2013 running review

Since it’s end of the year I thought I will do a recap of my running adventures for 2013. I started my running blog in January 2013. If you didn’t read my first post have a read of “Just keep running“.

2013 was a good year for me in terms of my running. I managed to overcome some obstacles and achieve some of my running goals. So here is how my running numbers looked like for year 2013.

This year I have run a total of 3723km for the year averaging 310km per month. I have climbed 36105 meters during these runs. This is a steady increase compared to last two years of 2011 and 2012. It was 2011 when I started running so overall I have doubled my mileage over the years. The increase in mileage helped with some good personal best times over distances of 10km and half marathon (21.1k).

Yearly Stats 2013

Running numbers from 2011, 2012 and 2013. Distances in Kilometers.

With this steady increase I have been cautious about getting injured, to avoid this I have used the hard easy principal of training and incorporated a lot of strength and flexibility work in my schedules. I have also tried to run off road and vary the terrain that I do my running in. Here is a breakdown of each month – apart from a dip in June (First marathon) most months were 300kms plus.

2013 Monthly Totals

2013 Monthly Totals – distances in Kilometers.

At start of 2013 I had one goal for the year and that was to complete a marathon. I achieved this goal in June by running the Wellington Marathon. This was a significant milestone for me. Other highlights was running a personal best half marathon time in September. This was a positive sign that my training was paying off.

In October I finally managed to break the 20minute mark in my 5km time and achieve a PB time of 19:39. Since then I have run 5km races in: 19:41, 19:53, 19:59 so I am confident that in 2014 I can get this down to 19:20 or so, which will put me in good contention of chasing a faster half marathon time and possibly a fast marathon time.

I will update what my goals are for 2014 in my next post. Thanks for reading my blog. Happy new year and best of luck for achieving your own goals whatever they may be in the new year.

September update and a Half marathon PB

Haven’t been able to update on what’s been happening so here is a bit of a recap on August and September. August was about maintaining a steady base with some good runs. Through a three week period I was able to maintain 3 weeks of 85+Kms per week. This was a pretty good period with some good hill runs and some speed work done at the local track with some of my buddies. This resulted in a personal best half marathon time of 1:32:06 on the 15th of September at the Pelorus Trust Half Marathon. Previous half marathon PB was 1:33:56 which I ran in February this year.

September Mileage - 3 weeks of 85+ Kms

September Mileage – 3 weeks of 85+ Kms

The Pelorus race course was not an easy course as it ran along some streets and over a railway bridge and on a side of the Hutt river trail out and  back. The back leg was exposed to a southerly head wind which slowed some of the runners including me. My run was pretty good with an average pace of about 4:20min per Kms. This is a pretty good indication that I can push for a sub 1:30 in the coming months and aim to run 4:15min splits.

Coming weekend (Saturday 28th September) is the 40km Abel Tasman coastal classic trail run which is a tough run with some undulating off road terrain in the Abel Tasman national park. My aim is to finish and take it easy through this run. There are a number of people from Wellington Running Meetup who is heading down for this so it will be a fun event. After the Abel Tasman my longer term aim is the 50th Rotorua Marathon in May 2014. I’ll post my training plan for the Rotorua marathon (my second) in the coming months. Since this is my second marathon my aim would be to run a personal best time. Based on my last (first marathon) effort I’m confident that I can aim for a reasonable time. Between now and then I will aim to do some half marathons to keep myself motivated.

In November this year (2013) I am planning to run the Tongariro Northern circuit with a local trail runner Julian Bee who is raising funds for CureKids by running all of the great walks of NZ. The Tongariro Circuit is about 43kms.

 

Taupo Half Marathon 2013 Recap

This was my 8th half marathon since starting my running reboot in 2011. Just to recap the previous halves that I have completed are:

  1. 2011 Wellington Round the Bays My first Half Marathon – 2:02:08 (February 2011)
  2. 2011 Omagh Harriers – Half Marathon (Northern Ireland) – 21.1k – 1:57:33 (April 2011)
  3. 2011 Wellington Half Marathon – 21.1k – 1:54.46 (June 2011)
  4. 2012 Wellington Round The Bays – 1:37:22 (February 2012)
  5. 2012 Taupo Half Marathon – 1:38:50 (August 2012)
  6. 2013 Wellington Round the Bays 1:33:54 (February 2013) – current PB!
  7. 2013 Rotorua Half Marathon – 1:37:47 (May 2013)
  8. 2013 Taupo Half Marathon – 1:34:39 (August 2013) <- Latest

Taupo is a great destination for running events with the lakefront course being pretty flat. Having done the Taupo Half Marathon in 2012 I wanted to come back and have a go at this race again. The goal for this race was twofold. One was to run at around 4:30min per km, second to run under 1:35 which of course depended on the first goal. I wasn’t necessarily going for a PB on this race having just come off a Marathon in June I was just getting back into my second phase of training. Most my work has been on building mileage as I eluded to in my previous post.

We left Wellington after work on Friday and arrived in Taupo pretty late Friday evening. After a sleep in Saturday was spent just chilling out in Taupo with a brunch at L’arte cafe in Acacia Bay – highly recommend it if you end up in Taupo. Then we walked around the Saturday market in Taupo. By the way if you are a girl and want some awesome running gear check out Kori Kita – http://www.korikita.co.nz/ NZ made by Kate and she’s at the Taupo market every Saturday. After nosing around the market went to the registration and race pack collection at the Great Lake centre. This was the 20th Anniversary of the Mizuno (main sponsor) Half Marathon. The race pack included some goodies as well as a running shirt by Mizuno. One of the other cool things was the Race number included an electronic chip already embedded so there was no plastic chip thingy you had to tie down on your shoe. This was pretty convenient and it’s becoming more popular in races I am told.

Taupo Half 2013 - A T-Shirt and Chocolate

Taupo Half 2013 – A T-Shirt and Chocolate

Anyways rest of Saturday was spent just chilling out and went to bed early. Sunday was forecast for rain but the morning arrived with no sign of rain and or wind. I got to the race start by about 8:30am for the 9:00am start. I got around to the start with a race announcer going through the usual speech of thanking sponsors etc and also recognizing runners and walkers who have run all 20 events since 1994 when the race first began. The race started right on time (actually 8:59 according to my Garmin). I was in the first wave and got into a bit of a fast start for the first Km and joined a bunch of runners who seem to be content with running around 4:25-4:30 pace and got into an easy rhythm. I wasn’t pushing for pace so got into a chat with a gent who was doing his 20th race! Judging by the cheers he got along the way it was apparent he was a bit of a local runner celebrity and it was good to run along with him for a while. Around the 8km mark is a slight rise (not a hill) and a few people were slowing down who’d gone out a bit fast. Around here I caught up to another celebrity runner, Victoria Taylor. She’s run the length of New Zealand to raise awareness for Child Cancer NZ. It was nice to meet her in person and whilst she was also running! So I chatted with her for a bit and kept on with my original pace plan of sticking to 4:30min per Km.

At the halfway point was a drinks station so I slowed a bit and had two cups of water and half a Gu gel and then got back into my rhythm. From this point on the course follows the edge of the lake along a paved path. I was still within my time of being on target for 1:35. The last few Kms hurt a bit and ended up finishing in 1:34 with average of 4.28min per km, which was pretty bang on what I wanted to pace myself for this race.

After the race everyone got a shiny big 20th Anniversary finishers medal and a chocolate fish! I went straight to the coffee cart – maybe I should have had “Speeding Beans” coffee before the race!

Taupo Half Finish 2013

Taupo Half Finish 2013 – That’s me in the yellow top

Taupo Half Marathon Medal

2013 Taupo Half Marathon 20th Anniversary Medal

Speeding Bean - Coffee with Speed

Speeding Bean – Coffee with Speed

Half Marathon course.

Taupo Half Marathon 2013 Course

Taupo Half Marathon 2013 Course

Now I am back into my regular training schedule leading up to the 40km Abel Tasman Trail race in September 28th!

Wellington Marathon Training Update

Been a while since I last made an update of my Marathon training progress which was in April after finishing the 34km Makara loop. Since then I’ve done two more 30k + runs and the most recent was a 36km run along part of the Marathon course in Wellington which also was my last ‘long’ run before the Marathon on 23rd June (In 21 Days).

Brooklyn Bays Loop 36km

Brooklyn then Bays Loop 36km – 2nd June 2013

Before I go any further if you haven’t already entered my giveaway please head over to the post and get in the draw.

So after 13 weeks I think I’ve done the most that I can do to prepare for the Marathon. It has not been easy the last few weeks with colder weather and getting dark early my routine hasn’t really been up to what I’d hope it would be. Nonetheless I’ve been able to keep my core mileage consistent with my plan. I had to adjust some of the workouts to suit my work/life balance. Overall I have definitely improved my endurance and also gained a few seconds on speed. Last Saturday I ran a 5km PB at Lower Hutt Park run in 20:19. Which was a net 9 seconds faster than my previous time. Still a few seconds short of going into 19min range. I have a feeling that I’ll be able to hit that in the next few months.

With just another 3 weeks to go I’m officially into the ‘taper’ phase from next week onwards.

So that’s it for the time being, next weekend is Xterra Race 4 which I’m looking forward to.

Again if you haven’t entered my giveaway head over and have a random guess – it will help me keep motivated whilst running the Marathon 🙂

Happy running!

What I learned from the Rotorua Half Marathon

At the Rotorua half marathon on Saturday May 04th I had a goal of running close to 1:35 which I figured was a good target given my previous half marathon times. I wanted to see if I’ve improved based on the training I’ve been doing. Now the fact is my training in the previous 8 weeks was purely focused on my upcoming marathon on 23rd of June. So I was 8 weeks into a 16 weeks marathon program and just the previous week I had just finished a massive week with a 34km run on the weekend.

So the lessons learned in no particular order:

  • Don’t run a 35km (20miler) as your long run before a half marathon if you want to run a PB – in fact a few people told me this when they heard I was running Rotorua half the week after (yeah listening to others is a good thing, sometimes)
  • If your legs are tired and half dead they are tired – no amount of Gels, Sugar, Carbs, Electrolytes aint gonna help!
  • It will hurt bad after 12kms when you think you can sustain a faster km split when your legs are tired and you will want to just stop and lie down and quit
  • Following a Marathon Training plan does not help you prepare for a fast half marathon time – in fact there were no half marathon pace speed sessions apart from a couple of tempos and an interval session in the previous 3 week build up – in contrast when I was training for the round the bays half I had plenty of ‘fast’ runs in my schedule at my HM goal pace
  • Trust your gut when you feel ‘off’ don’t try and run negative splits, just relax and enjoy the run and forget about trying to run fast

Despite all that I enjoyed the Rotorua event. And my final finish time was 1:37:47 which in the grand scheme of things was just around the 4:30-35 per KM pace mark and I am happy with that. (Well just maybe..). The encouragement I got after the event was very helpful and some of the more experienced runners quite rightly pointed out that I am doing well in my Marathon training and should not be disappointed of this result.

Overall the 49th Rotorua Marathon Event was well organised with the event starting and finishing in the Government Gardens next to the Energy Events Centre. Inside the Events Centre was an expo with various vendors advertising and selling running related products. After registration you could wander through the hall and have a look around. What drew most people’s attention was an area where a series of posters highlighted the 49 years of the event with past winners and records. There were some names that I recognized from Wellington Scottish Athletics who have been part of Rotorua for many years. After the event there was a prize giving ceremony in the same hall. Here are some photos.

Registration - Rotorua Half Marathon

Registration – Rotorua Half Marathon

Prize Giving - Rotorua Half Marathon

Prize Giving – Rotorua Half Marathon

49 Years of the Event - Rotorua Marathon

49 Years of the Event – Rotorua Marathon

Rotorua Marathon - Start and Finish

Rotorua Marathon – Start and Finish

I have another 6 weeks to go in my training for the Wellington Marathon and I’ll focus purely on that. Also I’m running a small competition so go check it out here and enter to win an awesome prize!

happy running!