>Racing>Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2019
weight loss complainer
Way to go Mark, you're on a roll!!!
Jmac - the only reason we're not impeaching you is because it's close to leadership change. Next year we'll put Steve as leader, and weather complaining will be mandatory.
PRs: 1500m 4:54.1 3K 10:34 5K 18:05 HM 1:24:25 - Up next: Chase the HM PR
Hot Weather Complainer
I prefer to complain than actually try and run things...I'm the Green Party of the thread
PB: Christchurch 2016 1:29.25
Recent Races: South Island Half-Marathon 2018 1:32.39 Auckland Waterfront Half-Marathon 2019 1:30.49
2020 Planned Races: Christchurch 10km Series (Park), February 2, Christchurch Half-Marathon May 31, South Island Half-Marathon August 2
You do NOT want mandatory weather complaining. Flavio don't you remember me in the summer of 2018? It was insufferable (almost as insufferable as that humidity! )
5K: 16:51 (8/19) | 10K: 34:49 (10/19) | HM: 1:16:05 (10/19) | FM: 2:36:31 (12/19)
Next Race: TBD
1:10:46 official time, for 2nd place. Got myself in striking distance of 1st with about 5km to go (Tama Christensen, he is from down Piwi's way) but he found another gear and pulled away over the last 3km. Left it all out there and I'm beyond stoked with the result. With all the downhill it was hard to get a good read on effort at times but I knew I'd nailed it when I really had to battle for those last 2km. Weather was perfect at the start but got pretty warm from about the halfway point on.
Full race report to come!
5,000m: 16:03 (Dec-18) | 10,000m: 32:58 (Nov-19) | 10km: 33:15 (Sep-19)
HM: 1:10:46 (Nov-19) | FM: 2:57:36 (Oct-17)
Last race: Kerikeri Half Marathon, 23 Nov, 1:10:46 (PB)
Up next: Bays Night of 5's 5000m, 20 Dec
"CONSISTENCY IS KING"
Far out nice job Mark. Its bloody hot today too.
50+ PBs - 5k 18:29 Tauranga Parkrun May18
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 "
Nice Job Mark!
1m 5:38 (2018)
5k 19:59 (2019)
HM 1:33:56 (2018)
FM 3:23:07 (2018)
Great job Mark, can’t wait to read the full report.
1:10 1/2M? Holy crap. Nice race!
Great job, Mark! Looking forward to the RR.
This was a recovery week after my half last Saturday. I was relieved that my legs seemed less trashed after this race than after my 10K in September. After that race, my shins, hamstrings, and quads all hurt quite a lot, and I was afraid that it might be the result of my new racing shoes, Reebok Floatride Run Fasts. Since my legs haven’t hurt as much this time, the September pains must have had more to do with the 10K being downhill (and about 40 sec/mile faster than the half). Hamstrings have still been sore when I’ve run, but not otherwise. My last two weeks:
Sun - 3.1 miles easy
Mon - 3, including 4x200M @ 0:40
Tues - 3.1 easy trying out cold-weather clothes
Weds - off
Thurs - 3.1, including strides and 0.5 miles @ 3:07
Fri - off
Sat - 14.1, including Soldier Half Marathon in 1:32:19
Total - 26.4 miles
Sun - off
Mon - off
Tues - light gym session
Weds - 20 minutes swimming
Thurs - 3.1 miles, hamstrings sore after 1 mile
Fri - 4.2, hamstrings not quite as sore, starting at 1.5 miles
Sat - 5.7, hamstrings less sore, starting at 2.8
Total - 13 miles
12-week average - 31 mpw
Post-1987 PRs: 5K 19:12 (2017); 10K 39:35 (Sept '19); Half 1:30:14 (March '19)
2019 Goals: NO INJURIES, 30+ mpw (ok so far), Half<1:30 (almost), 10K<40 (yes), 5K<19 (no)
Race Report – Kerikeri Half Marathon, 23 November 2019
At the start of 2019, I decided there were four half marathons I was really going to target (as opposed to like 8 … ). Waterfront (April), Christchurch (June), Dunedin/NZ Half Marathon Champs (September) and Kerikeri (November). I PB’ed at the first 3, so the goal here was pretty obvious – but mostly I just wanted to go out and run the best race I could. This year has been really challenging; my wife has been working weekends so I’ve been up at 5am or 4am most Saturdays and Sundays just to get training in before my wife goes to work and I switch over to Daddy Daycare with Miss 2.5.
Kerikeri is notorious for being one of the fastest half marathon courses in the country, with a net downhill of around 200m. There’s a lot of climbing in the first 7km though (+100m) so you have to earn the right to run fast. The plan is pretty simple – I’m aiming to hit the 7km mark (more or less the top of the hill) by around 25 minutes, and then just go from there. Don’t overdo it on the two big hills in km 5 and km 7, or on a few of the false flats through the early running. The bus to the start line, which is basically out in the countryside, lets me scout most of the course. I catch up with a few other Auckland runners before the race (Anna McRae, Gene Rand, other Brad, MC Jason, Ninja Ben, and Rob). Anna and Gene in particular are wise and experienced runners who I seriously look up to – Anna ran a 3:10 at NYC this year off very limited training so it was good to hear about it first-hand.
The weather at race start is perfect, with a light southerly (it’s a tailwind for most of the race), and around 12C / low 50’s. I recognise Tama Christensen (he was around 30 seconds ahead of me at the 10,000m race two weeks ago), and there are a couple of other elite-looking guys (you know how some runners just look elite?) in pink Vaporflies. I chat to one of them (Ewan) who seems like a nice guy.
From the start there’s a pack of around 6 that head out in front, with Tama and me at the front. Ewan is there, and another guy dressed exactly like Ewan in a black singlet and pink Vaporflies (I’ll call him Not-Ewan). By the end of the first km, two drop back a little so it’s just me, Tama, Ewan and Not-Ewan. At 3:22 it was a touch quick considering it’s a false flat with a small climb. Km 2 is 3:27 which is right where I want to be for this early section. Tama has pulled out ahead by maybe 5 seconds – I think about putting in a surge to catch him but decide against it with the bigger hills still to come.
Anthrax’s “Catharsis” popped into my head, not surprising considering I was cranking it loud on the drive on the way up, but it’s a good soundtrack with its driving rhythms and John Bush sounding unusually upbeat despite some slightly bleak lyrics…
All these years I’ve been the hard man, all these years it’s been so hard man…
Having closed roads allows you to run the tangents and I’m attempting to make the most of that. Km’s 3 and 4 are right on pace, I’m feeling nice and strong, although I’m starting to sweat as it’s getting warmer under the sun – so it’s a bit of a balance between looking for shade on the edge of the road, and running the tangents. Glad I wore my sunglasses too (Goodr’s are hands down the best sunglasses for running).
Next up we are on to the first big hill. It’s the steepest of the two hills with around 40m climb over around 800m. I keep the effort as steady as possible – it’s definitely taking some work but it’s not as hard as I expected it to be . There’s a small downhill on the other side – I go with the flow on this and let gravity carry me, opening up a small gap on Ewan and Not-Ewan, but they dial up the effort to catch me back up. At this point it was clear I was the one dictating the pace, which I’m all good with. Not-Ewan is breathing quite heavily too.
Just one more hill to get through before we can drop the hammer, but it’s a long one – going for almost 1km. All the way up I was thinking ‘easier than Upper Harbour Bridge’, which I run all the time, generally at the end of a long run – it’s a similar grade to this hill but longer.
I’m in I’m out
I’m breaking through the darkness
When my Garmin chirps the completion of 7km, at around 24:30, I know I might be in for something special today. 30 seconds ahead of target on the toughest part of the course, and feeling strong. I hope I’m not going to pay for it later, but I suspect even if I do, I’ll have less of a fade than Ewan and Not-Ewan who were really struggling towards the top of this hill. From the bus ride in, I know the hill ends just past the golf club… and there goes the golf club. Time to cash in.
(somehow the Anthrax track is back at the start)
All these years I’ve been the hard man
All these years it’s been so hard man
Ewan and Not-Ewan were both still there for the first part of the downhill. Being on closed roads meant we could really get the most out of running the tangents down here, but soon I can only hear one set of feet with me, and from the heavy breathing I think it’s Not-Ewan. I take a gel at the 8km mark (the SIS plus electrolyte raspberry flavour is great but has a weird artificial sweetness), and because we’re running through the countryside, I can’t bear to ditch the packet on the side of the road, so I hold on until the next water stop and discard it there.
There was a short rise just after the 9km mark approaching the water stop and Not-Ewan faded very quickly here, so now I’m all alone in second, probably 40-50 seconds behind Tama in first (who is following the line of the road and doing an utterly terrible job of running the tangents). This 4km block was a pretty steady downhill, I was trying just to run to effort and not look at the splits, but they came up as some utterly ridiculous sequence like 3:15, 3:08, 3:15, 3:06. I knew if I could be hitting steady 3:20’s I’d be in good shape so this is way beyond what I’d expected.
At the 12km mark it’s starting to feel pretty warm (turns out it was approaching 17C/60F at this point), but as the course turns from northeast towards east, the southerly becomes a crosswind and it’s surprisingly a nice reprieve from the heat. Km’s 13-15 are still downhill and coming up with ahead-of-pace splits (3:14, 3:14, 3:20) before the course flattens out coming past the airport. I clock Tama at around 30 seconds ahead of me at a road crossing just past the 14km mark. I’m definitely gaining on him, but I’ll have to kick harder to catch him.
Anthrax are back…
Nothing to worry about
It’s crazy how, when you hit the flat after running mostly downhill for 7 or 8km, it feels surprisingly hard. Gauging effort on the downhill is difficult but I think I’ve gotten it right. The quads have taken a beating, and now the hamstrings are battling away trying to compensate. Thankfully the second gel I took was a Maurten, and the weird texture was a nice distraction here. I actually wished I’d taken another SIS for the extra water content, but between the Maurten gel, and a run-through mist tent just before a water stop, the distractions probably took my mind off my grumbling hamstrings for at least a minute or two.
I then remember there’s a series of niggly undulations just past the airport. Not big hills, but enough to break your rhythm. At the top of one of them, I catch Tama looking back at me. He’s clever – he’s done it when he’s in the shade so it’s harder for me to spot. I definitely saw it though. He does it again around 500m later. Is he fading?
Now, I can remember the one and only time I was leading a half marathon, was around this time last year at Omaha. I was starting to battle at a similar point in the race and old mate Brad Luiten was breathing down my neck and I looked back. Never look back. The runner behind you knows you’re a target when you do that.
For some reason, at the 16km mark my brain said, “hey only a 5km tempo to go” and my immediate reaction was like “NOT HELPFUL THE LAST TIME I RAN A 5KM TEMPO IT WAS BLOODY HARD”.
3:22, 3:21. Pace is solid considering the rollers in there. We’re at the 17km mark. If I’m going to make a move, I need to decide when.
Then we get to the point where the race crosses State Highway 10. Now, I overheard the race announcer saying ‘the marshalls will stop traffic for you, just keep running’, but I hadn’t appreciated just how good the marshalling would be. The course runs from the closed rural road, over SH10, straight through the middle of a roundabout, over the other side of SH10, on to the main road into Kerikeri.
I forgot about the race just for a second here to marvel at how well organised and marshalled this was. Take a bow Sport Northland, I have never witnessed such a gloriously executed piece of traffic management. There are plenty of race organisers out there who will recut courses in ridiculous ways to avoid crossing a suburban road, but for 30 years you have crossed SH10, and you ain’t about to stop. Applause.
Back to the action and Tama looks back again from the shade of the trees on the eastern side of the road. The race here heads off the road and onto the footpath towards Kerikeri (but it’s a very wide footpath so no complaints). Honestly I really wanted to have a crack at catching Tama at this point, with 3km to go. There’s maybe 25 seconds between us. The breathing hasn’t kicked into top gear yet but the hamstrings are distinctly expressing the view that going faster is a Bad Idea. And any time you get caught out of the shade, it’s feeling pretty hot too – which is kryptonite for me. I drove down this road on the way in yesterday and tried to remember landmarks to work off, but everything is just going past in a blur as I try to keep the tempo rolling.
Angels in my heaaaaarrrtt, devils in my eyes…
I guess I got the downhill effort right because I’m just hanging in there over these last 3km. My watch chirps at the 19km mark, I glance at it and total time is just under 1:05. Midway through doing some mental arithmetic, an old lady shouts ‘stop looking at your watch and run harder’. She really did. And she’s kind of right, but I also know that I’m in for a sub-1:11 here if I don’t die in these last 2km. I almost laughed, but that would’ve been too hard. Tama has pulled away a bit too.
I’ll never die, I’ll never die, I’ll never die
The second to last km was the worst. You remember earlier I said my legs were trashed but my breathing wasn’t heavy. Well now my breathing is heavy. Another annoying roller and somehow I missed the 19.5km mark when I would’ve told myself it was just a mile repeat to go. Km 20 chirps up at 3:20, and no one tells me to not look at my watch. Hang in there, Mark.
When I said the second to last km was the worst, actually I lied. The last 600m was the worst. I mean, spectacularly well-marshalled and organised considering there were two road crossings, but trying to run in anything other than a straight line at that point was just a royal pain in the ass. Follow cones, turn sharp left, turn sharp right, thank god that’s done and we’re into the finish chute.
It’s a long finish chute on grass but something about a finish chute has magical powers of (sometimes) making exhausted legs temporarily functional again. A short straight, turn right, and there’s the finish line. The crowd support – man there are a lot of people here cheering! – drowns out the pain in my lungs and my legs and I muster up just enough to sprint the last 100m or so. I had a brief look at my watch and I know this is going to be well under 1:11 and sure enough it’s 1:10:47 on the watch (official time was 1:10:46).
Holy crap. Now, I would’ve been happy with 1:11 high, but to run 1:10 high? That was way beyond what I’d expected on a good day. I went out there with the attitude of wanting to put a massive exclamation point on a very rewarding year of running – for myself, and for all the people who’ve supported me. Did I ever. Wow. Just… wow.
Once I’ve caught my breath, I grab some water, and congratulate Tama – he admits he was flagging around the 16km mark but got a second wind. Then the MC asked me about the race so hopefully I sounded coherent, I can’t really remember what I said other than congratulating Tama and complimenting the organisers on a brilliant event.
There was a big debate on this thread before this race about whether one could claim downhill races as a PR. Now, I didn’t collapse just after the line like not-Ewan did (holding off Ewan for third by around 5 seconds), but I sure gave it everything out there and got the time to show for it. Those last 3km I was just holding on and despite the challenges of pacing well on this course I know I’ve nailed it. I ran the best race I could.
I’ve gone way beyond what I thought I was capable of this year, thanks to a lot of hard work and some luck too, as well as a lot of support from family and friends. If I never run a faster half marathon than this, I don’t’ care – I’m totally elated with this race. So yeah, I’m marking it up as a PB, or PR, or whatever you want to call it. I ran my best damn race and it just so happened to also be on a very fast course.
Official time 1:10:46, 2nd place
Footnote: This was the 30th anniversary of this race, and I’d have no hesitation in going back (and not just because it’s fast) – the marshalling, event organisation and crowd support were the best of any half marathon I’ve run in New Zealand, plus 80% of the course is on closed roads. It’s not the biggest half marathon around but it’s extremely well-run and I love the way the whole town seems to get in behind it.
Mark - really well raced.
My race was not as stellar. It was windy and quite hot. It's a 9:00am start which is too late this time of year. It was 17-18 C at the start, about 20-21 C at the end. I'm pretty bad in any sort of heat. Plus the last two months training has been a long way from great. Unofficial 1:32:56. faded really bad from the 15km mark. Official results are up, but for some reason I'm missing (as is the person one place in front of me). It's also a slower course than 3 years ago.
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 20:34 (Jan 2019), 10km 40:28 (Aug 2019), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)
2019 aims: Unlike 2017 & 2018, be consistent. So get 40+ weeks of 40+ miles incl. two quality sessions (5 weeks achieved so far).
Mark - well done!
Watson - it's weird that I've never seen you near your peak. Your mileage is in decline each year. It would be great to see your real potential!
Watson - yeah, that would've been hot. Kerikeri was a 7:30am start and any later than that would've gotten pretty rough. Omaha next weekend is also a 7:30am start. I don't know what race director thinks a 9am start at this time of year is a good idea.
Me - it was all about the race, so not going to post a full weekly, but at 55.8km it was my 2nd lightest week of the year.
Mark - well done!
Watson - it's weird that I've never seen you near your peak. Your mileage is in decline each year. It would be great to see your real potential!
JMac - thanks. I am going to get more mileage next year. The conditions today were never going to be PR conditions. A woman I know ran 1:35 at Auckland last month, ran 1:38 today. I was taking to her at the start, she wisely state that conditions were such that this was a race by feel day rather than aim time.
Watson - ouch, I know the feeling, it's impossible to run well in those conditions ( I guess James would rejoice though haha).
The one good thing I find about races in warm weather is that you recover a lot quicker.
Mark - The controversy won't last much since you will obviously soon run that time on flat terrain. I don't envy your local runners though, being poked down the pecking order every 2 months. If your wife will start her own business it's likely that she'll work twice as much, so I guess get ready to wake up at 3am?
My week: 71km 44.5 miles + 2h15 of strength training
T: 3x (1:00 hard + 1:00 ez + 2:00 hard + 2:00 ez + 3:00 hard + 3:00 ez)
W: am 12ez pm Strength
T: 14 @ long run pace
S: 12 ez
S: 12x800 @ HMP w 400 jogs. I have not adjusted the paces for the weather, cause I'm a proud, stubborn idiot.
I was still able to hit the paces today and I'm very happy with that.
For the record the workout paces were calculated from my PRs and recent races which were run in 50F weather, whereas now I'm running in 70 - 75F, even going out at 6:30am.
I've started seeing some trend of weight loss here, even though I was a total pig last week. How much of a pig are we talking? well, my plate is always around 700g when I hit the buffet, and on Tuesday I had to have 2 scoops of ice cream afterwards.
I've reined down the beast now and I hope to capitalize on the higher mileage with some excellent and much needed weight loss.