Fantastic day of running today. Always great to hear peoples' marathon stories.
Some great results being posted. Picking out a few:
AR - wow! What a run.
Martin H, Mennania - congrats on the sub 3's
Lorenzo - nice PB. And leaves something to target next time out!
Minni - great run.
RFJ - impressive pacing.
Scooby - don't be too despondent. That's still a great time and a PB is always worth celebrating.
OO - Good stuff. As it happens that time is my PB - to the second.
Jools - sorry it didn't happen for you today espcially since you were very clearly in sub 3 shape this time around. Hopefully this build up will give you the confidence to be sure of nailing it next time.
Well done also to those I have not specifically mentioned.
Today goes down as a success for me. It was only my 4th fastest marathon but perhaps the one I am most proud of. I knew I had about a 50:50 shot at sub 3:15 and now I am over 40 this would give me GFA again so it was a target worth going for.
As planned, I was through half way in 1:36:30 or so and had gained a little more time vs target (maybe 20s) by 20m. I then started to slow a little with the next 2 or 3 miles at 7:30 pace. Nothing to worry about if I could hold it there but at mile 23 I slowed to 7:4x pace and didn't seem able to respond (interestingly, while I was struggling like this I went past the 3:15 pacer who seemed to be in serious danger of missing his target).
By the time I reached 25m I knew I had used up pretty much all my cushion and had to make a concerted effort but when I did I could feel the beginnings of cramp coming on. I decided that I would bide my time and see what was required at the "800m to go" mark and try to push again at that stage if I could. With half a mile to go I had 3mins 35s to play with so realised I needed to speed up to around 7:00 m/m pace to get the sub 3:15. I pushed on and fortunately the cramp held off untll about 30m before the line by which time I was reasonably confident it was in the bag as I hobbled the last few strides with both hamstrings seizing up.
I recorded 3:14:57 on my watch and had a nervous wait before Mrs GE texted my official result of 3:14:54. The last 3m and especially the last half mile was truly painful but I know for sure I squeezed every last drop out of myself today, which is strangely satisfying! The bitter-sweet reward, of course, is the opportunity to do it all again next year!
I expect I will be there (and hopefully on here more regularly too).
Lorenzo - I'm on Red FGFA but back in pen 3 so may get held up a bit at the start (think I put 3:30 on my entry form as was injured at the time). I'm trying to be sensible and resist going for 3:10. The target tomorrow is simply(!) to maintain GFA. Still, I'll keep an eye out for you around where the routes converge in the event I end up going off a bit too quick (stranger things have happened)!
Good luck tomorrow, everyone! Be strong, start steady and stick to your plan. Looks like ideal conditions.
My attempts to return to posting regularly on here didn't come to much, did they? Work was all-consuming during Feb/Mar and I missed a lot of training during the key period 3-6 weeks out as a result.
Nevertheless I will be on the start line, injury-free with a 3:15 target. My only benchmark is a 2:24 at the Finchley 20 which is about 3:10 marathon pace which seems to suggest 3:15 for 26.2 is do-able but with very little wriggle room. I would have settled for that at the start of this campaign so I intend to go for it and bag the GFA for 2 more years.
Work getting in the way for me too hence long time no post.
I also pulled up with a hamstring spasm 11m into a 17m run with 12 at MP a couple of weeks ago. Took it easy for a week or so after that and had a sports massage which seems to have helped. The guy turned out to be an osteopath and thinks my tight hammies, glutes, lower back and Achilles problems all stem from collapsed arches which can be fixed by orthotics. Hope he is right but somehow I suspect it won't be as simple as that.
Nevertheless, I had my second food run of this campaign this week which was 10m at MP which came out at around 7.00-7.05 pace. No idea where that came from!
I have 38m to do in the next 3 days to make my weekly total!
Lots of impressive training and racing going on. Well done to the PBers at Wokingham, Bramley, Brighton etc.