Posted: 23/01/2016 at 18:43
Sorry, I have to rush so apologies for the ‘me me me’ race report.
I had a bizarre experience at the EAMS marathon today. My plan was to take it easy and run a comfortable sub 3:15. The course was four hilly laps, climbing from sea level to 250 feet each lap.
After the first 0.2 of a mile we ran down the first hill and I was in the lead. I didn’t look at my Garmin at all to begin with, and just ran what I felt was a comfortable pace. Running down the initial hill someone tucked in behind me.
We turned into a slight wind and my new friend remained close behind, following every minor adjustment of direction I made. I was already finding this uncomfortable so began speeding up a bit in the hope I would shake him. This didn’t work, so I slowed but he stayed right behind.
I pushed a bit going up the climb but my shadow remained in close order. I turned my head a few times and tried to start a conversation but got no reply. I looked at my Garmin after the first lap and was a bit surprised to see I was running at 6:45 pace. I was feeling good so averaged this pace for the second lap too.
My shadow remained at my heels throughout and I was getting a bit annoyed. I realised his plan was probably to follow me to the end, and out sprint me. So on the third lap I decided to take it much easier. I slowed from 6:45 to about 7:20, and so did my friend!
At one point I slowed to 8:30 pace and stopped at a bin to drop in rubbish. My friend stayed right behind me throughout. On the last lap I was practically jogging averaging around 7:45 pace, and another runner overtook us both. I’ve never been so happy to be overtaken in my life before. I knew at least my shadow wasn’t going to win!
I was all very easy and my HR was down at around 140. I was conserving my energy, getting myself prepared for the final few hundred metres. I could see the finish line up ahead so gave it (almost) everything I had. I could hear his steps getting closer entering the last 50 m so I kicked again and he kept him behind.
Yippee! I was so happy to beat him and checking my Garmin afterwards, I had run the last 0.1 of a mile at 4:25 pace! I finished in 3:04:40, with the winner finishing in just over 3:00. I shook hands with my friend at the end and he said something like ‘Thanks for the good run’. I’d hoped to get chatting to him but he disappeared in minutes while I collected a 2nd place prize. There was no prize for third – Tehehe.
So I had good workout and finished with plenty in the tank. Sadly it’s the last marathon I’ll be running for a while because of my operation next month, and then recovery. I’ve been told that I will not be able to run for between 6 to 8 weeks.
I think I’ll be volunteering at a lot at Parkruns, and my abs and upper body will get plenty of workouts!