Excellent ranking Speedy.
GM - purple paint has no real effect. Doesn't taste great but wear a sweat band to wipe mouth after drinking. Luckily not had to run in the rain in it yet.
Legs getting a little less sore this morning but can't see me contemplating a run until the weekend at the earliest.
Moof - Training this year was an average of 56mpw for the 13 weeks before taper. Peak week was 64 miles. 10mpw average more than previous years.
Excellent pie Lorenzo. Mrs H was very impressed; but I'm definately not getting one!!
Ant, Minni - Really pleased that you both enjoyed the day; even though you didn't get the results you wanted.
Great report Marrows.
GM - It was the same Welsh guy in the mankini. I was speaking to him before the start and before he started doing laps with Mo and the Africans.
PMJ - Don't analyse it too much. Just get back to enjoying your running and the decision to run another marathon will either come, or it won't. Either way, if you finish your marathon career with a 2.50 PB then it is a job well done.
Blisters - Thanks again!!
Surprisingly, looking at the VLM stats I was only overtaken by 6 people in the last 7.2k. I obviously didn't fade as much as I thought I had. Only overtook 66 this year though. My photos look really scary!!!
At that point my calves started to tighten and I realised that I was going to pay for the pace of the earlier miles. I am used to positive splits but this was not going to be pretty; but I just had to get back in one piece and worry about the pain afterwards. I dropped a few seconds each mile until mile 24 where I still had a buffer of 30secs but was fading.
Mile 25 was the toughest mile I have ever ran in a marathon. I have never suffered from cramp and never walked in any of the previous 7, but my right hamstring started to cramp and spasm. It felt as though I was dragging my right leg along for about 400ms. I decided not to stop and stretch but just try to push on and get as close to the finish as possible. Mile 25 was 6.43 (6.31 pace-must have been veering!!) and another 26 seconds lost. I was now worried that I was going to implode. Turning by Westminster I was greeted by my family and charity at the side of St James' Park. I couldn't even turn my head to smile and half raised my hand to acknowledge their support. It is always at this point that I just put my head down and push but there didn't seem to be anything left. I turned into The Mall to see the clock at 2.44.35 and tried to push again. I thought I would do it but still wanted to run in with the clock still showing 2.44. The clock was ticking closer to 2.45 but I knew I had done it. I ran through in 2.45.05 race time and 2.44.52 on my watch (5.40 pace for the last 0.2m but it felt much slower). It was weird as previous PBs have been greeted with happiness and smiles but this was more just pure relief.
I don't think that I even raised my hands as I crossed the line as I was so exhausted. I contemplated falling over but didn't think I would ever get back up again. After staggering to the post-race photo my calves started to cramp and I couldn't move my legs. Some kind runner let me lean against him to allow me to stretch. I hobbled onwards to get my bag and meet Mrs H (she confirmed chip time as 2.44.50) where I finally managed to crack a smile and feel pleased with my run. As soon as I stopped by the charity supporters my legs started spasming uncontrollably. I looked as though I was shivering but I wasn't. It was a very strange feeling.
Looking back I can say I have achieved what I ultimately wanted to (sub 2.45) when I started my marathon journey. I may change my mind (as I have in previous years), but at present I have no ambition to run faster or to run off of the Champs Start next year. I am more than content to run from the GFA start in charity gear knowing that I have achieved my marathon goal. I am happy
Here's my report from London yesterday. Very much a tale of fun, pain and joy!!
After leaving our Blackheath hotel (with the bath having a slight purple hue despite our attempts at cleaning it) at the usual 8am for a photocall with the rest of the charity, it was across the Common to the Red start to see off the rest of our team. Then back to FGFA where I looked around for any familar faces or vests and saw none. So I found myself a nice little space to relax. I soon got bored so dropped my bag in the truck and went for a walk and run around the field with Mo (will try to post a photo later). He looked very focussed but was warming up alone compared to the groups of Africans.
Into the starting pen I felt as though I was a little too far back to get a decent start. The plan was to go for broke and aim for 6.14's to build a buffer and then hold on. Across the start after about 15secs and then away, very slowly!! The first mile was mainly dodging slower runners in front and trying to look for gaps to get through. First mile was completed in 6.18 and then there was more open space. This meant that I got a little carried away (as always) and miles 2-4 were done in 6.02, 6.05 & 6.02 pace.
I then decided I needed to be sensible and reign it in a little. I then got into a comfortable rhythm and ticked off the next few miles barely looking at my watch. I was mainly playing up to the crowd and enjoying their shouting and cheering. I was starting to build a nice buffer and passed 10 miles in 1.02.16 (55secs ahead). Across Tower Bridge and onto halfway in 1.21.37 I realised that I was on for mid 2.43 if I held pace. Just after the Docklands tunnel Mrs H and her friend were waiting to shout their encouragement and I was still feeling good.
The miles kept on ticking by and as I had been around Docklands I was unconcerned that my pace had dropped by a couple of seconds per mile as I hit 20 miles in a new PB (by 7 mins) of 2.04.54. I was still feeling confident of a high 2.43 with each mile until mile 21.