Posted: 15/11/2015 at 18:07
(copied from another thread)
SCI Bloemfontein marathon for me yesterday. Low key race with around 250 runners. 6am start time 1423m altitude at start and around 14C at the start time.
I thought I could run around 3:20 so set off at the pace for that. Things came out comfortably around 4:40 pace on the flat, 4:30 on the downs and 5:00 on the ups so averaging around 4:40. Things comfortable to start and I felt good.
The undulations started more seriously at around 10km and I had to work a bit harder in places, but still feeling good. A loop of ribbon was handed to me at 22km to show I had been to the turn around point which I put around my neck. Pace still good when I checked 23km - 4:40 pace which is around a 3:18 marathon. A long drag from 25-26km then lot of lumps from 26-28km and by now I'm getting tired - it's getting hot and the humidity is so low that sweat dries instantly.
I'm beginning to struggle and the pace is falling to 5 minute per km (8m/m) and my left foot starts to blister. Checking the pace at 32km and I'm still on 4:44 pace which is right for a 3:20 marathon. It's getting hotter,I'm getting more tired and my foot is agony. Progressively pace is falling and I'm struggling first at 5:30 per km then to 6min per km (10m/m). I have to stop to tighten my shoe, It makes my blister even more painful so I have to stop again to loosen my shoe - a 7 minute km including the stops. I am hemorrhaging time and I just concentrate on moving forwards. My target finish time plummeting with every step. I'm still pushing for sub 3:30, but that seems unrealistic with 2km to go and I calculate 3:33 for my second slowest road marathon.
The pain seems to dull as now it can't get any worse as I limp to the finish. I turn the final corner and there is the finish in 600 meters. I'm feeling relieved and check my watch to check my calculations - 3:27 it says. Eh? I know intrinsically I can get sub-3:30 if I can run fast again. So the hammer comes down and now I'm back at 4:30 pace or faster. My family came to the finish and my kids run toward me and I have to dodge them and they both burst to tears as I pass them. My watch has been a long time on 3:28 and it just goes over to 3:29 with 150meters to go. I just press on and cross the line at 3:29.
Legs immediately cramp and my family helps me walk. Into the ice bath upto my neck at 9:30 in the morning - think I was a bit hot. Suffering cramp and weakness for a good half an hour before I can move again.