Posted: 17/05/2015 at 22:14
I need to check my garmin for my splits but I must have gone through halfway (there was no official timing at this point) in approx 1:43.
When I hit the steep incline through the woods at mile 14, I decided to walk it. No point in killing myself and the heat at this stage was beginning to take its toll on me.
I had passed a few people coming to the lower slopes on this steep hill and while they toiled running up the hill, I got to the top at about the same time and then I was able to kick on. As I had run these few miles the first time round, I could tell very quickly that I was losing time compared to the first lap and that trying to get back to 8 min smiling was getting really tough. Combination of legs getting hammered and the heat.
Back up the deer path, again I took this very slow this time round but turned left at the top instead of right, to continue climbing to Richmond Gate. This is a long slow climb and as I was now at about mile 17 it was beginning to hurt. Back down (including some up sections) to the start/finish area (mile 19) and out again for one final lap. At every water station, I was taking on water and throwing a cup over my head (yes we had those horrible plastic cups).
Making my way round to the steep climb through the woods was tough and began to start passing people who were cramped, had pulled muscles and looked in pain. I have to admit I was beginning not to feel too good myself. It was just so hot.
Walked the steep climb again but slower this time. Struggling to put one foot in front of the other. Over the top, another drinks station and continued getting myself mentally prepared for the final steep and then long climb back to Richmond Gate.
I picked a few people off here but had a few people who were not that far behind me.
the Newcastle chap never passed me out so I reckon he must have being having a rough time of it. the other chap passed me around mile 20 and looked strong.
3 miles to go and it was an effort to put one foot in front of the other. Then I got a brutal stitch. Combination of gels and too much water I reckon. Did not shift it at all and had to give myself a serious talking to keep pushing on. I was hurting like I never have before in a race.
2 miles to go. Keep going.
1 mile to go. In agony. Everything screaming at me. Legs dead. Heartbeat was high. Trying to get air into the lungs. Trying to ignore the pain in my side.
Finish area in sight. People cheering. Not really hearing it anymore.
Then turned off the path onto the finish straight. Must be the worst finishing lime ever. A rutted track !!
Crossed the line. 3:33:53 according to my garmin. I came to an abrupt stop and after shuffling through the finish area where I struggled to let the little lad put the medal over my head, picking up water, food, I did the next best thing to passing out standing up. I did not move for 10 minutes, the world was passing me by, I was taking on water but might as well not have been there. Really strange.
I was too wrecked to realise that I had bagged a fantastic time even with a 10 minute positive split. I guess one of the chaps I spoke to at the start was correct. I gave nearly a minute per mile back in the second half.
I was clearly dehydrated and had probably pushed myself a little too hard today.
Made my way back to the car and slowly changed and inspected the damaged feet. They are still delicate.
The cold bath has helped and walking the stairs now is a bit better but expect to be really stiff come the morning.
So I would have settled for anything around 3:40 before I set out so my unofficial time is something I am really proud of.