Posted: 20/10/2014 at 08:40
It's been a long time out of 'proper' running for me. Ongoing periostitis, originating in June 2013 has caused me to abort marathon campaigns in autumn 2013 and spring 2014. I've only really been able to return to running in August 2014. In the meantime I had grown very fat. The main goal of my running since August has been to get back to a basic level of fitness and shed at least 7kg by adopting a high fat diet – which also makes it difficult to run at pace anyway. I have made very limited long runs (16, 18 and 20) and minimal running at pace since August.
For the marathon itself, I ran the first miles at paces in the region 7:30-40. I knew from the start that I would be unable to sustain the pace but kept on anyway – not like me as usually I have a very good idea of what pace I sustainable. At around mile 8 I dropped out of the small group I had been running with and dropped the pace slightly to 7:50-8:00. I went through half in 1:42, but was already flagging and getting into a running debt.
In an attempt to plug the holes, I had sports drink at mile 14 and some jelly babies. I felt a bit more energetic, but the pace is plummeting from 8:00 at mile 13 to 8:45 by mile 21. I'm getting increasing wobbly. Somehow I'm down on the grass verge for a minute or so. I get going again, but short lived and down again. I can get up and start again. I try to run at 10:00, but I'm struggling at even that pace. Run a bit, walk a bit. I get worse and worse. I keep getting asked 'are you OK 440?' I always reply 'yes'.
It is increasingly ugly, I just focus on moving forward, but I'm also stopped at times with hands on knees. There are others around in a similar condition, but they still overtake me. The race finished on a track and a few metres before, one guy pats me on the back and says 'let's finish this together'. The ultrashuffle seems inappropriate and I run at tempo pace once I get to the track. Mostly I am relieved I finished and can count another one done.
So what happened? Obviously I only put in very limited training and really was under-trained to run longer distances and at pace. Firstly I ran the early miles too fast and I knew it when I was running them, but didn't do anything. I also think my lower back and hips don't have enough flexibility and this is giving me fatigue there. I'm not convinced with what I am eating suits marathon running either or if there is some further metabolic issue below that.
Anyway, I'll be back. Onwards and upwards. Next one possibly Pretoria on March 1st. In the meantime there's a lot of work to be done.