Poacher- Big well done, I was going to wait until the dust settled after GBM's sub 3 and say you was my next bet to go sub 3, I knew it was only a matter of time after you dragged me round the track the other week. Well done again.
Funk or MH next ?
Doesn't it feel odd, after the marathon is over, to have evenings free? I've no running to do so i might as well spend the entire evening writing my race report. What shall i call it? Something short and witty! I know!
GBMs very long and boring Amsterdam Marathon race report that goes into far too much detail!!
Chapter 1 - The build up!
The build up to this marathon has been totally different to my other sub 3 attempts. Usually i average 40+ miles a week in training, weigh almost 11 stone and turn up to the race convinced i'm going to nail it. This time i was doing 70 mile weeks, weighed just over 10 stone and turned up to the race convinced it wasn't going to happen. Did i mention that i had a virus? That was a lie! The truth was i had two! The first started about 3 weeks ago and messed up my last few long runs and the second one started last Tuesday evening and it was all in my head. No, not taper madness! I mean i had a bad headache, my ears felt blocked, i felt light-headed, i struggled to concentrate on things, felt lethargic and sudden movements caused dizzy spells. I still didn't feel great on Saturday morning, hence my 'fed up' message but as the day wore on i started to perk up a bit. By the time Saturday evenings meal with Morticia, WITGB, CC and the Knass family came around i was feeling much better and was hopeful that by the morning i would be completely recovered. However i woke up the next morning feeling not much better than i did on Saturday morning and so just couldn't get motivated for the race. I got to the stadium and started to warm up but felt a bit lightheaded, still had a bad headache and i thought about not bothering. But, i decided i would stick with the 'start off at MP and see how it goes' plan.
Chapter 2- The first 16 miles. (did i mention it was bloody windy too?!)
The start was very congested! The first 200 metres were on the track and then through a tunnel under the stand. First bottleneck, had to walk for about 10 seconds. Then after another 100 metres there was a sharp left turn and a second bottleneck and more walking. After about a third of a mile i looked at my garmin and the ave pace was 9.15 and there were lots of runners getting a bit agitated. The congestion wasn't helped by lots of runners who clearly shouldn't have been in the 2.40 - 3.00 pen, especially the four blokes carrying the girl on a stretcher. Things improved slightly but the first mile still came in at 7.28. There was obviously no point trying to get that time back early on so i just wrote off mile 1 and started the '6.45 pace' plan. But i could tell straight away that, like at Leicester a few years ago and also at Lake V recently, my legs felt a bit heavy and that i was having to try harder than i should have to hit the pace. I did my best to remain positive but deep down i was thinking that it was probably going to go tits up at some point in the second half. I kept knocking out the miles along the Amstel river but by mile 12 i was beginning to struggle and my mood wasn't helped when my garmin reached 13.1 miles, the halfway inflatable arch wasn't even in view and i realised my garmin was a bloody mile out. It took me about another 90 seconds to reach halfway and i was on 1.30.30ish. Bollocks! This was the low point of the race. I was knackered, i had been running slower than i though i had been and i now had to somehow pick the pace up and do a neg split. And then i turned the next bend, straight into a strong headwind and spent the next few miles knowing that it was all over, again!
Chapter 3 - The last 10 miles.
After about 16 miles we were off the river and back on road. I remember making a left turn and the headwind disappeared and suddenly it felt so much easier to run. This gave me a lift and i gave myself a big kick up the arse. I had 10 miles to go, i assumed i was probably still outside of sub 3 pace and if it was going to happen i needed to kick for home from here. It knew it meant that i could blow up even sooner but there was nothing to lose. I thought about all the Tuesday evening runs with Jonah on the MW way. We had been knocking them out at MP and quicker in mud, wind and rain so surely i could manage 10 miles on race day. So i gritted my teeth and picked up the pace. And in doing that i started to move up through the field and this gave me a boost too. The only problem was that i could no longer trust my garmin as it was so far out. Plus it was set on 'miles', the markers were in 'k's' so i didn't know if i was ahead or behind schedule, all i knew was it was going to be a close call. As you all know from experience every mile from then on got tougher but despite that i found myself able to maintain the pace. Usually my legs give up on me at this point but the extra training was paying off and i got through my usual 'blow up' point of 18-20 miles and was still able to push on! But with 3 miles to go i really began to struggle and i was going through mental torture too as i still didn't know if or how far i was ahead of schedule and i still had the fear of blowing up. A 1 minute 'stomach cramp/ i need a gbm right now' panic came and went and then the cramp started in my calves. At first it was just twinges but then bad attacks that seized my calves up for about 20 seconds, but i just ran through them and it went away for a minute or so before returning. With 2 miles to go the pain was horrendous and i was absolutely shitting myself as i knew it could all still go wrong and i was still assuming sub 3 was going to be touch and go. Into the last mile and the cramp got so bad i had to stop and stretch! Sheer terror at this point! I actually shouted "NOOOOOOO!!!" as i thought my legs were going to give up on me. I set off again and saw the '1k to go' sign but i was too scared to look at my garmin to see how much time i had. Then cramp again and again i had to stop and stretch! Beyond terror now! Then the stadium came into view, i went round a bend a saw Morticia who had a 'pleased/what are you doing here?' look on her face. AND THEN i saw the 500m to go arch with a clock next to it. '2.56.something!!' "OH THANK F**K FOR THAT! I have never so relieved in my life! I turned into the run up to the stadium and i heard the dutch bloke on the PA say "Lee Barratt from Shtockport Harriers will be going sub 3". Into the tunnel and Jenny Knass was there shouting me on. Onto the track , 200 meters and then i crossed the line.
Chapter 4 - I'm nearly done now.
I can't tell you how many times i have pictured myself crossing the finishing line for my first sub 3. In my head i would be punching the air, grinning and then hugging and high 5ing everyone. The reality was that i was so tired, so drained and so much in pain that there was no joy at all, i just felt awful! I felt dizzy so leant myself up against a barrier and i was saying to myself that i would never ever do another marathon or possibly even run again. I think i may even have been close to tears such was my discomfort, and i NEVER cry! Once out of the stadium i felt really disorientated and got the shakes badly and needed to lie down. I've seen people after marathons wrapped in foil, looking like death warmed up but i never thought i would ever get like that. Anyway, i better wrap this up. I said on here a few weeks ago, during virus 1, that i was hoping i was i such good shape that i could go sub 3 despite not feeling 100% and that was obviously the case. Even now my sub 3 euphoria hasn't kicked in but hopefully it will on one the of nights out! My next goal? Sub 2.55? Sub 2.50? Right now i would take a sub 3 that i could enjoy just a little bit.
Inspirational. Bask in the glory and never do another one (I remember you saying a year or so ago that if you went sub 3 you would do no more) would be my advice. Fell running and ultras is the way to go!
GBM very nice running, now the barrier is broken faster times will come when you are not suffering from bubonic plague, rabies, or whatever.
Not many people are so lacking in focus that they dont get round to going sub3 until their 31st mara , but hey its done now. Must thank GBM/Jonah for dragging my sorry a**e round the track a few times. A bit of HTFU makes all the difference.
GBM- i think we all want to know what happened to the girl on the stretcher, well run btw
GBM - Fantastic Stuff!
I find myself strangely moved, and inspired to change my ways, knuckle down and put in the hard hours of practice, so that one day I too might write a race report that long
GBM - a great effort and a gripping race report! Enjoy your short break from running.
Inspirational stuff GBM, makes all my efforts at the 23 mile point seem quite pathetic.
If anyone wants a place in this Saturdays Snowdonia Marathon then let me know. And i also have a place available in the Luton Marathon. Both free to a good home.
Also! Reading back there seems to be 2 post marathon nights out planned. One this Saturday and the one i mentioned on Sat 3rd Nov. From messages on here and people i've spoken to it seems to me that there aren't too many who can make the 3rd so how about we put it back a week to the 10th. This is just an option for us all to discuss and to see which night is best. Sorry to confuse matters further.
Well done Poacher. Top secret sub 3 running
Nice one Eric, race full is great news.
GBM - Should be ok for 10th, great race report.
Noooooo I can't do 10th!
Lol!! Ok then, how about we organise a piss up on each of the next 3 Saturdays and we can just turn up to the one or ones we can make? I will start a list!
Saturday 27th Oct - JS, JK, GBM,
Saturday 3rd Nov - NI, GBM,
Saturday 10th Nov - PPP, WITGB, CC, Jonah8, GBM,
I have a raging chest infection, sore throat and cold so beginning to think Sundays efforts not so bad for an old woman dying of diptheria. Would explain why I felt so sh*te from start to finish.
Don't know Poacher but well done .
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