In a bit to purge myself of the four hour plus marathon label, I decided to take the training a little bit more serious this time round. A 5 runs a week plan was created based on the usual long Sunday run with shorter, faster weekdays runs and a new twist of a tempo run on the Saturday to tire out the pins in advance of the long run - allegedly simulating making the long run the equivalent of the end of a much longer run. Well it sounded feasbile at the time and to be honest actually felt right for the duration of the training - so much so that I stuck to the plan.
So approx 75 sessions and 500 miles later I found myself at Ipswich station on Saturday morning, loaded up with tuna pasta, gels and flapjacks, off on my little adventure.
A nice brisk 3 mile walk from Liverpool St to the hotel in Lambeth gave me a chance to unwind and get rid of those pre race nerves. Walking over London Bridge I glanced down to Lower Thmes Street and could see the barriers in place, ready for Sunday. How different would it be in less than 24 hours I wondered.
|Lower Thames Street on Saturday|
|Looking East from Vauxhall Bridge|
|Looking back from pen 4 to the end of the red start|
8 miles in my right calf got tight and I thought it was going to cramp up - but it just stayed like that all day and was bearable. Crowds were absolutely massive and the good weather seems to have bought out more than ever this year. Temperature started to rise from around 12ish and after Canary Wharf so a concerted effort to take on a bit more water than would have normally. Got to 22 and things started to hurt and I realised that I had picked a pace that was certainly going to be a challenge. Needed to give myself a bit of a talking to at this point and dig in and hang onto the relentless pacer who was now shouting encouragment to his entourage who were all going a bit quiet. Couple of gels, bit of water and a remider to "be awesome" (thank you Mr Brant for that one) did the trick and 4 more miles suddenly seemed achievable. Emptied the tanks completely along the Embankment and round St James Park and over the line in 3:43:49.
A short 10 minutes then followed of slight surrealness as the heat, emotion and the whole event caught up with me - but I did manage to pose for an endorphin rammed official photo...
|Bit pleased with myself|
And I beat Michael Owen by over 2 minutes.
Splits for those that might be interested. Consistiency thanks to the awesome pacer.
|Split||Time Of Day||Time||Diff||min/km||km/h|