Half Marathon Trainers


HMT 2011 Year in Review (Read 309 times)

an amazing likeness

    It's that time of year -- time when to reflect back on the past runs, training and racing. Some areas you might consider could include:


    • Best racing day? (may not be your best time)
    • Most memorable day running?
    • What challenges did you overcome?
    • Goals...set and met.
    • Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference?
    • Memorable days running?  The beauty of nature. The odd event.
    • Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?

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

    an amazing likeness

      2011 in review for me would include.


      Best racing day….

       Indy Mini Marathon in May. Don’t expect I’d do it again, but this was a great day’s run. Pace came easy, the event (my first large race event) was engaging, and the lap around the Speedway completed a goal set in very dark days.


      Goals...set and met…

      1. 2011 miles for the year...met.

      2. 10km per day average for the year (3650km or ~2268 miles)…met.

      3. PR in all race distances (not races) …came close. Set PRs for 5 distances raced this year -- 5mi, 10km, half marathon and 20mi distances. I missed setting a new marathon by a big margin and never got a chance at my 10 mile PR as my planned race was cancelled by weather.


      Money workout…

      I finally got serious about running planned, structured interval workouts rather than informal ‘speed ups’. For this year the 8 x 1/2mi with 1/4mi jogs was money. Next year I’m going to do more of them and also work on longer with 8 x 1mi @ 5K pace with 1/2 mi jogs to help with half marathon speed.


      Challenges overcome…

      Most of mine were physical and I didn’t as much overcome them as accommodate them. Knee and ankle pain problems really dominated 2011 for me and shaped much a lot of my training. Ankle pain made recovery from harder workouts something I had to manage. Mentally I had some tough weeks after mid-October and ran mainly to not have to change my diet and to get that 10km/day goal. Only recently started getting some running mojo back.


      Most memorable day running…

      This was tough to select. During September I had a couple weeks of heavy travel right in the heart of my marathon training plan and that year-long focus on my marathon PR goal was looming. On a day which called for a 10 mile run at a hard effort, I landing in DFW a few hours delayed, temp was 93F and it was 9PM. Arrived at the hotel and ran that run in 90F heat (coming from low 50s) in the urban jungle of Irving Texas, at night, skipping dinner and evening events at the meeting. This made me feel like a bad-ass runner. I was pretty proud of that week’s effort to get 60 miles done per plan.

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

        Best racing day...

        Tough choice for me between the last meet of our cross country season and the Jingle All the Way 8k I ran this month.  The XC meet was awesome since I knocked my 5k PR out of the park, and finally saw all the training I'd been doing come through with big results.  I was getting over a cold for the 8k so I didn't run it as fast as I probably could have, but I had a blast anyway.  I ran it in a santa hat, with jingle bells that the race provided tied to my feet, and had a great time.  I maintained a pretty steady pace the first 4 miles and then sped up a lot for the 5th since I was feeling good.  This was the race that reaffirmed for me my interest in getting into running longer distances.


        Most memorable day running...

        My second to last cross country meet it was 35 degrees, with freezing rain and sleet.  As the race began, it started to hail!  Everyone finished the race covered in mud and unable to feel their hands.


        Challenges I overcame...

        Also mostly physical - I have very flat and overpronated feet so I wasn't sure how I'd hold up under the stress from running seeing as this was my first year.  I got injured a couple times in XC season, but I've stayed injury free the last few months and am optimistic about where I am going into the new year.


        Goals set and met...

        My original goal was just to stick with it, which I've met!  I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it the whole XC season, but I found it was a great experience.  In the meantime, I brought my mile time down by around 10 seconds and ran a sub-20 5k, accomplishing a goal I hadn't thought I'd be able to for a very long time or possibly ever.


        "Money" workout...

        During cross country season we had a day where we did 2x2000m and 1x1000m at 5k race pace.  Doesn't seem terribly difficult looking back on it, but with the type of mileage and workouts we were doing back then it was quite an accomplishment.  Definitely felt like I got a lot out of it and it was a big confidence booster.


        Memorable days running...

        We took a couple days out of our vacation in France this summer to stop by the beautiful island of Jersey in the British Channel.  The first time I ever ran for over an hour was along ridiculously scenic cliff faces overlooking the beach.  It was an incredible experience.  On the way back from the same run, I got passed by a car in which a guy in a gorilla suit leaned out the passenger window and shouted at me to run faster!


        What's special about the 13.1 miles race to me?

        This will be my first HM so I'll report back about what I found special after I've run it.  Looking forward, I believe it has the appeal of a marathon but the speed of a 10k which is really exciting.  It's long enough to be an accomplishment just based on distance, but short enough that you can experiment with different kinds of training and see what yields the best results.

        I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.



        Future Goals: 5:30 mile • 19:30 5k • 33:30 8k • 42:00 10k • 1:15:00 10-mile • 1:40:00 half-marathon • 1000 miles

          Andy - great thread! I love reading these! I remember your "Kiss the Bricks" photo! Let's hope we get some more reviews from the rest of the gang.


          Here are mine:


          Best racing day….

          Tough choice for me too. Back in March I had a HM where everything clicked. Perfect weather, perfect course, great scenery around DC and I ran a PR by over a minute - it just all felt right. Then in December I ran my first marathon it was 44F windy and rained the whole way round. As a race it should have been miserable but my family came to support and I ran (without stopping) my first Marathon. While the HM PR comes close my best racing day of 2011 was finishing my first full Marathon on Dec 4th


          Goals...set and met…

          1. Break 2 hours in a HM again - I ran a PR 1:52:19 in March
          2. Run 1000 miles for the year - I passed 2000km (1243 miles) a few days ago and will probably end the year around 1285. This was a big one for me as I have maxed out at 900 miles the last 2 years. Long term consistency (apart from the month we moved house) was the goal and, though I am not quite up there with HappyFeat, it's a nice improvement for me
          3. Run my first Full Marathon - Loved. It! Nuff said!
          4. Get down to 200lbs by end of 2011 - Failed on that due to my runner's diet of entitlement: ("I'm training for a marathon so I can have that doughnut/burger/cheesything/beer")I never even really got serious about it so it never happened. Could do better on that front.

          Money workout…

          This is so boring but I am voting the "5 easy miles" as my money workout for 2011. During my marathon training this became the staple easy run. I have multiple 5 mile courses I can run from my front door and now as opposed to my base run being 3 or maybe 4 miles I rarely do anything less than 5. It has helped me increase my mileage and stay consistent.

          All that said; If I were to to chose a single work out that had the biggest impact on my running this year it would have to be the first 18 miler of my Marathon training cycle. Having NEVER run longer than 15 miles before I was nervous, yep even before a workout, that the distance would be too much. I sailed through the run, even running mile 18 under 8 mins - lightning fast for me! I wrote in the comments at the time: "Breakthrough training run! - everything clicked.". After running that I knew I could complete the marathon training program. Huge mental boost!


          Challenges overcome…

          Blessed to have come through 2011 unscathed physically; mild ITBS during the peak weeks of Marathon training and that was it. Challenges for me were mental or scheduling. At the start of the year I was on the back end of doing nothing for 4 months. Getting started was tough in early Jan but produced results in March then I had to do another corporate relo in June managed to keep going with just a 2 week dip in mileage. Then the 16 week run up to the Marathon. I have never been that consistent but ended up sticking to the plan like glue. Missed 1 work out (of about 80).


          Most memorable day running…

          Excluding races I assume? This is a year where I raced an Armadillo on an early morning tempo run, sneaked out of the family hotel room to use the gym at Disney world to keep on track with Marathon Training but my most memorable run is probably my shortest of the year. Having come to watch me run the Marathon my 2 boys asked if they could come running with me on a Saturday morning 2 weeks ago. They are 5 and 6 so I said that we would run up to the end of the road, round the traffic circle and back - it's about three quarters of a mile. Well knock me down if they didn't both run it! My 5 year old cut the end off at the traffic circle and walked a little towards the end but my 6 year old ran the whole thing, without stopping at about 10:30 pace. Very memorable!


          Why are you a HMT?

          I like the HM distance because it just fits for me. I usually have to drive about an hour to get to any race over 5k and it just doesn't seem worth it for a 10k or 15k (though I do it occasionally). But for a Half Marathon it does seem worth it! I can run the race, run it hard and not be knocked back for a month. My first full has had me taking it easy for the last 3 weeks.

          All that said, whatever distance I run I am "a HMT" because of the group here on this forum. I would not be running without RA but I would not be running as much without the help, advice and encouragement of this virtual group. As I have said before y'all are inspiring for many different reasons and whether you think it's silly or not when I am training and racing I feel an accountability to this group of random folks who I only know in cyber space. For example:

          • I cannot quit at mile 22 of a marathon and then go back online and tell Andy my leg hurt when the dude runs marathons after being hit by a car!
          • I cannot bitch about the cold when Meg is running her training runs at -400F on the outskirts of the North Pole.
          • I cannot skip this training run and moan about how I have problems with consistency when HappyFeat is constantly knocking it out of the park
          • I cannot bail a few miles short on this long run when Craig is walking the NZ equivalent of the Hindu Kush (with his daughters!!) the day before his long runs!

          I am an HMT primarily because all of you are. As far as I am concerned, long may that continue! Thank you all for the part you played in my running in 2011 - here's looking forward to 2012 Big grin



          2017 Goals
          1) Run more than 231 miles
          2) Be ready for  HM in the spring

          Climbing Mt Ruapehu

            Best racing day? My whole year revolved around my 1st Marathon


            Most memorable day running? Definitely the hike/jog I did with my daughters. 56.8km and 14 hours of effort and pain way outweighed by the joy of seeing my daughters knock off something king sized that they will never ever forget.  What a stunning trail the Hillary Trail is.


            What challenges did you overcome? Got thorough a whole winter with hardly a niggle except a lower ab strain which i am still having to manage a bit 3 months later.


            Goals...set and met.  Sub 4 hour marathon tick.  My stretch target was to hit 3:40.  Wasn't to be.  The day was hot and the body gave up that chase.  Knocked off my targeted milage of 2000km


            Was there a "money" workout for you this year? A workout that made a difference? I ran 10 runs of over 30km in prep for the marathon.  I think one where I did 30.6km in 2:35 was just amazing.  Just creamed it and felt so good.  Also my 32km lead up event in 2:42 was a good run (though felt harder!)


            Memorable days running? The beauty of nature. The odd event. I am not a road runner.  The runs that spin my wheels are trails, peaks etc.  Watching my daughter Ashley come 7th in Auckland for the 1500m in the Champion of Champions race at Mt Smart stadium was awesome and running the last 4km of the Auckland Marathon with my other daughter Claire was pretty special too (though it hurt and she wasn't exactly pushed to keep up with me hehe)


            Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?  Its a good distance, I enjoy it.  I have only run 2 official half marathons but dozens that distance in training.  You can stop just after it starts to hurt not like a marathon so that is pretty nice! :-)


            PS and while I am here thinking of it.  Thank you so much to all you guys here.  This group is a small but closeknit and active forum and it is great to get support from all over the world and being able to follow everyones progress and stories is motivating and uplifting.  I wish you all a great New Year


            At this point I am thinking I will return to more half marathon distance next year and more work on trails.  I am not sure the body is going to let me do another full marathon next year but we will see.  I have a couple more epic hikes in the planning one of which I "dread" more than a marathon or an oxfam 100km but "it must be done" "unfinished business".  it will push me to my absolute limits.  All thoughts are on that at the moment and then running can come back into the frame in February.  Until then it is basically only trail running to keep fit.

            Personal Race Records:

            M 3:52:48 (Auckland 2011), HM 1:38:16 (Taupo 2010), 10km 45:05 (Sir Barry 2010), 5km 20:21 (How Pak 5km 2010)


            2012 Goals:
            Run the 75km Hillary Trail in a day (done 10/3/2012)

              Best racing day? Definitely the June 5K - just one of those days where everything comes together right - the weather, the training, the competition, the course, the body. Ran the plan and ran fast. Awesome.


              Most memorable day running? Gonna go with the lazy Thanksgiving day run with my little brother. Just a tra la la backroads jog, but the conversation was everything.


              What challenges did you overcome? The foot injury. Miserable. No good diagnosis, and lots o' days on the elliptical trying to maintain a modicum of fitness. Patience on the comeback, unlearning a massive forefoot strike, and the awesome appreciation of an eventually healthy body.


              Goals...set and met.  Sub 18 5K was big for me, and after a couple of tries, made that happen, which was sweet. I didn't officially have a mileage goal, but definitely happy with what I laid down, even with the injury setback for two months. Biggest disappointment was not getting to the half marathon start line.


              Was there a "money" workout for you this year? A workout that made a difference? Can't really point to one. This year was more about consistency, and getting out the door as much as I could.


              Memorable days running? The beauty of nature. The odd event. I love keeping the log, and reading through to "remember" all the runs. Without looking though (and because it was so recent), last Friday's run around Cooper Lake in Woodstock NY, freezing cold with the hill tops frosted white, the lake glassy clear, not a soul in sight, the only sound the crunch of the dirt road...love runs like that.


              Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?  Funny, because the last half I ran was in 2001! This year was supposed to be my triumphant return to the distance, but wasn't meant to be. But can assure you 2012 will be full of good things. The half seems perfect - doesn't require the unbeleivable time commitment that training for full marathon requires (and that I will struggle to get in this summer I think), and no matter what race you're training for of a lesser distance it's good training. I like 5k's, but they stress me out a little - so little room for making mistakes. And this board is super friendly, supportive and honest, and is a great place to hang.


              Great 2011 and good luck to all in 2012.

              Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
              We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

              Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                • Best racing day? have to say it was the Thunder Cloud 5mi Turkey Trot which I did barefoot, my longest BF race to date. Weather was great, 55 climbing to low 60's, 23,000 of my closest friends and lots of "Look that guys is barfoot!" Someone even took a picture of my back after I passed them and posted in their blog! Had a great time at it.
                • Most memorable day running? see bobev. 2011 was not the best of running years as I figured out how to correct aching calf issues caused by running exclusively on the hills in my new neighborhood, and mostly with Vibrams.
                • What challenges did you overcome? mostly physical and trying to understand why body didn't want to cooperate with my desire to run 7x/week. Finally listened enough to add cross training and slow walks into the daily workout. I workout everyday as part of my medical regimen, helps control blood pressure and cholesterol. I take a ton of drugs as it is and if I didn't workout would need even more.
                • Goals...set and met. not many, but set and met mid year goal of running the 5mi Turkey Trot barefoot - without calf pain
                • Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference? adding cross training and finding more level ground to run on while calves recovered from overuse injury. 
                • Memorable days running?  The beauty of nature. The odd event. I had so many bad days running this year. Between my calves aching and causing me depressed re my running, and the Texas heat driving me into the gym and dreadmill. Don't want to say the the Turkey Trot again so will say it was in the Gym, on Dreadmill in the Cardio Cinema room watching the complete Transformer movie! somewhere in neighborhood of 2 hrs /- on feet.
                • Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you? Well its the longest distance my cardiologists have cleared me for. I ran first half 18 months after my heart attack. Also being old, slow, and broken down my halves take longer than many folks fulls and I'm not sure I want to be cleared for a full when it will take me 6+ hrs on feet to finish. I love the feeling of the half distance, getting into the zone and just keep on keeping on and on! Feels great when done, and its a heck of an accomplishment. Prior to heart attack I wanted to run marathons with my Son but never got started after being told my an orthopedic surgeon that he wouldn't operate on my knee to relieve the pain and that I should avoid walking or running. Couple of years later I started running 3 months after heart attack and haven't looked back. Knee stopped hurting on its own after the first half and I stopped using elastic braces shortly after. Would still like to do a full one of these days. Maybe when I am in my 80's (only 15 years to go) and can place in my age group...LOL

                btw: love this thread, and the group, even tho I was mostly absent the past year struggling with the calf and attitude problems.

                bob e v
                2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

                  I finished up my year last night-took me to 1000.3 miles for the year, my first time over 1k (previous year high was 700ish). This was a pretty good running year, not because of any times, which were not great, but because I've been running pretty consistently for about 18 months and hope to reap those rewards in 2012 (not so much consistent monthly mileage as just never taking too much time off). I plan on racing tomorrow, as well.


                  Best racing day?

                  I did not have any great races, but I did win my age group at a race in Palm Springs, where my parents spend their winters. It was a good day-I talked my mom into doing the walking part of the race (her first race), which she absolutely loved, and both my parents seemed pretty happy to have me called up as 1st place in my group. Not to mention I liked it, too.
                  Most memorable day running?

                  I did quite a bit of work travel this year so had interesting runs in LA (old home), SF Bay area (new home), Austin, Boston, and Seattle. No vacation runs though. No vacations, period, unfortunately. My best run, however, was about a month ago. I was in an awful mood at the beginning of my 10 mile run and I was able to channel that into a motivating anger and I ran real hard. In fact, I've never run as fast. I'm pretty I could have kept it up for 3.1 more miles and broken my own HM PR in training, as I was not going %100. Yes, it was stupid to go so hard, but I'm glad I did it.
                  What challenges did you overcome?

                  No serious challenges, just that I kept it generally consistent while traveling and moving. I've been on the go since August but have only had a few down periods in there.
                  Goals...set and met.

                  I had (and always have) a lot of unrealistic race time expectations at the beginning of the year, but the two big things I did get done this year were (again) general consistency and weight loss. My weight has been high for a couple of years and it was really holding back my running. I'm down 20+ pounds (15 since last race) and running is so much easier now. Both of these things have me really looking forward to racing in 2012.

                  Was there a "money" workout for you this year?  A workout that made a difference?

                  In general, I'm not sure which helps me more-tempos or long runs, but I've done a fair bit of both this year and they've both helped. Intervals have not, but I think I need to get back into that this coming year. As a single workout, the above 10 miler gave me a ton of confidence, despite the fact that I should not have run so hard (it took me forever to recover).

                  Why are you a HMT -- what's special about the 13.1 miles race to you?

                  I like the feeling of accomplishment that I don't get from a shorter race, even when raced well. I like that it is over an hour. I like that I can do it without ruining my body, which seems to happen whenever I get it in my head that I want to try a marathon. I prefer the type of pain that comes with 13.1 miles over the type of pain that comes with 3.1 miles.


                  I second what everyone has said about having the group. It is great to see people's posts, their logs, get advice and occasionally offer it. I only wish one of you could come kick my butt when I'm NOT posting, reading, etc. as that means I'm not running.


                  Good luck to everyone in 2012!