Posted: 22/02/2015 at 19:30
WOOOOHOOOOO!!!! SK!!!! That is indeed Champs place at London Marathon for 2016!! Mega congrats! You should be aiming for 3:15 in the marathon then?
Well done Sean on the parkrun - parkrun is great, isn't it?
Gingermagic, that sounds like an excellent run. Was a really nice race, and a lovely course.
Soooo, if I'm being honest, I've not been on here much in the last week as I've been having a mid-plan motivation dip; I even missed my Tuesday run for no good reason other than CBAitis. I still managed good runs on Weds and Thurs, but I think the motivation dip was due to time on this training campaign without yet seeing results as my last race (Brass Monkey) didn't go as well as I would have liked and no races since. Tarpley 20 was always going to be a training run, and in Minnistyle, I decided to alternate 4 mile sections at easy pave and marathon pace. I didn't decide until this morning that I would start with an easy section, meaning only 8 miles at marathon pace. I thought this sensible as I had run 18 last weekend at steady pace, and this would be my first 20 miler since December.
I set off with a friend of mine who's the race director for Stour Valley marathon, My easy pace should be 9mm, but since last weekend's long run its crept a bit faster. The slight downhills made me run at about 8:20 pace and about 3 miles in, my friend dropped back. It was a gently undulating course, quite similar to a lot of races in East Anglia. If anyone has done the Halstead marathon, elevation wise, its quite similar.
I felt strong right from the start and 9mm was certainly too slow for how I was feeling today. 4 miles in I changed gear to marathon pace, and around 7 miles I passed a friend who is quite similar paced to me and also GFA at London marathon. We had a little chat. Her plan, which she admitted wasn't the best idea, was to run at 8:15 pace until she couldn't any more. I passed her but let her know that she would pass me again at 8 miles, which she did. She went ahead and I had to control myself not to run on with her. Continued along like this, but this second slow section was starting to get quite boring, especially as people I had passed in the second 4 miles started to pass me! Not all of them clocked onto my pacing plan, and I could tell some were flagging so was confident of getting them in the next fast block. I sped up in the last mile of this slow section and really felt good in the second fast block - miles 12-16. Toward the end of it I wondered whether I should just hold on and stick to marathon pace until the end, but talked sense to myself. This is my first 20 miler, I've got plenty more coming up, and rather than overdo the marathon pace today, I may as well work on seeing if the natural marathon pace can come even lower. There's still time afterall.
Since I felt good, I decided to have only a 2 mile easy section so I could run fast for the last 2 miles. A couple of guys who I caught up with around 15 miles I told that I would slow again at 16 but speed up again at 18. I hoped this would spur them on for a race, but I actually ended up sitting just behind them until 18 miles where I passed them.
I passed a couple of ladies during mile 19, neither of whom came with me, which surprised me, but I was steaming away. The last mile was predominantly downhill, and I was still passing people. The finish was on grass which wasn't good but there was a chap just ahead who looked like he wasn't trying, so I tried my best to chick him! He looked back just as I was accelerating and tried to hold me off! Not actually sur