RW Forum Six - Sub 3:30

Minni v Dubai Dave

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15/10/2012 at 10:47

Thanks DD. Sounds perfect.

15/10/2012 at 11:05
Report time...
Arrived in Peterborough nice and early on a cool, dry, sunny, almost windless autumn day. With a fast, flat course as well I knew there could be no excuses and I felt about 1:28 was possible based on my recent training.
Met up with the Minni family and Freemers and then joined the massive toilet queues. Finally got to the front 10 mins before the start meaning my warmup consisted of a quick jog to the baggage lorry and back.
Found Minni and Spoons at the 1:30 section at the start and then off we went. It was a big field of about 4,000 so the start was quite congested. The gun went and we shuffled forward to the line and then... kept shuffling as the usual array of people starting in completely inappropriate places slowed everything up. Hmmm, I hadn't planned on starting at 9mm pace!
Thankfully it thinned out fairly quickly and I managed to pick my way through and get into a good rhythm. First mile through the city centre in 6:40 and bang on my pre-race schedule.
15/10/2012 at 11:16
At around 2 miles I passed forever, said hello and was completely blanked she was in the zone! I was passing lots of people at this stage and feeling great - miles 2 & 3 got a bit quicker - 6:39, 6:35. Mile 4 included a small incline over a flyover and slowed to 6:41, miles 5 & 6 were 6:37 and 6:40. Nice consistent pacing. If I'm a bit short of detail about the course it's because there's not much to say about it. Flat and mostly through housing estates, the scenery wasn't exactly interesting, but there was plenty of support which was nice.
I'd been feeling really strong and confident but told myself to wait till halfway before even thinking of upping the pace. As we turned towards the halfway point down a long straight road with a slight wind in our backs and maybe a slight decline too I felt like I was flying. Crossed halfway in 44:05 and knew that barring a disaster the sub 1:30 was on. Thinking I should make hay while the sun shone I decided to push on.
15/10/2012 at 11:27
Miles 6-10 felt awesome - 6:31/6:32/6:36/6:38 - splits I never imagined I could run in a HM and I was passing people all the time.
Then it went a little bit wrong! For a start as we headed back through the underpass under the main road it started feeling a lot tougher, then my calves started to twinge with cramp. This happened the only other time I'd run a HM in racing flats, so I knew it was a risk but one I'd decided to take.
Miles 11 & 12 were a bit slower as I couldn't risk lengthening my stride for fear of my legs completely seizing up - 6:43/6:43. Mile 13 was painful - 6:52 - and several people I'd passed earlier came back past me. But finally we were back into the park and on the home straight. The last section was on grass which wasn't good for the cramp at all and I just had to keep plodding on to the line and a few more people sprinted past me.
But I'd done it! After being so close on my last two HMs I'd finally cracked 1:30 - and by a decent margin too! Very pleased especially considering the training I missed in the summer and the low mileage I've been running. Now wondering what I can do at Norwich in 6 weeks!
15/10/2012 at 11:28

Ok so ,the Liverpool Marathon.

Arrived at Birkenhead Park the start area at about 8am in the first shuttle bus and the place was empty. The ground was soggy and my feet soon got wet so I was glad I brought a spare pair of socks later.Chatted to a few people and tried to warm in the sun as it rose.

Then it was time to get to the start. It  was all very relaxed and laid back, I waited in the first section but not too near the front ,it wasnt crowded andthen the race started.

As usual the pace was a stupid 6mm so I held back and had this strange experience of watching runners stream past me including charity runners etc.They would pay for it!

The fisrt 10k included the Wirral 10k runners .I wasnt sure how this would work but it was fine .There was no congestion.At 10k they went off to the finish and we carried on along the riverside front to eventually loop back towards the tunnel.I had my first gel at 6 miles.On the opposite side of the river impressive front of the city could be seen but it was a long long way away.Thanks goodness therew as no wind that area must be bleak at times

I planned to stick to a consistent pace under 7.15 and recorded these splits up to the tunnel when I lost signal

7.04, 7.11, 7.01, 7.05, 6.58, 7.03, 7.07 , 7.03, 7.07, 7.34, 7.04, 7.07,

The 7.34 was the inevitable call f nature-damn 30 seconds lost!!

Miles 11 and 12 and into the tunnel were run with a guy from Stafford who was aiming for a VLM GFA  at his first marathon attempt and Vicky a Liverpool Harrier who ran VLM in 3.07 this year.

So into the tunnel we went-nearly 2 miles. Immediatel the temprature rocketed.I ran with Vicky and another guy and we kept telling each other to control the pace on the long drag down as we knew we had to do tha same up to get out. Several times we checked our pace and then the half way marker appeared and we could hear drums beating inth distance though no evidence of light from the exit.The other guy went on ahead. Vicky started to struggle so I encouraged her to keep going.

Then we turned right continued up hill and saw day light and the noise got louder and louder.

To be continued...

15/10/2012 at 11:29
Sorry for running on!
15/10/2012 at 11:36
Any suggestions on how I can avoid calf cramps at Norwich are most welcome! I could just run in my training shoes but I much prefer the racing flats. So I'm wondering if I should do all my training in flats from now on to build my calves, wear compression socks or take a gel with electrolytes after a few miles (I don't usually have any gels, drink or even water during a HM - hmmm, maybe that's it actually) or all of the above. Anyone suffered from this before and found any solutions?
15/10/2012 at 11:48

Daren - all of those are worth trying as they can't do any harm.  I don't tend to cramp much, and if I do it's generally because I need a bit more fluid in me.  If I remember Norwich has cups rather than bottles, which is a pain, but even a few sips will help.

2old - waiting for the next instalment

15/10/2012 at 12:08

Liverpool Marathon part 2

We ran out of the tunnel into bright sunshine and deafening drumming and shouting. My wife was there but I didnt see her. We turned right  , to the north and I looked at my watch , it was frozen. I had no idea how long we were in the tunnel though it seemed quite a while. A signal returned and now my watch was recording 45mm the 35 mm.Vicky told me to reset my Garmin so I would at least have my pace reading to guide me.

At one stage somene said Vicky was 3rd female in the race. I asked her was she going to play safe and try to stay 3rd or go for higher things-she didnt answer.

Eventually I pulled away .There was a suprise hill up Water Street into the Liverpool business area and then the  long run along the front where the famous Liverpool 3 Graces are .The spectators were really encouraging.

Unfortunately as we approached the 18th? mile I knew Upper Parliamentt Street approoached.It is a longish steepish hill which you really dont want at that stage particularly when there are few other runners around to work with and those I could see were walking up the hill. I dug deep and stuck at it and was rewarded with gradual down hill run into one park and from there into another park. Runners were by now pretty strung out and I set myself the goal of staying on pace and reeling in people infront.Specatators were few and far between except on corners.

I started the return section and and part went near the oncoming runners and this inspired me to dig in

About mile 22/3 there  was  a long gradual uphill section and I had to push hard.My pace fell below target and then I reached the highest point and I knew it was down hill and flat. I saw the 25 mile marker,that was a bonus as I missed 24 and had less to do.

I blasted back down Parliament Street as the bulk of runners struggled up the otherside. My legs were getting a real hammering now. My pace was sub 7mm and then onto the river front-how much longer? I hate the last half mile of a marathon.

Mile 26 disaster, my left hamstring suddenly became rock hard and I had to walk. I thought id blown it but I relaxed and started jogging and was away again.Then around a left hand corner ,there was the finish line and I saw the clock reading 3.09 something, I found a sprint from somewhere and finished knowing Id beaten 3.10 . Job done.

Though my garmin didnt record all my post tunnel miles accurately I managed to get a lot and these giave a bit of an idea of my pacing from about 14.5 miles.

7.09, 7.06, 7.09, 7.38, 7.08, 7.05, 7.14, 7.12, 7.28, 7.31, 6.50, 5.49(0.8 of a mile).

So the last 2.8 miles were 7.31-uphill,6.50 downhill,5.49 flat to finish.

Conclusions- steady pacing is best particularly avoiding going into the lactic threshold,toilet stops cost valuable time, there were 3 particularly draining hills which probably cost me about a minute.Regular gel taking shouldnt be underestimated. The long MP pace runs in training made a real difference . I could probably find another minute possibly two on a flatter course all other conditions being equal. Next time press lap at each mile on my Garmin!!!-did I say next time?

It was a brilliant marathon, well organised and though quieter than the big ones Ive done , in a way I preferred it as it enabled me to concentrate and focus on what I was doing a lot better.

Legs feel battered though they have been worse and otherwise just feel spent. I need feeding up!

Thanks for all your congratulations guys,youre suport and advice has contributed greatly to me getting there


15/10/2012 at 12:09

Oh as a ps if you were wondering Vicky finished 7th female in 3.12

Edited: 15/10/2012 at 12:13
15/10/2012 at 12:23

Great race reports 2old and Daren

15/10/2012 at 12:38
Great report 2Old - and congrats on a brilliant performance again.
15/10/2012 at 12:40

Some stats from the chip recording

First 10k -41mins-  position 174 (56 seconds slower than last Sundays 10k?)

10k to Half-52.50-position 189

First Half- 1.33.50

Half to 20 mile-50.29-position 105

Second Half -1.36..01-position 103-- so I gained 86 places in the second half

Total no of runner 3500.  Last year 10000 approx.- will it be staged next year with that turn out?


15/10/2012 at 12:51

Great reports, Daren2old. You both made my lunch break

So, when is next time, 2old??

And are you doing VLM, Daren??

I wish we had Runpix in Germany  - I passed so many people in the 2nd half, I'd be really interested in some stats

15/10/2012 at 12:55

Chick-VLM next I suppose. Suprisingly my OH who is not 100% in favour of this running thing and friends thought it would be nice to go back to Chicago so that may be on the agenda for next year. I think my time qualifies me for New York too so I wonder....plenty of time to decide.

15/10/2012 at 13:21
No Chick, I won't be running VLM! I neither have the time or inclination to put in the miles needed to do myself justice in a marathon at the moment.
15/10/2012 at 13:26

Yet another weekend of fantastic racing, well done guys and gals!

Daren/Neil - congrats on slaying the 1.30 dragon! Nice report, sounds a quick, if uninspiring course. I'd definitely recommend compression socks - I trialled them too late for VLM but have been a staple since. They're brilliant and I can't rate them highly enough.

Minni - well done on your PB. A PB is a PB is a PB and as someone else said, by shaving 2 seconds off leaves it nice and beatable for your next one!

Freemers - you must be so happy with that. A long road back, but I reckon you'll smash TM as you are in great shape.

Spooons - well done on your sub 1.40. I'd take your arm off for that at the minute!

O4S - cracking report. You really do inspire us all, please stick around

Cooks - another PB. You're way too quick for this thread!

And speaking off too quick, 2Old, definitely performance of the week. Really well done and a lovely report to boot. You must be chuffed to bits with that - sounds a very tough course, so to finish in that time, and just about in the top 100 is a brilliant effort. Take it easy for a week or two (I'm sure you won't!). 


15/10/2012 at 13:29

And Barry - I had to pick up on your awards story. Top work! The place I work at put on awards do's, so we can go to one a week if we like. There's so much bad behaviour around that I wouldn't worry too much - someone at one of ours was so annoyed at not winning, they got absolutely trashed and set the fire alarms off at the Grosvenor. The hotel guests weren't best pleased... 

15/10/2012 at 14:03

Afternoon All,

Congrats all round, it seems like everyone had a successful weekend.

I finally got around to getting the 5 inch layer of dust off of the bike (last used for L2B 2009!), and managed a 16 miler, so hopefully not long before i'm able to run again. 

Downside was that Mrs Oompa grabbed the opportunity to coerce me into clearing out the garage and putting the bbq etc away for the Winter!!!

15/10/2012 at 14:37

Daren- nice report and even better pacing.Some very fast miles in the mix.I had to smile when you 'slowed 'down to 6.43 and 6.52 pace. Cant say why your calves cramped up but if it was both I would guess its an accumulation of lactic acid but im probably well off the mark.Whats next if not banging out fast marathons- you have to chase down Cooks' HM pb at least!

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