Posted: 20/10/2014 at 08:05
So my 13th marathon and 5th time at Abingdon. Pink and youngest came along to support(youngest took some great photos). Great to meet up with AA again and Cooks for the first time. Race pacing was discussed and my plan was set off at 7:40's and push on if I felt OK, turned out to be an accurate prediction. Wind was the main concern, was n't too strong at the start but picked up as the race progessed. Splits as follows: 7:40(impressive pacing), ,7:19,7:34,7:13,7:16,7:23,7:36,7:25,7:25,7:30,7:22, 7:29,7:22,7:32,7:25,7:49, 7:28,7:42,7:44,7:47,8:10,8:05,8:12,8:24,8:36,7:50, 5:57(for last 0.2 I will go under 3:20)
Ran with AA and Cooks for the first mile then got into a steady pace, Abingdon consists of a 5 mile leg then 2 x 8 mileish loops then 4 back to the finish. It was warm already and started to feel the sweat at 3 miles. Saw the support crew in the town centre(4.5miles), I think I was a bit earlier than expected. At about 6 miles I tagged onto a group of 5 runners, this was good as the next 3 miles were into the headwind. No dramas up to halfway but right achilles was a bit achy. Through halfway in 1:36.xx.,unfortunately the group I was with slowed so I made the decision to carry on at my pace. Saw support crew at 14 miles which was start of second loop, Any delusions of a PB quickly went through miles 15 to 18 as I was now running alone and the headwind was getting stronger. Started to struggle from mile18 but made a promise not to stop and try and get best time possible. Miles 22 to 25 were a bit of survival mode and shoulders are aching today from poor form. Saw Cooks a couple of times in the last few miles, mutual words of encouragement given. Looking at watch at 25 I knew sub 3:20 was possible but would have to press on. Coming back into the stadium it was touch and go so shouted some obscenity at myself and kicked, think I went a bit too early/hard as I felt a bit dizzy with 300 to go, slowed down for 10 metres then kicked again. Great photo of me "sprinting" the last 100 metres. Was v happy to stop my watch on 3:19:55. That's my quickest time for 2 years. So an avg of 7:40. Met up with support crew, AA and Cooks afterwards will try and post photo. I took gels on at 6,10,14,18 and half at 22 and took on water at every stn(3 miles ish)
Conclusion, could n't have hoped for better given training/injury issues and conditions on the day, the swimming/cycling definately helped keep my fitness up, so very happy and will stick with my mixed tri training for VLM and hopefully not miss 5 weeks of running in the build up.