Neil - Kielder is a beautiful place to run, but the route would be very hard I think - pretty much no flat stretches. I've not done the marathon but have run on quite a lot of the route before and it is not easy. My vote would go to Chester!
The list is looking good. I'm almost certainly not going to add to it for the autumn!
Ran 6 miles yesterday and 7 today, legs feeling remarkably fresh!
I got to the blue start around 8.30 and headed straight for the changing tent to keep warm. And although the portaloos weren't posh, there was no queue at all when I got there, and even later the queues were very short. Overall though I think I prefer the green start - as I had expected, because I was going to be one of the slower runners off the champ start I had loads of pen 1 guys overtaking me in the first mile and I got bumped and barged a lot. A runner was pushed over right beside me as well, lots of tripping and swearing going on! But after that first mile it was OK - I just tried to settle into a rhythm, and was running around 7.35-7.40 pace apart from the downhill bit in mile 3-4 which was around 7.00.
So the first half was OK, although in the back of my mind I did feel I was perhaps overcooking it, tried to relax and put it out of my mind! Half way in 1.38.27. But after that things got hard pretty quickly - I just ran out of energy, and then my hamstring started to cramp up a bit, and by mile 17 I had to stop and try and stretch it out a bit. From that point I more or less lost the will, stopped checking the mile times and just took walk breaks every 5 minutes or so. At one point I thought if there was a tube station right there I would have jumped on it! But then I gave myself a talking to and just looked for mile markers and landmarks to see me through.
My mum and sister-in-law were at Westminster, and I stopped there briefly before battling the last KM. Rounding Buck palace my left quad went into a spasm and I hobbled down the mall and over the line.
Thankfully my baggage lorry was the first one so I could get layers on quickly. Then a quick drink at the Red Lion before heading home for food and a glass of wine.
My Achilles are really complaining today - but apart from that my legs don't feel that bad. I think the walk breaks have helped there!
Not really sure how I feel about my result. I know my training and build up had been compromised, but I was disappointed at how quickly I unravelled. I'm not sure what's next, other than concentrate on shorter distances for a while. I also need to see how much time my new job will allow for training - if I can't get the miles in there is no way I'll do another marathon any time soon. But last year's time is good for the champ start again in 2017, and this year's will be GFA for 2018 so I have VLM as an option for at least another two years. We'll see!