Monday, August 29, 2011

Half Marathon of the Harbors

imageI’ll keep this short as I have written a lot in recent months about my training…well when I have written! That being said I will say my training has gone very well and even with 10 days in London, (did I mention I went to London), with the exception of a cutting 4 weeks out of the plan for it to coincide with Race Day and adding a 5k race to rebaseline my paces I have hit every run on the training plan head on. Four the five weeks prior to my vacation I upped my training volume to include cycling and more recovery runs to increase the mileage to the mid to high 40’s, during the vacation week and the week after I scaled back and focused on the three training runs only and getting to bed early enough to overcome the jet lag.

Additionally I threw in two simulated training runs, did a course recce (although that would prove to be geographically embarrassing), lost 21lbs even with a vacation and practiced my hydration and nutrition plan which was zero input; no gels, no drink although I took a cup of water to cool off around mile 10. So while there are never any guarantees and while I stood on the start line a nervous panda I had put ticks in all the boxes I owned. The one that I couldn’t control and was of major concern was the weather; a late heatwave has gripped the local area and temperatures where pretty high; the thermometer in my car hit 118f on Saturday and the forecasts where for it to continue, the only saving grace was the race start was at 7:00am!

So Sunday morning I stood one row back from the starting line and with a 3, 2, 1, go we went! Obviously I went out too fast! but I found my stride and focused on running my race and racing the clock rather then racing anyone else. To be honest that was way of the race, there was some cat and mousing with other runners on course but I had set my Garmin with a pace alert range of 6:40-6:55, I needed 6:52 to hit the target time of sub 1:30. The sun proved to not be as big an issue as the route I had recced soon deviated through a residential street and so I enjoyed the long shadows cast by apartment buildings etc.

I knew that come mile 10 I was on borrowed time and that proved true as my pace tailed off as you can see from the splits below, miles 10, 11 and 12 were long well at least 7-15 seconds too long but by then I had just enough in the reserve tank to carry me through


A re-focussed effort for the last mile and when turned the last corner I could see the Finish, as I neared I saw the clock had 1:2x but someone’s head obscured the third digit and in the closing meters I saw 1:28:41 and that was that...done!

Final details: 1:28:41 OA 19/440 AG 5/51 File me under Happy Panda.

First half: 44:01 second half 44:40 no negative split thrown by slowing off in miles 10, 11 and 12 from being 33 seconds off pace…numbers junkie, yeah you bet!

Beyond my results this was a great local race, low key and relaxed but well organized, a regularly updated website and emails as the event neared, the results were posted overnight. The course was great with some great beach views, mile markers and ample well stocked and supported aid stations…seems simple enough but these thing are easily and often overlooked!

I will be writing up more extensively on the training plan and on my transition to mid foot running in Newton shoes which I am sure contributed to this result.


  1. Congrats Stuart! A superb job. I can't even imagine keeping such a great pace for that many miles. Well done!!!

    ps. really cool medal too.

  2. Great job, Stuart! I also had a successful experience with the FIRST program (as well as switching to mid/fore-foot running) and REALLY look forward to the insights that you've gained from each.


    (What's next???)

  3. solid report. I am glad that you have been running so strong. its really encouraging. Keep it going Stuart

  4. Congrats on the sub 1:30!! This is still a dream goal for me...

    A trip to London huh? No pictures? No running scenes?

  5. Congrats! Fantastic job - all that training paid off huge. Now NYC?

  6. nice! Me thinks I'll use that feature for my marathon to hold my race pace... GOOD WORK!!!


Thanks for reading this post and leaving a comment, if you are entering a contest, please ensure you put some sort of unique name down so I can get back to you. E-mail addresses are ONLY displayed to me, and never shared, sold, pilfered, or anything else unhappy.