Half Marathon Trainers

Race Reports (Read 1716 times)

    Too bad, Matt.......I was pullin' for you on a 53:59Tight lippedx  Hopefully next time......

    I had a nice 6.5 miles this morning..........thinking of 4 tomorrow and maybe a 7 mile trail run on Sunday.  I am just loving this weather we are having.  It is making my running so much more rewarding.  We had a long winter here and it is just nice to finally be warm around here.

    ✔ Think of setting 2013 goals.

    Stop being a fat slob.

    Run more miles than last year.

      Dadfest 5k - Richardson, TX. 12 June 2010


      Not much you can really write about a 5k (especially in a HM forum ) It all seems to be over so quick!


      This one came on the back end of a crappy week where work really hit my running hard! I was down 10+ miles on my weekly training plan by Friday. I finished work at about 12:45 am this morning and was up at 6:30 for the race.


      This was a special one for me though. My family have never come to watch me race and thins would be the first time.

      I picked Dadfest because they have a kids 50 yard dash before the 5k and balloons, climbing walls etc... for the kids while I'm running. The kids loved running the 50yrd race and picking up their medals at the end (cue photo with proud dad!)

                             "On 3 everyone look away from the camera!" 


      I started the 5k way too fast. Shooting to beat 26 mins did the first mile in 7'28, downhill and with the wind. Then died on the other two (8'06 & 8'16)... uphill and against the wind! Still, seeing the family at the end manged to put a big grin on my face and got me sprinting (relatively speaking) for the line:

                                   "Do the running man!" 


      Got a new PR, beat my 26' goal and crossed another one off the 2010 list.

      Unofficial time: 24'43"

      2013 Goals
      1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
      2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)

        Quick race report........

        Georgetown to Idaho Springs (Colorado) Half Marathon

        Race start was at 8:00 AM and it was crystal clear and cool (48F).  Race start elevation is approx. 8600 feet and race finish was approx. 1000 or maybe 1250 feet lower........generally a nice easy down-hill course.

        Had the WORST HM of the half dozen I have run so far.  I attribute it to three things.  1.  Elevation.  Although I live in Denver, the extra 2500 to 3000 feet of elevation made a [big] difference.  2.  Temperature.  As soon as the sun came up over the hills, the temps went into the mid to upper 70s and that is just warmer than I normally run with since I am a pre-dawn trainer.  3.  Poor choice in pre-race breakfast.  I have had a successful diet of cofee, water, and a couple of power bars about 3 to 4 hours before my races.  I had a bowl of Kashi cereal instead and it didn't sit well with me at all by mid-race.

        I guess a fourth factor is that I just have been logging about 5 miles per week less than when I set back-to-back-to-back HM PRs earlier this spring.  Basically I haven't been doing that one mid-week tempo run I had been doing.

        Was on track to beat my 2:00:00 goal (wanted to just have a good training run and have fun) until somewhere late in the 10th mile.  I ended up run-walking the rest of the way.....maybe 5 minute slow jog x 1 minute walk.  UGH, was it brutal!!!!  I have heard stories about "BONKING" from marathoners, but didn't think it could happen on a simple HM.  If this is what they experience, well then, I BONKED big time!!!

        As of this AM, they haven't posted race results.  My Garmin says 2:06:26.  Funny thing is my last week's long training run was 12 miles at 1:52........better pace than this race.  Oh, well, better luck next time, I guess.......

        Cheers everyone!!!!!

        ✔ Think of setting 2013 goals.

        Stop being a fat slob.

        Run more miles than last year.

          Quick race report from Texas too...

          Hottest Half - Dallas, TX. 15 August 2010

          It was 83F at the start at 07:30. I had not trained enough in the last 2 weeks and even though I was just planning on getting through - I wanted to beat the 2:14 I ran in this race 2 years ago.
          The first half was OK. I went out a little quick and told myself to keep slowing down. By mile 5 I knew that today was not going to be a good day.

          The course was an out and back. I made it to the turn around point and back to the mile 7 marker hit a water station and had to walk (no spine Matt!). From that point I just struggled home. Run some, walk a bit. 5 walk breaks in total. It felt like a never ending procession to the end... I was sure my Garmin was broken

          Temp pushed into the 90s in the last quarter of the race and I was beat. Managed to run the last 0.75 mile and came home in 2:20:52.18.

          Much like Sean this was the WORST HM I've ever run. Two things:
          • Under-trained versus expectations
          • ... did I mention it was HOT!
          ... moving swiftly on... when's that next race.


          2013 Goals
          1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
          2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)

            I got my rear handed to me today in Minneapolis!   Pure and simple.  It was a 7:15 start at St. Anthony's Falls along the Mississippi River.  Awesome venue and great weather.   It was sunny, around 68F with a slight breeze.  I was ready to rock the inaugural 13.1 Minneapolis race!

            I quickly found my stride and eased into a comfortable pace.  The first 3 miles I went out in 20:13.  The fourth mile I ran in 6:59, but I started to encounter some back issues that have been plauging me for about a week now.  I think that and the hilly course were way too much for me.  No hills in Miami!  The fifth mile I ran in 6:50 (34:02).  However, mile 6 brought the steepest and longest hill I have ever run in my life, and that totally wore me out.   My 10K time was 43:26, which was still ahead of my previous PR by 30 seconds, but I had a hard time generating any kick from that point on.  I popped a tylenol but my back pain didn't subside.  It was pretty gloomy to realize around mile 8 that I wasn't going to set a PR after having  3 great months of training.  I attempted to push hard on the flats around miles 8, 9, and 10, but I couldn't sustain anything more than a short burst.  One spectactor shouted some encouragement around mile 10, "Hey Jeffrey, you look great!  Keep it up!"  I thought to myself, "Yeah, looks can be deceiving!"   I had told my wife that I'd cross the line between 1:26 and 1:32, so she knew something was amiss when the guys I went out with were coming home and I wasn't in sight.  I finished near beautiful Lake Nokomis with a time of 1:35:29.  After meeting my family, I went to the massage tent and got my back worked on for 10 minutes.  My legs feel good, but my upper back, neck and shoulders feel like I've gone 15 rounds in the ring.  Oh well, good learning experience. 

            Not sure when I'll do another race.  I had planned on the 13.1 Ft. Lauderdale this November, but my wife and I are relocating to Houston next month.  Bummed that the Aramco Houston 1/2 Marathon is closed already.  Well, I definitely will run the 13.1 Minneapolis next year as I need revenge!  Good hometown race for me and I get to spend time with my family.  I gave my finisher's medal to my 3 yr old nephew, so he was pretty excited.  His smile erased any disappointment that I had at the time. 

            Thanks everyone for the support!  I wish you all the best of luck with your future races!

              Here's my race report for the Black Diamond HM held at Nolte State Park, WA: First off, I bet there is not a more beautiful course to be found. It was sooo sooo lovely. It was rainy at first, but I peeled off my rain jacket at about mile 4 - feeling Hot HOT HOT.  It went very well for me. My time was 2:16 which made me happy since I expected 2:30 and I was 2nd in my age group. I was careful about my pace, walked a steep hill in mile 9 because I got a cramp in Rt glute. I had planned to run faster in the last 5K, but couldn't because the cramp wanted to come back.  The last 2 miles was a dirt/mud/rocks trail through the park and boy was that a rejuvenating change for the legs, especially nice at the end. I finished feeling great! I would love to do it again next year and move up in the pack. It was a small race with 131 entries, very well organized, and alot of fun!




              Go as long as you can, and then take another step.

                Woke at 4:00 AM to have my coffee, two power bars, and a bit of water.  Dressed, stretched, hit the head.....nothing too unusual for a regular race day.  Drove downtown to race start.  Traffic was so heavy that my buddy, Doug, and I hopped out of the car and jogged to the race start line.  We only got there like 5 minutes before race start.  We shoved our way into our PACKED corrals, National Anthem, and "BANG!" we're off.  Had a blistering 7:47 first mile (down-hill) before I settled in to a strong pace for the duration.


                Felt strong even through the slight uphill through City Park (mile 5 to 6.5) where there was a gradual hill up past the zoo to the natural history museum.  It was downhill and flat for like three miles from there and then a slight, but difficult uphill at about mile 9.6 to 11 and then the hill into the park.  Half way through the park it was nothing but flat and downhill to the finish.......the only thing that kept me thinking I could actually finish this thing.  At that point, I thought I would possibly have to walk.......but I stuck to it and pounded on through that feeling.


                At about mile 12+ my right shoe came untied and I stopped to fix it. Not sure it would have made the difference in setting a PR, but it would have been close (PR is 1:50:10).


                Ran a respectable 1:50:37 unofficially (still haven't posted official times).  Here are some photos of this almost perfect race........


                Race pace graph.....




                Part of the Denver skyline at sunrise.....

                Denver skylinie


                Denver's Union Station (left) just before sunrise....

                Denver's Union Station


                Denver's City Park lake, looking NW.....

                City Park Lake


                Running back toward downtown Denver, along 17th Ave........a bit of an out-&-back section.....

                Along 17th Ave.


                At the finish line festivities......City & County Building and Civic Center Park.....

                City & County Bldg.


                Denver skyline from Civic Center Park......and race finish area.  Such a beautiful and.......well, PERFECT morning.....

                Denver Skyline from Civic Center Park


                State Capitol Bldg......across from race finish.....

                Colorado State Capitol


                Me (left), Tonya, and Doug at the race finish........we all had great races!!!

                Me, Tonya, and Doug.

                ✔ Think of setting 2013 goals.

                Stop being a fat slob.

                Run more miles than last year.

                The newbie

                  I'm a half marathoner!  This race report is silly long, but it might be the last one I get to write for a while ...  Grin


                  (Apologies in advance for lack of pics ... I promise I'll add one soon!)


                  My day got started bright and early. Even though my race didn't start until 9:45, the full marathon started at 8 and half the city roads close by then. Woke up early, got dressed, ate a banana and got picked up by U, my friend and fellow first-time half marathoner. We parked by Ravens Stadium, grabbed some coffee and walked straight to the start line of the full marathon to see the elite runners take off. Not long after was the start of the 5K, and then we walked back to the runners area, checked our bags, waited in line for the port-a-pots and started making our way over to the start of the half.

                  We were in the very last wave so I ate a cliff bar and stretched a bit while we waited. It was a beautiful day ... sunny and clear, high 50s. Waves started moving as the race started, but it still took us more than 15 minutes to cross the start line. (10,000 runners!) Finally we were off ... U and I had already agreed that we probably wouldn't stick together since he's faster than me, and I lost him pretty quickly, so I just settled in to my pace, took in the pageantry and started to absorb that this race was actually happening.

                  The course ran through downtown and into my neighborhood, and actually right past my house. As I was passing by, I saw our local bartender outside and waved to him. This is where the half marathon course joined with the full. Hit the first water stop and took a quick drink. (I walked through all the water stops.) Was handed an orange slice and kept on running. Had a nagging pain in my left foot that was becoming hard to ignore.

                  Aound mile 6, the serious hills started. I'd been warned about the hills and they didn't disappoint. A lot of people stopped to walk here. I ate a gel at the next water stop, and kept going. Saw a sign that said "Toenails are for sissies" and realized that my foot pain had gone away.

                  We followed the course up to a 1.5-mile loop around a very pretty lake, and things flattened out a bit. The break from the hills was really rejuvenating and I started to feel strong again. Cruised through miles 8-10, and ate another gel at the water stop. Ran past a memorial for the marathon runner who died last year, in the spot where he died. Sad

                  At this point, I started feeling pretty tired. I stopped to walk a bit, and realized that walking felt more painful than running. I knew I only had a 5K left, but that really felt like a lot. I also knew that I was killing my expected time and had a chance to finish in under 2:30, so I dug in and kept running.

                  To say those last few miles were hard is an understatement. They were so freakin' hard that I don't remember much about them. My body hurt everywhere and it became really difficult for me to stay mentally focused and disciplined enough to keep running. I actually started saying affirmations to myself, out loud, at this point because the miles just felt endless.

                  FINALLY I saw the 26 mile marker. The crowd was huge and loud, and I saw my friends cheering for me and waving me in. The finish line came into view and I looked at my watch, and saw that I had about 30 seconds to make it under 2:30, so I took everything I had left and sprinted as fast as I could the rest of the way and across the finish line. My chip time was 2:29:47 ... made my (secret) time goal by 13 seconds!

                  I was wrapped up in mylar, given my medal, and feeling kind of dazed until my calves cramped up so bad that I thought I might fall over. Sat down and rested a bit before meeting up with my friends. Found them and U, who beat me by just 5 minutes. Got my bag and walked (shuffled) over to a nearby restaurant for food and a chair.


                  The next day I was incredibly sore from my toes up through my back, but no serious injuries. I iced my legs and wore recovery socks for most, both of which I think helped me recover so quickly.

                  All in all, a well-organized race and a really great experience--also the most difficult physical feat I've ever accomplished. Of course, everyone has asked me if I want to run it again, or even go out for the full, and I just can't imagine that right now. But we'll see ... I did qualify for the National Marathon ...  Wink

                  Thanks so much to everyone here for helping me and giving me encouragement. I thought of you all while I was running!

                    Spinx Runfest Half Marathon, Greenville, SC


                    First, a little background on my training. This was my first Half-Marathon. I made a goal earlier in the year to run it in under 2 hours. Well, I let life get in the way and in August I only ran 5 times for a total of 15 miles. With about 6 weeks to go before the race I re-dedicated myself and adjusted my goal to be able to just finish the half.


                    I ran a 12 miler (2hr 12min) the week before the race and it went pretty good. I was pretty tired at the end, but it gave me the confidence to know that I now would be able to finish the 13.1 miles.


                    The morning of the race it was pretty cool at the start (compared to what the weather has been in S.C.). The weather ended up being perfect. At this event there is a marathon, half marathon, and 5k.


                    The marathon started at 8:15am with the half to follow at 8:40am. The two races use the same course up until mile 12 where the half breaks off towards the finish.


                    On to the race……

                    I was shooting for 2:20, with the back of my mind saying 2:10 would be really sweet. A large part of the first mile was level to decline and I use the hill to pick up speed. I come in at 9:00min on the dot. I thought that was too fast, but it’s the first mile and I was excited to start the race. I thought to myself, “I’ll settle in here at a 10min or so pace pretty soon.”


                    As mile 1 turned to 2, then 3, then 4, I was still running right about 9min miles. At this point I started to think that maybe under 2hrs was still possible. I was feeling really good and this pace wasn’t much of a strain. Who knows maybe I can keep it up? As I got to mile 5, 6, and 7; the pace is still feeling good. I’m tired of course, but this is the point when I decided I was going do everything to finish in under 2hrs.


                    I also realized that this race course is much easier than the training courses I run. They have many more steep hills than what I’ve seen on this race course so far. This course has some hills, but only two would I consider a little tough. The others are long and slowly inclining, if at all. There seems to be more down hills (or maybe I’m just telling myself that).


                    I use each downhill as a chance to improve my pace, while steadily gearing back down on the straight-aways and inclines. It’s working perfectly. I don’t understand why I feel so good. As I approach mile 10, I’m at about 1:33:00. So I need about a 27min 5k to finish this thing off. For some reason I get a shot of adrenaline and pick up the pace a little. I can feel my heart beating faster. About 2min. later I’m feeling drained and have to compose myself, so that I don’t blow up before the finish. Not sure what got into me there. Hitting the 11 mile mark I’m at about 1:42. I just need two more miles at just under 9min each and I’ve done it. At this point there is no turning back. I push on knowing its 1:59:59 or nothing. Each time by body says, “Maybe we should ease off the pace”, I say “Shut-up, there is no time to slow down!”


                    I looked at my watch as I get to the street corner outside of the stadium. (In this event, at the end of the race, the runners enter the baseball stadium in right field. They then run around the warning track, down past third base, and finish near home plate). Its at 1:58:00. I’m not sure how long it will take to get to home plate, but when I enter that stadium I sprint with everything I’ve got. I pass about 15-20 people. I’m sure I have the look of a crazed maniac. I hit the finish line at 1:59:35. I want to let out a scream, but a muffled fist pump will do. I couldn’t be happier. My wife missed the finish because I finished much earlier than expected.


                    The event as a whole seemed to be well run. Plenty of water/Gatorade stops, a good bit of crowd support throughout the course, and plenty of fruit, bagels, and sandwiches at the finish. Running into the stadium adds a neat ending. It also makes for a good post race venue to sit in the stands and watch the other finishers.


                      I ran the National Half today and got a new PR! 1:52:19 Posted my race report on the main board: http://www.runningahead.com/forums/post/3e33cb8f33dd4aafa0eecb5e389bf1dc

                      2013 Goals
                      1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
                      2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)

                        Nice work! Congrats on the PR, the year is off to a great start.

                          I ran the National Half today and got a new PR! 1:52:19 Posted my race report on the main board: http://www.runningahead.com/forums/post/3e33cb8f33dd4aafa0eecb5e389bf1dc

                           Not sure how I missed this until now.

                          Great job, Matt!

                            Congrats MattJ!


                            Wife and I ran NYC Half on 3/20/11. Did really well for us. 2:21:33. I was expecting anything from 2:30-2:40. We really enjoyed the experience. Plenty of water and gatorade thoughout. Good crowd support. Thought it was a faily easy course. Can't beat running through the streets of NYC.


                            an amazing likeness

                              Great Bay Half Marathon

                              April 3, 2011

                              Newmarket, NH


                              This race has a most civilized start time of 11AM, so there was no need to rush out the door at some unworldly time before dawn. Yeah!  This made for an easy morning to get up, gather up the running gear and head out for the 1.5 hour drive south to Newmarket.


                              It is late winter here in northern New England, so weather is always something to plan for. It was just chilly (about 30F) when I left, and the forecast was for the April sun to bring the temps up to high 40s with a brisk wind.  For me, this is the in-between shorts and pants temp, so I brought both.


                              Arrived Newmarket, parked and stepped out to sniff the weather. Decided to go with shorts, but in deference to the brisk NW winds (thanks Canada!), added a compression shirt under a long-sleeve heavier weight shirt.  Even after jogging the ½ mile to the packet pickup, I was still pretty chilly, but decided to bet that the sun would warm things up.  Packet pickup was well marked – this race organizer does a lot of events and it showed. Bib, baggage check all were flawless.


                              The start is about ½ mile from registration, so jogged over with some strides and settled in about 5 - 10 minutes before the start as the start area filled in. Young local singer starts the national anthem, and someone taps me on the shoulder – it is Road Shuffler (John) from here on RA. We say hello and good luck. A few usual announcements and we’re off.


                              RoadShuffler catches up early on and we chat a bit. My plan for the day is a bit faster than his, but he decides he’ll pace with me.  


                              The course starts with a few miles weaving through Newmarket neighborhoods, typical residential sections for an old New England mill town.  Some folks are out and about, but its fairly quiet overall.


                              Through this section, the splits end up being:  7:41, 7:46, 7:49


                              For miles 4-5-6 the course heads out a well maintained dirt road. With recent spring rains and snow, I was concerned that this section would be mud, but it is fairly dry and just a little spongy in some low areas.  The wind has come up, but the trees and the course direction are helping mitigate it. Lots of long climbs and short, sharp drops make this a section where managing your effort takes…well, effort.  Need to watch footing as well in the uneven road's rocks and potholes.  We’re rewarded with trees, ponds, beautiful sun and a guy named Chuck playing his guitar at the top of one hill.  At mile 6 we pop out back to paved roads, pretty much on plan.


                              Through the dirt road section, splits: 7:52, 7:53, 7:37


                              To my plan, this is the second “section” of the race and we take advantage of the paved road and some smaller rolling hills to up the tempo.  We’ve also picked up another running who has dropped in with us. Miles 7 and 8 are steady rolling hills and I’m focusing on managing the effort and shorten the stride up the steeps. Beautiful views across rolling fields to the Great Bay estuary and old stone walls and farms.


                              As mile 8 becomes 9, we’re starting to fight more of a steady headwind as the gusts have picked up and we’ve turned to the west into the wind.  Drafting other runners as we catch them comes into play, and we trade leading about every ½ mile. Mile 9 has a good sized climb and the hills are starting to wear on my legs. Pace is getting harder to hold and despite the wind, I’m sweating a lot more. I’m getting slower, some on purpose as I give up some pace, some from growing fatigue.


                              We don’t realize it at the time, between the hills, wind and some course markers being a tad off, we’re doing well on course management and through 7-8-9 splits hold steady at:  7:51, 7:42, 7:45.


                              For the last section, the course does a lollipop-shaped loop down a point of land into a loop of a neighborhood and out. We plunge off the mile 9 hills into a sharp left with a small crowd of onlookers cheering and start a steady long climb to mile 10 into the neighborhood loop.


                              The hills and last week’s 20-mile race are now front and center at full cry in my quads and hamstrings.  I’m starting to hurt.  It is work.  I think I’m slowing badly, but am opening a small gap on my posse.  I think I can hear RoadShuffler back there and every now and then the other woman is close, using me to break the wind.  I decide to latch onto a woman who has been holding steady about 30 – 50 yards in front me and try to shut off my mind to the complaints from my legs. This works to get me to 11, but I’m fading quickly. This is not good. 


                              There’s a belly-dance troupe doing their thing and lots of folks out in this neighborhood – the water stop at 11 is all little kids, which takes my mind off my legs. I pick out a little girl and slow to take a cup from her, and we exchange a quick high-5. I’m more delighted than she is, but the cup has about 0.2 milliliters of something blue in it…hmmm…maybe I took her drink?  Yikes.


                              Splits for 10 – 11: 7:50, 7:39.   (what? 7:39 with all that talk of fading? It was the belly dancers…that’s my story)


                              Leaving the water stop at 11, stride never comes back to me. Now I’m having the internal argument about “no walking!”, “don’t you stop running you bum!”, “push it!” and so on.  I’m in a dark place.  Head down, just watching my feet plod on the road back out of the loop with occasional glances a the runners heading into the loop.


                              After about 19 or 20 more hours of plodding, finally mile 12 marker comes up and there’s a slight downhill as we’re now heading back down the same road which was the long steady uphill to mile 10.  I tell the woman to stop pacing off me, because I’m fading and it will kill her time. She heads off into the distance.  See ya!  Finally -- after some kinks which turn away from the finish, one killer, sharp uphill which I run at about the same pace as someone climbs Everest without O2 and I’m out onto Main Street and heading for the finish.  “Finish strong”, you say.  “Dear god, don’t faint”, I say.


                              Out the blue RoadShuffler pounds by me with about 400 yards to go and gaps me easily. I haven’t seen him since mile 10.  There’s a great crowd on Main street and I jog it into the chute and look for something to hold onto for a 10 – 15 seconds until I get steady. I think I managed to smile and get at least one arm up in the air at the finish, but that may just be what happened in my mind.


                              Final splits: 8:04 and 8:08.  Official time is 1:43:10.  RoadShuffler recorded a 2 min PR with a 1:43.01 (yes, he gapped me by 10 seconds in the last couple hundred yards!).


                              Beautiful course, well-organized race. Lots of less-jaded runners run this race as all the big guns are off prepping for Boston, so it has a real upbeat, excited runner vibe. Recommend this to anyone in northern New England area, it is a great half marathon.  As a bonus, plenty of hills if that's your thing.

                              I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)

                                Love reading your race reports Andy! Smile

                                Sorry to hear about you struggling towards the end but, from one who plods about a min/mile slower than you, great time!

                                2013 Goals
                                1) Break 1:50 in a HM (PR 1:52:19)
                                2) Break 4:00 in a Marathon (PR 4:20:39)