Posted: 22/04/2013 at 10:52
so, it all went quite well in the end.
after a slight delay i met up with KV and Rattler in pen 5, we had a bit of a chat with the 3:56 pacers and had a bit of slightly nervy banter. the silence for Boston was impecably observed and you could really feel the community spirit amongst the runners. as someone has already said, if you want to break the human spirit, marathon runners are not the group to try it with.
the start was fine. previous reports of slow first miles were not repeated and we got a good, clean getaway. although about 500 yards down the road, KV had to stop for a wee.
Rattler and I continued, keeping the 3:56 pacers about 10 seconds in front of us. KV rejoined us and all was going well until about mile 6, when we started to slowly drop back from the pacers. at the time it felt as though it was purely due to traffic , but with hindsight i think it was inevitable.
we lost Rattler just after that, although i'm not sure if he dropped behind or we did.
our plan had been to stick to 9:00 pace, with the extra 4 minutes in reserve for when it got hard at the end. but KV and I found that we were slowly dropping time after the first few miles. not a lot, a few seconds here and there. but they started to add up.
going through half way i knew it was going to be tough as i felt it a lot more in my legs than i had at silverstone. it was pretty warm and i was drinking quite a bit of water. this meant that i couldn't have as much fuel without starting to feel a bit sick.
i started to drop back from KV around mile 16 and didn't pick him up again until about mile 21 after he'd had to make an emergency loo stop.
i was going well until about mile 23. up until that point i'd still had hope of making a sub 4, just. but going through the tunnel at the start of embankment my legs started to cramp up and my feet really started to hurt. everything kind of compressed down until i was just totally focussed on moving forwards. apparently i passed almost within touching distance of about 20 of my friends outside the walkabout at temple, all hollering at me and i didn't even notice them.
i checked my run tracker as i turned into parliment square and noticed that it had me at just over 26 miles at 3:58. i decided that i was going to get at least one time under 4 hours and somehow found a bit more pace from somewhere. i almost stopped and cried when i pressed the pause button at 26.2 miles and 3:59.34.
that little extra burst had pretty much finished me off and although i didn't stop "running" at any point, i think on the approach to Buck palace i was going not much faster than walking pace. but it's true what they say about turning that last bend and seeing the finish. i picked up the pace a bit and went over doing a passable impression of a jog.
i stopped to pick up my medal and have my tag removed and suddenly found that i was pretty much totally unable to walk. that shuffle to pick up my stuff and then go meet Mrs Sofa were 10 of the longest minutes of my entire life. thankfully i had a really big surport crowd waiting for me at the Chandos with a pint.
a day later, i'm not actually sure how i feel. i'm stoked to have done it, although i don't think it's really sunk in yet. i'm not quite sure where to go from here. i've found that i enjoy running, but not the long ones, post christmas. but a lot of that could be down to the really cold, windy winter we've had. also Mrs Sofa is a teacher and has a lot of marking and lesson prep to do at weekends. that combined with a toddler to look after makes going for 3-4 hour runs REALLY disruptive.
so i may do another marathon at some point. but not in the immediate future. sorry KV, i'll be with you at Brighton in spirit. and if you do London next year, i'll be hollering at you.
i did really enjoy my ear