RW Forum Six – Sub 3.30

Sarah Osbourne with Minni

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22/04/2013 at 10:31
Carbo loading for saturday;

Breakfast; musili, branflakes and rice crisps with some dried banana chips, followed by a bowl of pinapple and melon with greek yogurt, and a toasted muffin and jam. I suprisingly didnt miss my full cooked english as much as I thought I would.

Mid morning snack; bagel with jam

Lunch; half of a nutrigrain cereal bar and 3 jelly babies (think i ate so much at breakfast I wasnt too hungry and we couldnt find anything for me to eat at the pub we went to).

Evening meal; Pizza spirale (warm cheese bread) and agnello tagliatelli (lamb, tagliatelli and tomatoe based sauce)

Super; nutrigrain bar

69 % carbs, 11% protein and 20% fat....think the cheese bread made the carbs less favourable
22/04/2013 at 10:43
Forum 6 sub 3:30

race day!

Woke up at 6 am full of energy and excitement, this was despite me waking up at 1:30 when chris went to the bathroom, at about 3:30 when I was sent a good luck text and at 5:10 which i think was just down to nerves!

I quickly got ready and then went down for breakfast at 6:20 all packed and ready to go to the start. I joined my other two friends from maltby for breakfast...all of us looking slightly nervous. For breakfast I had my trust worthy cheese toasty! We made our way to the coach for 7 and was taken to the start.

We arrived in the green zone by 8 am. I wasnt going to take my phone as I was worried about leaving it in the bag I was handing in, but due to me hoping to meet up with Minni I took it with me. She was on the train as we settled down on the grass. I was feeling slightly nervous by this point and cold. Was starting to get my raynauds and was wondering if i would need to run in gloves!!!!

After having a snack (bagel and jam), and paying a visit to the loos, we decided to put our bags on the buses. I had text Minni and hadnt had a reply at this point...I only realised after the race that my text failed to send.

After putting everything on the bus and thankfully deciding not to run in gloves and take a cap I went to the toilet for one last time before joining pen 4 with 5 mins to spare. As I wanted an additional toilet stop I had lost my friends by this stage.

We had a 30 sec silence for Boston and then the race began. It took me around 1 min 20 to cross the line.
22/04/2013 at 11:00
The first 6 miles of the race was quite congested but despite this I managed to maintain a good pace. Last year I recall having to stop and walk before one mile due to a bottle neck and also can remember lots of slower runners in front of me getting in my way. Today it wasnt like that. There were a few slower runners in front but alot of them were going at my pace, a few quicker. In the first 6 miles the crowds didnt seem as numerous as last year, I dont know if this was because I was at a different start to last year or due to Boston. After 5-6 miles the supporters crew however and there was just as much support as last year.

I kept an eye on my first few mile splits, these were 1; 7:51, 2; 7:41, 3; 7:41, 4; 7:48, 5; 7:51. I was hoping to try and stay between 7:50 and 8:00 for the first 10 miles, I did take miles 2 and 3 slightly fast but luckily not too fast that it affected me. I was also keeping an eye on how much further I was running, by mile 6 I noticed I had run 0.04 miles further so I decided to try to stick to the blue line.

At mile 8 I had stopped trying to remember my splits as I knew I wouldnt be able to, instead I was working out how many seconds I had banked to allow me to go alittle slower later if necessary...inbetween this I was taking in the atmosphere, saying thankyou to all those cheering me on and shouting my name and I was high fiving as many children I could. I had decided the night before that no matter what time I get I wanted to enjoy the whole experience.

At mile 8-9 there was a gentleman running beside me who had his distal right arm missing, so just a stump at his elbow and he had an artificial right leg below the knee. Seeing him run was so inspirational, it must be so easy for these people to give up, but here he was trying to run a marathon and was giving it his all....if he can do it then surely I can... I was running beside him for quite a while and became quite defensive when a lady with a pram run out infront of me and him to cross the race course...there are some stupid people around...could have nearly been a collison between us, the lady and the bady....I have to admit I shouted something at her!

I had got into a steady pace now and was enjoying myself.
22/04/2013 at 11:13
At around mile 12 I became aware of my left calf. It didn't hurt but just felt tight. I was slightly concerned as I wasn't even half way and it had actually gone tight the previous day whilst walking and had been slightly uncomfortable. I altered my pace and stride slightly and was relieved when it had settled down by the time I had crossed tower bridge...previously my favourite part of the race.

Just before mile 13 I saw my parents, chris and the others from maltby running club, so shouted and waved....the next time I would see them would be at 22.5 was in between this section last year that I started to struggle. This was in the back of my mind, but I kept thinking about the photo Minni had sent me on FB, with seb coe saying trust in the training and the fact that I had taken on so much more nutrition than last year. My pacing was still going good and was inbetween 7:40-7:50 min/mls as planned (for between miles 10-20). By mile 15 I had realised that I had run 0.09 miles to much, so I knew that I had to run quicker than 7:49 min/mls to get a sub 3:25 which I was still hoping to get.

I lost my signal on my watch after mile 15 when I went through that tunnel. This messed my pacing up so I just ran at what I thought was the same pace as previously, although when I reached mile 16 and compared the time on the clock with that on my pacing band, I think I must have picked up my pace slightly in the shade that the tunnel provided.

I really couldnt believe how warm and sunny it had become. There appeared to be little shade on the course and it was getting warmer by the mile!

Mile 16 came and went and I was relieved that I was still feeling wall like in the previous year.

I put my head down and got on with the run...willing my way to 18 miles....I had decided that if I could make mile 18 then I wouldn't have any problems the rest of the idea why.
22/04/2013 at 11:24
My watch went a little strange in between miles 17 and 18 for some unknown reason. It said I was running at 8:30-9:00 min/mls despite me feeling that I was running at the same pace. Despite me speeding up and starting to over take lots of people around me it still said I was running slower than 8 min/mls. Im so glad that I decided to ignore it as when I reached the 18 mile mark I worked out that I had been running much quicker than my watch was saying.

I think this faster mile actually helped my legs recruiting some fast twitch fibres and resting some of the slower ones, as the slight fatigue which was starting to set in seemed to improve.

I was on the count down now after mile 18, less than 10 miles to go until the finish and only 2 miles to go until my warm up finished and the race began. Still no wall!

At 20 miles I picked up my pace and was running between 7:30 and 7:40 min mls, I think some of this was due to the excitement of knowing that I only had 6.2 miles left and because I knew I would be seeing my friends and family again soon. I also was thinking of all those times when my legs have felt tired and they have benefitted from speeding up rather than slowing down.

Just after 22 miles I spotted one of the Maltby runners up infront. He hadnt come down with us on the coach and was one of our better runners. I caught him up thinking it would be nice to run with someone for a while to distract me from the last 4 miles but he was suffering. He only managed to say that he felt awful and he didnt look to have the energy to talk or be talked at so I ran off infront,

After seeing my friends and family at 22.5 miles and waving at the cameras, I knew that the next time I would be seeing them was at the finish....I put my head down and carried on with sheer determination....still felt surprisingly good and was over taking so many people.
22/04/2013 at 11:34
I was egging myself on to mile 24 now....thinking that this was the last stop where I would be having any nutrition and then that would be it.

I was still feeling great and smiled to myself at the point where I stopped and walked for a minute or two last year in the tunnel near the end.

At this point last year I felt awful, my legs hurt, and I was disorientated. I didint know if I wanted to walk or run, eat or be sick, this year I still felt great. At the other side of the tunnel the support was spectacular, there were so many people at the side of the course cheering you on...which I completely missed last year. Their cheers made me want to run faster.

By mile 25 I knew that I had cracked it and decided to push myself on faster, It was so encouraging feeling so strong at this stage, and be able to over take people. II didnt see london eye, Big Ben, Westminster last year, this year I was taking them in with delight and tried to wave and smile at some of the cameras around me.

I felt like I kept speeding up in the last 800m and decided to try to do a sprint finish in the last 100-200 m (and managed just under 7 min mls) as I crossed the line.

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would feel so good crossing the line of a marathon, especially after my experience the year before.

Official time 3;23;13 and most importantly and enjoyable race!
22/04/2013 at 11:35
Split Time Time Diff min/km
5K 10:25:33 00:24:01 24:01 04:49
10K 10:50:08 00:48:36 24:35 04:56
15K 11:14:30 01:12:59 24:23 04:53
20K 11:38:45 01:37:14 24:15 04:52
1/2 11:43:58 01:42:27 05:13 04:46
25K 12:02:59 02:01:28 19:01 04:53
30K 12:27:05 02:25:34 24:06 04:50
35K 12:51:04 02:49:33 23:59 04:48
40K 13:14:52 03:13:20 23:47 04:46
26.2 13:24:44 03:23:13 09:53 04:31
Edited: 22/04/2013 at 11:41
22/04/2013 at 11:43
Chick, you dont actually look that bad...although I know photos can be deceiving! Congrats on beating the guy next to you by a minute...always thought women were the stronger species!!!

Im going to try and work on my speed alittle now, but Ive only got a couple of months
: (
Edited: 22/04/2013 at 11:44
22/04/2013 at 11:50
Malcs i didnt manage the sub 7 min/mls for long though only the last 100m or so.

Looking at my times I gradually increased my pace throughout the second half. Some of the miles seemed quicker but I guess I was having to run slightly more quicker due to the extra (roughly 0.1 mile that I did). Did you run much further than the 26.2 miles?

Im sunburnt on my neck, shoulders and arms...going to have to start practising running with sun cream on!!

I cant believe that you had to deal with such strong winds at that late stage in a marathon, that much have been awful for you.....and you still managed a sprint finish
: )

When will you next eat a jelly baby??
Edited: 22/04/2013 at 11:51
22/04/2013 at 11:54
forgot to say, when I got to the end and collected my bag, Minni had sent me a text before the race to say she was over at the celeb pen with some of the other people from RW...I was so disappointed that I had missed her again. After the race she was already on the train when she received my text to say that I was going to the meeting point.
22/04/2013 at 12:09

Absolutely FANTASTIC!! I knew you'd be BRILLIANT!! Well done!! All that hard work paid off!! Woo woo!!

22/04/2013 at 12:21

Brilliant report Sarah. I'll post mine on the 26.2 thread later. 

Sorry to hear that you missed Minni. I'm sure she's just as disappointed not to have been able to catch you too.

Top job on the carbo loading - doesn't it make such a difference? 

Really impressed with your endurance. To feel strong at the end as you did must be fantastic. I felt alot better than in previous campaigns but not like you, my legs were burning.

Jelly babies are off the menu for quite some time!

The sprint finish was wonderful and it was all down to Jen who ran the last 0.2 with me. I checked my watch and we did that at 7:30mm pace. 

You did really well to do London in just 0.1 over distance. I've always been at least 0.5 miles over. Yesterday it was almost spot on - only 0.01 miles over (only 16 metres)

Winds were tough. I don't know how strong the wind was but I felt it for sure. At least it was only for 4 miles of the course in total. The rest was perfect conditions.

Are you planning on running this week or having a full week off?

22/04/2013 at 14:12

Congratulations Sarah what a great read.  I always thought you'd nail it but I'm a bit superstitious

I didn't have such a great race, I had a headache all day on Saturday, and right up to the last minute I was thinking about deferring, but I thought I could manage 4:45 ish so I went ahead.

I loved my usual walk over Tower Bridge, got to the start, everything went well, but within half a mile I was sweating... profusely shall we say! I still felt OK but I knew I must be dehydrating and my mouth was like sandpaper. I'd started at 8:30 for 2 miles then moved up comfortably to 8's then 7:55.  I let the 2   3:30 pacers go past - those groups are lethal! - and went through half way in 1:47 so I knew 3:30 wasn't going to happen that day, but then I started to go downhill fast.  The noise became overwhelming and I began to crave shade, eventually under a flyover at 20 ish I stopped to get my bearings and a couple of people came over to help! I asked if if I looked bad and this woman said, "well, yes." so I took a few minutes to recover then walked to the finish.

But, Mrs P assumed that when she saw the 4:15 people on the emankment that I had passed her so she went to the finish, I wasn't there so she eventually went to the runers aid thing, so whern I got to the finish, I couldn't find her.  We eventually met up at the hotle a couple of hours later.  TBH I had been a bit blase and we did not have a specific emergency plan.

I enjoyed the occasion though, a wonderful day to run in London, and very moving.

It's very kind of you to say those things Sarah, but this thread has certainly motivated me through the winter months and like everyone else I've enjoyed your progress and I hope I'll be around when you whup your dad.

Re the sunburn I look like a proper wife-beater now!


22/04/2013 at 14:33

Hi Sarah,

Congratulations, that’s a brilliant time, really well done! To be able to pick up the pace in the latter part of the race like that is really impressive and it sounds like you had a perfect race all round. Do you have a secret running name? I was trying to look you up on the VLM website to see how you did but couldn’t find you.

Like you, I thought the first few miles were relatively quiet compared to when I’d done it before, and my Garmin was also misbehaving a bit at one point – it had me doing mile 19 in 9:16 which is definitely wrong, I think the tall buildings at Canary Wharf may have confused it.  My full race report follows shortly…

22/04/2013 at 14:35

Hi Malcs,

Well done, that's a great PB! Definitely deserves a celebration Jaffa cake!


Well done to Minni as well, great time!




22/04/2013 at 14:41

I'm sorry your race didn't go so well Mr P. I'm glad you still managed to enjoy the occasion and I hope you're feeling better now. That's a good point about having an emergency plan, I can't say I had one either.

22/04/2013 at 15:55

OK, here’s my race report.

I have to say that despite having counted down the weeks and days to the race, when I woke up on Sunday morning I couldn’t quite believe that it was race day and didn’t feel mentally prepared for it at all, and travelling to the start I felt quite nervous. It also didn’t help when I managed to lose the energy bar I had brought with me to eat before the start – I think it fell out of the pocket of my shorts when I jogged to the toilet.

Still, once the race got underway I felt fine and my legs were feeling really good. There was obviously a lot of congestion at the start, particularly in the first mile, and I was about a minute behind schedule after mile 2 but I managed to speed up a bit and do the next 2 miles quite quickly and made the time up. I then tried to just relax and concentrate on keeping a steady pace and I managed to consistently knock out miles between 7:40 and 8:00 (apart from mile 10 when I lost about 20 seconds or so to a toilet break). I went through half way in 1:43:13 and knowing that I had a couple of minutes in hand by that time gave me confidence and helped me relax. At every mile after that I was totting up those spare seconds and working out at what pace I could do the remaining miles and still hit 3:30, so every time I managed to keep up my pace for another mile it made the remaining task seem just a little bit easier and it meant I wasn’t too concerned when I hit a bit of congestion around 15 miles, just going onto the Isle of Dogs.

Obviously as the race went on I felt it more in my legs, but at 20 miles I still felt reasonably OK and I was still managing to keep up a decent pace. I saw the people from my running club just before the 20 mile mark which gave me a bit of a boost and I knew my family would be watching just after 23 miles so looking forward to that spurred me on, as did actually seeing them of course. The last couple of miles were a bit tougher and that run down Birdcage Walk seems to go on for ever, but I managed a short burst of speed at the end and got over the finish line in 3:27:23, so I was absolutely delighted with that. In fact I did a little jump for joy as I went over the line and promptly got cramp in my hamstring, although once I had stretched it out I was fine.

I did have a bit of a tummy ache on the way home, probably a reaction to all of those gels and jelly babies.

22/04/2013 at 15:58

Here are my 5k splits

0-5k 25:05
5-10k 24:21
10-15k 24:19
15-20k 24:17
20-25k 24:29
25-30k 24:23
30-35k 24:21
35-40k 25:08

First half: 1:43:13
Second half: 1:44:10

I was really pleased that I managed to keep up such a consistent pace for most of the race. Even over those last miles when I knew I had enough time in hand and was giving my legs permission to slow down a bit they kept going. Mile 25 was the only one which was noticeably slower than the others and that was still 8:18.  

22/04/2013 at 16:25

Mr P - that's a real shame about your race being so tough. I have done a half marathon with a cold before but couldn't imagine doing a full marathon with one.

Supporters are always so positive so I guess when one of them agrees with you that you look in a bad way you've got to take notice. Sounds like you did the right thing in taking your time to get your bearings.

The heat is the one thing about London I don't like.

Andy - Many thanks, I can barely believe it. Sick of the sight of jaffa cakes too but I will have a cheeky beer when I feel up to it.

Well done yourself! That is a fantastic result. Excellent even pace and great that you still felt you could keep it up towards the end when it got tougher.

22/04/2013 at 16:27

I'm just home and preparing for the mega catch up and race report read but firstly Malcs, what time did you run????


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