Moof: That's a shame, but it's good that you have a wise head on your shoulders and taken the sensible option. The stupid option is to have started the race, thrown the kitchen sink into it and "heroically" battled out a disappointing result and then discovering that it takes you six weeks to recover.
Bottle the disppointment and feelings of frustration, recover fully and then unleash it all in an A race of your choosing.
Jools: Congrats on the decision to run and the target, now do the hard bit and go get it.
Good luck to all the VLMers, awaiting the reports already.
Best wishes to those lucky enough to be able to make the start line of VLM, remember to give it your best, dig deep when needed. But, especially, remember to enjoy the day and saviour the atmosphere.
Carbloader (and any others) if you are aiming to run to HR then be prepared for the first miles to record silly figures, the anticipation and adrenaline from the start will throw any HR reading way out, it will take a few miles to settle down into "normal" territory. You may have to run to time/pace until then.
Any one doing any other races this weekend?
Hope to do a parkrun on Saturday, anticipated 9:30mm pace accompanying my daughter who doesn't like to run, wants to walk always then does sub 6:00mm pace for the final 200 metres.
Jools: So is sub 3 at VLM on? Didn't realise you were going to be at Lochaber, may have seen you without realising. There was good support out on the course especially from a group of four shouting like eejits. How did your friend do?
Speedy: Have patience, your fitness will return within a week or two and there is five weeks to Edinburgh, you'll probably only need a very short taper as well, poss 10 ten days or so.
Notice that the taper is causing the usual madness and worrying to many, not long now.
Seem to have recovered fairly quickly this time and am about to head out on a short recovery run. The on the day problems with my stomach and hamstrings/glutes were gone by Monday AM. Sense has also deserted me as I'm already contemplating running it again next year.
Lochaber is a nice course. Not pancake flat, gently undulating is an accurate describtion. It's an out an back route on generally straight roads. The roads aren't closed to traffic but that's not a major problem. It's generally a small field, about 370 runners.
I was relaxed in the build up to it, training had gone fairly well (apart from the snow), I knew a sub 3 attempt wasn't a possibility, training had suggested that an MP of 7:00mm might be possible and hence the target was set at 3:10, to run well and to enjoy the race.
The low key start went entirely as expected and we quickly were off, over the shinty pitch and out into the housing estate. With such a small field there is no bunching and hold-ups, you can easily settle into your own pace and run your own race.
After a mile I must have been mid-field (about 200th position) before things settled into a rhythm and I then started to coast past people, no rush, no acceleration just a gentle cruise up to behind them, step out, go past then step back in. No breaking of stride or expenditure of extra effort.
At about mile seven I passed a group of four and one came with me, we got chatting and settled into a very steady routine of catching and passing others.
And this continued in that gently way until mile 21 when my stomach cramped and I knew I wouldn't make it to the end without a comfort break, fortunately I was able to select the moment and maintain some dignity, although I lost about 90 seconds and half a dozen places.
But back out and into the routine again. Although I was now running on my own, I settled back into the pace and started working my way back towards the runners who had passed. A few sips of water then destroyed my resurgance as almost immediately upon drinking my stomach did some back flips and pit stop no 2 was called for.
Back out again and onto pace, but only lasted another mile before the legs started going. The stomach wasn't settled and I couldn't risk any more water nerver mind gels or lucozade.
Into miles 25 & 26 and it was into the hurt zone big time, the wind and rain picked up and I just wanted things to finish, cursed myself for choosing to run and vowed never to do another marathon again. One runner came past and I couldn't stay with him, then an older guy came, offered a few words and I tucked in behind him and dug deep, very deep. No one else passed and we even caught a couple of others who were in difficulties also. Once we were over the last two uphill ramps I could relax and knew I would make it to the finish, but the legs still hurt.
Over the line and I could stop, found a clear spot of ground and sat down, grateful for the relief. A stuttering, staggering walk back across the shinty pitch and into the changing rooms wasn't unexpected. What was unexpected was the spasms that my hamstrings/glutes suffered after a shower. Half a dozen attacks that lasted for a few minutes each (it felt longer) that left me cringing in pain, unable to speak and thinking that it wasn't as painful out on the course.
A day after the race I'm still not sure what caused the cramps, probably exhaustion, digging too deep and a touch of dehydration, hopefully I'll never experience their likes again. The stomach issues I think are down to the temperature on the day and inappropriate clothing. Normally I race marathons in just a racing vest, this time I wore a long sleeved base layer and a racing vest on top, it possibly wasn't enough. The temperature was about 8 degrees but there was a wind chill as well, during the race I put my sleeves up and down half a dozen times, I prefer to run with the sleeves up but at stages my arms got too cold, hence the sleeves came back down. I reckon these cold spells hit me in the stomach without me noticing.
Now, do I stick with my vow or start training to do it again next year?