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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!

Jon P 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!

runwuf 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.

Jon P 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