Dachs - the Rhythm is a Dancer line was stolen 100% from Jock Itch, so blame him. And speaking of Jock - he hasn't posted for years, yet as soon as I mention 'bald patch' he appears. Amazing that. Let's see if it also works for njord:
Oh and Dachs - the Queen's Hotel is reet posh. You should have a nice time there.
Th R - Rich is in good nick at the mo. Shame he can't run with the dog or you'd be nailed on for a sub-34. And for those who don't know - Rich is my friend who does the odd race and parkruns with his dog. Not a 'fast' dog as such, in that it's a Jack Russell. But said Jack Russell has a 5k PB of 16'40, and he/they finished 2nd at the Tissington Trail Half Mara 2 weeks ago in 1'18'xx. And that was with 3 wee stops! Speedy pooch indeed.
Dan - haha cheers!! And cheers for the new top too mate. Arrived today and fits perfectly!
PP - looking good my friend. Another one who looked doomed forever not so long ago with that hip problem, and look at you go now. Brilliant to see!
TR - cheers and good news re the ankle
wardi - nice one ta. Any further update re Brass Monkey? My Half PB is rubbish (79'59) - looking to try and knock that down a bit if I can, but not the easiest race to get a place for eh?
And selbs - taper madness fella. You've done enough Maras to know that, but always good to be reminded. Seriously don't underestimate how being under-fuelled will have affected that run though. Just have faith, and stick the little 'un in a cupboard til next week.
So with 300m to I knew I was going to run 2’47’xx, and break my almost 4 year old PB. I tried to enjoy the last part, but enjoy isn’t a word that should ever be associated with the final stages of the Marathon!! Still, I crossed the line with arms raised to record a time of 2’47’16. Brilliant. I was utterly elated, but my body instantly shut down and I couldn’t even stand up. I felt very tearful too. I’d done this race once before in 2012, not long after my brother died. So a lot of the same feelings returned. A very cathartic and emotional experience really, but post-Marathon I always feel a bit ‘vulnerable’ anyway. It’s a race that takes you to new-found depths, and leaves you utterly, utterly empty at the end.
The only slight downside to the whole day was this immediate aftermath really. I’d just run the race of my life and felt a bit wobbly emotionally but I was there on my own and there was nobody to share it with. So I sent Rich a text! And after a cup of Mellow Birds and a couple of Chocolate Hob-Nobs I felt slightly better. It may have taken me 20 minutes to get down the stairs at Leicester Forest Services though. And I can confirm that driving 200 miles post-Marathon hurts more than the bloody race does!!
All in all a cracking day and an event I really enjoy, and one I’m sure I’ll return to again in the future.
FFS, I never did master the art of copy and paste. Or it might have been caused by my computer crashing whilst I was looking at the gallery at boysinshorts.com (prob best not to click that actualy, just in case...) Anyway, I have the power of opening up the shop today so have jumped on the work computer. It's chuffin older than wardi. Anyway, rhythm is a dancer....
By now we’d started to lap the slower runners who were still on their first 9 mile loop, so I tried to encourage them with lots of ‘well dones’ etc. It was just like a Wednesday session at the club – runners of all abilities all working as hard as they could and trying to encourage each other along the way. One of the joys of being a runner!
I was glad to hit the 20 mile marker soon after this, as I now knew I was into the final 10k. I was hurting though. Badly. I tried to pick myself up a bit by asking the people at the water stations for a Gin and Tonic, and found myself frequently replying to any spectator who shouted ‘Well done, looking strong’ by saying ‘I feel bloody awful’. I genuinely think it helped to distract me from the pain a bit, even if only fleetingly!
At 20 mile I took my last gel and that picked me up a bit mentally – probably the whacking great caffeine shot in it I imagine! Before long I was onto my favourite trail section again too. Except someone had clearly lengthened it since lap 1, cos I seemed to be on it for ages this time! My pace was starting to drift slightly now, so I just focussed on picking off the runner in front. It was almost always a back-marker, but I didn’t care. It gave me something to focus on.
At 23 miles we turned right, and the slower runners turned left to start their 2nd lap. So I was on my own again. Just me and my creaking body. The wheels were wobbling a fair bit, but were just about staying on. Come on lad. 3 miles. A parkrun. Just keep going – one foot in front of the other. At this point I remembered all the solo sessions I’ve done over the past few weeks before work at stupid o’clock. The mile and KM reps, the 10k reps at Mara pace. The dragging yourself out of bed when it’s cold, wet and dark outside. THIS is what that was for, so come on! I didn’t consciously draw on this – it just popped into my head, but it definitely helped.
It was now mind over matter, so I reverted to my usual trick of counting the number of times my left foot hit the ground until I reached 500. I’m not sure it helped to be honest, but I kept going! The marshals and spectators were great for the last few miles too – they really helped, and somehow my 4th 10k was another sub-40. So 8 consecutive sub-20 minute 5Ks left me with just under a 1.5 miles to go. By now I wanted to hit the 25 mile marker in no worse than 2 hours 40. That then gave me 8 minutes to do the last 1.2 miles – 6’25ish for the last mile, and 1’35ish for the last 400 metres. I panicked a bit when I checked my watch and it was almost at 2’41. So I asked a marshal where the 25 mile marker was, and he said ‘about 400 yards behind you’. Hurrah! I barely know who or where I was, so I’m not surprised I missed it……
To be honest I don’t really remember the last mile either. I was in full-on survival mode. It was a bit twisty again going through a residential estate, but before long I could see the floodlights of the stadium. I just got my head down and pushed as hard as I could. I hit the 26 mile marker just as we entered the track, so virtually a full lap of the track to finish. Just me for this too – nobody else in sight, either in front or behind. I glanced over to check the finish clock which read 2 hours 46 mins. So w
Race report I did for the club website. Format for this stolen from Jock itch - cheers fella.
Race Report - Abingdon Marathon
Time – 2 hours 47 mins 16 secs (new PB - *fist pump*)
Position – 15th overall and 4th elderly gentleman
Prize – solid gold trophy, Freedom of the town of Abingdon and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List. Or it might have been a carrier bag with some leaflets in it.
Abingdon. A lovely little town just south of Oxford, where people called Rupert row boats and drink Pimms and stuff. It’s also where Radiohead first got together, and is the original home of the fine tipple that is Old Speckled Hen - so not all bad. It’s also the home to a cracking Marathon, which is why I found myself there this morning, greasing up Tiny Tim and the Twins ready for another 26.2 miles of pain!!
The race started at 9:00am, so I naturally made my way to the start pen at 8:58am. A quick piss next to the starting gantry and an elbow to the chops of some skinny bloke to move him out of the way and I was lined up at the front, mainly cos I’m an elite athlete and what not.
The plan today was simple enough – set off at sub-2’50 pace and hang on. This was my 3rd Marathon of the year. I’d already ran 2’51 at London and 2’53 at Flanders. I knew I was in sub-2’50 shape and I couldn’t see the point in running another 2’5x. I saw this as a race to experiment. If it went tits up then so be it. So it was either a 2’4x or something like a 3’30, when I’d completely blown myself to bits in a car-crash TV stylee. Fortunately it was the former!
So, the race. I settled into a nice rhythm early on, cos rhythm is a dancer, it’s a source of passion. The first 10k went by in circa 39’44, and it felt ultra comfortable. The heart rate was pretty low too, so a perfect start. Lovely jubbly. However, I was now on the first of 2 x 9 mile loops and I knew there was a pretty exposed 4 mile stretch coming up that was straight into the wind. I found myself in No-Man’s Land a bit too. A fair gap to a group of runners ahead, and nobody that close behind me. I reminded myself why I was here so pushed on to close down the group in front. Mile 7 was a 6’11…..oops! Still, it worked as I could now shelter a bit in the group, but I made sure I took my turn at the front to help the others out too. I had my first gel and just cruised along, really enjoying my run. I went through the second 10k in 39’44 and hit halfway in 1’23’31 – quicker than I’d envisaged but all the signs were positive. Come on my son, let’s ‘ave it!
Just after halfway we hit my favourite part of the course – a shortish section on hard, compacted trail. It felt just like a hard training run at home, and I was feeling great. By now the group I was with had broken up a fair bit, and by pushing the pace on the trail section I found myself running alone. At 14.5 we started the second 9 mile loop, so I knew the exposed section into the wind was coming up, and this time I had no group to work with. So, time to zip up the man suit!
I had to up the effort level a bit over the next few miles, but the pace remained solid with mile splits coming in between 6’19 and 6’25. I then had my first real bad spell at about 18ish. The next mile or so hurt, but I was still ok. Just. I think. 39’47 for the third 10k so the pace was still good. The course went through a Business Park at this point, and it was a bit twisty turny so I lost my rhythm a bit. Which wasn’t good, because as you’d know if you were paying attention earlier, rhythm is a dancer.