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Badbark Never in doubt you would nail it on the day , well done and enjoy the sun and beers .
Bikeit A tough day for you by the sound of it but well toughed out and things can only get better .
2016 training: Jan - 200m, Feb - 150, Mar - 150, with nothing over 11m. This led to a desperately
ugly 3.26 in Manchester then a much easier 3.17 in London 2 weeks later in
2017: Jan – run 150,
bike 150. Feb – run 100, bike 150. Mar – run 100, bike 450. Longest run 10m. This turned into 3.14.51 in
Manc with quite a bit of walk/run after 18m, and it’s clear that being a c*ap cyclist
(who has to spend 5 or 6 hours in the
saddle to cover any useful distance) is hugely beneficial for endurance.
VLM was a full 3 weeks after Manchester this year, training
was 34m slow run + 261m bike, + many days of hard outdoor labour. Overall picture: light, very fit, undertrained
for running, really tired but needing to do a lot more biking before the big event in
June. Having ticked off the sub 3.20 GFA
time in Manc I should probably have deferred VLM, but hey it’s a good day out,
no pressure, and it would be very hard to break the streak which now stands at
I fancied beating the Manc time and thought 3.12 might just be
possible, but would have been very happy with 3.19 and OK with 3.29 or
worse. The fancy dress wasn’t really a
big hindrance and the crowd response was huge.
Didn’t see any familiar faces at the start but had a chat in mile 1 with
Lorenzo who soon went ahead at a pace I didn’t feel up to. After 5m I was working harder than one would
like to stay at 3.15 pace so decided to drop it off and settle for 3.2X. At this
point Speedy Goth turned up looking quick, we ran a mile or 2 and had a catch
up so I forgot to slow down. Half way
in 1.34.07, not too bad, decided to carry on to 18m then mix in some walks to
run the clock down for another sub-3.20.
However I was still running OK and enjoying it so only walked at water
stations and up some of the inclines.
With 4m to go the pace was slowing but sub-3.15 beckoned and a
reasonably strong finish + a lumbering “sprint” for the line brought it home in
3.13.58. Quite happy with that for a B
Lessons learned, none of which is rocket science: (1) bike
endurance translates surprisingly well to running although it isn’t anything
like as good as focussed running-specific training; (2) it’s fairly easy to
knock out a back burner marathon which is nowhere near a PB, but to get faster
would mean knuckling down. I am sure I could get back to 3:0X with a bit of
work but doing that + the cycling simply wouldn’t be possible at this stage.
(3) VLM is not the fastest course, but the crowds and organisation are
excellent, and the best bits (e.g. Cutty Sark) are memorable moments.
Anyway, it was a good day, the streak survives, this
makes 58 maras + 13 ultras = 71 big ones.
Two weeks until moving from the OldGit50 to EvenOlderGit55 age group so life
in the old dog yet.
A nice sit down in the pub and a few beers with Lorenzo, OO54 and their
families, then off for a bath and a sleep. See you next year.
My day was also a bit of a disappointment, but to start with the positive, a couple of pints with Poacher and Lorenzo was the highlight of the day. And staying with my daughter a mile from the start line made things very comfortable and relaxed this weekend.
I set off as planned at 6:45 pace but as early as 9 miles that was clearly not on and by half way I has started to slide and was just a few secs inside 3 hour pace. Most of the rest of the race was a blur just focusing on the pace and working harder that I should of been. My hips were sore and the familiar strains in my left calf and thigh were getting very sore. I had a real wobble when I reached 22 and even considered walking for a stretch. Not sure if it was a stitch but I also had a real pain in my stomach. The slowest mile followed with a 7:43.
Then the FGFA 3 hour pacer passes me at mile 23. I had a serious word with myself and decided to hang on to the back (he seemed to be outside of 3 hour pace).That saved me for the next 2 miles, but as he stretched away at mile 25 I knew the game was up and slipped back to a 7:26 last mile.
Final time was 3:02:46 but could easily have been a lot worse. As Jools said I know I gave it everything so whilst disappointed, it's only with my declining abilities (at the marathon) rather than my work rate on the day. I feel that a sub-3 is beyond me now.
I know I'm not alone with the blues, but many Congrats to Jools and BB who both ran exceptionally well under the circumstances. A few of my pals also did very well.