quiet on here....
longest ever 20 miler on Saturday .. oh my.... not even sub 4.. zzzzzz bless the newbies.. we ran out along the canal ten miles and back again..... we stopped for gels we stopped for loo... we slooooooowed down at the end... but they did it - more power to them. Taper now - apart from being a bit weary (went to a dinner and a party that night until 2 am ) I am fine as I clearly did not push myself (even for me) at all apart from pushing my patience a tad in terms of wanting to run faster!!!
Hey ho... all good fun and Marathon number 11 looks like being an all time record slow time... but lovely scenery to enjoy on the way round.
Stopping for gels??
Did post a couple of days ago but lost it somehow then got the CBAs.
Glad everyone's well and making plans for next year. My next plan is ... mystic fizz but can't see her till next Tues.
Did do 60miles on the bike yesterday, punctuated by a 2:30 break to help at a bike crash site. Oddly enough I knew the injured chap through the bike club I'm no longer a member of. We saw each other at the start and swapped phone numbers planning to ride together at some stage. Then when we stopped to help at the accident i realised it was him. There were three emergencies in the same area all at the same time which was the main reason it all took so long. Good experience - although a bit harrowing and very thought provoking. It bothers me that I updated my first aid course only in Jan yet there's so much you forget. He's still in hosp. His pelvis isn't fractured but he can't stand up without fainting with the pain.
Be careful out there kids.
In other news - have just gratuitously scoffed a whole packet of jaffa cakes (CoOp ones because they're made with free range eggs of course).
In other other news - the Aga man still hasn't been and I'm worrying he won't get here at all . Have to go out at 5.30...
Have just reread that last post. When I said the whole crash/ambulance thing was good experience i meant from a first aider wanting to improve skills point of view - not that it was marvellous seeing a bloke in pain lying on the ground unable to move...
Hen to the rescue... no limit to her Magical Powers!
Ok... Chester report coming up...
Chester Marathon Race Report
In my experience Marathons can be pretty stressful occasions – remembering all the kit, staying overnight in a hotel, getting up early enough, pre-race nutrition, getting to the start in plenty of time, toilet queues, drinking enough, toilet queues, eating enough/not enough, toilet queues... you get the picture!
I was determined that for Chester I wanted things as restful and relaxed as possible and I have to say that it seemed to work. After the 4 hour drive up to Didsbury on the Saturday we had a calm afternoon with family, walked the dog, watched some TV, drank plenty of water, cooked my own dinner (brown rice, chicken, sweet potato) had one glass of wine and took an early night.
Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go! Had a small breakfast of wholewheat bagel and jam, cup of tea, bit of fruit and set off for the 40 minute drive to Chester.
Opted for what was the more expensive option of public car park when I got there, not knowing how congested on site parking at the racecourse would be. It wasn't too bad actually – will remember that for next year! However the 10 minute walk to the course was pleasant.
Great organisation at the start area in the “tented village”, easy to find baggage drop, loads of families milling about, refreshments and constant announcements about it being perfect PB conditions!
Usual toilet queues of course and as always the urge to take the last minute dash was dealt with in very “secret” location.
As it was quite chilly I opted for my trusty long sleeved top (now 6 ½ years old) with club vest over the top – didn't want to overheat but also didn't want to get cold at the start. I needed the gloves until half way!
Positioned myself in the 3hr45 slot and waited....
OK, went off a bit quick I know – first mile 8.03, second mile 8.04 – this was unintentional but I wasn't too concerned, the run around the city was a bit twisty and I was pleased to be out on the open road after that! Eased back a bit but was ahead of pace (and my virtual partner by 300ft) after 4 miles. The splits varied from 8.20 to 8.30 in the early stages and I felt pretty comfortable. I had a gel at 6 miles with a little sports drink (I took on a little water at almost every drink point). Had a chat with a guy from Ware who ran the New Forest Marathon years ago, he was aiming for 3:30 and duly passed by after a few words of encouragement. It was at about 10 miles when I felt the first twinge – a slight tightness in the right hamstring – I carried on and it didn't seem to get any worse. The sun was warm but I thought I'd keep going with the double layers – didn't want to get tangled up trying to remove clothing whilst running, tried it once before without much success so carried on.
Half way came pretty quick in 1:49.50 – I still felt really good (so much better than VLM in 2010) and as I was still up on my virtual partner I knew that a PB was almost a certain. At about 14 miles I was running between groups (funny how that happens!) - just me and one other runner with a 50 metre gap front and behind. We had a chat and he was running after some time off and was aiming for sub 3.45 (his PB was 3.17) – nice guy, his wife has recently been diagnosed with cancer but she had urged him to do the race regardless – he said he was really looking forward to giving his young daughter the medal at the end – quite poignant... This was also the point on the course where you see other runners coming the other way having completed the 1.5 mile loop ahead. They looked really quick, I wondered if I'd look the same to those who were behind me on my way out of the loop!
At 15 miles the hills started. Nothing horrendous but on 2 hour legs they certainly slowed me up. My splits were down to the 8.40s , but I was still “in credit” so not overly concerned. I had taken a gel at 6, 12 and 15 – the final gel on my belt had somehow gained a hole and was now a congealed sticky mess on my shirt – I left it there! As I went on up through Farndon at 16 miles I began to feel a little more fatigued. I certainly wasn't expecting the inclines to be quite as long as they were – but I reminded myself just how terrible I felt in London in '06 & '07 at this point – I was positively sprinting compared to then. Mental tricks played an important part of the last 10 miles!
The miles passed by surprisingly quickly, the hills seemed to get longer (i.e. by running slower!) but although my pace had dropped it was hovering around 8.45 for most of miles 16 – 19. I was still on course for around 3.45 although the Garmin had got a little out of sync and was about 0.2 miles out at this point. Somewhere around 18 miles my right leg twinged and really felt like it was going to give way! I didn't want to stop so I stretched my stride out a bit and it seemed to ease – it really felt like I was just going to keel over like you see people do.
My virtual partner was catching me up but I concentrated on keeping him in check. As long as I could get to 21 with a modicum of energy left I knew I'd be okay. The roads flattened out and slowly but surely the city came into view. On my left hand side I spotted the runner from Ware as he dived into a hedge clutching his leg – oh dear, I thought, no 3.30 for him! My 14 mile companion was still in view ahead but I was never to going to catch him but I did play the game taking a few runners down as I went along; pick out a shirt and aim to catch it – I was amazed at how many runners I passed (a few passed me admittedly but that actually spurred me on)
Mile 23 was a welcome sight – couldn't remember exactly where you are in London at 23m (Embankment?) but I knew I have never felt this “good” before with 3 miles to go. I imagined myself on one of my home runs with 3 miles to go - 3 miles to home: just going past Milford Supplies along Gore Road, heading towards New Milton; 2 miles left: at the traffic lights, along past the turning for Tesco...
At 24 the road went down quite sharply which wasn't so pleasant on the thighs followed by an immediate steep incline into Chester. Not particularly long but people were really struggling up there. I hadn't stopped running yet, and I sure wasn't going to stop then. It was fantastic to have your name printed on your race number – the marshalls and crowd are shouting your name and with that I managed to push myself to the top. I knew what was coming as I'd driven into the city that way and very soon the 25 mile marker was ahead. A 90 degree turn down towards the river and then along the pathway next to the Dee along the Groves. Quite a few people out here but not as much cheering as I had expected. My virtual partner had sneaked past me and I realised I was going to miss 3.45 by a whisker. I just kept my head down and couldn't wait to see the racecourse again. As I went under the viaduct back onto the grass I noticed a runner bent over grabbing his leg in agony - he was 500m from the end – poor sod I thought! I really wanted to put a bit of sprint on when the finish was in sight – the clock was on 3.46 but my legs couldn't cope with the change of surface... 26 miles of tarmac followed by 400m of grass – oh well... 3.46:06 it was then.
The first thing I noticed when I stopped running was how much my arms and shoulders ached. Never had that before, actually more painful than my legs felt! Picked up the T-shirt and bag, went back to baggage, drank some recovery drink and water, phoned Mrs Flower and texted a few people and sat back in the sun for a few minutes. Apart from 66 seconds, mission accomplished!
Now wondering which Autumn Marathon to do next year... would do Chester again, but really fancy Abingdon next time - it's bit closer to home
Susan - all hail your patience for 20 miles - that would seriously do my head in... well done!
Good running Susan, run / walk a lot of sense. My pal I ran with, got injured before the day last year. She was aiming for sub 5 and did 4:38 doing run/ walk, set on her garmin actually. So happy for her and even more lovely to run with her for 2 miles. Canne will be ace. New pal at club I've been helping with 10-12 weeks of mid week & all his long runs. He did a phenomenal 3:37 for his first marathon. Amazing time - his march half time was 1:45, soon to drop. Great report DtF, were you aiming for 3:40 at start with virtual partner? Funny how Chester described itself as fast & flat. Completely agree about the tired arms thing, I found that last year. Gym does some supersets for arms & core to help if anyone interested.Scott, glad knee is okay. Few sniffles here too. AH, biker very lucky to have you there. Must've been a shock. Hey Didds. Also, Any sightings of Fido?
slight update, did people see Ed Whitlock's at Toronto time? hope I can shuffle at 81.
Brilliant report DTF enjoyed that thanks very much. Cross country here for me at the moment done 9 miles this week on two hilly muddy runs with cow muck thrown in, it sticks to the skins nicely. Anyone up my way? Bakewell?
It's my birthday on Saturday. I'm quite excited. I'm having a horrid day at work today. The tears are not far away. I'm glad it's sunny and that my body works and I can run. Thanks.
(((Ikle))) ?. Early saturday hug & greetings. maybe you will be able to run and go surfing at 80, a bit like the guy above.
DtF & Scott, you are dead lucky, its freezing here now, and pouring with rain. Blowing a gale too. Running in it tonight. Ugh.
FRC - I set the virtual partner at 8.35 pace to hit 3.45 - did think though at one point whether 3.40 was ever on
Running tonight, hopefully with a bit more vigour than Sundays casual shuffle. Probably won't do the scheduled intervals but may lead a group around the glorious streets of New Milton (at least it'll be dark so you can't much of it!)
((Ikle)) hope your day improves... what you got planned for the weekend - all nighter with endless slammers??
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