Sub 1:30 Half Marathon in 2019 (Read 638 times)

    Piwi Thanks for sharing the link to the Race.

    Great race again Mark well paced it was good to actually see you run.


    1m  5:38 (2018)

    5k    19:59 (2019)

    HM  1:33:56 (2018)

    FM  3:23:07 (2018)


      Race Report: Bays Night of 5's 5000m (B race)


      At 5pm, around 3 hours before the race starts (8:25pm), it's pouring with rain and it's been blowing a gale all day.  The forecast had the weather settling down in time for the race start, but I'm not optimistic.  However, looking at the rain radar suggests that if nothing else the rain will clear.  And maybe I've just had some dumb luck on my side all year, but by 7:30pm, the sun is shining, the wind is all but gone, and everything is drying out quite fast (although it's still nice and cool).  Conditions are as perfect as you could've hoped for at 5pm.


      The track is a little wet, but not wet enough for me to wear spikes - I'd rather wear the Vaporflies that have done a great job for me at recent races, including a 10,000m track race in Wellington.  After an acknowledgement for Peter Snell, I head off for a short warm-up.  I actually have a slight stitch to start with but it disappears soon enough.


      I'm in the B race, which will probably have the fastest runners around 15:30.  Most of the A race runners will be under 15:00.  This is the first race all year that both my wife and daughter have been able to come watch so I'm sporting a bright pink singlet (my daughter thinks it is very cool).  Great to catch up with some familiar faces before the race, including Adam Gallagher who I ran most of NZ Road Champs 2018 with and forged one of those bonds of mutual respect that you only get from genuinely sharing the load in a race with someone (I didn't even know him before then).  He has had a rough run this year with cellulitis and then heart surgery (!!!) but is hoping to make it back for the Rotorua Marathon next year.


      The goal is 15:54, which would get me a nationally ranked 5,000m time (the qualifying standard is 15:55).  Kind of a showboat goal I guess, but I've got 10,000m, 10km and HM (x4!) ranked times this year so it'd be nice to add another.  Yes, there is an obvious gap in this list - that's next year's job.  That means 76 seconds per lap, and knowing that a steady pace works best for me, I've got splits written on my hand.  I also know a few runners to look for that should be around similar times, including Sam Cadwallader and Nick Moore.


      It's a big field with 27 runners so there is a barrel start.  I'm at the outside of the main start, so I'm going to have to look both ways when the fields merge.  The gun goes, and it's hard to get close to the inside early on with a crowded field.  The first half lap was 37 seconds, slightly ahead of pace.  There is a bit of weaving the first couple of laps, trying to find the best group.  By the end of lap 3, I am a couple seconds under pace.  There is a lead pacer who has just pulled out, no idea what speed he was running, probably 15:30 I think.  A lead group of 4 - all young guys (probably late teens / early 20's) is starting to pull ahead.  I'm feeling strong and finding the pace fairly easy going at this stage, so I put in a surge and tag on to them.  I am getting great cheers down the home straight from my family and in-laws and a few others, and Adam is awesome support on the back straight too.


      Around lap 4, I get a bit frustrated with the group's slightly variable pacing - seemingly slowing down on the corners and taking a while to pick pace up again on the straights.  As I am thinking this, Dan Hunt says 'come on pick it up' and makes a surge for the front.  I suspect he might blow out later like he did at the 10,000m race but I'm glad he sent the message.  By the end of lap 5, the group hasn't got the message, so I decide, what the hell, and put in a surge for the front.  I was bang on goal pace around this time.


      It was good fun being out front.  The young guys tend to be either crazy (like Dan), or lazy (i.e. will wait for someone else to do the work and see what happens).  This year I've really learned to trust myself on pacing in a big way, and I don't really like running at anyone else's pace.  I don't care if they end up getting towed behind me and then out-kick me at the end because I'm running for time, not place, and I know I'll run my best race through steady pacing.  Still a few seconds ahead of goal pace.


      Judging from the supporters, a few of the group had to work to hang on to me here, but they did.  I even heard my name over the PA ("out in front now, Mark Paterson"), which was pretty cool.  I felt strong, had a good rhythm going, and I'm really just enjoying myself.  I think I was in the lead here until around lap 8.  Then one of the young guys, in green Vaporflies made a move - Sam and one other followed him around half a lap later.  I'm still tracking a bit ahead of goal pace.


      By the start of lap 9, the race is well and truly entering the hard work phase.  I know there's only 4 laps left so I'm telling myself 'just a mile repeat'.  The breathing is starting to get heavier, and the lead group of 3 has pulled out maybe a 2 or 3 second lead.  Adam is still shouting at me, as are the family.  My wife can tell I'm having to work hard and yells at me to dig it in (she's right).


      Lap 10 was tough.  It's always that 3rd-to-last lap that sucks the most, I think.  Not enough there to put in a surge for the lead group of 3, and just hanging in there holding pace.  Also there's an anticipation that the real 5km burn is still to arrive.  But I'm still tracking ahead of pace, and with 2 laps left I know it's just an 800m repeat to go.


      This is great, because the last 2 weeks, I've done a ton of 800m repeats - 2 workouts with 10 x 800m.  The clock had ticked a little over 13 minutes by the time I start the second to last lap, and I know that I should be around the 2:30 mark for a solid 800m effort.


      Actually that second to last lap sucked too.  I was mostly just hanging in there trying to make it to the last lap.  I reckon I can hang on to the pace, just.  There's a few slower runners to lap, which provides a bit of distraction up the back straight, and the cheers on the home straight help too.  But that 5km burn is really starting to, well, burn.  I'm having to focus incredibly hard to hold the rhythm that felt so easy a few laps earlier, and I'm starting to breathe pretty heavily.


      DING! That's the final lap bell.  400m to go.  The clock was something in the mid-14's and I knew it was all on.  Almost there.  Make it count.  First corner, done.  Back straight.  Keep legs pumping.  Last corner.  Push hard into the final straight.  Home straight.  Empty the tank.  Just enough for a bit of a sprint.  Clock says 15:30-something.  Breathing sounds like dying fish out of water.  Surge over line.  DONE!


      It took a while to catch my breath, that's for sure.  You know you've paced a 5k right when the ending hurts that much.  I congratulate some of the other runners, and then Miss Almost-3 comes running up to me on the track saying 'Daddy! I win race!'.  Watch time is 15:39 and official time was the same.  YES!!!!!!!  I was working really hard those last 2 laps but if anything I think I must've sped up just a touch.


      Last year I definitely did not nail this race - I failed to count laps and consequently left a bit much in the tank.  This year it was definitely all out there on the course, and I'm thrilled with the result.  It's been a crazy year and I'm stoked that I was able to finish it with a really strong performance in front of my family.


      Official time: 15:39.85 (PB), 4th place (B race)

      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: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)



      Hot Weather Complainer

        Great RR and great race Mark.  Fantastic.  I love the wife and daughter moments especially.  My dream would be my girlfriend yelling at me to dig in (although more likely would be "don't be a pussy!")

        PB:  Christchurch 2016 1:29.25

        Recent Races:   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

        2020 Planned Races:  Queenstown Half-Marathon, November 21

          Great Race report Mark.

          Steve that's Funny


          1m  5:38 (2018)

          5k    19:59 (2019)

          HM  1:33:56 (2018)

          FM  3:23:07 (2018)


            Damn!!  Some of you guys are fast!  Nice race, Mark.  

            I’ve just quietly getting my miles in over here.  My past three runs have been in 15 degree (F) weather, and it’s damn hard!  I think the cold is impacting my breathing (or I’m just being a pussy) because the running felt harder than it should have for my slow pace (avg 8:00 min miles).  Nonetheless, I got my miles up to 39 this week.  Was aiming for 40, but stopped my long run at 9 instead of forcing 10 because my stomach was irritated.

            800m:  2:20.3 (2015) | 1 Mile:  5:13 (2016) | 5K: 18:32 (2010) | 10km: 39:55 (2012) HM: 1:28 (2013) 




              Mark - Another great race and RR.  Enjoy DD’s enthusiasm as long as it lasts.


              Me - Still sick.  I may have jinxed myself by writing a year-end review paragraph earlier this week noting how consistent I had been this year and how few days I had missed.  My 14 miles on Monday did give me 45+ for the 7-day period ending Monday, which is a new high even if it’s not a legit Sunday-to-Saturday week.  Tuesday’s recovery run was in light rain and 63/17-degree temperatures, much higher than what we had been having. Not sure whether the slow pace was because I was already getting sick or because I was weaving around all the puddles from the heavy rain earlier that morning.  My HR seems to be getting back closer to normal (it was about 10 bpm higher than usual on Wednesday, and was about that high the last time I was sick, so I assume it means something), so I hope I can get back out in a few days.


              Sun - off

              Mon - 14 miles easy, 8:27 pace

              Tues - 6.2 easy, 8:43 pace

              Weds-Sat - off sick


              Total - 20.2 miles

              12-week average - 31 mpw

              Post-1987 PRs:  Half 1:30:14 (2019); 10K 39:35 (2019); 5K 19:12 (2017); Mile 5:37.3 (April '20)

              Revised 2020 Goals:  40+ mpw (getting there), 5K<19:30 (not yet); Mile<5:40 (done), no injuries


                James - yeah that high HR is a real tell-tale sign of sickness.  Hope you're feeling better again soon.


                Kimba - nice week and keep on building!


                Me: It was a pretty sharp taper for this race after a couple of reasonably big weeks - legs felt OK on Monday, absolute garbage on Tuesday, not bad on Thursday and came right just in time for Friday's race.


                M: 10.3km progression run

                T: 14km easy run

                W: weights

                T: 7.8km with short sprints

                F: 7km incl. 5000m race (15:39)

                S: 14.4km easy

                S: 20.2km easy

                Total: 74.2km


                Thanks again for the support everyone, for this race and over the course of 2019.  I'm feeling pretty grateful to have had a real banner year.  There's more to come for sure but I doubt I'll ever top this year (and that's all good).

                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: Wairarapa Country Marathon, 11 Oct (I HOPE!!!!)

                "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


                  Mark - nice week.  And superb race, and 2019.  I remember a few years ago predicting that by the end of that year you would be a sub 80 half marathon racer, and you doubting it.  And you're now running times vastly quicker.


                  I didn't post the previous week.  Which was just the Tuesday 5k race, warming and cool down.  I was in Sydney for work and stayed the weekend.  There was no treadmill and I decided that the smoke pollution was too bad to run outside.


                  Last week:

                  M 0

                  T 7km

                  W 8km

                  T 15km incl. 3.0-11.5km Tempo and 4 * (200m and 200m east)

                  F 8.2km

                  S 8km

                  S 14.1km incl. 6 * (800m and 200m easy)


                  Total 60.3km / 37.5 miles

                  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 20:10 (Dec 2019), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)


                    Also, Chrome notified me of a possible password leak for this site.  So I advise:

                    1. Change your password.

                    2. Any other sites using the same password, change too.

                    3. Set up a password vault such as Last Pass and use hard sand unique passwords for each of your site's.

                    4. Use multi factor authentication where possible (especially your email).

                    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 20:10 (Dec 2019), 10km 39:59 (Sep 2020), half 1:29:39 (Jun 2018)


                    King of pastries

                      Mark - It's cool to see your description of the race from your point of view after having watched the race video on the face place. There are so many things that go unnoticed or are felt differently by those who are racing as opposed to those watching.


                      Kimba - ugh that's terribly cold. The worse I've faced was 25F, though that seemed to be manageable. At 15F I'd be very worried of losing my fingers.


                      James - hang in there!!!


                      Jmac - remember to post pictures of you cosplaying in Japan


                      Rune - did the doc prescribe any exercises to help your recovery? Man, that was a long period out. My recovery took 18 months but I could run 16 of those.


                      me - A nice week on the way back.

                      M: A light strength training session

                      T: 11 ez (workout planned but ran ez instead)

                      W: 12ez

                      T: 14 @ long run pace

                      F: Off

                      S: 12ez

                      S: 10 x 1K @ T


                      This was a very good year. After 2 dry years of injuries and disappointment in 2017 and 2018, I've finally been able to run more consistently, I finally was strong enough to keep injuries away.

                      I still lost 4 weeks to colds as my rhinitis was strongest than ever and my stomach went radioactive. Still it seems it only really hit me after strenuous workouts.

                      I got hit after trying 8km worth of fast running back in Feb, then after a 20km strong run in March, then after a very strong strength training session in July, and now again after a week where I had 8km worth of fast running on a Tuesday.

                      It seems I need to stick with max 5km of fast running, so like 5x1000 is a fantastic workout and 8x1000 or 10x800 means I'll be sick for 10 days.


                      That said, I've finally hit a PR back in May lowering my 3km PR from 10:40 to 10:34, and then again hit a PR in the 1500 from 4:57 to 4:54.

                      These were marginally better PRs but PRs nonetheless.


                      Next year I'll join another age group (40-44) and I continue on my challenge of trying to get fast quicker than father time deteriorates my body.

                      We shall see!

                      PRs: 1500m 4:54.1 3K 10:34 5K 18:05 HM 1:23:30 - Up next: Some 5K race Sep 6th.

                      Tool to generate Strava weekly


                        I like the concept of a running year review.  I tend to not reflect very often, I just make goals and take action.  Maybe reflecting will be beneficial and help me with focus and long term goals.


                        So, 2019 was not a good running year for me.  I started the year on crutches due to the oblique tear and stress reaction on my iliac crest.  It was a weird injury that arose from nothing more than running.  To heal it took a long time - I wasn't back to doing walk/runs until March, and it took me until late May to have solid running weeks instead of walk/runs.  My son also got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during this time, so that threw a curve ball of different sorts into any sort of routine.  I also started a new job in April 2019 - so lots of life stress and physical injury!


                        By June I was back to running regularly, but I think I started doing fast track work-outs too quickly and by August I had a near stress reaction in my tibia.  So again I was off/cross training until October while I sorted that out.  I'm now being smarter about just building my base since I had so many starts/stops in 2019, and that brings me to goals for 2020......


                        1) Don't get injured

                        2) Get my mileage up to 40+ consistently

                        3)  Don't get injured

                        4) Run a decent half marathon in May, then when recovered start planning/training for some fall 5Ks

                        5)  Don't get injured

                        5) Return to indoor track competition in winter 2020 - indoor track is by far my favorite, and I missed it last year due to injury and chose not to do it this year because I feel like I've lost base and want to rebuild.  But I would love to have another crack at breaking 2:20 for the 800 and getting a mile PR - something faster than 5:13.  I'm not getting any younger - I will be 45 in March, so I know that my window for fast track times is rapidly coming to a close.


                        I look forward to sharing my journey in this group of like minded runners.  You all are inspirational and knowledgeable.  I'm hoping that by being a part of this group some of all that good stuff will rub off on me and help me achieve my running goals!

                        800m:  2:20.3 (2015) | 1 Mile:  5:13 (2016) | 5K: 18:32 (2010) | 10km: 39:55 (2012) HM: 1:28 (2013) 



                        Taper Czar

                          Still lurking everyone! Can’t comment on everything that’s happened, but will do my best.


                          Flavio - Weren’t you the one who started the Lady Gaga idea? I think we know who the real cosplayer is in this thread 


                          Mark - killer time. Not sure if you addressed this, but how was the VF at 5K speed on a track? I still feel so unstable turning in those things at marathon pace, can’t imagine at 5K speed, although I know the Next% fixed some of those issues. Would you run a road 5K in them?


                          Kimba - we love doing the year end reflection and setting goals. I just wrote a pretty big reflection piece on Sub 3, but not fully about myself. I will say one thing I focused on big time this year was injuries. These guys know that I had this boom/bust cycle, where I would run great times, but then get injured every cycle and never know what my true potential was. This year’s CIM was the first time I went injury free (except for missing a couple of days due to peroneal tendinitis, which was minor at the end of the day). I was too damn stubborn with running my easy days easy. I can’t tell you the amount of times I said “but I am running my easy days easy enough, they all fit perfectly within the calculators!” But you know what? Those calculators are not meant for everyone. I thought I knew what running by feel was, but this was the first year where I realized that true easy pace for me “feels” like recovery pace. I had to change what I thought easy pace felt like, and once I did, success came. I’ve given this example before, but it proves it so perfectly. You know what pace I was running my easy runs at when I first ran a 1:30 half? 7:45. You know what my half pace is now, given I just ran a marathon at 2:36? 7:45. Some of that has to do with running higher mileage leading to slower days, but a lot of that is because I recalibrated what easy days feel like. And that’s the final takeaway: dont’ judge what other people’s easy runs are. Some folks get away with faster easy days, still staying injury free and smashing workouts/races. Some folks run just absurdly slow days that make your mind hurt (Nimmals is the classic case of a guy that just ran a 2:30 yet runs his easy days at 9:00+). You need to find what works for you, but if you’re getting injured, the two biggest things in my mind are 1) strength training and 2) slowing down on easy days.


                          Final Reflection - just wrote a lot of mine, but something Mark said is exactly true for me too: this year was more than I could have imagined, and if it turns out that I never have a year that tops this, I’m perfectly okay. There’s something pretty zen about getting to this point, and I’m so happy I’ve reached it. One of the other cool things is that I’m so excited to see what everyone can do next year! There are the new folks who I’m excited about, but also some of the old-timers who I’ve never seen run their true potential. Let’s hope 2020 brings success to both groups.

                          5K: 16:42 (9/20)  |  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 


                          King of pastries

                            @Steve and the rest - How about we title this thread "Half marathon training in 2020" instead of the elitist sub whatever?

                            I feel like that could bring in more people to contribute. Do note that for women sub 1h30 is comparatively vastly faster than most of us can run so we're really restricting how many of them can participate. Most men too if you think about it.

                            PRs: 1500m 4:54.1 3K 10:34 5K 18:05 HM 1:23:30 - Up next: Some 5K race Sep 6th.

                            Tool to generate Strava weekly


                              I know I'm a newcomer to the group, but honestly the thing that attracted me to the group was the sub 1:30 goal.  A lot of times when I go to on-line forums there are so many newbies to running or runners who aren't particularly serious about their training that I don't get much value from them.  Don't get me wrong - I don't view myself as elitist and there is nothing wrong with being relatively slower or newer to running; but nor is there anything wrong with being able to run sub-whatever and wanting to chat with people of similar goals/at a similar level.


                              Just my two cents; I can see an argument for being more inclusive, too.  But for me personally I prefer a more specific group over a generalized group.

                              800m:  2:20.3 (2015) | 1 Mile:  5:13 (2016) | 5K: 18:32 (2010) | 10km: 39:55 (2012) HM: 1:28 (2013) 



                              Making a comeback






                                Early morning on the treadmill



                                9 miles on the treadmill + Striders



                                2 mile WU/6x1k @ 5:52 with .25 mile jog/2.7 mile CD



                                Treadmill @ 6:58/mile  Did rolling hills



                                Treadmill over lunch + Striders



                                Treadmill at night



                                Treadmill afternoon



                                Treadmill at night



                                All outside, 38F outside, felt super easy and relaxed 6:53 average



                                Outside 40F, very relaxed

                                90 miles




                                Yearend summary:

                                A little late with this as it has been a busy week leading up to the holidays.  This was a pretty good and frustrating year.  The good was that I’m back in shape, set a half marathon PR (although I have never run one that wasn’t during marathon training and typically at the end of a 70 or 80 mile week) as my goal race for the year in August.  I lost 70 lbs and back with 5 lbs of “racing weight.”  And we have another kid on the way due mid-June….3 days before Grandma’s marathon that I signed up for.  Oops.  My wife took a test and found she was not pregnant, so I signed up…and then 3 days later she was feeling sick and took another one, and found out she was in fact pregnant.  It was planned, but makes it a 50-50 chance I actually run the race.  Our first was born a few days early, so I’m not too worried that the baby will not have been born.


                                Frustrating things: Getting back in shape sucks.  I have especially the last 2 months been operating on about 5-6 hours of sleep a night on top of 70-90 miles a week.  So I’m tired, sore, and vaguely sick pretty much all the time.  I have spent a lot of time doing strengthening exercises, which are necessary, but are not really fun at all.  Running at 4 or 5 am also sucks, but just the way it has to be with my family responsibilities.  This year has not really involved much fun running.  None of my races have been truly enjoyable or satisfying other than my half marathon.  I am very much looking forward to 2020, where I’ll feel once again I’m actually making progress and can run races that I feel like I’m racing and not just running while sore.

                                2019 Goal: Run every day Goal: Get to 165 lbs Goal: Get in shape to be able to run 2 marathons in 2020

                                2020 Goals:


                                HM: 1:18:00

                                Marathon: 2:45:00

                                New 2020 Goal: Actually run a race, any race, just run a real legit race. **Eye Twitching**