Posted: 14/04/2016 at 15:28
I ran the East Antrim Marathon Series Monkstown Marathon today. It’s exactly 4 weeks since my return to running after a 5 week lay off. The EAMS marathons are low key affairs organised for people wanting to run multiple marathons. I decided last year to target 100 marathons and today was my 29th, and 12th in the last year.
The course was 14 undulating laps of a park and pavement. I’m running the Belfast Marathon on the 2nd of May and today’s run would be my only 20+ miler in preparation for a sub 3 attempt. I’ve never managed sub 3 in Belfast.
My plan was to run about 15 to 18 miles at sub 3 pace and then coast to the finishing in whatever pace felt comfortable. I didn’t really taper having run 12 miles, including a 38:30 10k at maximum effort on Sunday.
There was only about 40 runners and I took the lead straight away. I felt great and churned out the first 15 miles all around 6:40 to 6:45 m/m pace. Although I was running alone, it was great craic lapping people giving and receiving encouragement from fellow runners.
I was surprised at how easy it was all feeling, as I’d given 100% in a half marathon 10 days earlier finishing in 1:30. I reached 18 miles still averaging around 6:43 pace and it was feeling much easier than the half.
I decided to maintain the pace for another couple of miles but slow after 20 if it started getting tough. I reached 20 miles still feeling good so thought I might as well go for the sub 3. I only needed to run the last 6+ miles at around 7 m/m pace.
I remembered that the last time I ran the course my Garmin measured it at 26:40 so didn’t want to slow down too much. I kept ticking off the miles at just under 7 pace and check my watch at 25.4 miles to see I had 8 minutes to run, to go sub 3.
As I suspected the 26.2 mile point arrived and I still had a final hill to climb. I was a little worried so give it my all crossing the finishing line in 2:58:57, with 26.38 miles on my Garmin.
I’m well chuffed with the win receiving a trophy, medal and £25 voucher for a running shop. More importantly at no point did I struggle and had plenty left in the tank at the finish. Happy days!
So there you go, who needs months of P&D when I can run sub 3 after 4 weeks of training following 5 weeks of no running! I should write my own ‘Madbark’ Marathon book and earn a few quid.