Before I get to the meat of this post, I’d like to thank Andy for suggesting that I apply for this event back in May 2010. Without his sheer determination (and me slipstreaming him on an awful lot of runs) there would have been no way I’d even be 10% of the way toward a marathon.
I’ve attempted motorcycle accidents, stepping awkwardly off curbs and generally cheaping out on equipment in a vain attempt to sabotage my chances of running this event.
So if you’ve been waiting on a promised punchline to the joke that is my running career, you can find it at the end of this post, along with the Garmin map of a successful marathon run on Sunday.
Did you hear that? I ran a bloody marathon! Now that I’m in the top 0.1% of the population, I think its time I hung up the Silver Shadows and graduated onto something at least £5 more expensive. So I’ve placed an order for these:
I cannot wait the 72hrs until they arrive.
Enough boring post marathon stuff though, how was the race? I have to admit I am sorely disappointed with the time it took me to complete the course. A chip time of 5:22 puts me almost two hours behind Andy. I didn’t imagine for a second that I was that far behind in terms of fitness, but my eyes are now wide open.
Around 15m after the gun I crossed the start and for at least the first 22k I kept exactly to a 4:30 full race time pace. That worked out to around 9kph – a very fair pace for me, and around 10% slower than my trained to race pace. I thought that this would be sustainable for a lot longer but coming down into Brighton from the Marina, I stopped to use the toilet. As soon as I started again, I was done for.
The heat seemed twice as bad as it had been. This made no sense. I was running downhill into town and yet I was finding it extremely tough. It seemed like there was no breeze at all and the sweat was pouring off my brow. I’d run further than this before (with comfort breaks) so this was tough for me to understand. At the next water stop I poured most of a bottle on my back – anything to cool off and keep the pace up. It felt impossible, and I shamefully slowed to a walk. A cramp very quickly took hold in my right thigh and from then on I was done for.
I alternated jogging and walking for the rest of the route, but the pace was totally off, bringing the average right down to 7.5kph. Useless. I beat myself up for the remainder of the race, really disappointed that I didn’t run the entire distance. I did run for the vast majority of the back stretch though, crossing the line at 5:36 or around 5:14 by the Garmin.
Feet were dipped straight into the sea for a simulated ice bath (thanks for the tip, Andy!) and a bit of a sunbathe on the beach capped off my post-race experience. Lovely! You won’t get that in London!
Overall I think it went okay, but I’m really determined now to train properly and prove that I am a runner after all. I did run further than I ever have – Sporttracks reckons around 35km.
Straight onto the plan for the next one then! Once I’m fighting fit I’m starting on this and won’t be satisfied until I’m regularly breaking 1:50 for the half. I’ve got 6mo or so until my next marathon (probably Chester) but apart from training runs I’ve no other really long runs pencilled in.
This of course is except for a cheeky plan I have for the coming weekend – I might go for a little jog in Greenwich on Sunday morning!