Posted: 17/11/2014 at 16:19
Very well done everyone. My expectation was to finish in 5hrs-5:15 with my current mara schedule plus how tired I was coming into this. However, I felt relatively strong mentally at the start even though I was my usual bag of nerves. I started out at sub 4hrs 30 pacing, although I had decided against wearing a Garmin in favour of a stopwatch, probably insane but I thought I'd see how long I could hold onto that pace. KM markers work better fof me for some reason, perhaps because they come around quicker, who knows? I had my usual dip at the equivalent miles 18-19 but I had decided I wouldn't stop throughout, slowed a little to take Powerade which I carried between the fuel stations. I think I dipped again at 34km but pushed through to the magical 37km which meant just one more parkrun to go! I realised at 40km with 4:18 on my watch that I could scrape just over 4:30 if I dug deep. Dug like a complete loon from 41km, thought I was in Australia by the time I hit that blue mat. Definite case of eyeballs out (Usain would be proud!) for that last push to come in at 4:29:58. Not super fast compared to you guys but my fastest in a few months and having run 3 marathons over last Fri, Sat and Sun, I'm not sure where yesterday came from!
I enjoyed it, the challenge, the atmosphere, people and organisation. Feet and ankles dipped in the freezing cold moat around the finish followed by the complimentary massage and stretch afterwards which was great. I'm pretty much a scaredy cat when it comes to running in any temperature which doesn't require gloves so the heat was really my main worry before starting. I've learned not to take on water (unless I have salt tablets, which I forgot to bring!), I lose far too much salt, isotonic drinks work better for me as I found yesterday.
My only criticism would be the fuel stations at 5km apart is much too far, especially given how warm it was. With this in mind, I've had to condition myself to hold a drink throughout which has worked well with my last few maras, taking a sip every mile or 10 minutes. This is my favouite of the 4 Spanish ones I've run so far and I look forward to returning to this beautiful city to run it again on fresher legs to do the course some justice.
Great to meet up with Jamie post race in the finish area by sheer coincidence as well as spending time with Nicole pre race and last evening.
Safe journeys home everyone, back tomorrow. Booooo!