Posted: 15/04/2014 at 08:02
Ok, my report.
Sub 2.45 was always my secret top A goal, as it was for Chester last autumn, but as GK mentioned there was a bit of sandbagging going on as all my training and racing pointed to this being a very tough target for me, and I would have to have a really good race to hit it…so I put a more realistic goal up on here for err….sandbagging purposes.
Leading up to the race I was niggle free and felt pretty good and I think I did a pretty good job of carb loading..although I was feeling a bit lousy from all the carbs on the final few days. I decided I would risk the lighter adios boost trainers, this was a bit of a gamble as I hadn’t practised and long runs in them and only raced in them once over 10k. I also decided to use Menmania’s suggested method of using my garmin, where I hit the lap button every mile. I made myself a 2.45 pace band, and decided I would really concentrate from the start on even splits…or maybe a slight positive split.
Race day got to the FGFA with 30mins to spare. Loaded my bag on the truck, went for wee, did a short warm up, and then time to queue up at the start. Attempted another wee at side of start area as everyone else seemed to be, and I really wanted to drain any liquid out of me as didn’t want to stop during the race, but couldn’t go. Bit embarrassing.
We’re off. First ½ mile was all dodging people and trying to get into an even pace, 2nd ½ mile I was hitting roughly my target pace of 6.17 or a bit faster..and for the first 3 or 4 miles I was running a bit faster than goal pace due to hills/excitement etc. 1st 5k in 19.18 (haven’t got mile splits from watch, using VLM results page). Running through Greenwich still felt good and coming out of Greenwich saw my family which was nice. That was the last time I saw them during the race though as they had a few logistic problems! 2nd 5k 19.25, 3rd 5k 19.41, 4th 5k 19.32. On towards tower bridge and halfway I was about a 30secs ahead of my goal time, and was still feeling good at this point, taking on drinks when I could. Half way 1.22.11.
The 2nd half of the race the soles of my feet started hurting and knew I would have a few blisters from my adios’. I told myself that it was only going to get worse, and I would ignore it! I was still very focused on my pace, hitting the lap button on my watch…although forgot a few times. I would say that this watch lap strategy really helped me stay focused and concentrate on my time and pace, so thanks for the tip Menmania. 5th 5k 19.26, 6th 5k 19.32, 7th 5k 19.38. I was definitely slowing down.
About mile 18 my legs were hurting everywhere, especially my left calf, and I could feel some nie blisters forming on my feet. At mile 20 I was having the devil/angel on shoulder analogy going on as Shazmo/GK described. Sometimes I was telling myself it is ok to slow down or stop even, no disgrace at all, leave 2.45 goal for another day etc etc. Then I would pull myself together, telling myself not too far to go now, counting down the miles etc. One thing that helped here was counting. I took Paula Radcliffe’s advice I read somewhere on counting to 100 over and over. This helped keep it together in those final miles.
Onto the embankment my pace was a bit all over the shop, trying to hold roughly a 6.17 pace…I would slow, look at my watch, speed up! 8th 5k 19.51. When got to mile 25 I saw that it was going to be tight to meet 2.45 so really tried to pick up the pace, but then onto birdcage walk started slowing again. As turned into the mall and approached the end I suddenly realised I might actually just miss it and there was no way I was letting that happen so managed a little sprint to come in at 2.44.55. Yay!
After race made my way through all the nice v