>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2019
Congrats, dps and (again) Mark! I had a good race too, though this was only my 3rd most important race of the year, so nothing like Mark's.
Race Report - Nissan Big Dog Labor Day Classic 10K, September 2, 2019
This is the 5th year of this race, our area’s only fall 10K, and I’ve always wanted to run it but have never had a base and enough workouts by early September. It’s a point-to-point race that starts at a Nissan dealership on the north side of town and heads south on the city’s busiest five-lane highway-with-stoplights before ending a block from our downtown apartment. At 7:30am on a holiday, there’s not much traffic, and closing one lane isn’t a problem. The course is a 212-foot net downhill with lots of gradual downhills and a few moderate uphills.
Weather was great, around 73/23, which was warm enough that I could warm up without worrying about straining anything but not at all hot. Dew point was 69, and I suppose the TDP of 142 must have affected me a little, but I didn’t really notice it until I realized when I finished that I was drenched in sweat. (At one point last week, it had looked like Hurricane Dorian might come within a hundred miles or so and give us a strong tailwind -- I felt only a little guilty for hoping for it -- but no such luck, though we did have a slight wind at our sides & backs.) At my last race, a 5-miler in July, my hamstring began to hurt as soon as I started warming up, but that wasn’t an issue today. I was curious how my new Reebok Floatride Run Fasts would do in a race; the only two times I had worn them, my 1200-meter times two weeks ago had been 10 sec/mile slower than expected and my 200-meter times last week had been a second faster.
I got to the start area early, jogged a mile, and finished my strides about 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, earlier than usual for me. We wound up starting 5-10 minutes late, so I was concerned that I might have tightened up, but I didn’t have any trouble. The start was a short downhill before a longer uphill, and I watched out for the sprinting kids we see at other races who caused a bad fall last time, but the start was much more reasonable, maybe because fewer inexperienced people run 10Ks than shorter races. I was surprised to see 6 or so women in-line skaters whose tops made me think they may have been a local roller derby team - they looked more solidly built than most endurance athletes and didn’t seem to have great stamina. They had trouble on the uphills and went back and forth with me a few times during the race.
I usually start slowly and pass people steadily until I run out of slowing people and run alone the rest of the way, so I was pleased to find myself around several others around positions 8-12 after things settled down after the first downhill & uphill. Felt like I was going at a steady, fairly hard, but probably sustainable pace. The long gradual downhills seemed to help a lot, and I sometimes gained on other runners during the few uphills. Not only were there people near me, but since the highway had lots of long straightaways, I could see almost everyone spread out ahead of me for the first few miles. Sunrise was about 20 minutes before the start, and we ran through alternating shade and sunshine depending on whether or not there were trees/buildings on the highway’s east side. After about half a mile, the 2:56 marathoner I had trailed at the end of my July race passed me rather easily, but when he got about 20 yards ahead of me, he didn’t gain any more, and I caught up to him and ran close behind or with him for most of the race before he gradually moved ahead in the last couple of miles. At one point a spectator yelled to him and he yelled back that his legs were trashed because of Saturday’s trail run, but I was glad to have someone else to follow.
A mid-20s soldier with a watch who was beside me for most of the race called out our pace at the first mile marker; I thanked him, and he did it again at the next two. 6:20, 6:21, and 6:24, which was encouraging since I had averaged 6:29 at the (hotter) July 5-miler. We never saw a fourth mile marker, and he had faded by the time we got to the fifth marker, but it was good to know that I was doing well but not going unsustainably fast. Somewhere in the third or fourth mile, we passed a 15-year-old who had started out fast but gradually dropped back to us. A mile or two later, he came back and passed me pretty easily. I did a double-take when I realized he was carrying a pair of shoes and running in his socks; he said afterwards that the shoes were old and were hurting his feet, so he took them off. He wound up beating me by 20 seconds, but I assume he would’ve been much faster in good shoes.
Over the last mile or two, the field stretched out a little and I was alone, but always able to see the person or two ahead of me. I felt like I was holding my pace pretty well, but I don’t think I was able to speed up at the end. Finished at 39:34.9, a post-1978 PR, 9th place overall, 1st in my age group, 79.92% age-graded (my best age-grade since 1978 and 3 seconds short of 80%). The 0.7% net downhill certainly helped, but a calculator suggests that it helped a little under a minute and the temperature cost me 48 seconds (not sure I buy that), so I feel ok claiming it as a legit sub-40. Lessons learned: net downhills help; it really helps to have people to run with; my new shoes seemed to have worked pretty well; finishing my strides 20 minutes before start time works fine; and I’m over the illness/stress/allergy/whatever I had a couple of weeks ago. This result met one of my goals for the year, and it’ll give me a confidence boost as I train for my goal half in November.
Post-1987 PRs: Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (April '20)
2020 Goals: 35+ mpw, Half<1:30, 10K<39:35, 5K<19:30; Mile<5:40 (done)
Flavio - oh, there's been a few races where I've crashed and burned. Hawkes Bay HM 2016 (went out too hot after coming back from injury), Queenstown HM 2016 (just had a crap day), North Shore HM 2017 as well. There was also Devonport HM last year but I can blame that on the fact I had food poisoning earlier in the week. I used to often have a slight pace drop-off in the last couple of km's of a HM as well, that's happened in quite a few races - more of a fade than a crash-and-burn though.
James - congrats on the race and the sub-40! If there were uphills as well then the course was probably not quite as quick as a calculator might suggest, and I reckon those temperatures would definitely have slowed things down a little too (unless you're really well acclimatised to them). That AG% is really, really good as well so you should take a lot of confidence from that one.
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: Mt. Maunganui Half Marathon, 29 Aug; Rotorua Marathon, 26 Sept
"CONSISTENCY IS KING"
James and DP huge 10k results congratulations to both of you.
50+ PBs - 5k 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 "
Making a comeback
34:32 is my 10k pr but it was shortly after college a decade ago. #oldman
Thanks flavio! I have never ran a half that wasn't part of marathon training so I have no idea how far I can drive that time down.
2019 Goal: Run every day Goal: Get to 165 lbs Goal: Get in shape to be able to run 2 marathons in 2020
New 2020 Goal: Actually run a race, any race, just run a real legit race. **Eye Twitching**
I don't know how but I missed the write up james. Nice Job! Just read it.
I reckon you've got heaps of upside from your recent 1:24 based purely on that 10k. You can probably get close to, or under, 1:20.
DP - great job.
James - nice work. I think your RR had the wrong year, anyhow, 1987 is a very, very long time ago. Well done.
PRs: 5km 18:43 (Dec 2015), 10km 40:28 (Aug 2019), half 1:26:16 (Sep 2016), full 3:09:28 (Jun 2015)
40+ PRs: 5km 20:10 (Dec 2019), 10km 40:28 (Aug 2019), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)
In 1987 I was really good at getting drunk
DP - great job.
James - nice work. I think your RR had the wrong year, anyhow, 1987 is a very, very long time ago. Well done.
Nope, 1978, when I was a junior in high school. Stopped in 1979 because of a knee injury and, except for about a year in 1986-87, didn't run again until this century.
Oh, now I think I see what you meant, that in the footer I list my post-1987 PRs. During my brief return to running in 1986-87 I ran a three-mile time trial that was significantly faster than my old-guy 5K PR, so it seems fairer to call at least the 5K a post-1987 PR.
Aspiring Hobby Jogger
Mark - !!!! That's freakin' huge, man! So happy for you.
Flavio - Thanks, and nice week.
Marco - You certainly have a shot at sub-90. Bravo on sticking with things, too. Just get in a tiny bit more training and let the taper help you!
Paul - Nice that things are feeling better for you.
DPS - Great job on that super-speedy 10k!
James - Awesome on the sub-40, and good RR as well. Do you have anything between now and your half?
I completely failed at a cut-back week! Whoops... I did win the small 5k - full disclosure, I signed up for this race before the date for the fastest 5k in the state was announced and they just happened to be the same day. That race had 60 people under 18 minutes, 11 at 16 minutes or better, with the winner in 14:41! It may not be much compared to coastal races, but that's a super-fast and stacked field for Oklahoma.
Weather was pretty decent compared to what I have been running in, which was nice (~68*, but still very humid). I improved on the overall effort put into the distance vs my TT a couple weeks ago (certainly didn't improve on the time!), but figure I can still push harder since there was never a moment when I thought slowing down might be a good idea for any reason. I was ~25 feet behind a kid (HS/young college) until just before mile 2 when I dropped him at the top of a hill, then I was all alone the rest of the way and ended up ~1:40 ahead of 2nd place. Certainly it wasn't a competitive race at all, nor was it a PR-worthy course in any case, but it was lots of fun to actually race something after so long (1 year since my last 5k, ~10 months since my last race).
ETA: August ended up being my 2nd highest mileage (331.64 mi / 533.72 km) month ever (last August was 344.10 mi / 553.77 km), though my biggest month in terms of intensity.
Weekly SummaryMonday, Aug 26, 2019 thru Sunday, Sep 01, 2019
5k: 18:25 10/19 (solo track TT) │ 10k: 38:56 4/18 │ HM: 1:24:16 11/19 │ M: 3:04:13 11/18
Upcoming Races (?):
9/5 - Tunnel to Towers 5K
9/27 - Run Elk City 5k
10/4 - Wurst Race Half
10/18 - Hot Chocolate 15k (Pacing)
Late Oct./Early Nov. - Some flat, fast marathon (hopefully)
Mark - Great race! I did find it weird that you guys have your masters starting at age 35, when the rest of the world considers it at age 40. Re: VFs, you're exactly right. There is no feel there, and because of the much higher heel to toe drop than you train in, makes complete sense that your quads are destroyed. I reckon they get you about 60 seconds in a half marathon (mikkey claims much higher, but he's an outlier), which means you were in PB shape no matter what, which is amazing. Watson - they're worth it and you should go out and buy a pair now.
You're sort of getting to the point of "what's left" in the half. You've trained exclusively for that distance now for years. I guess sub 70 would be cool. I guess I'm saying come up to the big boy distance and get that sub 2:35 .
Steve - you summed up my thoughts well: NZ seems a bit like amateur hour when it comes to races. It's too bad you guys are so isolated from the rest of the world that you can't really travel elsewhere for racing.
DPS - your results are so interesting, even if your half wasn't "all out." Based on you 10K times, you should easily be sub 1:20, but probably more like 1:22 if you aren't running "all out." Either you are missing a lot of endurance, or something else is going on with your half. Maybe you were actually running more like MP and didn't know it.
James - great that you're nabbing so many PRs this year, especially after a 30 year break!
Keen - I'm so excited for the fall, especially after reading Mark's race report. Remember in the spring when a sunny day of 65 degrees felt "hot?"
Me - I'm back from my trip. 2 weeks of boring easy running to get back from my 12 days off, then a very tight 8 week training schedule for CIM. Most important goal is to stay healthy to get to the start line unlike Boston this year, so going to keep focusing on keeping easy running easy. Still, going to try to average 70+ for this cycle, which is much more than the 60 I've averaged for my past two.
ETA - I think the horse race between me and Mark is now officially over, although it was barely alive once he went sub 1:15. We now have a bit of a gap between our 1st place horse, 2nd place horse, and 3rd place. Someone come chase me!
5K: 16:51 (8/19) | 10K: 34:49 (10/19) | HM: 1:15:28 (3/20) | FM: 2:36:31 (12/19)
Next Race: Whatever COVID-19 will allow me to run
JMac - I'm ridiculously excited for the fall as well! I just realized that the 80-85* mornings we had for a couple weeks really did something, since the ~75* of the last couple mornings have felt just fine. That under 70* felt nice and cool is a crazy change from the same conditions in the spring. How was Tanzania?You might have to be patient (very, very patient) but I'm doing what I can to get towards where you and Mark are!
Hi all, congrats again Mark, dps and James for your great races and PR!
I am not going to hide that this weekend was a bit disappointing even if expected. Unfortunately in the last few months I had a few things going wrong, starting from my own mistake of racing on track (with jumps and throws) but that was fun... the real problem seems to be my travelling. I missed a few weeks and the miles went down a bit (while probably the weight went up as well...)
quick race report...
I had a good warm up, met a few from my running club, one was aiming for a substantial sub 40, one is around 40 and others who were not even close to 45... I tried to start with the 40 guy, but he was going out too fast. I knew from last year that the first few Km were going to be fast (the first is downhill for about 500 mt.)
When we started all I am thinking is: let's not push it too much...
first km 3'47, then 3'39 on flat ... I got distracted and scared "I didn't keep this pace in the interval this week, why am I going so fast... better slow down a bit."
So we go closer to 4' (3'56) on the third Km, and then the unexpected happens... I have 4'06 and 4'23 for the next 2 splits. I remember now that km 4-5 is up hill as well... I wasn't too tired but I think subconsciously I panicked...
I saw a couple of people running in front of me and I decided to pick them up and stay with them for the next Km. I ended up with another couple of good Km... 3'44, so I think that I am still in the game. I keep it up with another sub 4 (3'52).
Then I crushed.
I knew the last 3 Km were technical (with a few curves) and a bit hilly, but I wasn't expecting what happened... I have 4'24, 4'21 and, in the final (essentially entirely up hill) 4'45/4'50 (last year I managed to keep 4'20 and did the previous two in 4'.
I close just outside 41, which is ok considering my intervals in the last couple of weeks, but it is not ok considering how it went....
then I realised that i was more worried about not pushing too much than about running. I think I am not too much outside sub 40 shape, but we'll see....
I decided to use that 10k as a tempo run and ignore that was a race. so I did a slow 5 miles yesterday and this morning I went out with the idea of running 7 miles with the 3 in the middle at half marathon pace... and I ended up running as fast as on Sunday if not slightly faster...
Mark: I hope you are right and the marathon training will help
Flavio: You are correct, I was born mid distance runnier (after a year of serious training but on very low mileage I could run 2'06 on 800mt (not bad for a chubby nerd as I was and am...) and sub 4'30'' on the 1500. But I also had a good brain and decided that I could earn a living with a university title but not as a runner, so I studied, got a PhD, a wife and 2 kids. Then I realized that I have much more time whiles studying, but now I wanted to run. And now I run in the mornings and race what I have in Northern Ireland (not many short distances)
Keen:I hope you are right. I will try to get a couple of good weeks in and a good taper.
Jmac, I believe the UK considers master at 35 as well (I am M35 here, not senior anymore...)
today I spent the day reviewing my travelling schedule (mostly for work) for the autumn... it is probably going to kill me...
I am going to Manchester in a day on the 5th (this is only a 30 min flight...) then Germany on the 8-11, then probably in the US (north carolina) either once or twice in October, then in Denmark the first week of November and Atlanta on the 10th-11th of November. Back to Germany on the 6th-9 of December and then on holiday on November 20 (Los Angeles for 15 days...)
that could create some problems with my training...
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...)
Belfast city Marathon, May-20.
Thanks for the support guys! My half was all hills with the highest point of the race was at 11.6 or so. The map is on page 120 I think. So on a flat course I think I would have been closer to 1:22:00. That said, I really didn't think I was anywhere near that fit until about a week out when I did 2x3 miles @6-6:10 pace and it felt really good.
The other issue is I absolutely do not have the base. I only broke 50 mi a week in June with running max of 7 miles a day (mostly 6 miles) in May. In the past, I have had many injuries especially in my lower back, so my surprise is mostly around having done almost no speed work. I think until my half I had run maybe 20-30 miles total sub 7 min pace. I am 100% certain if I ran a marathon this fall I could barely break 3. I am certain that my legs are toast after about 16-18 miles. On my longer runs on the relatively flat paths, I had to really push to hold 7:20 after 15 and really hammer to get close to 7 min pace.