Archives for category: 2013 Honolulu Marathon

This morning we ran the fifth and last Honolulu Marathon Readiness Series race, the Mizuno Val Nolasco Half Marathon, starting at Kapiolani Park and covering the exact second half of the marathon course.

First race for me since Chicago (6 weeks ago).  I’ve been slowly building back up my mileage each week and taking my time getting back into training.  As such, I definitely did not have high expectations for this race.  I did decide to race it, but largely to see where my fitness was at.  The result here would give me a good idea of what I could expect in the marathon three weeks from now.

Quick note on what I ate for my last meal (2 hours prior to the race): I followed the advice I got from several runners who recommended I eat less to avoid stomach issues during the race (most recently at Chicago) and did exactly that.  2 cups of coffee, half a bagel and a small scoop of apple sauce was it for me.  And because of it, I definitely felt lighter and less bloater toeing the line.

Mile 1 – 3 (6:00, 6:16, 6:11):

Fast first mile, but many runners take this first mile fast because the first Diamond Head climb hits you at around mile 2.  Between mile 2 and 3 on the downhill I picked up the pace, going on even effort (slowing a bit on the uphill and going faster on the downhill).  There a lead group of five of us at this point and we’re taking turns heeding the head winds that are picking up.  Night running; sun does start to peak out until I believe mile 5 or 6.

Mile 4 – 6 (6:00, 6:06, 6:11):

This stretch you snake around Diamond Head,  cut through Kahala via Kileaua Avenue and hop on to the highway going east bound towards Hawaii Kai.  I remember getting comfortable in this stretch, breathing a little more relaxed (was struggling getting up that hill after you turn left on Triangle Park).  A veteran runner, Jonathan Lyau and I take turns drafting each other and keeping the pace honest.  We pass #2 runner during this stretch so we’re starting to fight it out for the second position here.

Mile 7 – 9 (6:16, 5:58, 6:05):

We turn around shortly after the mile 7 marker.  I always get a boost of energy seeing fellow runners cheering us on (probably speaks for the sub-6 mile here).  Jonathan and I are still going at it; my legs feel good – slight fatigue starting to kick in, but nothing unmanageable here.  Light rain drizzles us throughout the race, by the way – which I welcomed (anything to keep cool).  We take the turn off of the highway back through Kahala at mile 9.

Mile 10 – 13.1 (6:07, 6:31, 6:17, 6:02):

Shortly prior to getting off of the highway my chip band that I have around my ankle loosens and I need to quickly stop and strap it back on.  Jonathan opened up the lead, which was probably a good thing for me, because as soon as I stopped I felt my body starting to slow, get heavier (lactate build up!) and the stomach starts to turn a bit.  Mile 11 – stretch through Kahala is my slowest, as I try to get my stomach in check.  Legs suddenly are feeling heavy and slow; turn over speed is decreasing dramatically.  I can tell I’ve lost some fitness since Chicago, particularly since I haven’t been doing much speed work or tempo runs.

Anyway, at this point I’m just trying to finish this thing in 3rd place, which is something I definitely want.  The Diamond Head hill through mile 11 and 12 is cruel, especially if your stomach is hurting and your legs feel like they’re filled with lead!  Somehow I get over the hill and blast on the downhill to avoid getting picked off my the 4th and 5th place finishers (New Zealand runner/friend of mine, Richard Pender, finished in 5th and helped me with those last two 6:17 and 6:02 miles!).

Finish time (chip)1:20:40 (6:09 average pace)

Came in 3rd overall (amongst 1,100 or so runners) and a nice, sub-1:21 PR in the half marathon, which I’m very happy with.  My more experienced marathon friends have all told me that a sub-1:21 half marathon time is a pretty good indication that a sub-2:50 marathon is definitely possible.  Since that’s the goal for Boston, I feel like I gained a very positive experience, which will ultimately help prepare me for a fun day in Boston in April.

As far as the Honolulu Marathon, I think I’m still going to go out for a sub-3.  Hopefully that won’t be too difficult.  I like my chances now.

If interested, my Garmin log can be seen here.


First post since Chicago so a bit of catching up to do.  Week 0 coming back from Chicago was very relaxed – took four complete rest days (I needed it!) and only ran a total of 20 miles.  I decided then that I would try to race Honolulu, so I put a quick 9-week schedule together, which would allow two additional recovery weeks, 4 solid weeks of training, and a 2 week taper.

Week 7 (from Honolulu) I double my miles up to 40m, which included  a 15 mile run on Saturday morning with my running friends (took one rest day as well).  Clearly the strategy for me here is to responsibly, and safely, build back up my mileage.  I think I’m always leaning on the conservative side when it comes to marathon training – particularly given the relatively high volume of running I’ve done the past 24 months.  The right achilles continues to nag and niggle as well, so I’m quite mindful of not flaring that up again and making it any worse.

Anyway, week 6 is again up to 55 mpw, including a Tuesday tempo (LT) run of 11 miles total with 3 @ 6:30/per mile pace.  Ouch – I remember this one being difficult.  I was suppose to do five of those 6:30s, but only managed three.  Topped off the week with my first long run since Chicago, 18 miles, with a nice pick up for the last six miles @ 6:45ish pace (thanks, Richard).

Week 5 (last week 10/29/12 – 11/4/12) I inch up the mileage to 61 mpw (included a rest day on Monday), a 9 mile tempo run with 5 @ 6:25 (yes, got redemption), and 19 mile long run on Sunday.  Everything else in the week is much slower (between 7:30 to 8:15/per mile pace) and I’m getting them in how ever which way I can (i.e. during my lunch breaks at work, early in the morning…some of those miles are with Uma, etc.).

Week 4 (this week) I’ve clocked 43 miles so far and have a 20 mile long run with the guys scheduled for early Sunday morning.  I did my first track workout yesterday – 6 x 800m – and it was tough.  There definitely difficult, but I think I need to stay diligent and respect the fact that these workouts really make me faster.

Game plan for Honolulu?  Currently the thought is I will go for a sub-3 hour time.  Ever since I started running marathons I’ve wanted to say I ran Honolulu in under three hours.   But I have to say my expectations are low, and I feel little to no pressure to really go after it.  Chicago was my goal race for the year.  And with Boston in four months or so, Honolulu does not take the highest of priorities.  I really like how it’s keeping me in shape – as opposed to falling off of the wagon – which is more typical of my behavior after a big marathon.  I just want to make sure that I stay healthy and hungry going into Boston marathon training.

Game plan for Boston I’ve decided will be a sub-2:50:00 attempt.  I’ll follow a modified Pfitz 12/80+ training schedule, and I’ll get at it in mid-January 2013.  I have to say I am really looking forward to this training cycle.  Not sure exactly how I feel about the race itself; obviously I’m excited, but I think some of the excitement and energy subsided after I qualified for Boston.  Think I’m still trying to understand and appreciate preparing, and ultimately running, Boston.

2013 is going to be a very busy year, but hopefully a productive and successful year!  Happy running, and will continue to check back in periodically.

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