Thank you Rich - past history suggests that rapid PB improvement is the road to injury city so I'll probably have a think about what the next few weeks look like against what I had planned pre HM but key is clearly lots of miles now and staying injury free and I have a chance - I also need to remember that cramp spoiled my previous attempt.
How is your ankle? I actually didn't think your 20:38 was that bad a run on Saturday - only 28 secs off your PB which was about a minute off your previous PB if I remember rightly?
Sometimes at 9am on a Saturday morning dialling in to brutal effort zone for 20 minutes simply doesn't happen - if you have a HRM then that becomes a soul searching exercise to try and explain the numbers, without an HRM it's a shrug of the shoulders.
EDIT: Very satisfying when a plan comes together so nicely Lou - good captaincy!
I do think your conversion is exceptional, Lit. I'm more half x 2 plus 16-18. Though I think that is not entirely unexplainable when mileage is considered. What I do find off though is my conversion up to half from 10 or 5k is ahead of mcmillan.
That's interesting DT - I have decided that I am running London (provided I get to the start line following a normal training plan) at half * 2 plus 15 - as I'm not planning running another HM before then I now know that is 3:04.
I thought that would be nice and conservative and give me a good chance of enjoying it but based on your conversion I might still struggle!!
As this will be my last marathon (some would argue only) this means I am kissing goodbye running a sub 3 as a trade off against possibly deriving some pleasure from the experience. I've decided this is more important to me.
But Skinny... I would only use that conversion as a guideline for myself if I had run the half marathon 5-8 weeks before the marathon. It's precisely because I always run a half in the training block that it is useful feedback when planning my race pace. If I'd not run Barry Buddon half (1:23:53) last month, I couldn't have been planning my Chester pace based on the last half I did, which was Alloa in the build-up to London when I was less well-trained and less fit - I did that in just under 1:26, which was the same as my halfway split at Chester. You might well be fit enough to run sub 3 in London (and I reckon 2x HM + 10 mins is plausible if well-trained).
This left me running alone but I picked a pace focussed on his back as he drifted away from me and resolved to get through the next 40 minutes which according to the route plan were almost entirely flat and as the first 7 miles had seemed pretty flat it just seemed to be a mental exercise now in putting one foot in front of the other for a big PB.
Miles 8 and 9 6:18, 6:12 – hmmmm, it seems that if you run ridiculously fast when you decide to slow down you still run pretty fast but I was feeling comfortable now and the risk of blowing up at 10 miles had been averted.
During mile 10 you get to Lancaster and it involves running under an underpass with those bicycle barriers with the gap to slow cyclists down – unfortunately I misjudged on my left hand side and whacked my hip which resulted in me teaching a couple of little kids what may have been a new word and I have a lovely bruise this morning to remind me. The route ran alongside a wall which got quite technical with lots of sharp corners which resulted in slowing down and speeding up which affected pace a bit but
Mile 10 6:20 and who’s this in the distance running towards me with a tall, relaxed running style in second place – Muddy of course – ‘fkng awesome’ I exclaimed to him before we shared a high five. (We found out later that the guy in third place found the ability of Muddy to exchange a high five at that stage of the race to be very depressing).
Mile 11 had the same problem with the right angled turns except there were runners coming the other way, plus the breeze was in our faces and it was quite exposed but I managed a
6:24 and followed it with a trudge back in 6:32 and 6:16 with 33 secs for the scraps for
1:21:45 – which is a huge 2 minutes 45 sec PB and means I’ve knocked 5 mins off my HM PB in last two months. Average pace 6:15mm which was beyond my wildest expectations and is over a minute faster than calculated from my Abbey Dash time – mental!
The guy who I ran to 7 miles with finished 46 seconds ahead of me and found out that was his first ever half marathon – kids!! I don’t think I had 8 seconds a mile faster in my legs so think made a good decision to back off. I was probably running 10 mile pace and would have died when I turned back into the breeze. Incidentally 10 miles in 62:01 v PB of 63:19.
Congratulated Muddy on his second place and his time, only 29 secs off his PB, and we had a hot drink and bacon butty and a good chat waiting for the presentation to happen in the gym but after about an hour nothing had happened so we left and said our farewells – Muddy was certain there were Vet prizes even though he had been given his prize on finishing so as I drove off I parked by the start and asked the organisers.
He was planning on doing the presentation when they had tidied up back at the gym for Vets and Teams but asked me what time I had done and what age I was – so I told him and he said that sounds like a good enough time for a prize and gave me a bottle of aforementioned white wine.
Muddy of course was actually first V45 so I think this might be first ever thread prize where one wasn’t actually won but I’m counting it!
The race started with the inevitable 30 seconds getting past the people who had lined up at the front even though they would finish near the back but I found myself running stride for stride with one of them (Sexist and ageist bit warning), a woman with grey hair who looked about my age but was moving along at a good clip so I settled in beside her and waited for her to blow up. I noted Muddy moving well up ahead in third place.
Mile 1 in 6:19 – hmmm, that’s on the fast side but it’s mile one so let’s just settle and see what mile 2 comes out at.
About here there was a narrow tunnel with only room for single file and the woman was on my inside whereas I had the line perfectly so she was going to get closed out. I put my arm out behind her to let her in front of me and accidentally lightly touched her waist. Whilst I was wondering if this was sexual harassment she grabbed me by the neck and pulled me off into the bushes mumbling in my ear that all runners were wonderful lovers.
Anyhow back in the real world during mile 2 we became a group of about 5 and without any verbal discussion all seemed to be sharing the workload quite well.
Mile 2 in 6:16 which from memory was the most uphill of the race but I hadn’t really noticed us going uphill which must be a good thing – still 6:16 uphill was a bit spicy.
Mile 3 the river meandered and we crossed over it twice on bridges that were a little frosty but safe to run on and the pack of 5 moved on relentlessly. We hit a sunny patch (most of the riverside path was sheltered by trees which kept us in dappled shade and running on leaf mulch which was quite pleasant under foot) and I put my arms out which prompted some brief conversation within the group from everyone but the woman and when I glanced round she was fading off the back. So I don’t forget at the end of the report she finished in 1:26 and was first woman by miles and was a V45 so well run her and my apologies for ageist and sexist presumption at start of race.
Mile 3 in 6:14 and the gang of 4 pushed on. My average pace was showing 6:16 and we had supposedly done the hilliest bit of the race – I started worrying about whether I should drop off this group but the benefit of being in the group seemed to outweigh the downside for now.
The turn was at about 3.5 miles and just prior to the little loop round I passed Muddy and we exchanged encouragement –he was back in 4th now but looked to be moving well.
Mile 4 6:19 and perhaps finally we were settling in to a sensible pace at the fast end of my capabilities which might be ideal if I could hang on.
Then something happened that I wasn’t expecting at this stage of a Half Marathon – the group started racing each other – people kept making bursts for freedom and then the group would up the pace and pull them back and then someone else would have a go.
Mile 5 6:05 and average pace had dropped to 6:15 – aargh.
Mile 6 and the bursts continue but I’m living with them and round about 5.5 miles there are just two of us left. He asks me how far we’ve gone and I say nearly 6 miles and ask him what time he’s looking for – sub 1:30 he replies and I laugh and say I’m looking for sub 1:24 and you’re smashing that! Anyhow he didn’t slow down.
Mile 6 6:01 followed by us pressing on some more and
Mile 7 5:57 and average pace had dropped to 6:10mm – holy fk this was mental and I think seeing the 5 at the start of the mile time finally made the decision for me. I didn’t physically need to slow down but I didn’t believe I had another 6 miles in me at that pace so I announced that I was going to back off and he should go on alone which he did.