Posted: 22/04/2013 at 18:15
I'll be sticking around too, keen to see how the Manchester crowd fare.
OK, my race report for those who'd like to read it...
FGFA start experience was extremely pleasant. Arrived in good time and laid on the grass. Plenty of toilets and free lucozade, water, tea and coffee.
My plan before the race was to go out at 2.59 pace and see if I could hold on. This being a bold and possibly foolish plan, I'd already made peace with the fact that a likely outcome would be that I'd blow up at some point. But I wanted to make this my first sub 3 attempt, and sacrifice a 3.0x PB.
Miles 1 to 6 were ticked off fairly comfortably except my heart rate was reading 5% higher than I'd managed in training MP runs. I'd seen this all week after getting a fever last Sunday but hoped it would calm down by race day. Wasn't to be.
Anyway, continued on, getting tougher around the half marathon point until eventually heart rate was 95% at mile 19 and I just couldn't keep up the 6.48 pace. A wave of exhaustion came over me and I just had to stop. I tried the next mile at 8.30 hoping I'd feel better after that but it only got worse. By the end the best I could manage was 9.30 with heart rate way up in the 80s, and random cramping appearing in different places.
The crowd support was phenomenal in the last few miles and any disappointment I could have felt from blowing up was quickly replaced with excitement, pride and gratitude. Came home in 3.15. 6 mins slower than my PB but felt proud of myself for pushing it as far as I could.
Overall I've learnt a good deal about my body and the marathon. All the maxims held true: 'the marathon will find you out', 'you can't cheat the marathon', 'there are no shortcuts in the marathon'.
Had a great day and enjoyed it all (except for minor heartbreak when I saw a official clock tick past 3 hours). No disappointment whatsoever, it just wasn't the day for my sub3 marathon.
This was my third marathon and the course actually felt like the toughest of the lot. I started with super-flat Berlin and Barcelona was had some undulations but felt London was a bit more challenging. Massive respect for all of you achieving your PBs out there.
Rough plan for the future will be to bag another GFA at an overseas marathon (sticking to a PB race plan) then settle the score in London.
Anyway, I got myself a shiny new 30k PB...and some intense DOMS!