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Thanks everyone - I'm still a bit in shock - will write a full report when I come back down to Earth - but no magic shoes, just the trusty ASICS 2000.
Need a few beers now ...
TR, first off,
sorry I didn’t wish you luck! I was confused about when you were running.
Sounds like you put some guts on the line today. That is a really impressive
time and a beautiful chapter in your comeback
story. Enjoy that result
OO, Wow! You are
on quite a roll this year. Sizzling time in the marathon (and across all
distances for you this year). Is there nothing
you can’t do??
SBD, monster PB 9
years later is really incredible! You certainly put the work in to qualify for what you
got back. Very pleased for you! And top 10 for age class. Hard to top a day
like this, eh?
Well, earlier today I felt like the fastest guy on earth,
but as Gdawg says, have a few trailblazers leading the way (TR, OO, SBD!). On my side of the pond,
weather was perfect (35 degrees F at start and 52 at end; no wind). I dropped
nearly 7 minutes off my PB from 2015. First half 1:31:43; second half 1:31:27. Final time
3:03:10. Motor ran great today but like TR, glutes and calves kept me
from really opening it up in the final 6. But what a day. I was thinking of my
internet buddies down the stretch (a soft chant of DBS was in my ear) ;-)
The day after a Mara is always the worst, feeling tired and
mentally drained. Thank heavens I don’t have to go to work! So here is my
report for the York Marathon.
The background to York is that I entered at the last minute
8 weeks ago and only did my first long run on the 1st September
seven weeks before race day. I’ve been in good shape through the summer but the
shortened programme made it hard to feel confident about the Mara distance. I did
manage 3 long runs of 19-20 miles and a couple around 16. There was also plenty
of swimming and an improved diet which has kept me at race weight all year. I
felt relaxed about the race but discovering it was a BMAF National event did
add a bit of spice and focus.
Race day came around and the weather was cool and drizzly
with the breeze picking up as the day wore on. The start was a bit messy as I
arrived late to the pen. I didn’t get a chance to eyeball the other V55
athletes, but the field was stacked- the best turnout for many years- so probably
better that I was in the dark. The race started and soon settled down. Compared
to the previous big city Maras that I’ve run the route and the field of runners
was sparse. No jostling for road position and much easier to focus on pace
The first 18 miles went by with a steady pace around 6:45
per mile, passing half way in 1:29. I got distracted by the 3 hour pacer
pulling away in the distance but as it turned out he ran a crazy sub 2:57. It
took a lot of experience to let him go away without staying in touch. From 16
there is a boring stretch with a long double back. I was shocked to see loads
of V55s ahead of me coming in the opposite direction. This hit my motivation a
bit and I wobbled slightly for the next 6 miles and found the going tougher. I
was just about hanging onto 3 hour pace and a few secs outside on miles 19, 20
and 22. At mile 22 I started to feel that sub 3 was on and this lifted my
spirits. I was passing other runners including 2 V55’s who’d passed me earlier.
I got back under 3 hour pace for the next 2, until the b*stard hill at 25. I couldn’t
believe the cruelty of putting a long steady incline just ½ mile from the
finish- pure mischief on the part of the organisers!
Mile 26 came out at 7 minutes, in spite of the hill, then
the last 0.2 was at 5:46 pace- I do love a sprint finish. I was a bit shocked
to see the 2:58:40 on the finish clock, way beyond my expectations. I can’t say
it was an easy run, I had to give it everything over the last 6 miles. A bit
disappointed not to get a negative split also but a small price to pay.
I thought the race was well organised and fairly enjoyable.
The course was a bit boring in places and I don’t like long double backs, and
this race had 2. The brass monkey ½ is for me is a better event in York. Still,
I may come back next year as it’s a BMAF event again. I ended up 6th
V55 in the BMAF race, the winner an incredible 2:44:30 and 12 of us old boys going
sub- 3 hours. The guy who won the title last year (at Chester Marathon) didn’t
even get a medal in spite of running 2:53:44- he seemed bemused. I was miles
away from a medal in 6th place, but pleased with the time and to be
up there with the best in the country, and with an 81% WAVA which I think is my
best in a marathon. Just for PMJ this compares with 86% WAVA, my best in a parkrun
Some great racing over the weekend. Inspirational stuff. Well done all.
OO54 – Top work on the sub 3, masters placing and WAVA score! Nice report too.
DT19 – thanks for coach info will investigate. Strong tempo running. Agree dogs can be a pain – worse are owners, especially those who don’t pick up. So inconsiderate!
Leslie – not broken anything yet skiing, but maybe that’s tempting fate… Nice 400’s, good to see you enjoying those flyknits
VT – well done on the PB. Great pacing too with the negative split.
SBD – well done on smashing the PB. Big advert for P&D!
TR – another inspirational effort, especially toughing it out. Well done.
Joolska – solid 1500’s over the weekend.
Saturday I did 12.8km (sorry went metric for Vienna and haven’t adjusted back!) including 5x3mins at circa 10k pace. All came out sub 3:45 pace and 800m or just above. Good signs.
Sunday – a nice controlled 90 mins with a ten minute effort towards the end, chalked up another 18+km.
Got me to just over 60km for the week (plus 70km+ on the bike) which is roughly my peak distance for the year, but heading upwards and legs feeling fine despite me adding in some strength work too this week, so pleasing.
A good weekend of training Rich - I tend to work in metric.
Great report OO - very well paced. You had a bit more wind at York compare to Abingdon so getting under the three hours off the limited marathon focussed training is a great achievement. You obviously didn't suffer from cramps in the last 6 miles - would you put this down to anything specific?
Good run/swim training Gul.
Thanks for the congrats OuchOuch (you have an impressive record of Sub 3s over the last few years) - shame you weren't able to make Abingdon but Malaga sounds like it will be a fun alternative.
This was my seventh marathon start and I was hoping to
reverse the trend of the last two (2:59:34 at Brighton in April 2018 and 2:59:53
at Boston in April 2019). Training went
really went, essentially following P&D for a 16-week period with a peak weekly
mileage of 84 miles. Based on recent
races and long run pace vs HR data, I felt a 2:52 time was a reasonable target
if conditions were favourable, although this felt rather ambitious (and even a
little scary) given my PB of 2:58:xx. After much thought and deliberation, I decided
to just run to feel/HR but make sure this was no quicker than 6:30 m/m pace.
On the Friday, a couple of hours after the 7am 8K easy run
with strides, I felt a bit of discomfort in the left knee. Raising the knee was painful, it felt like a problem
with one of the hamstring tendons where it attaches to the lower leg
bones. I’d had something similar in August
2018 which took a while to recover from.
Not good! Spent the rest of the day
icing and applying the ibuprofen but it wasn’t much better by the evening and I
felt a DNS was looking likely. Woke up
early on the Saturday and continued with the icing and ibuprofen on an hourly
basis from 7am to 9pm. There were definite
signs of improvement when it was time to hit the bed, but I was not optimistic
at getting beyond 5 miles at race pace.
Had a couple of kilometres warm up on the track at Abingdon
and the knee (having liberally applied the ibuprofen) felt OK. So back to the original 6:30 plan, ignore the
knee, but be prepared to drop out if it became an issue during the race.
Lined up a couple of rows from the front and crossed the
line after a few seconds. Out of the
stadium and on to the main road. Quick
check of the Garmin, which told me I was running too fast (6:15 m/m) and the HR
was a bit high – slow down! Found myself
running in a reasonable group but had to keep putting the brakes on to stop the
HR getting above 165. Went through five
miles in 32:11, but other than the HR being a bit high everything felt
My eldest son was waiting just after the 5-mile point with the
sports drink. Almost dropped the bottle
(should have practised!) but managed to rescue the situation and he then cycled
off to the next arranged stop just short of ten miles.
The next 5 miles down to Milton Business Park were uneventful
and I just concentrated on keeping the effort under control. The top of the left hamstring was feeling a
bit tight but I was in no mood to pander to phantom niggles! Hit the ten-mile marker in 1:04:20, so a bit ahead
of the 6:30 m/m schedule but all feeling good.
From ten to twenty miles, I made a concentrated effort to take
on board the gels and sports drink. I avoided
the half-marathon split (a tradition) and just focussed on the 15 mile and 20
mile times. The legs were beginning to
feel a bit heavy from 17 miles, but the legs kept to the metronomic initial pace
and the twenty mile marker was reached in 2:08:40. So, further than I thought I might get when
I started at 9am, but the left upper hamstring and hip flexor were now beginning
to feel a bit tight. But only a 50-minute
final 10K required to break 3 hours – how hard could that be! Slowed a little over the next two miles which
were covered in 6:34 and 6:42 but then could feel the calves threatening to cramp
at 22 miles. Into survival mode, so
miles 23 and 24 covered in 6:58 and 6:54.
Just needed to keep going and avoid stopping for the next two miles and
a bit. Thankfully, my son was now following
me on the bike about 100m back, so there was added motivation and parental pride
at stake! Miles 25 and 26 covered in
7:13 and 7:10 but I was now in the stadium and only 300m to the finish. A quick check of the watch, which I’d avoided
since the 20 mile point, showed 2:49:xx, so time for one final effort to cross
the line in 2:51:14.
Abingdon Marathon – 20 October 2019
Woh! I hadn’t seriously expected anything so quick, so just
over the moon with the time. Finished 42nd
and 3rd M50 for which I got a trophy. Mixed feelings about the knee injury (no idea
where that came from, but it was bloody annoying!) and the last 6-mile death
march (I had trained specifically to avoid this but it was possibly a result of
the knee issue).
I’ve always felt I would struggle to keep getting under 3
hours for the marathon as I got older, so achieving a 2:51:xx seems a bit
surreal at the moment. And to have done
it without the magic shoes is an added bonus!
One part of me thinks this might
be as good as it gets, so perhaps I should retire whilst I’m ahead. The other is thinking the legs are not that
trashed so this would be a good time to chase the 10-mile PB and then of course
there’s London and Berlin in 2020 …