>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2019
1:32:19.x, not what I was hoping for. It didn't feel as cold as I had expected, but my lungs tightened up and were sore for a couple of hours afterwards, so the cold may have affected me after all. Otherwise a fun day - lots of people to run with most of the way; DW & I saw several people we knew while we were hanging around for the awards ceremony; I saw our son twice, as he was volunteering on an out-and-back stretch; my cold-weather preparations worked pretty well; and my legs feel ok so far. Post-race endorphins are fun even if the time wasn't. Race report coming tomorrow.
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)
Good job! Way to get out there and finish the race. Enjoy the endorphins and you’ll be back at it soon.
800m: 2:20.3 (2015) | 1 Mile: 5:13 (2016) | 5K: 18:32 (2010) | 10km: 39:55 (2012) | HM: 1:28 (2013)
Hot Weather Complainer
Great work James - very good time considering the things going against you and will stand you in good stead for the next one.
Post-race endorphins are great, regardless of whether to hit your goal.
PB: Christchurch 2016 1:29.25
Recent Races: Half-Marathon Time Trial May 31, 2020 1:31.51 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49
2020 Planned Races: South Island Half-Marathon, August 2. Cherry Blossom 10km, September 13. Queenstown Half-Marathon, November 21
I wandered across the Christchurch Marathon website today and entries were open. So I entered. By the time the race happens (31 May 2020) it'll be over two and a half years since my first and only marathon and I've gotta give it a go at some point. That PB won't beat itself.
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 - nice job, if you were feeling it in the lungs it must've been cold!
King of taper madness
James - great job! I’m sure you know how this works, we are stuck in a plateau until eventually we break through. You’ll get there no doubt.
Mark - It will be cool to follow your training for the marathon.
My week: 63km 39mi in 5h of running 2h15 strength training
W: am 10ez pm Strength
T: 5x1000 @ 3:39 - 3:50 - felt more like 5k pace
S: 10 ez
S: 16 long run
Next week the fun begins with 3 workouts per week and increased mileage.
PRs: 1500m 4:54.1 3K 10:34 5K 18:05 HM 1:23:30 - Up next: Strava Segment Crown Stealing
Tool to generate Strava weekly
Race Report - Soldier Half Marathon, Nov. 16, Columbus, GA
This is my annual goal half, which starts and ends at an infantry museum just outside the Ft. Benning army base. It’s medium-sized by this area’s standards, with 600+ in the half this year and 300+ in the full. It attracted runners from 30 states and lots from other parts of Georgia, but it isn’t particularly competitive or intense; 2:54 won the full this year, and while someone set a course record of 1:12 in the half, 1:22 was second. Some of the out-of-staters are trying to run in all 50 states, and some are attracted by the military theme - runners can choose to run in honor of a soldier killed in combat, and there were rows of pictures of fallen soldiers at one point on the course. In previous years, there have been drill sergeants “encouraging” runners up the long hill at the top of their voices to add to the atmosphere. I didn’t notice a single pair of Vaporflys or Next%s, for what that’s worth.
It had rained all day Friday, and when we arrived Saturday morning it was 43/6 and very damp, unpleasantly cold by my standards. My plans to keep warm worked pretty well. I held yaktrax handwarmers while going through security, between strides, and during the pre-start speechifying. After my strides I got a jacket from DW to wear during the talking, and I gave it & the handwarmers and a neckwarmer back to her just before the start. Wore a thin vest for the first mile and then gave it to DW. Also, the armwarmers (thanks for the suggestion, JMac) helped. There were times when I felt cold, or when parts of me felt cold while other parts felt warm, but unlike a couple of years ago, I was never shivering.
I got off to a good start running between rows of flags out of the museum’s long parking lot and onto a tree-lined highway to the base, running easily but not pushing too hard. With the full and the half together for the first 10 miles, there were a lot of people to run with for the first few miles. My only problem was finding DW to toss her the vest, as she was wearing a red jacket and the stroller racers ahead of me and on her side of the road were also in bright red, but I found her and got the vest off without trouble. The first two miles had some modest ups and downs, and the third mile was a long steady climb, not too steep but long enough to take the steam out of the people who started too fast. This time I passed fewer than I expected, but the runners looked younger than usual, so I thought maybe it was just a faster group. Felt like I was pushing, but at an effort I would be able to sustain.
After the top of the hill, I started to feel a cramp in my lower left side. The only other time I remember having one there was at the same race two years ago (also a cold day), when I wound up having to walk. That one had started much earlier in the race, though, and this one didn’t seem as serious. At the four-mile mark, I asked a young guy who had checked his watch for the time; he said 27:40. That was 12 seconds over 1:30 pace, which seemed ok since the first and (uphill) third miles figured to be slower than average. I expected to make up some time over the next few miles, which included a steep downhill that basically gave back the earlier uphill. The cramp persisted, though. At my last half, I had some success dealing with a cramp on my upper right side by exhaling hard on every other left foot strike; when that didn’t seem to work this time, I switched sides, but that didn’t help either. The cramp came and went for the rest of the race, occasionally seeming like it might get serious enough that I would have to stop and occasionally fading for a while, but generally present as a dull ache. When I got to the 10K clock, I was 22 seconds over 1:30 pace, which was disappointing since I felt like I was working pretty hard.
As we left the base and got on a paved bike trail that took us by the museum again and behind a nature preserve and a golf course, I was pleased that there were still lots of people to run with. The effort was getting harder, the cramp was still annoying, and my lungs were starting to tighten, but I didn’t think I was fading, as I was gradually passing a few people and being passed by others, and I went back and forth with a couple. The trail had lots of gentle bends, and one apparently Army guy & I had some awkward moments trying to run tangents without getting in each other’s way. On one left bend, he cut me off, and I eased back slightly and went to his right behind him, and my left foot grazed his right one. I barely felt it, and he didn’t say anything, but half an inch more and it could’ve been a bad fall for both of us. He eventually dropped back, and I didn’t see him at the finish, so he may have run the full. Saw DW again at mile 7 near the museum but didn’t give her my beanie or gloves, since it was still chilly.
After going behind the golf course, we turned onto an isolated access road to a water treatment facility with fields and trees on one side. On the other side behind some tall plants was the bike trail where runners returned toward the finish at the museum. I started to see some of the leaders returning, but there were few enough of them that I thought I might have a chance at the top 10 even if my time wasn’t great. Saw our son (volunteering at the race with classmates) near mile marker 9, where he was supposed to “direct runners.” I later explained to him that his real, unspoken, duty was to make sure nobody cheated and cut onto the bike path before the turnaround at the places where there were gaps in the plants. When I got to mile marker 10, I was surprised to see that there was no clock where there had been every other year. I don’t race with a watch, since a clock every few miles gives me as much information as I need, and every little bit of weight saved helps.
When I got to the water treatment facility and turned around onto the bike path to head back for the last three miles, all of a sudden I was alone. Not sure whether I had gotten ahead of the people I had been running back and forth with or whether they had continued straight on the full. It’s always strange to be running alone on that stretch hearing all the outbound runners through the tall plants but not seeing anyone except through the occasional gaps. I may have faded more without anyone to run with (it would’ve been nice to have the 10-mile split to know for sure), and my lungs did seem to get tighter and the effort harder. My hamstrings, which had been unusually sore all week, also started to hurt after the turnaround, but I was close enough to the finish that I wasn’t worried. For the last mile, the route turned off the bike path onto a straight road leading back to the museum. I still didn’t see anyone close in front of me, but in the last half-mile three people passed me. If I had been sure that I was close to a goal time, I might have been able to hold them off, but I didn’t have much left.
I wound up finishing in 1:32:19.4, 18th/611 overall. I did win my age group, but the time was a little slower than in either 2016 when I went out too fast and crashed or 2017 when I cramped up and walked for a while. I’m more fit now, and my training has been better, so I’m not sure why I didn’t do better. The cold may have caused the cramp & the lung tightness, or maybe I was a little sick (I did feel like I was coming down with something the day before the race, but I had thought that it might just be taper madness). My lungs were sore for a couple of hours after the race, which I don’t remember happening before.
The awards ceremony was two hours after I finished, and DW and I enjoyed hanging around and visiting with friends and meeting out-of-town runners and snacking on post-race food while we watched the full runners and the slow half runners finish as it gradually warmed up. Since this was the last year of the race, some of us talked about how much we had enjoyed it over the years, and it was pleasant to focus on that rather than being disappointed about my time. My previous three races had been very good, good, and very good, respectively, so I shouldn’t be too upset about one clunker, whatever the reasons.
James - nice RR. I really think you should race with a watch (preferably GPS).
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)
Flavio - nice week. Looking forward to seeing your mileage build.
James - nice RR. Sounds like the cold temps definitely took a toll. You're right, you can't beat yourself up too much about one disappointing race - they don't all go to plan for any of us!!
Me - weather forecast still looking optimal for Kerikeri on Saturday. Light SW's, 11C at race start and probably more like 16C by the end. Race week madness has commenced (for the last time this year).
While it's a fast course with a big net downhill (200m / 650ft), there's a lot of climbing over the first 7km (110m / 360 ft), with a couple of tough hills. I think if I'm hitting the 7km mark (and the top of the climb) by around 25:30 I'll be in reasonable shape as it's very fast from there on in. I was chatting with Luke McCallum on Friday who won the race a few years ago - he reckons that apart from a few short steeper spots, the back half of the race is supremely good for downhill running (albeit my quads are going to be suffering the next day).
James - nice race report.
The fact that you were much sorer than usual may be an indication that you're coming down with something, or fighting something off. Queenstown 2017 I went in with a minor cold, and my legs were as sore as they've ever been afterwards - I couldn't handle the most gentle massage without jumping a mile. Unfortunately, 2-3 days after the race it turned into a full blown cold and I was in bed for 2 days.
Nice report, James. Thanks for sharing. It definitely sounds like something got you - sickness or weather; but then again, this is running and things are just unpredictable sometimes. Taking some time off now? Setting your sights on a new goal?
I got my new edition of Daniels and can’t wait to get going now. My goal is to follow the HM plan pretty religiously. I was surprised to see so much R pace in Phase II, but his explanation for that makes a lot of sense.
I am a little concerned about choosing my VDOT to inform my training paces. The only race I’ve done recently was a 5K that I went easy in so I could pace a slower friend, and it was within my first full week of running after my injury. I ran 21:50 but don’t think that’s a valid VDOT since it wasn’t a true race effort. Then again, I could use the VDOT associated with that time, try a few workouts and see how it goes, and adjust accordingly. Any advice from the Daniels gurus here? I don’t want to waste time, but I also don’t want to be impatient.
Jmac nice week nice job on your both your workouts that's gotta be a big confidence booster!
James nice job on your race, too bad it didn't work out with a better time, and nice Race Report too. Enjoy your time taking your son around to visit universities he will be graduated before you know it. It seems like yesterday when I was doing the same thing now mine is a Junior in college
Mark Can't say that I have ever witnessed anything like that while on a run. Nice week and looking forward to what you can do in the Marathon.
Kamba I used Daniels book as a guide for me last year and will use it again hopefully I'll be able to follow it more closely this go around.
For me I cut back this week in terms of mileage but did put in a harder than normal effort over the first 7 miles of my Saturday 8 mile run mainly pushing on the downhills. My legs felt a bit sore yesterday and still this morning. Yesterday I was planning on running 13 but was having a lot of trouble and ended up walking several times. I went and ran too soon after I ate lunch and suffered the consequences just trying to keep everything down. I had enough of it and stopped at 10 miles.
Have a good week everyone
1m 5:38 (2018)
5k 19:59 (2019)
HM 1:33:56 (2018)
FM 3:23:07 (2018)
Thanks, Kim. I’ll take a few days off to recover but expect to start back with easy runs by the end of the week. Don’t think I need an extended break. I want to build a little more of a base, maybe average 40 mpw for a couple of months this time, but also see if the hamstrings can handle some hills and short speedwork to mix things up. Should also get to the gym some this winter.
Not sure about future goal races, as the now-defunct local half has been my main focus for the last several years (except in 2018 when I was coming back from injury and ran a March 2019 half in Albany instead). I enjoyed the Albany half, so I may try that again, or one in Montgomery the next weekend if the weather looks better. Eventually I’d like to try one of the larger halfs in Atlanta, as I’d certainly have people to run with, which can be a problem around here. Those are very hilly, though, and I want to get under 1:30 before I try one of them.
As for Daniels, I don’t use his training but have his 2nd edition and read on LetsRun lots of comments about his training. If you’re sure you’re in better shape than your race time indicates, you may want to consider adding one to the VDOT implied by that time and basing the workouts on that for a while. That might be conservative, but my impression is that his workouts can be pretty hard for some people (I think they’d injure me after a while), and if you’re coming back from injury, it might be better to be a little cautious at the start. I defer to the board’s Daniels experts, though.
Mark - So proud of you signing up for the big boy race! I see you're already giving feedback in the forums on when to race prior to the full . I agree with others, I'm very interested in seeing what you do for training. The first time we went for sub 3 together I had no idea what I was doing so I wasn't tracking your training as closely. This time, I will be all over it. Get ready for mid-week runs of 25-30KM!
Regarding your race, 600 feet is a LOT of downhill for a half! It took me a while to convince myself that 300 feet in a full marathon was okay, and even that people debate a lot. So this is effectively 4x as much downhill. Are you going to count this as a PR if you get it?
Flavio - I thought those were all one workout, WHOOPS.
James - great race report! Really enjoyed it. Glad the arm warmers helped out. Your lungs being that sore after is interesting. I definitely get a minor cough when I race in the cold, but to be that sore it usually means I'm battling some sort of lung infection. The last time I felt that was 3 days after a big cold. That may be something.
Kimba - It took me a while to learn this with Daniels, but the VDOT paces should generally be viewed as caps, not targets. You have to learn to run by feel in his system. For example, my T pace with him is 5:43. I will often go out in runs and hit 5:50 or so for the first couple of reps. Then, I might hit a rep in 5:37, which tells me I need to slow down. But I don't think after the 5:50s that I should be speeding up.
The second thing that is most crucuail with Daniels: it is better to slightly undertrain with his workouts than overtrain. Think about it: you always train based off of your current VDOT. If you go out and PR, doesn't that mean you were training too slowly, as your body was in better shape than you thought? The answer is that it's okay to be a little slow on these.
If I were you, I'd run off your recent race and try to find a cheap 5k/10k to run in soon. When I come back from long breaks, that's always what I do in order to readjust my VDOT.
Corey - been there, done that! Nothing worse than that feeling of "oh no I didn't wait long enough."
Me - Legs felt pretty tired in both quality runs this week, which must mean I'm ready to taper. I was able to hit my T paces on Wednesday but just felt way too difficult at the start. My long run I also consciously tried to start at MP+20% (a la Pfitz), as I've been taking too look to get to that range lately. It led to a good long run where I was able to stay sub 7 for the majority of it. Given how tired my legs were to start, very happy with how the long run went.
Most importantly, I want to celebrate how great of a cycle I've had! After too many injuries in the Boston cycle, this one went just about damn near perfect. I only lost one single day out of the whole thing due to some tendinitis. Additionally, I was finally about to get my weekly average up closer to where I think you need for success at this distance. Both for Boston and NYC, I averaged right around 60 miles per week for the cycle. This cycle, I was able to get up to 73 miles. That's a huge jump in weekly averages and I hope I can reap the rewards in 3 weeks.
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