Posted: 27/04/2015 at 16:53
Haven't been around for ages on here so nice to hear my name mentioned a by a couple of you. Not sure who was most pleased at the Red Lion, but Jools, LS21 and myself must have been up there.
Very self indulgent as I've not been around but did a quick race report below. Yesterday meant a lot to me....never thought I'd do it.
VLM 2015: Few more miles in training at a slightly increased pace this year as I knew I was running out of time (getting old) to crack this 02:45 barrier. First time I've taken anyone to London with me for support so was more than happy when my 16 year old lad, George said he'd come along. It was great to share a room this time with someone who I could relax with; and ask to fetch and carry things for me! Got up at 0515hrs and forced down my boring, bland Tesco's own multigrain, make with water instant porridge and 500mls of SIS Electrolyte. Also necked, the new 'secret weapon' of many, Beet-it, concentrated beetroot juice shot; tastes flippin' awful. Set off for the start at 0800 with the luxury of a bag carrier (big help). As usual, totally mobbed on the DLR but happy enough.
Really nice meeting up with the usual faces and a couple of new ones; great to see Selbs in the flesh and Tick-Tock, in the red FGFA pen on Blackheath on a cold and drizzly morning; it was bloody freezing and couldn't wait to get going. Plenty of banter and catching up. Went for a pee about 25 times and lined up on the front of the Red start. Had another pee and started getting nervous. At the Expo I'd bumped into a local runner I know fairly well who was targeting the same time as me so we managed to meet at the start line.....Paula gets massive applause and we're ready for the off!
Steady first mile came in at 06:16. Target pace was 6:12 but didn't want to tear of too quickly. Uneventful first 5 miles were ran in 30:47 (6.10), couple of seconds too quick but there's a decent downhill section between 2.5mi and 3.5mi so wasn't over bothered. Next 5 miles were a few seconds slower probably due to running into a little bit of a breeze on this part of the course. Hit 10 miles 17 seconds ahead of schedule at 01:02:13; both feeling good.
Was looking forward to reaching mile 11 as my lad was with another friend to give us a shout. Can't say how uplifting this was and did have a bit of a goose-bumps moment. I knew he'd also be at 21/22 miles and was hoping I'd still be holding it together by then. Hit HM distance 4 seconds ahead of schedule on 01:21:26. From about 12 miles my left glute/hip area was starting to get worryingly tight so I was becoming a bit concerned, although kept it to myself. Richard was running steady as a rock. Miles 10 to 17 were done at 6.10min/mi av; a little quick, maybe due to me pressing on a bit, trying to get my dodgy hip/glute around.
Cleared the dreaded (for me, anyway) Canary Wharf in a cracking 6.08min/mi and went through 20 miles in 02:04:11. Target for 20 was 02:05 so more than happy; glute/hip pain fading a bit (or going numb). Was getting a bit tired but had my 21 and seeing my lad again to look forward to so pulled myself together and did my best to look like a runner. Easily spotted, George on the left hand side and even managed a little fist pump as I went past...this was on! The night before, sat in Zizzis I'd seen the 23 mile marker outside the restaurant window; this was my next target. I knew if I could get to there on schedule I'd be prepared to put myself through the 'hurt box' for 3 miles or so. At Zizzis it was hurting and my next 3 miles showed this: 6:16, 6:18 and 6:23 (6.19min/mi av). These were my slowest miles. Should also mention that my running partner (Richard Swindlehurst) did pull away from me at this point and came in about 38 seconds ahead of me.
A good thing happened approaching Big Ben and 25 miles. I came acro