Maravan today at Cleethorpes caravan park, an impromptu marathon with no specific mara training in the bag.
I entered this 10 days ago purely on the basis of the name Maravan and the fact it was 7 laps round a caravan park. I thought I might have a bit of fitness left over from my half marathon training in October. Last weeks training ended up being 50 miles with my long run of 16 (my longest run since the Manchester marathon in April) and this week was more of a mini taper. In order to get to the pre race registration and the start of 9.00am I had to get up at 5am and leave the house at 6am for a 2 hour 100 mile car journey. Arrived in good time to pick up my number and get to the start. There were only 40 runners able to enter and this was made up of some double runners who had run the day before, single day runners like myself and a few relay teams.
It had rained all night and rained the whole of the race too. There were loads of large puddles that were unavoidable and the grass sections we ran on were muddy to say the least. The actual course had quite a few twists and turns, with 2 horse gates to hurdle and 1 gate where it's best to go through sideways (to stop bikes). I knew pace would be the key today to actually make it in 1 piece to the finish, so I started off über careful at around 8.20 pace. This helped a lot as I was chatting with other runners and also sussing out the route round the caravan park. Route markings varied between flour arrows on the road, laminated A4 signs that flapped in the wind & rain and bits of black & yellow tape hanging fro trees. So in some way this helped pass the time, although was tough to start with. After the first lap and a wee stop I had averaged the first 4 miles in 8.19 pace and was feeling ok. One of the ladies I had been chatting to earlier was quite a way in front (after my wee stop) so I tried to catch her up. I planned to try and get my average pace down 1 second per mile to get my (unofficial, no really it's just for fun) target time of 3.30.
Slowly I was able to catch her up and pass a few other too, but always keeping a lid on my pace. The weird thing about the Maravan is there are no mile markers. A good thing I guess as there is no mental torture of the mile countdown. I was wearing my old garmin 410 which doesn't buzz when I do a mile, so unless I kept looking I didn't know my mile splits, but just average pace. I went through halfway (this time I was keeping an eye out) in 1.46.xx, so I knew I was close to my target unless I hit the wall. Luckily by the time I got to 20 miles i was doing fine and went through in 2.39.xx. This gave me confidence that I would actually be ok for the full distance.
The last mile was strangely ok and I managed a 7.36 mile and went through the 26.2 miles in 3.27.34 and finished the course (which was a bit long! 26.55 on the garmin) in 3.29.43 and 3rd overall. Winner did 3.10.31 & 2nd was 3.25.55.
So the lesson I have learnt today is pacing is king.
Congrats on the great racing at the weekend esp Jools 10k PB (and 00 junior too).
And WOW, what a 10 mile time !! Certainly a defining race time at any age, but moreso at 50
Great impromptu marathon Poacher and a very respectable time. How did you pace that one, were you consistent on the mile splits or did you try and do lap splits?
Good weekly mileage Leslie and brilliant accumulative weekly training Birch!
Good comeback miles Abbers, slowly and surely.
Brilliant blow out time TR @ Gosport
Interesting about your training Jools. Out of the those consistent 60 - 70 mile weeks, what kind of pace would you be running at?
Take it easy 40 minutes
My first 50 mile week for a while last week with a 16 miler & Parkrun Saturday and an XC race on Sunday. The XC was a muddy and hilly affair (aren't they all), but I think the previous days effort dampened my race.