London 2008

Sub 3:30 Anyone

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15/04/2008 at 00:16
Chapter 2              Knowing that  from my extensive training for  this marathon that I could push through difficult spells and that’s what happening here,  by mile 13 my spirits had picked up.  I got to mile 14 and stationed myself on the left hand side to see the elite runners coming the other way about their mile 21. By mile 15 when the rain was heaviest and I was coldest I felt most miserable. This was the worst point in the race ; I tried to revive by drinking at least half a lucozade and promptly nearly threw up. I pushed along and almost stopped with cramp , but kept going) . I revived considerably at mile 17 near the  RW supporters where my wife and daughter were to hand me energy gels .  I drew much strength form that.  I didn’t feel the wall and I didn’t feel on empty; it was just my muscles get cold and ache more in the cold, I was drinking enough.   I kept going and despite feeling cramp threaten I kept running knowing that if I stopped I might cease up completely.    My race strategy (which worked very well despite my drop in pace ; it kept me going ) was : 1st 6 miles warm up to mile 6-22 a 16 mile  race ; miles 22-end hang it there !!..  This worked well well.  Mile 21 I saw my wife and daughter again ; I only saw them because my daughter , who’s an actor has a well trained voice !  The eery silence in the tunnel just before the mile 24 was test but I focused on the next 10 metres then the next and didn’t look at the end of the tunnel.   At  the  mile 24 mile marker the endorphins kicked in and a big smile broke out on my face and was greeting people every few metres with (‘smile  , there’s no pain here (liar) ! ‘   This outward displacement of the pain   actually worked up til that point I had largely blocked out the crowds as I can find them a distraction not help .  I felt strong even though I was in pain at this point and a PB of 3:45 was was just about in sight.  With about 700 metres to go  I felt very sick and took about three to 4 minutes to get going again )  I ran very fast for  the last 250 metres through the finish ans felt ecstatic that I felt so much better than when I ended up in the medics tent 2 years ago with hypothermia and tachycardia) . 
15/04/2008 at 00:20

Chapter 3

The rain started again just after I collected my bag  but no one to wipe the smile of my face !   Yes my finish time was 03:53:47, about 6 mins  short of PB , but I felt I had conquered my mountain in that I pushed after my disastrous miles 14-16 . I was very pleased with miles 22-26 as it was the strongest I’ve ever felt at this stage of a marathon.   I would not have changed anything in my race preparation or the way I ran the race ;the excellent advice form cub member RW training schedules and e mails plus the inestimable encouragement form al those on the RW 3:30or bust forum.  Coping with all weather is something I need to be able to do better ; I really do feel if the partial sun had kept me warmer all through the race I would have got a PB . Great day great race and I wasn’t passed by a single rhino and I beat Ben Fogle!   We celebrated with a family meal in a pub in South London and I have already planning my Triathlon races for the summer .  Sorry this is a bit long but as I probaly won't post il FLm next year at least its got it out of my system Well done all especially RFJ and AA . 
15/04/2008 at 11:39
Well Done Drk . I finished in a pb myself of 3hrs 45 . I walked and ran the last six miles more walking than running , i never put in enough miles from when i got my entry through my club ballot so i have no one else to blame except myself . But i cannot thank the spectators enough boy do they give you the will to kick in . I have always dreamt of running the FLM  and turning that corner on the mall and seeing the finish line but in reality it was a nightmare for me my calves  were so cramped it was agony those last 300 metres were like forever for me i really did not think i would reach that finish line . But i did a learn a lesson into the bargain which is dont  think you can just turn up a run a marathon because you cannot so yes i agree with all the people who may read this thread and say it was my own fault and i totally agree with them , anyway enough self pity from me . Well done to all who ran and hope you all enjoyed the day . Roll on next year
15/04/2008 at 11:54
Anyone know when the photos are likely to be available?
15/04/2008 at 12:22

Drk - Thanks for the interesting & honest race report - I always pick things up from the reports of fellow runners and yours is no exception.  As you rightly say you were pleased with your result even though the weather for you was a nightmare - well done for never giving up.  Take it as a great plus point - you avoided the dreaded wall which can ruin the enjoyment and achievement of a marathon for many. 

Any more race reports out there?

15/04/2008 at 12:56

RFJ - what can I say.  My heart goes out to you.  Well done.

I am trying to analysis my race and come to the conclusion that I went too fast at the beginning.  I did the first 5 in 36:05 and then wondered whay I wasnt relaxing and I was finding it hard work.  I struggled on mentally until 10 knowing that I wasnt going to get there in my aim time (My race plan was 73/4 for first 10, 76/7 for second 10 and then a 10k in 50 for 3 20).  Got to 10 in 1 14 which was good, but at time thought I was way out.  Mentally struggled again until 13 where husband was waiting.  1 39 at half way, but again wanted quicker.  Second half - gave up looking at mile splits and just tried as hard as could.  miles 14 - 16 needed a poo, but couldnt see the paortacabins.  Saw some after I passed them, so knew had to hang on.  Pace was starting to slow now.  Portaloo at 16 - wasted about 90secs.  Then felt better.  Got to 20 in 2 35 - thought still on for 3 25 - but forgot how bad the last 10k is.  Got second wind and went ok for next few miles - 8 15 pace.  Mentally hard as knew could walk in from here and would still get a good time.  Battled with mind and told myself I could walk after I get to the finish.  Knew if I walked at all I would be finished.  Just a mental game and fortunatley my legs won.  But, then mile 24 - 10:34 ??  Dont really know why.  Mile 25 was 8:26 then 8:01 for mile 26.  As turned the last corner saw clock and worked out had 50 secs to get  3 28 ??  Sprinted and came in 3 28 58.  This was exaclty one min quicker than Toronto and 2 and half mins quicker than FLM07.  Felt knackered at the end.   Pain on my face at the end my luggage bag felt like concrete.  No smiles on the photos in horse guards parade like last year - just anguish.  Pleased but not elated.  Thinkdisappointed that I didnt enjoy it as much as I wanted to.  Lesson - try to control pace more in first 10k. 

10k splits - 45:48, 47:59, 51:23(included 90secs portaloo stop), 52:39.  How to improve - so slower in 1st 10k to maintain pace for longer.  Take note Lorenzo. 

15/04/2008 at 14:05

Big well done to DRK and JD, may not be the times you were looking for but still very god indeed and some great honest reports and analysis too, great stuff.

1st post FLM run today 3m easy...

15/04/2008 at 14:41

JD, I came out with a similar feeling, pleased but not elated.

Up to 8 weeks ago my training was going perfectly and my public target of 3.30 had become a private target of 3.15 (all of my shorter race times apparently point to me being able to run a 3.10 marathon) and then bang, achilles tear. I did the predictable thing of not taking the injury seriously enough because of the concern over missing key training and this of course worsened the situation. After trying for 5 years to get into FLM there was no way I backing out. An 18 mile run with 2 weeks to go had rebuilt some of my confidence but there was still the niggling doubt in the back of my mind.

 Race day came and I had decided that I was going to be cautious because of the injury and my only previous marathon experience, hitting the wall at 19 miles and virtually crawling home in 3.42.

The first hour of the race flew by and I felt that I was running within myself. My half split of 1.47 told me that I was running at a very comfortable pace and all of the pain up to that point had been temporary and gone after a couple of miles (hip, back, shoulder at varying stages).

My plan had been to reach 20 miles in under 2.40, which would leave me 50 minutes for the last 10k. I reached it in 2.42 and still felt ok, 48 minutes for a 10k no worries but then shortly after the 20 mile point I began to feel discomfort in the achilles and this seemed to spread to pain in other parts of my left foot. Even at 23 miles I was still on for a 3.30 finish but I managed to take 28 minutes for the last 3.2 miles, meaning that the last 10k had taken 52 minutes.

All in all I ran an even split 1.47/1.47 but for some reason it felt like a positive split which has left me thinking was I too cautious. I know that I'll never know which way it would have gone (faster time or wall).

Hardly able to walk now, nevermind run, so it's off to the physio tomorrow to see what recovery time I can expect. I'm feeling impatient already.

Hope that I can secure a place for next year, I feel like I've got a lot more to give.

15/04/2008 at 15:19

RFJ - 3 mile run today, I am in awe of you. I tried to run a few paces but nearly fell over! - Think I will need to leave it until after tomorrow's post race massage before I try again.

JD - Congrats on another sub 3:30 marathon.  Take my hat off to you for upping the pace so much for the last two miles - IMHO a true demonstration of what it takes to be a marathon runner. 

Domsk - Hope you get good news from the physio tomorrow.  Great report, better to have tried and missed the ultimate target than never tried and spent years wondering.  Well done.

15/04/2008 at 15:25

 I cant run today - so well done RFJ.  I did do 5 on bike which was ok. 

Domsk - I had similar times for runs and races pre FLM and after a comfortable 20 mile race 2 34 I was sure I could do 3 20 and privately to get ambition of 3 15.  I wanted to push myself and see if I could maintain a fast pace to get 3 15 - hence the fast start.  In hindsight perhaps too fast, but my theory was that I wanted to push myself to see if I could do it.  I always start too fast so a faster second half for me was not really an option.  I know I didnt do it, but I am now trying to take some satisfaction from the fact I tried for a 3 15 and now know that I am not there yet.  Next time - I will try to stick to a pace from the start - but my fear is that I will still slow.    Anyway - I havent given up yet, and if I knock 1 min off each mara, and do 2 a year, it will only take me 7 more years to get that elusive sub 3 15. 

15/04/2008 at 16:07
I didnt say it was easy......, but after about 5 mins everything was starting to wotk again where it should and became quite pleasant......., now posting on 2009 thread..... with New Forest or Abingdon later in the year.
15/04/2008 at 18:29

Cheeky 4.4 tonight, got carried away legs felt good so went too fast, only fractionally slower than a tempo run for me .  Thats never happened before! maybe it gets easier LOL

Could someone post link to 2009 forum pls..................

I guess GFA don't have to do on-line ballot? worried about missing out by presuming that..........

15/04/2008 at 19:24
18/04/2008 at 22:21

Well done to you all.

 I managed to get round in 3:25:13

I was pushing for sub 3:20 but I hit the wall around 21-22 miles.

The last 4 - 5 miles were a killer.

Thanks 2 you all for all the support.

21/04/2008 at 15:43

Wow - awsome stuff and fab tales, even those who didnt get their heart's desire! My feedback is delayed because after london we went straight to stanstead and flew out to Tuscany on Monday morning - for proper recovery with lots of lovely cheap wine and warm sunshine

I've put my report on the site already, in brief -  I started on Green line and actually got there on time, although the place was very crowded already.  But having disposed of my baggage while it was sunny - it did cloud over and I was getting cold before we all started off - I spotted smiffie in the loo queue (I was in another queue - recognised the sox and of course the name emblazoned on vest).  I was in pen 3 - near the back where it was packed to overflowing!!  Started fine (after the shuffling) and maintained a comfortable and careful 8mm pace to halfway.  Felt really good.  Wasnt bothered by rain, thought it was funny as we were really drenched! In fact I generally enjoyed myself and was feeling really good until that 24 mile tunnel.  In there the gremlins got into my head (and legs) and I succumbed to tiredness, heaviness and - walking... .  Then I knew that 3.30 wasnt going to happen, so carried on walking until we emerged and the crowd gee'd me up again!  Bl**dy Big Ben didnt motivate me and wouldnt get any closer for ages ! Yes I was running very slowly and feeling miserable.  BUT once I saw the finish, I perked up for a nice photo shot finish , even though my time was 3:35.  Once over the line - I felt fine and I even managed to stretch before bunging on clothes and wondering off to find family and friends. 

I will be back.  CT you're an inspiration, I will attempt to follow your footsteps, although I'm not going to try for such a fab time - just want to beat that 3:30.

AA - yes it's me, c'mon - you must be there next year! 

21/04/2008 at 20:59
LOL Albee, is my running top subtle  Knee Highs were brill and legs recovered way quicker this year.....  got them to support my dodgy calf's................

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