All 13 entries tagged Half-Marathon

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October 13, 2006

Stupid Stupid Stupid

Follow-up to Lady Godiva Half–marathon route to take in Campus from No I said DublIN marathon

OK, that’s pretty harsh, but why does the Lady Godiva route go round the lakes , not between the two new Rootes blocks? Having run through there this week it is already pretty muddy down there and I’m sure 2000-odd runners aren’t going to help that. Plus it’s really narrow!

Rant over.

October 09, 2006

I lied…

Follow-up to Someone must read my blog… from No I said DublIN marathon

...clearly no other bugger reads my blog ...

September 14, 2006

Job done

Follow-up to Someone must read my blog… from No I said DublIN marathon

Well that wasn’t so bad after all…

Sunday was the Experian Robin Hood Half-marathon in Nottingham and Nick Seagrave and I took part as part of Mixed Hockey’s fund-rasing for Ovarian Cancer Action (phew, that’s a lot of links). My task was to haul Nick’s scrawny arse around the course in under 1hr 45mins (Chip Time, not Gun Time) – 8 minute miling. Considering Nick was originally aiming for sub-2.00 this was going to be a tough-ish ask, but he’d cruised around the Godiva Harriers Autumn 5 in a little over 38mins (7min 38sec miling) the week before so eights were on the cards.

We lined up slap bang in the middle of the 1hr 40-50 block and set off at a reasonable pace, perhaps a little fast, but the hills at 2M and 4M made sure we weren’t too far ahead of the game and miles 6-10 were bang on the money. Nick was finding miles 11 and 12 a little tough going and I was a little alarmed when I heard my watch beep 10 seconds before we’d hit the mile marker. We kicked for home as I was concerned we’d have to pick up the pace about 30s/M and little goals of catching people seemed to spur him on as we overtook over 100 people in the last mile. As we hit the finishing straight (why do they insist on finishing road races on grass?) I put the foot down and squeezed through a closing gap between two runners to leave him for dead (which he later “thanked” me for) and we both got in before the clock got to the 1hr 45 mark – 1hr 43mins 7s and 9s respectively by Chip Time.

Considering I’ve done bugger all distance work recently (more speed stuff) I was quite pleased, but I suspect I’m going to have to get some “hard miles” under my belt if I want to get sub 1hr 25 for the Lady Godiva.

September 07, 2006

Someone must read my blog…

Follow-up to Lady Godiva Half–marathon route to take in Campus from No I said DublIN marathon

... cause the University have nicked my post title.

Not looking forward to Nottingham , although it will be my largest race to date with over 12000 entrants (including the full marathon. Not sure I’ve got the distance in my legs, but I guess there’s only one way to find out…

September 01, 2006

Autumn Five (1) – Dave (0)

Writing about web page

Urgh – This evening I have mostly been sick in the Memorial Park!!!

I ran in the Godiva Harriers’ Autumn Five in and around the Memorial Park with Seagrave along with about 200 other Club runners, “Fun” runners and Walkers. I was aiming for 30 mins, i.e. 6 minute miling (30/5=6) which was always going to be non-trivial, but I had done it on a flat treadmill in the past*.

Having done my usual trick of missing the first mile marker I hit 2 miles in 11:20, a full 20 s/lap under target. Figuring I was going to pay for this later I slowed down and hit Mile 3 bang on 6 mins later. By now I was blowing hard and desperately in need of a dump, and had to almost stop, to prevent myself “doing a Hurrell.” Mile 4 was not a lot of fun and by this point the blind runner and his mate that I had overtaken at Mile 2.5 or so overtook me again. This spurred me on and I kicked on for home. As I apporached the turn for the home-straight I began to gag like a trooper. Made the turn and got to about 100 yds from the finish before blowing chunks all over the path, and then jogging it in to the end in 30:34…

  • This is not an accurate reflection of running in the real world and a 2% incline is a bit nearer the truth.

August 29, 2006

Lady Godiva Half–marathon route to take in Campus

Writing about web page

Once again I've not blogged for what seems like an age. In fact my last entry was way back in June, and was just to say that I was broken after a very unsuccessful Edinburgh Marathon. However I'm back in the running game and am looking forward to running the second Lady Godiva Half-marathon on October 22nd. As preparation for this and as I'm a bit soft in the head I'm running the Experian Robin Hood Half-marathon in Nottingham as a birthday present to myself on September 10th. I'm also running in the Godiva Harriers' Autumn 5 in the Memorial Park this Friday.

I'm not the only one that's a bit soft in the head and a large–ish group of Mixed Hockey members will be running the Coventry 1/2M in aid of Ovarian Cancer Action – please support us as we look to raise over £1000 for this charity which funds research into the disease, provides support to sufferers, and attempts to raise the disease's profile to ensure earlier diagnosis.

I'm particularly looking forward to the race this year as it takes in a large part of Coventry that I'm familiar with, and in particular, that I'm used to running. The route was recently published and is much changed from last year's a) dull, b) less than enjoyable and c) traffic–chaos–inducing jaunt around the Ring Road and up the Radford Road and back. Starting off by the Police Station, the route travels past the Butts Arena, up the Allesley Old Road, past the end of my road to the A45, through Eastern Green and up to Tile Hill, then in to Canley and down Charter Ave, to Westwood. Through Westwood, down past Vandelinde Uni House, past the Sports Centre, down Health Centre Road, up Gibbet Hill, and then down the Kenilworth Road to the Memorial park and the finish back by the Police Station. Running through campus is a great idea to me, as the roads are relatively quiet, particularly on a Sunday morning, and there's a captive audience so hopefully there'll be more support on the route. There are a couple of less than friendly hills this year – the most notable being Gibbet Hill, but also the Allesley Old Road is less than flat and there's a bit of a hill as you come of of Eastern Green – however I'm not convinced that they are any worse than last year, where you seemed to be running uphill both ways along the Radford Road and the finish is relatively flat, with a downhill final mile.

June 12, 2006

Not 3hrs is clearly the answer

Follow-up to 3hrs or not 3hrs, that is the question… from No I said DublIN marathon

I am so broken, so disappointed, I can't blog on this now. 3hrs 39mins of Hell. Technically 2hrs 10 mins of hell as the first 1hr 29 mins to half way seemed to be so good.

May 10, 2006

3hrs or not 3hrs, that is the question…

Writing about web page

… whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the pain and suffering of outrageous pace, or to take my orginal target time, and by doing so make it to the end?

First off, as a bit of an ego massage I've knocked together this image (taken from BBC Cov & Warks) which shows two runners on the absolute start line who came just ahead of me and not far behind me (place–wise). It also shows where I started – next to the loudspeaker at the back.

Shakespeare Marathon Start

I've been mulling things over a bit after the weekend and I'm trying to reassess my target time for Edinburgh. There are various formulae to predict times based on previous races – from the traditional "twice your half amrathon plus 10–20 mins" to more complex systems based on several distances. Runners World UK recommend a formula that was developed empirically in the 70s:


which, from my time of 1hr 24mins 41secs predicts a time of 2hrs 58mins 38secs for the marathon. Here are how my times compare:

\begin{tabular}{c c c c c}
Race & Date & Dist & Actual & Calculated \\
\hline \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~00 & \textrm{M} & 3:47:55 & 1:48:18 \\
\textrm{Coventry} & Sep~05 & \textrm{1/2M}  & 1:45:00 & 3:38:55 \\
\(target\) \\
\textrm{Coventry} & Sep~05 & \textrm{1/2M}  & 1:32:24 & 3:12:38 \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~05 & \textrm{M} & 3:45:00 & 1:47:55 \\
\(target A\) \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~05 & \textrm{M} & 3:30:00 & 1:40:43 \\
\(target B\) \\
\textrm{Dublin} & Oct~05 & \textrm{M} & 3:24:33 & 1:38:06 \\
\textrm{Stratford} & May~06 & \textrm{1/2M} & 1:30:00 & 3:07:38 \\
\(target\) \\
\textrm{Stratford} & May~06 & \textrm{1/2M} & 1:25:41 & 2:58:38 \\
\textrm{Edinburgh} & June~06 & \textrm{M} & 3:15:00 & 1:33:31 \\
\(target\) \\

As you can see my 1/2M times are "better" than my marathon times. I have already completed two 1/2Ms faster than the equivalent of my target time. This begs the question – Should I revise my target time and aim for the golden 3hr target? There are several key factors:

  • Coventry was baking hot and an undulating course and yet I felt relatively comfortable and "bettered" my Dublin time.
  • I went into Stratford with a groin strain (which didn't surface thanks to liberal application of Ibuleve and a good warm–up, and spanked my Coventry time (and both Dublin times).
  • Dublin was pretty windy and I hit The Wall towards the end. I've been training with Lucozade Carbo Gels (and had three just before and during Stratford) - how much will they help me overcome The Wall in Edinburgh?
  • It was 5 years between my two marathons and I effectively didn't do any serious running at all between the end of the first and the beginning of training for the second. This time round I've kept a significant amount of my fitness from the first. i.e. I've not put on two stone since Dublin.
  • Edinburgh claims to be the second fastest course in the UK, and they've made it even flatter this year – how much will this help? How true is this, and is it simply an artifact of being able to attract top elite runners?
  • Training hasn't been as consistent as for Dublin, yet I was effectively doing 3hr30 times for a 3hr45 training schedule. This time round I've been much closer with the times, although still a touch under them.
  • I have consistently achieved my targets time and bettered them by some way. If I set my targets higher, will this spur me on?
  • I've found the countdown timer on my watch to be an excellent way of keeping track of how I'm doing overall pace–wise, when used in conjunction with the split–timer. It allowed me to keep track of how far behind/ahead of the pace I was at Stratford.

None of these particularly answer the question though. I consistently ran 6:32 miles in Stratford; 3hrs is 6:52 pace. However, this included a 6:43 – only 9 secs under pace. I don't want to find myself screwed after 17 miles because I caned it early on.

Any suggestions?

May 08, 2006

Bloody hell, I came 30th

Follow-up to Dave 2 Half–marathons 0 from No I said DublIN marathon

The results are now up on the Stratford Half Marathon website and it turns out I came 30th!!!

Bloody Hell!!!

I came 75th in Cov in September, and I thought that was a miracle/fluke.

Dave 2 Half–marathons 0

Writing about web page

Technically this should read Dave 10 Stratford Half–marathon 0 as I royally kicked it's butt – even if I say so myself.

The weather was ideal for fast running yesterday, and one hill aside was flat as a pancake. I wasn't feeling too good beforehand and was a little apprehensive about my groin injury, but decided I'd set my watch for 6:50 miles to attempt to get under 1:30, and blag it if I was feeling ropey and the litre of Ibulieve that I'd smeared on my leg didn't have the desired effect.

On the way to the start I met Gemma Morris and a few of the Lacrosse guys/girls. Gem finished in 2hrs 20mins, which is pretty good going for a first time.

The start was pretty disorganised, in as much as there weren't distinct areas for people to line up based on time, as there had been at Cov. That said there are a lot of comparisons that can be made with Cov:

  1. No ChampionChip – therefore no "Chip Time."
  2. No jaunt round the ring road.
  3. Good scenery.
  4. Not being in 22–degree and direct sunshine in September.
  5. Mile markers at every mile.
  6. Mile markers that weren't just sprayed on the road.
  7. A course that was flat and didn't have it's steepest incline at Mile 12.

The race started and as I was pretty far back and there was no "seeding" it took me a little while to get through the traffic. I was running pretty freely thanks to the Ibulieve, but I'd failed to spot the 1st mile marker, so when my watch bleeped at me I didn't take much notice. I spotted the second mile–marker and realised that I was about 30 seconds ahead of schedule, but figured I was running OK and I could always slow down later.

The miles clicked by and I was no less than 9 seconds per mile under my target pace, which was nice. And that mile was where we went up a long–ish hill followed by a very steep descent, for which it was hard to keep control. There was support most of the way round, with people in most front gardens (and beer gardens) cheering people on. It was at this point that I regretted having left my race vest in Seagrave's office as I didn't get the same cheering for my name, but it wasn't too big a deal.

As I came into the finishing straight they called out my name and number over the tannoy as I raced for the line to beat the clock and the two guys I'd overtaken in the last half mile. I thought that I'd get somewhere about 1hr 27 from my splits but stopped my watch at the line at 1hr 25mins 41secs, a full 6mins 43 under my time for Cov. I suspect that this was largely course and weather–induced, but it gives me satisfaction nonetheless.

Annoyingly I've just looked online at the BBC's photos and the guy I overtook 500yds from the finish was right at the start line (back left, wearing CamelBack), so I could easily have started nearer the front and got a better official time – especially as the organisers weren't using ChampionChips.

Thanks to Kathy and Dave for giving me a lift, and to the Berkswell lot for not getting me drunk on Saturday night. Bring on Edingburgh!!!

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