My second half marathon outside of Canada was a warm one…as expected. We drove down to Hilton Head over two days on Friday and Saturday with a stop in Charlotte. In hindsight, the half marathon in Charlotte on Saturday morning might have been a better idea.
Race morning featured sunny skies and 18ºC temperatures which for this Canadian runner was not ideal. I was hoping for something more like 12ºC at the start, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The little town was picturesque and the start line was the prettiest I’ve been a part of. The race started about 7 minutes late while they waited for a late shuttle to arrive. It was a mass-start with 10km, half marathon and full marathoners all hitting the line together.
The 10km runners peeled off around the first mile marker and it was just the half and full marathoners from there out along a fairly flat and straight road. I ran well for the first 5km with splits of 4:59/km for all five. Yeah…consistent.
After that I started to slow a bit as the shade disappeared and the heat started to build in. My heart rate was up a bit from what I would expect at that pace which I assumed was from the warm weather.
The back side of the course was free from shade and it was pretty hot. I was struggling to hold any sort of pace without spiking my heart rate up to 170bpm. I started doing run/walk after the one hour mark and used the water stations to cool off with cups over the head and in my hat.
Around 17km things got better with a bit of a sea breeze and some shade. I picked up the running (over walking) and set about to run it in as best I could. In the end, it was a 1:57:10 which was good for 101st overall and 14th in my category. Not my best, but given the weather I was happy.
For the first time since the 2018 BMO Vancouver Marathon last May, I ran over 20km yesterday – 23.5km to be exact.
I set out with about 19km in mind, considering that I have a half marathon in three weeks and I really don’t have a lot of reasons to push things too far, too fast. The route was 23km, but I figured I would run through about 19km and then hop a streetcar back to the start.
As you do…
Well, as you do when the run is fun, I pushed through the 19km distance and we changed things up a bit on the fly to run past my parents’ place where I would check in (they are away for a few weeks) before calling it quits and hopping that streetcar for the last few kilometres.
After the stop, which was about 60 seconds total, I started running again and figured I would just keep going along King St. until a streetcar finally came. It never did and by about Spadina I could see the group again so I just decided to finish it up on foot. I ended up catching them around University and then ran it in from there.
It felt good to get up over 20km again. I thought back to marathon training runs in the past and remembered why I like distance running. It’s enjoyable to run out to Jane St. and through some nice neighbourhoods. I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with pushing myself beyond what most would consider a normal distance.
Three weeks until Palmetto Bluff
I have two long runs before the Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon on March 10. That probably means one more run over 20km before a taper run the Sunday before. I’m feeling good about where I’m at, even with the less intense training I’ve done this winter.
I’m super excited to have found a half marathon that takes place very close to our vacation spot in Hilton Head Island this March.
We arrive on Saturday, March 9, 2019 and on the next day, I’ll be running the Palmetto Bluff Half Marathon. Palmetto Bluff is about 45 minutes from our place in Hilton Head Island, and a 9:00 A.M. start time will make for a pretty easy get up and go on Sunday morning.
The course looks lovely – absolutely dead flat through the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry on a big 13.1 mile loop. The little town where the race starts and finishes looks quaint and southern which will provide Ginny with an enjoyable couple of hours while I’m out running. There’s some photos from the 2018 race here.
After the race, there’s beer, food and some live music.
Things are starting to come together now and I’m finally getting into the swing of things after seven months of not-so-consistent running. The key, as usual, is to have a schedule and then to stick to it. Duh.
I made a nice calendar again with runs on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The distances are a bit less than my marathon plan since I’m not running a marathon this spring. I’ve got two 6km and one 8km runs during the week, 5km on Saturday and then a longer Sunday run. Right now that’s about 15km and a weekly total around 40km which will increase as the Sunday runs get longer.
I’m at 40km for the year now after just one week, and on pace for a solid month that might be close to 150km depending on the Sunday runs. There’s a lululemon challenge on Strava that’s got me chasing 80km by January 25th and I’m right on target for that as well. There’s also a New Balance challenge to run 91 miles (146km) in January which seems doable without to much trouble assuming I can ramp the Sunday distances up to get there.
It’s nice to not have the whole big marathon plan in the calendar, but it’s also good to have a fairly aggressive plan to start the year. I missed having goal races to go after and while it’ll be a 30km and a half this spring, that will still be enough to get me out for those runs during the week.
Last year wasn’t exactly a stellar one for me in terms of running. The first half was fine, with a normal training session heading into the BMO Vancouver Marathon. The race didn’t go as I had hoped, and so heading into the summer, I dialed back the mileage and took it easy.
Later in the year I did start to get back into the swing of things with Eastbound Run Crew (EBRC) runs on Monday evenings and Downtown Yonge Running Room (DYRR) Sunday runs. I ran 77km in December which is a far cry from what I used to do in the average month.
The break was nice, but it’s time to start getting back to a regular running lifestyle again.
Hair of the Dog
That started today with the Hair of the Dog race. It’s a 9km run from Balmy Beach Club down to the entrance to Tommy Thompson Park and then back. I ran well this morning and did a 44:38 for the 9km with about a 45 second negative split. A shot of schnapps at the 4.5km turnaround likely helped.
2019 Training Plan
Heading into 2019, I’ve set an 1,800km goal for the year. That means 150km a month which is quite doable for me, assuming I get back to my old habits of running four or five times a week. My plan is this:
Sunday: run with the DYRR (or EBRC) for about 15-20km to start, and eventually more. I’ll run the marathon training plan until it gets to the 29km and 32km runs which I’ll likely cut short at 23-26km depending on how things play out.
Monday: run 8km with the EBRC weekly.
Tuesday: rest day.
Wednesday: run a steady 6-8km on my own around the neighbourhood or on the treadmill.
Thursday: run a steady 8-10km on my own around the neighbourhood or on the treadmill.
Friday: rest day.
Saturday: run an easy 5km (or take a rest day).
That’s approaching the marathon training plan I’ve done over the last few years, but I don’t intend to run one this spring. Instead, the focus will be on the 30km Around the Bay Road Race and maybe a half marathon in May.
That plan allows for some long runs in Hilton Head in March, but not the really heavy distances I’ve had to do when training for the marathon. I can fit a couple of 20km runs in and still be ready to go 30km on March 31st.
We’ll see how things go from there. By the end of May I should have a 30km and a half marathon done and a good base in place to continue training over the summer and into the fall for a faster half marathon and maybe a run at my personal best.
Just nine days into December and with 37km logged I’ve already out run my November monthly mileage total of 33km. That’s not to say December has been impressive, but more that November was just sad.
I’ve run three days in a row now and 12.6km today which is longer than I’ve gone in a good long time. It felt pretty easy to go that distance and I’m looking forward to getting back into things over the next couple of weeks and then into the new year.
I think I’ll train up with the marathon clinic in January and see where that takes me. I don’t want to run 42.2km this spring, but I do want to get back to running 20km or so without difficulty.
These are my running peeps. Some old friends, some new. Thanks to Joshua Roy who takes tons of awesome pics out on the runs at EBRC. See more pics here and join us on Mondays! We run from Eastbound Brewery at Queen and Broadview. Start gearing up at 6:15pm and then we’re running at 6:30pm. All paces welcome and there’s 5km and 8km options.