Disastrous London Marathon

My race plan fell to pieces, i need to know i'm not the only one.

1 to 20 of 36 messages
22/04/2013 at 16:25

I did the London Marathon yesterday, my second Marathon (both London). Last year i finished in 4:41 (ITB injury hampered my training so i was just happy to get around). This year i finished in 4:22.

Prior to the Marathon this year though, everything went right. I trained well, did a lot of long distances, followed a training programme with my running club, injury free for the majority of my training. As a result, my target finish time was 3:50 (goong by my timing for other long distances 21, 22 miles...)

I was on course for this, but i threw up at mile 19, made it to mile 21-22 then i got pins and needles in my face, so painful, stopped running and fell in to some other runners. They helped me to the stewards who then helped me to the ambulance. I spent 20 minutes there. They told me i was tachycardic and needed to rest. In the end, i had to run / walk the last four miles in agony. Most of that was in tears of dissappointment.

The only problem is, everyone keeps telling me how proud i should be etc And i am, i'm genuinely proud of myself for getting around. But they can't seem to understand how dissappointed i am as well. Please tell me that there is someone else out there who is genuinely gutted about the time they got for the Marathon??

This is my first post, so please don't tear me to shreds.

22/04/2013 at 16:49

Congratulations Michael - you've done something that many people wouldn't even dare attempt. Of course it's frustrating when things go wrong, but completing in 4:22 is still a fantastic achievment, and an improvement on last year as well. Ok it's not the time you wanted, but much better to stop if you were tachycardic rather than continue and experience more severe problems further on.
Good luck next year!

22/04/2013 at 16:51

Micheal: OK, you didn't get 3:50, but it still a 21 minute PB.

Well done for finishing, sounds like a nighmare end.

22/04/2013 at 17:10

So you had all that happen to you and you still got a 19 minute pb? That's pretty darn impressive, I think. In the cold light of day, I guess you need to think about why you threw up in the first place, get some answers and then get that pb in the Autumn. Did you get too hot? Take on too many gels / isotonics that you were not used to?

Seriously, it sounds like a really good effort on a tough day. Well done for sticking it out. I don't think I would have.

22/04/2013 at 17:10

Well done Michael, I empathise as I felt the same after my first marathon.

I ran VLM yesterday as well, and suffered towards the end which meant I missed my (admittedly ambitious) target by 15 mins.  However this time I wasn't upset, I knew I'd tried my hardest and done something most people will never achieve.  I reminded myself that this time last year I was still unable to run following knee surgery - so to have made it there & completed the marathon was the big achievement, whilst hitting my notional target time would just have been icing on the cake.

Focus on the positives, and think what you could do better next time (e.g. was it the heat that affected you).  The marathon is a difficult beast, and even some of the best prepared runners suffered yesterday. That's part of the appeal, and what makes us all come back to try and conquer it again in the future.


22/04/2013 at 17:15

Thanks guys, that's pretty much what i needed to hear. I think when i'm speaking to people who aren't runners themselves, it's hard to believe what they are saying because they don't know how it feels.

Camlo    pirate
22/04/2013 at 17:38
the sun and heat threw me and with hindsight a revised target may have been sensible. I drank too much, took gels which I hate, needed the toilet and watched my goal slip away from halfway......
sounds like you hit the wall with a thud but there are lessons to take away and hopefully experience will help you when faced with the same in future. Glad you were able to continue - I felt so sorry for people who had to drop out completey.
22/04/2013 at 17:39

I can relate to that! When you've had a bad run and people (non-runners) keep telling you that it's better than no run at all and that they never would have been able to do it!

But I really feel for you, it must be terrible to experience, especially during a race. Just to pick yourself up and try again next year. The thing that I've found all runners have in common are determination and a refusal to give up. This will only define you as a runner!

22/04/2013 at 17:39

You beat me. I went in with an outside target of 4hrs, but ended up 4:33. 

First half went well. 2:02, so not too quick, but when I got into Docklands it all fell apart and I ended up walking quite a bit. Picked up a bit towards the end. 

In a bad way shorter and slower than my training runs. 

Not sure if it was the heat (which I hadn't trained in at all) or linked to the massive bruise I now have behind my knee. 

But then I learnt no-one cares what time you get and after 10 pints, neither did I. 

22/04/2013 at 18:33

Other comments have already been positive so I will take the opportunity to be a bit negative here. I ran the Paris marathon a couple of weeks ago targeting 4:00 but came in at 5:11!!!!! I had trained A LOT so was also super dissapointed. Same thing, people said I should be proud but I'm not at all. Only solution for me (and maybe for you) is to try again. ---- happens...

cougie    pirate
22/04/2013 at 18:35
What went wrong anders ? There must be a reason ?
22/04/2013 at 18:41

Yes, well to be fair on myself I did had a fever, was contemplating not running. Ran on panadol extras the whole way and have been ill since then.

Cheerful Dave    pirate
22/04/2013 at 18:51
Michael, there'll be lots of people gutted with their time but they tend not to be the first to post about it on the forums. Have a look through the results and compare half times with finish times - there'll be a lot who slowed down a lot more in the second half than you did.

Anders, so you're disappointed that you got ill, not because you ran like a muppet or hadn't trained? Not a lot you can do about that, always a risk when you have a big target race. Best solution is to enter another one.
22/04/2013 at 19:05

Anders/Michael I can't imagine how you must have felt. You both showed immense courage to finish and I'm sure this won't deter you from doing another one. Your experiences puts things into perspective. I ran my first ever marathon yesterday and was aiming for sub 3:15, my training went well apart from the usual niggles and fatigue. Had horrible cramps in my calf muscles on Saturday and was nearly a non runner. Managed to finish in 3:29 and was disappointed but on reflection it was a memorable experience and we runners should all be proud as we put ourselves on the line and push our bodies to the limit. Live to run another day and we will come back more determined and stronger from our personal experiences.

22/04/2013 at 19:52
Michael - your time yesterday is almost identical to my first marathon. Like you I was aiming sub 4, had a good first half and a nightmare second (for different reasons and luckily it didn't involve 20 minutes in an ambulance). It put me off trying again though for quite a few years which I regret.

Yesterday, my 6th marathon, I ran 3.16. Just saying...think positive and you never know what you can achieve.

Also put it into perspective. If you hadn't had that 20 minute enforced stop you'd have been very close to 4 hours...so you know you have the pace for it. Just need things to go right for you on the day and you'll nail it
22/04/2013 at 20:36

23/04/2013 at 08:46

I finished so I suppose that's all that really matters.

Ran my last 2 marathons back in September 2012, both in around 3h35 (PBs in both).

Got injured after changing shoes to some Nimbus 14s and never really managed that much in the way of training after that so a good 4-5 months of doing very little.
Managed a few "long" runs of just over 8 miles / 1hr and a handful of 5-6 milers, with peak weekly mileages of 27 miles (twice) about 3-4 weeks ago,

Started off slowly and hit the halfway point at 1h57, some 20 minutes slower than in training - not easy finding space to get any sort of pace so just plodded along with the flow.
Took water on for the first time at 14 miles or so and after that it was pretty much walk/run with too much walking that decimated my time.  Seemed to lose a lot of salt and legs were cramping a bit although to be honest I should have pushed through it more - quite capable so too much of a defeatist attitude from me rather than lack of ability even after little training.

Second worst marathon time for me (nearly every dodgy time I've had has been in April followed by May!)



23/04/2013 at 09:46

Hi Michael,  like you I was targeting under 4 hours, after finishing dead on 4 three years ago; Sunday became a struggle after 20 miles and I'm sure a lot of people will testify that their strategy went out of the window, possibly due to the radical change in temperatures we have been training in.

The disappointment doesn't stick with you for too long, just serves to drive you on again and you will get that time.

I'm slightly the other way on as I ended up run/walking between 20 and 23, but managed to finish in 3:57 - still think I could do better though, so the fact that you spent those 20mins away still means that you are not a quitter and better than you might be feeling right now.

23/04/2013 at 09:48

Fucking hell! You threw up and spent 20 minutes in an ambulance and still got 4:22!

Next time you won't throw up and you won't need the ambulance, you'll smash 3:50.

This is just fuel for the next race. When you've recovered, pick yourself out a nice marathon for later in the year or next year and go for it!

23/04/2013 at 10:03

I can feel your pain.  I had a really bad race, my first ever and I predicted it would take me 5:05 max but was hoping for a sub 5.

I was going well till about mile 11 when my knee started to play up (a pre existing injury flared up). I made it to mile 13 which by this point it was painful I ended up having to stop at the first aid tent every 2 miles until mile 21.  I ended up walking a couple of miles and finished 6:19.  I was in agony and absolutly gutted with my time.  My training had been going well apart from a few blips but so so gutted with my first marathon.

My knee is now swollen and needs attention.  

I said never again but I feel I need to do it one more time to prove I can do a sub 5.

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