sub 4 hour group,if anyone wants to get together

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15/10/2012 at 15:16


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!

15/10/2012 at 15:17

...and more...

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!



15/10/2012 at 15:20

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!

15/10/2012 at 18:36
Great race report Dave, & well done again!
15/10/2012 at 20:19
AH, did the AGA chap turn up?
15/10/2012 at 20:25
In running news, I plucked up the courage to go out for a run tonight.... I have been putting it off. To soon, to early, to late, not eaten properly, sniffles etc. glad to report that I am happily reacquainted with the road. Did 4.5 miles, averaged just over 8 minute mile pace. Almost got caught by the dog that sometimes chases me, didn't have the usual legs to escape! Dark at 6.30 though, sign of things to come, can any one recommend a head torch?
15/10/2012 at 20:26
Oh, nearly forgot, my knee is ok....
15/10/2012 at 21:52
Thanks Dave and great report. Glad knee okay Scott.
AH they are very new runners and we are building in a small walk to take gels ...
16/10/2012 at 00:52

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.

Edited: 16/10/2012 at 08:48
16/10/2012 at 11:41

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?

16/10/2012 at 12:20

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.

16/10/2012 at 12:52

(((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.

16/10/2012 at 13:40

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??

16/10/2012 at 17:30

Heh. Thanks for the cuddles. I like cuddles.

At the weekend on my very actual birthday, I am going for a parkrun with Basey's son and Basey will be helping at it, and also my brother, Cicerunner. I am so very excited and it is helping me to recover from my horrible HORRIBLE day. Then I will have birthday tea with chocolate cake and the bumps at Basey's house too. =)

16/10/2012 at 17:33

One colleague at work got so very cross because I wrote someone else's name instead of hers on a rota, and she got so cross and I said I was sorry and tried to sort of jolly her along and laugh her out of it, but she frowned and said that I had really hurt her feelings. It sounds so silly written down, but I really hate offending people by mistake.

Then I helped in someone's class yesterday because they were ill and put up a gorgeous display and when they came back today they didn't even say thank you and they had pulled the display all down. And I only put it up because I thought it would make them smile to see all the lovely work that that children had done it was so super. I suppose the lesson is that you shouldn't try to take over, people don't like it. Moop. That's all the rubbish things.

16/10/2012 at 17:35

But it's still nearly my birthday!


16/10/2012 at 20:30

sounds like the people at your school - especially the two who were horrid to you!! really - any teacher would be grateful of a display put up in the class room....

gosh teachers - I remember it well- and its a very long half term ... only week and three days to go Ickle... sod them and their horridness... 


16/10/2012 at 20:31

what I meant was sounds like they need a slap!!


16/10/2012 at 21:22

Yes... sometimes all good intentions are not met with quite the response we expect... miserable people...

Glorious club run tonight - nice and easy on 10 day marathon legs, sharp 5.2 miles at 7:43 pace with a mile warm up. Seem to be back to normal - but don't want to tempt fate...


16/10/2012 at 23:03

True, Susan. Duly slapped. Heh.

Well done D the F. I went to pump this evening and ran five miles yesterday. All good fun! Well done us.

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