RW Forum Six – Sub 3.30

Sarah Osbourne with Minni

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24/04/2013 at 16:24

Afternoon all,

Minni - many thanks! And thanks also for the support and advice you have given to all of us on this thread. Thankfully I took your best advice of all - don't be shit!

Angela - don't worry, we certainly won't forget about you. The opposite in fact - all our attention is now on how you are going to do at Halstead, so no pressure  It would be nice to keep the thread going to see how everyone does in their autumn marathons (not me, I'm sticking to 10k's and HM's for the rest of the year). And of course we can discuss our training for SF 2015! It sounds like you have had a great holiday, have a safe trip back.  

Sarah - my legs were still a bit sore this morning but then I went to the gym and did half an hour on the cross trainer at a low level followed by some stretches and now I feel much better, although I'm not sure I'd fancy running 5 miles tonight. I did go to my running club last night but only so that those of us who did the marathon could have our photo taken wearing our t-shirts and medals, after that we went to the pub.

Sean - well done, I'm looking forward to reading your race report.

Dotty1 - well done as well, that's a great time!

24/04/2013 at 21:35
Hey hey Sarah, 7 stone! Yikes! U must be tiny . My long run this week is 12 miles. I did 4 yesterday- meant to do 6 today but not had time to fit it in with travelling...

AndyA, thanks I'm a bit concerned that my autumn marathon is too soon after Halstead, especially with the 100 mile bike ride inbetween.... Hmmmm what to do?
25/04/2013 at 12:17

My London Marathon 2013

Due to slow transport services I only managed to arrive at the start area about 20 minutes before ‘KO’ and wasn’t even nearly ready to go, not a fantastic start. I quickly found my way to the green, packed myself up like an old donkey (with carb gels) and made my way to the lorries. Once I had dropped my bag off and only had myself to worry about I made my way to the already completely packed pens. I didn’t have as long as I’d have liked to suss out my best tactics for getting into a more advanced pen, but had a little walk down the line and spotted a marshal chatting to a runner (distracted), so I quickly crept past him and turned my body away from the other marshal and managed to get into PEN 7 undetected. I was aware this wasn’t where I wanted to be, but that I had also just bypassed thousands of people in 8 and 9 and I made my way around to the far edge (as you lovely people advised) front of 7 and therefore, that was a heck of a lot better than I had been looking at 2 minutes before.

At this point we observed the 30 seconds silence for Boston, which by the way was universally flawless in the area I was in, both runners and spectators absolutely quiet. Once the whistle blew to signify the end of this, there was a big cheer and, to my surprise, they dropped the ropes between Pens. To which I looked around and swiftly took advantage of the situation, I went as far down the side as I could and my journey was finally ended around level with the 3:56 pacer and in sight of the 3:45 one. In this regard, I was pleased.

Things started moving and in the early miles I was pretty relieved at how much space there actually was. Obviously I was going to be running where I wanted exactly, but there was definitely to sign of slowing to anywhere the feared complete stop that had been mentioned. I tried my absolute hardest to stay with the pace that was dictated to me by the crowds, always remaining conscious that I should only take the gaps that opened up. I know that MALCS said to avoid jumping on and off the curbs etc, but at a lot of points in the early miles I definitely found it far better than staying in the stressful crowds. Every time I made my way up onto the paths it was due to being cut up and being left with the choice to either expel additional effort in slamming on the brakes, or moving up the curb and continuing there. I definitely feel like the route using the effort to continue momentum was the better bet than using the energy to slow down and then have to speed up again.

25/04/2013 at 12:17

In the middle of the race it was SOO WARMMMM, in the suburbia type areas, there was no wind and I was getting rather too warm for my liking. I took on as much water as I could and just ploughed on. I cruised through the miles up to Tower Bridge and felt good at that point.

At halfway I clocked 1:45:53 and was taking things at the pace that came naturally (if not a little slower to be careful). But from soon after halfway and onward, I deteriorated a little then a little more. MINNI was spot on with forecasting my endurance wouldn’t be where I needed it, and although I didn’t feel overly ‘tired’ my legs did start to give up on the pace side of things. My knees hurt and calves were not keen on me either. I took 3 or 4 pauses to stretch out and then shuffled on toward embankment. Once I was nearer 20 miles the heat eased, I assume with the breeze from the Thames. I managed to stay concentrated on taking water on-board every other mile and kept consuming my carbs gels every 4/5 miles even though near the end they were truly disgusting after being slow cooked at 200 degrees in my pockets for the previous 3 hours (NB, Lemon Lime SIS gels are way less ‘gross’ than orange when warm).

Thankfully, time is linear and eventually the end had to come and after more than 3 1/2 hours I was within the last mile (and a bit). Then end still seemed so far away but I just kept saying to myself that if I keep going the end comes quicker. By this point the only time I wanted to beat was my brother’s 3:52 and I was watching my pace and time obsessively, making the required calculations way more times than I’d like to admit. It was almost as though I was a goldfish, every time I finished calculating that my current pace would bring me in with minutes to spare, I started to work it out again ‘just in case’.

25/04/2013 at 12:18

Long story short, I blooming did it, and I did it 5 minutes quicker than anyone in my family ever has before. So I’ll choose to ignore the nearly 8000 people in front of me and just focus on that. My legs wouldn’t work and when I finished I was very much of the mind-set that it was all a very stupid idea and that everyone around me were similarly stupid for submitting themselves to such a thing voluntarily. It’s fortunate that I didn’t write this then really, lol.

Something that did help was that on my way to my charity’s meeting place some elderly ladies stopped me to congratulate me on finishing and told me how incredible I was, that helped a lot actually. What also helped was that she had to ask me how long her son might be before he finishes as he is about 6 miles away.

Anyway, that’s me, first marathon done, looking forward to applying in the ballot on Monday.

Thank you all for your advice and help along the way. And well done on all beating me in the race, (swines) ha.


25/04/2013 at 12:32

Sean - very well done.  You've every right to feel pleased.  You will have learned so much from this marathon and I'm sure you'll knock loads of time off that next time.

25/04/2013 at 16:10

Sean - great report! You did a fantastic job there. Nice work on the pens - respect for getting so close to the 3:45 pacer! There's absolutely no doubt it would have been much harder for you if you'd been at the back.

London is always warm. It bugs me when they say on the commentary that it's perfect conditions for running. Ask anyone doing it and they will tell you it is a long way from perfect.

I agree with Minni - you will have learned more than you know from this. You also got a load of things right, which is very hard on your first attempt. You didn't go off too fast. You took on the gels at regular intervals and crucially you managed the mental side well - this is critical for a good finish.

If you don't get in on the ballot do a smaller marathon instead. You'll find it easier to pace properly and if it's earlier in the spring and not in the capital then it might be cooler too.

Most important of all, come back here and share the training journey. Whether it's with us or on another thread you will benefit massively both from the advice and the moral support.

With your HM time you should easily be aiming sub 3:30 next time and longer term even quicker than that. Get that endurance up (that was pretty much all I focused on this time) and you will decimate your already very good time.

Well done once again!

Edited: 25/04/2013 at 16:13
25/04/2013 at 17:02

Afternoon all,

Sean - nice one, it sounds like you ran a really good race. Next time I'm sure you will get under 3 1/2 hours now that you have the experience - I've only done three marathons but I've learned a huge amount each time, both about running the race itself and the training and preparation.

Malcs - I meant to say before, I read your race report on the other thread, that is really inspiring stuff! There is a quote which has been going around since events in Boston, I'm not sure where it originates from - "If you are trying to break the human spirit, marathon runners are the wrong sort of people to pick on", and I think your experience illustrates that perfectly.

Angela - Wow, you've got a busy year! I tend to leave gaps of two or three years between my marathons and don't do too much cycling so I can't offer much advice I'm afraid. One for Minni I reckon.

In case anyone is interested you can see our running club's marathon finishers photo here - I'm the one on the far right.

The guy next to me was the oldest competitor in the race (he's 82), so I look forward to discussing all of your training plans for the 2050 VLM.

I have to say the finishers' t-shirts were much smarter than usual this year. 

25/04/2013 at 17:36
Well done Sean! Great first marathon- dont worry, ur still much faster than me

Malcs- finally got around to reading ur race report- couldn't agree more about the benefit from 26.2 and I didn't even get to the bootcamp!

AndyA - great pic so inspiring when u see people running in their 70s and 80s! Our parkrun event director is 70 and came 3rd in his age group, and someone from my church in her 60s did this as her first marathon- she's been training for over a year working towards it- I hope I'm still running when I'm that age...

So tonight I'm planning 6 miles with the middle 2 miles at MP
25/04/2013 at 19:30

Dotty we must have been running quite close to one another at some point then as I was near him then aswell!


Yesterday, my left leg felt great but the hamstring in my right leg was quite tight when I first started running. It loosened off at about 3 miles, when I stupidly picked up my pace. To be honest if my hamstring hadnt felt a little tight, my legs would have felt normal and as though I hadnt even run a marathon on sunday.

The course had one big long hill (mile 2) but that was it. If I was still being mentored I think I would have been told off about last night (I did the first and third mile at 7:09 m/m, the 2nd mile at 8:02 m/m and the last two at 6:35 m/m - opps)!!

Was worried about my legs afterwards but we had about a mile walk to get to the car and then I did lots of stretching. They feel fine today but im going to rest now until sunday 

25/04/2013 at 19:35
Malcs wrote (see)

No, not clever at all really. Most of the fancy stuff was done by the guys with PhDs but I did manage to absorb a bit.

Mrs Malcs is still none the wiser so shh, keep the noise down!

Yes York is firmly on my radar too - funny really as my quads are still mush. But don't you have a small matter of a 24hr race and 3 mountains to climb first?!

I dont wana sound like one of those annoying people, but my legs have felt great, with the exception of a slightly tight right hamstring when I ran yesterday they have felt normal. My 5 mile recovery run didnt work well yesterday, managed to run 5 miles in 35:38 in the end  - got a bit carried away - opps!

E I forgot about sure they will all be good preparation for york (fingers crossed). need to start practising running twice in one day

25/04/2013 at 19:36

Looking at the map, sandstone trail looks tough Mr P....good luck

25/04/2013 at 19:43

Hi Sean a huge congratulations on a fabulous first marathon time (identical to mine). I suffered like you in my first marathon due to a lack of endurance, but I concentrated on that area this time round with Minnis help and found the whole run fantastic this year. I loved every minute of it, such a contrast from last year. Im so glad that I had a second attempt and didnt let the horrors of my first marathon stop me and haunt me forever.


Well done on pen jumping too, im impressed

25/04/2013 at 19:48

Hi Andy, im loving the photo. Your club put it up on the internet quickly! The 82 year old gentlman certainly doesnt look his age.

I had to give my top to the OH as its too big for me....again

How are your legs today after the cross training?

My right hamstring was tight when I first started running yesterday and then loosened off my mile 3. Other than that my legs felt great and as though I hadnt run a marathon. I even managed some sub 7 min/mls....although that wasnt entirely intentional!

25/04/2013 at 19:52

Hi alittle heavier than that now....the joys of sitting on my bum all day made me gain alittle weight, but my BMI is more normal now at 19.5!

How did your run go today?

12 miles sounds a nice distance to run this week. At what sort of pace?

How long is it between your bike ride and marathon?

25/04/2013 at 20:10
Hiya Sarah, I got home and was starving, so decided not to run tonight and instead cooking dinner now. I'm quite tired after the first day back at work, so I'm quite happy to leave this one. I am after all in taper time.

Bike ride is the week after TR24 and the marathon is 6 October, so 2 months- been thinking about it a lot today and I think I'm going to take a fairly lax approach to the bike training whilst keeping the running up. I want to try and get upto 4 20 milers in before Bournemouth, so will forego a couple of my long rides to fit those in. I now have a running race each month other than August, so I think that will motivate me to continue some running training. Really hoping that 2 runs and 3 rides per week will keep enough of my running fitness so I can improve on whatever time I get in Halstead...
25/04/2013 at 20:11
12 mile I was thinking of easy with the last 4 at MP? Do u think this is ok?
25/04/2013 at 21:31
Evening everyone, still resting I must say its like having new legs! I've been allowed a beer tonight too so all good

Sean that's a really good report, you can really feel the emotion coming through. Congratulations, you beat me anyway!

Good race Sarah, the only time I see 6:35 is when I wake up to my radio alarm

Spent the evening making Cheesecakes to take to work as its my birthday tomorrow, I think mrs p will make a good meal so my race return at parkrun might be a little less than spectacular on Saturday.

No pressure Angela, but we're all watching you...;-)
25/04/2013 at 21:35
You guys are soo mean! Trying to make me succumb to taper madness!! Well I'm having none of it... Though I am concerned tonight that my knee is mysteriously swelling....
25/04/2013 at 21:36
And I have a headache, and I keep sneezing... Though that could be hayfever.... Hmmm, eeek
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