quality sessions (5 weeks achieved so far).
Corey - sorry to hear that there hasn't been much progress. If you don't see progress in your trip, you may want to try a different PT, I find that you need to find one that works best with you.
Mark - during my run yesterday, I was thinking about something you said. We talked about gold/silver/bronze goals, or the old ABC goals. You stated you generally weren't a fan, as it was an "out" to say you met your goals, and is in violation of BOTT. In general, I think that's right. However, I was thinking of a counter-example of that that occurred during my last half. I only set one goal: 1:15:59. At mile 10, I realized there was no way I was going to achieve that. Without a backup goal in mind, I just let my pace slip because the pain was so unbearable that it was easier to just fade away at the end of the race, gradually going from 5:55 pace to 6:10.
I think that if I had a bronze goal in mind of sub 1:17, I wouldn't have done that. However, in my mind, I just said "I'm not PR'ing, what is the point of dealing with this horrific pain?" and I just slowed down gradually. It wasn't like I just went from 5:55 down to 6:10 immediately, but I stopped that pushing mindset.
Anyway, I'm saying all of this to add that there is value to a bronze goal if you're like me. It gives you something to work for when your PR is out the door instead of just shutting down.
5K: 17:50 (6/19) | 10K: 35:59 (3/19) | HM: 1:16:21 (3/19) | FM: 2:44:43 (4/19)
Next Race: Heart & Sole 5K (7/21/19)
Hot Weather Complainer
JMac - I never really believed in ABC goals until the last race. It was always all or nothing. I remember actually thinking (and maybe saying) "if I don't PB, it doesn't matter if I miss by 1 second or 10 minutes". I even thought if I didn't PB and got 1:30.01 I wouldn't care. In hindsight, a dumb way to think and probably not overly healthy.
But after the collapse at the Waterfront in 2018, I thought that if it's not my day I need to have something to focus on (and even feel good about afterwards).
I chatted with my partner and she was really good as far as giving advice, especially for a non-runner. So I came up with:
A goal: PB
B goal: Sub 90
C goal: A vaguely enjoyable experience (basically anything better than 2018).
I knew I was having a bad day early but only adjusted at 16km when I knew a PB was gone but a sub 90 was possible, albeit would require a massive amount of pain. When I realised that was gone and I was on the brink of disaster I just wanted to finish without stopping so I came up with the goal of a North Island PB (to be fair, only required sub 1:33). Given how I felt, I was pretty happy with a C goal. I think because by PB is only 35 seconds under 1:30, I figured if I got sub 1:30 but not a PB, I'd be disappointed about getting so close. I'll definitely change the approach next race...if that ever happens. The piriformis is very slow to heal and I feel like your front page quote applies more than ever. So incredibly frustrating given my current fitness (aerobically) and the fact that winter is my racing time. If I'm not able to race Sri Chinmoy in mid September, I'll be waiting until 2020 to try again.
PB: Christchurch 2016 1:29.25
Recent Races: South Island Half-Marathon 2018 1:32.39 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49
Next Race: South Island Half-Marathon, August 4, 2019
JMac - given my recent tendency to not set goals at all, I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment at all on this now! But I guess it is a pretty personal thing and different approaches can be effective motivators for different people.
I remember at that Maraetai race I did, I realised after about 6km that I was absolutely no shot at my goal. I didn't have a plan B but hanging on to third place (which actually ended up being 2nd place when Lachlan Haitana pulled out) ended up spurring me on to keep working despite the pain.
Probably now I'm a bit more in the camp of my goal being to 'just run the best race you can', at least for longer distances (HM and up). As a runner I think you just know when you've left it all out there and given it your best regardless of what conditions or the Running Gods might happen to bring on the day.
Me - Bit of a slog for me today. It was cold out this morning (enough for me to wear gloves for the whole run) and after a decent track session yesterday, followed up by a recovery run in the afternoon, the legs were super-sluggish and I just couldn't get them turning over at any sort of speed. I'll just chalk it up to cold morning/tired legs/bad day but I suspect a lighter week next week will do me good after a few weeks building mileage.
It has got quite a bit cooler here this week. Definitely quite a bit cooler than Brisbane, which was pretty much ideal temperature morning and evening.
I realize it is nothing compared to a cold New York day.
After Sunday, I am paying the price... I am jogging around with sore legs. Jumps take a lot out of muscles... more than I remembered...
My guess is that my body is way less flexible and elastic than it used to be... and the steeplechase put the final stress on stressed legs.
I managed 2 jogs (5 and 8 miles respectively) so far, and I am slowly starting to walk normally again 🤣
On the bright side, I do feel the legs much stronger than usual, I might keep one day a week in the routine with some jump or hurdles to improve elasticity... and maybe give it a proper go to the 3000 steeplechase one day
Next serious race the Laganside 10K on the first of September (aim 39:59) and the Belfast city half marathon on the 22nd (aim 1:29:59). Both in Belfast.
JMac11 if you want you can add them to the first page to make them official attempts to PB
PRs since re-started in 2013:
5km: 19:43 (Belfast park run Sep-16) | 10km: 40:16 (Belfast Lagan side 10K Sep-18)
HM: 1:30:09 (Belfast city Half Marathon, September-18) | FM: 3:25:05 (official chip time Belfast city Marathon, May-19, marathon was 0.3/4 longer, original time 3:27:20 for 26.5/6...)
HM in summer (Lisburn maybe?) and then in September. (Belfast). Looking for a 10 K as well.
weight loss complainer
Mark - yeah, it seems like sprinting on tired legs has been the theme of this training block.
It’s incredible that I’m running 45km per week and I still feel as tired as before afterwards.
I’m gaining strength though, but still lose access to my power after about 1200m of intervals.
I hope the continuous training will allow me to extend that further and further, at least to the 1500.
You could challenge Greg Darbyshire (such an English name) on the next edition of that race, should we call it battle of the tutus?
James - yeah, that’d be 16 pounds according to google.
Good luck on the 5 miler, bring the heat!
Marco - I have no idea how you can be so strong in the fast races but that does not translate on the longer races.
I mean to be able to hurdle just on muscle memory without any recent training is incredible, I’m super jealous.
You are also probably meant for the shorter races.
Do you guys have a running scene for over 30s in your area (master runners)? We do have quite a few competitions
throughout the year (3, 4 here + others nearby) and people compete from the 100 all the way to 3000 and the field sports too.
Keen - then why don’t you run the fast 5k instead?
Jmac - 17:29 seems sensible given your fitness and recent training block. In my experience you will lose at least 30 seconds due to the heat.
I remember running a couple of 19 minute 5Ks last year which would absolutely be 18:30s in colder weather.
Re: race objectives, I always have a rational objective, sometimes I have it, sometimes I’m faster.
Some days I just don’t have it, but then I turn to racing other people instead of against time. I find that beating
“ that dude with the dyed hair” is enough motivation to keep me rolling.
Corey - enjoy your vacations, do let me know if you try the sachertorte in Austria. And the apfelstrudel. and the tiramisu in Italy
me - 2 days ago it was 25 degrees here (77), yesterday it was 12 (53) and today it was 5 (40). Not so ideal for fast intervals, so I had 3 layers, cause of the waiting times. You warm up on a 600 sprint, but then you have to wait 3 minutes and it's a bit dangerous with sweat etc.
PRs: 1500m 4:57 3000 10:34 - Next up: chase a new 1500m PR
Hot tip to everybody: summer time is the best time of the year to train for the 1500m. A lot of the training involves at least partly anaerobic sprints (100, 200, 400), and warm weather is ideal for those.
I have been asked to cover long and high jump, javelin (hammer?) and run a 400 Hurdles next weekend... I'll try not to die as a first aim, probably will also try a <90'' on the 400 H as a second challenging aim...(not sure I'll be able...)
I will never be able to match my young PR on 800, 1500 and 3000 (2'06'', 4'22'', and 9'47''), but I could try with some new aims. If I can find any race on the track that I can compete in...
I may start chasing you at some point, maybe next year...
Aspiring Hobby Jogger
Flavio - I signed up for the "slow" 5k because it's being put on by a friend and it's for a good cause - I just didn't think to check the date beforehand. Even if I had I'd probably still run it because I've wanted to do it for a couple years and something else has always clashed with it. I might not get a chance to PR, an upside will be that I may have a chance to win with all the fast people running the other race across the city!
5k: 18:54 9/18 │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:28:01 4/18 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18
Tunnel to Towers 5k 8/31
Wurst Race Half 10/5
DRC Half 11/3
As I mentioned on my Strava, race conditions are looking pretty bad tomorrow, even for a 5K. Temps of 82, Kiwi Point of 68, for a wonderful TDP of 150. I think my 17:29 goal was a little soft as I was giving myself some budget given my lack of training, but now I think it's a realistic A goal. Luckily heat doesn't impact you AS much in a 5K, but I'll definitely be overheating by the second mile. I'll also take Flavio's recommendation for placing into account, although you never know with these small 5Ks: the winner could be 16:10, or 19:10.
I raced a 5km in similar conditions when I was in 18:45 shape. I ran 19:59 that day. Sun was still moderately high in the sky, plus return leg had a tailwind exactly my race pace, so this added to the heat factor.
Yeah it’s going to be at 9 am. With the sun rising at 5:30 these days, it’s very direct sunlight. That’s the other issue with charity 5Ks: they start too late in the morning in the summer. I understand why though, nobody would show up for a 7 am run on a Saturday morning.