Posted: Yesterday at 21:22
VMLM Report Part 4
Mile 15. I pass a visually impaired runner with his guide. The runner stumbles on each of the speed bumps we are going over and it seems like the guide, though obviously doing a sterling job, is not quite warning him about them at exactly the right moment. I warn him of an imminent ramp as I run past.
25k: bang on 1:45. I’m aware I’m edging slightly ahead of my original 21:xx per 5k pattern.
Mile 16, or thereabouts. I overtake a Welsh man in a green mankini.
Somewhere between miles 16 and 18. I overtake a man in a wedding dress. There is plenty of space to run now and it’s more like I remember from last year. Also now the crowd has thinned out people are cheering me on by name as they can see me and my top quality iron-on letters. At mile 17 I take my third gel (apple flavour).
Mile 18 onwards. Shoulders and neck are starting to feel a bit stiff so I make a conscious effort to relax a bit. Legs still fine; lungs could keep this up all day.
Mile 22. I take my final gel. It is lemon and lime flavour and tastes like a gloopy, warm Calippo. Yum.
Mile 24. I emerge from the tunnel and see my dad, who has got a great position (having apparently climbed over a wall) and is filming me running. I will see if I can post the video at some point. My mum, sister, brother, and sister’s boyfriend are on the other side of the road. I forget to look at the clock in an actually taking in the time sort of way, but I know I’m way ahead of target (it was meant to say 2:44 here if I was going to make sub 3) and I feel fine so I know I can push as hard as I like now. My legs are a bit tired (obviously) but I feel entirely comfortable aerobically (compared to mile 11 of a half, for example) and I honestly do feel like I’m nearly there rather than feeling like 2.2 miles is a long way. I can’t believe how quickly the race has gone by (not speed of running, but perception of time).
Mile 24.5. I overtake Patrick from Long Eaton who beat me at Rushcliffe parkrun two weeks ago.
Mile 25. The clock is supposed to say 2:51:xx at this point if I am on target for sub 3. It actually says 2:48:xx. Hurrah!
I overtake a man dressed as a portaloo.
Mile 25.5. I am running just to the left of and slightly behind this one man for a longish stretch. The crowd are amazing at this point; there are not too many runners crowded together, so they just shout KATIE over and over again. It occurs to me that this must be slightly annoying for the man. ‘Sorry about this,’ I say. I’m not sure if he knew what I was apologising for. 20 seconds later it occurs to me that it’s reasonably impressive to still be feeling chatty this late in a marathon. I run mile 26 in 6:33, which is faster than miles 12 and 13 of Reading half (6:37, though that was into a headwind). At the end of the half, I was panting like a steam train. At the end of the marathon, it’s my legs that are tired, not my lungs.
800m to go. Last year this seemed like the longest 800m I had ever run. This year I was prepared for that, but finished way more strongly anyway. I run the last 0.27 miles (according to my garmin) at 6:00 pace, which is 5k PB pace. As I run to the finish I can see that the clock is on low 2:56:xx and I cannot believe I am going to go under 2:57. I actually still don’t believe that I will do that at this stage, though someone capable of rational thought would have known it couldn’t take a whole minute to get down that short stretch of road. I feel elated as I cross the finish line, but remember to stop my garmin, which says 2:56:34.