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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Race Report: Hamilton Road to Hope 1/2 Marathon

The Race

Hamilton Marathon - Half Marathon.

The course is great for a Personal Best, it was mostly flat with a good 3K or so of very fast downhill. Lots of room on the roads near the start, and the wide paved trail it uses at the end.

I have only two complaints:
  • The kilometer markers were all off by 100m, 1K was at 1.1k, 2k was at 2.1k, etc. The end distance seemed correct, though.
  • No sports drink, pop, juice at the finish!? Not even in the lunch tent! I needed sugar, bad, and I had to resort to eating some sour candies I picked up... not good.
Other than that, things seemed well organized. Lots of porta-potties, the buses worked out well for me.

My Race

The Garmin Data
(Elevation is pretty neat! I didn't realize the downhill was in such a short section, felt like longer)

I had a pretty aggressive number in my head, 1:45:00. My PB before this was 1:49:17, but I figured for a bunch of reasons that I could kill that number.

Didn't work out that way...

I started out feeling great, and immediately got on my target 5:00/km pace. A few kilometers in, a buddy from my tri club caught up to me, so we chit-chatted for the first 1/2 of the race. Everything seemed OK.

I noticed my heart rate climbing a bit from the 170's to the 180's around 11k, so I tried to back off just a bit, but kept my eye on that 5:00/km. I still felt OK, like I could carry this to the end.

But my heart rate didn't stop there... climbed through the 180's and by kilometer 15, into the 190's. I wasn't sure what to do, I felt like I should back off, but that would mean kissing my 1:45 good-bye. I stupidly chose to stick to my 5:00/km pace, which I did successfully until kilometer 17k...

... and then the wheels came off. I ran out of gas, tried to take a short walk break to get things under control, but it just didn't help. My 5:00/km pace became 5:36, then 5:22, 5:48, 5:46... and finally, mercifully, the finish line.

Final results: 1:47:43 (271/934 overall, 25/44 M30-34)

A personal best (but a very unsatisfying one!).


My goal, while reasonable, was a bit too aggressive. But I compounded that mistake by not abandoning it early enough. That cost me even more time.

I'm pretty new to heart rate monitoring, but the signs where there - as soon as I hit the 190's I needed to back off. Lesson learned!

Next Up...

Nothing! How weird, I've been training for something for almost a year straight.

I'm going to do a bit of swimming to work on my form, a weekly spin on my bike. I want to take a couple of weeks completely off running to let some lingering aches and pains heal up, then I'll ease back into it.

Base training for 2010 starts January 1st... wh00t! :)


Paul said...

Good race, Jono...sorry it didn't quite work out right. You sure did get that HR'll break that goal in due time.

Kieran said...

I was actually surprised to see you again after you dropped the pace. I looked at your Garmin data and couldn't believe your heart rate - I can't believe you kept running when you hit 190 - you gotta set some alarms on that thing my friend! Still, a strong finish and a PB by a minute and a half is pretty good!

jonovision_man said...

@Kieran - even when I dropped back I was still holding around that pace, you must have been going quicker than you thought! :) If this race was 17k long I'd have rocked it!!! LOL.

My max heart rate was 198bpm ... I can't believe it's that high, I should really do a max HR test and find out for sure. Obviously "220 minus your age" ain't working for me!

Boris T. said...

Sorry you didn't reach you goal. But great run none the less.

Now enjoy the down time!

Felix said...

I have no doubt you'll beat 1:45 anytime. You still set a new record for me to beat next time! :-)

It seems our heart rate range is similar. I've been worrying about my heart rate for a long time this year - but not anymore. Racing at 170ish is fine for me, 180 - 190ish can't last too long.

John C said...

Couple of things....

Talking uses energy. And it's only Kieran.

Was your nutrition right? Enough salt and water?

Did you have a few too many hallowe'en treats?

This race was clearly a success for you: set a pb. Learned the importance of pacing. Learned to bring your own recovery food just in case. Helped you set a target for the next half marathon. set a pb.

Great seeing you yesterday -- hope to see you again soon.

jonovision_man said...

Based on my *ahem* potty situation after the race, I think dehydration played a role. I will spare you the details, but let's just say a lot went in and not much out for quite a few hours after!!! The cool weather threw me off a bit, as did the 6k stretch on the highway with no aid stations. :P