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Well, for my unconventional training I suppose that constituted a result. Since last June my road racing has consisted of 1xHM, one x10K, 1x4 miles and 2x20 miles, with a long stretch off for a broken rib. Just to keep things simple I did no intervals, no MLRs and apart from the 20 mile races no long runs. You can see why I wasn't expecting much In my defence I have done a load of off-road ultras and other shorter distances, but none at any sort of pace.
For this reason I was neither excited nor nervous about the marathon and in fact at times it just felt like something to get done and off the ever-lengthening 'to do' list - which I think actually worked in my favour. I did make the big mistake however of setting myself a bit of a soft target - sub 4 if possible, but sub 4.15 to avoid slitting my wrists.
Excellent night's sleep before the race, which generally means I am lacking ambition, and an easy journey to the start. At least for me cold, damp conditions are near perfect and could lead to me heading off too quick, so I was determined to avoid that if humanly possible [although history shows that I have said this every year and never taken a blind bit of notice]
Good to catch up with everyone at the green start - unlike 2Old I didn't make it to the front of the loo queue in time and abandoned 10 minutes before the start, being still some way back - luckily I can't have needed to go after all Pen 5 was a bit strange, the 3.45 pacer and 4.00 hour pacer were practically side by side so I decided to try and stick with the 3.45 pacer for as long as possible to stop myself from charging off too fast. This worked a treat as he was very steady and by 10 miles we were about 35 seconds ahead of schedule. It was a small group so easy enough to keep close, although if you did drop back it was a nightmare to try and get back with the crowds around you.
Having a few people to chat to and something to focus on made the miles go quickly and before I knew it we were over Tower Bridge and heading for half way. Usually I am starting to die at this stage having hammered the first 6 miles or so, but this time I still felt good and was beginning to think I might have a shout of sub 3.50 if I could hang on to the group until 20 miles.
It all started to go a bit pear shaped between 14 and 16 miles when we left the Highway and the streets got much narrower. A couple of the group felt he had put in a couple of fast miles [I certainly thought so] and it was now really hard to catch up if you stopped to grab a drink. By 15 miles I was having to speed up and weave round people to stay in contact and I realised that this was never going to work as a strategy so just concentrated on trying to run an even pace. The group were still not more than 100 yds ahead as we went through Canary Wharf, where my niece and her mates spotted me and gave me a boost with their raucous shouts. Was slowing but still going pretty well until 19 miles where it all started to go a bit pear shaped and the lack of distance running at any sort of speed started to take its toll.
The pace was dropping off and I lost sight of the pace group and mentally at this point I just settled for sub 4, having banked enough time in the first 15 miles to make this eminently doable. I'm cross now as I could have stuck with the group for longer if I had glued myself to the side of the pacer - but we learn by our mistakes. From 20 on it was just as bad as it always is and I was fairly sure Minni and co would have gone to the pub long before I arrived. Fortunately the Macmillan cheer points kept me going, but I felt I could have gone a bit quicker if I had set a tougher target. The problem with doing a race as often as I have done London is that you know exactly what is to come and where it is going to hurt most.
Pleased to cross the line and a time of 3.55.59 was better than I deserved after the [lack of] proper training The fact that I felt absolutely fine schlepping down to the baggage van and walking round to the Macmillan reception tells me I didn't push myself hard enough. Massage, change of clothes and off to the pub to meet the rest of the running club. I didn't even get a drink though because it was really warm and crowded and I realised i was in danger of 'doing a Norwich' [you had to be there . Headed back for a shower and then took my niece out for dinner - the distance we had to walk to the restaurant is proof of how little she knows about marathon running
Slept incredibly badly last night and was up early to do my daily 5k of exercise in Regents Park before drifting back to Bristol.
Got interrupted there by BA demanding to be fed
Great PBs from Freemers, 2Old, Nell and Carrot - I am in awe. I certainly lack your determination.
Nell / 2Old - you might like this exchange chez O4S.
Me: met Nell and 2Old at the green start
BA: blank stare 'Who'
Me: couple of guys from Team Minni - they looked nothing like I imagined they would
BA: I'm going to stop you right there, I really don't want to think what you might have imagined. Anyway, just think of the fright they must have got
First post race alcohol tonight - wondering if my toenails will oblige by falling off before I have to do 20 miles on Saturday. I can't actually believe I agreed to do this
Great T shirts aren't they - even XS on offer!
So who is on for next year??????????
HI o4s Great report. I was telling my wife your time and she was in awe! I seriously think you should have a camera catching your conversations with BA, better than Gogglebox I reckon!
HI 2old, Super report. and your splits are really pretty on the ball, they look as though you had a pretty good timed race to me! Really pleased for you.
To be honest I was expecting London to be harder than it was, that is why I went off a bit harder from what people had said. I suppose it did me a favour. I will see how I come back from London and how the training goes over the next 4 weeks before I make a call on my tactics for Edinburgh.
Next year o4s? You know, I think I could be persuaded and yes nice small T-Shirts, bonus!
Hi guys! Excellent, excellent running from everyone, what a day it was!
Amazing PBs from Free, Carrot, 2Old and Nell. You are all sooo speedy! It was great to catch up with some of you at the green start and others at Chandos and it was great to at last meet 2Old and Nell.
My aim was to have a good steady training run and aim for around 3.33-3.35 to make sure that I can get straight back into comrades training. I thought it was going to be great to do it for once without the pressure and enjoy the experience but I must admit that I found having to hold back so much rather frustrating and don't think I would want to do this again in such a big race.
I did VLM 2 years ago but I must say I found it a lot busier this year- not sure if it's just because I was more aware of what was going on around while going at a more relaxed pace or maybe it's all those ultras and off road maras I've done in the last few months... but I must say I've definitely decided lower key events are the way to go for me in the future. The noise was overwhelming at times and it felt like a bit of a circus to be perfectly honest.
I managed to stick to around my target pace (of just over 8mm) for the majority of it until the last 4 miles where I just couldn't help myself and let go a bit. As a result the stats show that in the last 7km I passed 791 runners and only 7 passed me... lol. This would never happen under normal circumstances! Finished in comfortable 3.31.30.
The legs feel back to normal today and managed 10m into work this morning with no issues so I guess sticking to the plan has paid off.
Pembrokeshire 35m ultra this Saturday and almost time for comrades taper after that...
Bro- great to meet you. Very disciplined marathon . It must have been so hard keeping to that pace..you are going to do brilliantly on Sunday and at Comrades. It must have felt so good passing all those I front of you
Nell- I'm intrigued how 3.06 became 2.57. I dnot have your speed but wonder how near 3 I might get. I did a HM of 1.26 in 2013 before injuring myself 10 days prior to VLM. Would you share your schedule? Enjoy the ice baths .
O4S- my family found it odd that I had a virtual running club and that it and reality coincided on Sunday. I'm just wondering what you expected of Nell and I. Any way good see that the London diversion is over and your mind is on bigger/ tougher things. Really enjoyed your report too
Barry- any improvement of your injury?
I'm suffering from mega DOMS at the moment but don't really care. I went for a swim today and ended up in the outdoor pool ..very chilly ...as there was something unpleasant floating indoors
Im a bit sad...now watching the recording of BBCs London marathon programme . Can't think of a better way of spending a few hours. You can see runners dashing to the hedges for a pee just after the start .
2old - Brilliant pacing, that is very well raced and a great result, You've had your niggles through the campaign but come through them with a great PB, very well done to you.
Brol - nice controlled race and loved the last 7K stat, 10 miles yesterday and 35 this weekend, you are getting to levels of O4S madness.
O4S -Given your doubts of running it and "lack of"proper training, that is a very good result for you but it was never in doubt because of who you are and you never cease to amaze me. Congrats. Hopefully I'll make it next year.
I saw physio Monday and has given me some exercise to do, can swim and bike if it doesn't irritate but no running for 2 weeks. Pain comes and goes sometimes OK sometimes can't walk properly on it. 2.6k with pull buoy yesterday.
Hi Bro, Yes, great to meet you, and I hope you warmed up? Well done on sticking to your intended pace, that must have been hard but very wise. You can be forgiven for a little bit of a surge at the end. I would have like to have seen the look on folks faces as you came pulsing through!
Good luck with the 35m ultra.
Hi 2old, Hope the DOMS have eased off? I think there is no doubt you could trim that time.
I am also intrigued how 3:06 became 2:57, totally unexpected. After speaking to folk about the London marathon, I had built it up to be a harder course than I actually in the end experienced. I thought the second half would be tougher than it was. I think on Sunday, for me the conditions were just right and I felt really good once I thawed out after the start!
I am not sure whether it is just natural progression or the Hansons plan that has helped me. Hopefully both. I, like you never really got on with the P+D plan and I got a bit bored with the RW plan. The last two marathons I have used a 12 week plan (although I think York ended up 11!) from Hansons and that has been just right. I find I can recover from the weekend runs easier and that gives me more to give in the midweek sessions. You do feel on the edge of tipping as you get into the plan, but that is the idea , I guess. Message me your email address 2old and I will send over the plan.
Hi Barry, Glad the physio is sorting you out. At least you can fall back on the cycling and swimming meantime? Fingers crossed you will be back to full strength soon.
Sunday and Monday night, serious DOMS, last night things seemed to ease off a bit. My left foot has been aching on the outer side, I think this is just down to the repetitive impact on Sunday. There is no bruising and I iced last night which seemed to ease things, so will continue with that. The Type A6 are pretty lightweight, so I expected a bit of soreness.
Great reports guys... Still sulking that i wasn't there!
Has anyone run the Richmond PArk marathon?
I'm thinking of running it with a couple of club mates that Brighton also didn't go to plan for. Would appreciate any feedback.
Carrot - great report, and even better that it turned out to be a sub 3.10....it was a brilliant time anyway but somehow that 3.09.xx sounds so much nicer . When I saw you you just looked really relaxed and calm, telling me (and yourself!) to stick to the plan. Well, you definitely did that, just fantastic And Parsnip too, just amazing...both of you have improved in bucket loads over the last year or two....must be getting married that did the trick
How are people feeling today....my quads and calves are still a bit tight but apart from that I feel pretty good. I am booked in for a massage on Saturday and will probably run on Sunday, only 5 or 6 miles though as a loosener. It's funny that in previous years I have been itching to run about now after a marathon. This year I'm not really, just sticking to the plan (again!).
Great run Carrot, I enjoyed reading the report. Was Parsnip disappointed to just miss sub 2.45? Team Minni will be packing the Champs start next year
I walked my three or four miles on Monday and Tuesday, but had to remove a couple of toenails yesterday, so opted for 15 miles of hills and intervals in a spin class. Had a massage Tuesday as we leave for a walking/running holiday after lunch today. Just heading out on my bike to do a few jobs - my legs feel fine so I obviously didn't push hard enough, but keeping an eye on the main target in 3 weeks. We will be walking the whole of the 100 mile route during the holiday to make sure there are no navigational horrors lying in wait on the night section, plus a few 'joining up' bits to make circular routes. I think BA will be trying to ensure I don't run too much
Great report Carrot- you absolutely smashed it!
Oompa- I haven't done the Richmond marathon but have done a half and do my long runs around it almost every Sunday. What do you need to know? It's not a fast course by all means, all off road (although on well maintained paths) and with some mean hills thrown in. I am not sure how many laps you end up doing but I'm guessing quite a few as it's 7.5m in circumference...
Thanks Brol... I think!
Hills and laps... Not my cup of tea at the moment as quads are STILL not quite strong enough to power up hills like i used to (of course if i got off my arse and did some hill reps, this may help), and i've always hated races that involve laps!
May have to investigate somewhere else to put the Brighton demons to bed, as i think i'm now officially the slowest member of this thread!
Oops, nearly forgot, great report Carrot. If you missed the time you were aiming at, but still came in with a 3.09, what was your A target??? Super speedy regardless, and Parsnip getting a 2.45 is something us mere mortals can only dream of!
Loved the reports. Its therapy to write them!
O4S - enjoy your holiday. You nailed London and as you said, your 100 miler is the goal.
Carrot - brilliant report, that time is unbelievable. And pushing through the pain at the end to get there shows how mentally strong you are too.
Freemers - you looked and sounded so strong on the start line. It was never in doubt for me, I knew you would do it.
2old & Nell, just amazing runs from you both. Positive all the way.
Bro - just looking at you on Sunday made me feel cold!! Glad you're fully recovered after 20 minutes (!) and up for your 35 miler this weekend!
Oomps - man up and go smash out your sub 3:15!!
So, my turn...
Managed to get soaking wet socks walking across from the FGFA to the Party start so had to change into my non marathon running socks I had with me for afters! Met up with Freemers, O4S, Bro, Nell & 2old. Usual winging about layers and how cold I was... Toilet, bag dump and off to line up behind the tape with the celebs. They managed to remember to remove the tape between us and the celebs with @10 seconds to spare...nice one!!!My plan was to set off @8 min miling and try and hold on for as long as my body would let me. Having run 2.5 miles since Boston I was a little concerned to say the least. Got to 4 miles and felt a calf twinge. I pushed out all negative thoughts about stupidity. Saw my son @tower bridge and almost missed him. Pushed on along the Highway and hammy started to tighten. I drew on my Boston confidence and steady splits. I was still knocking out @7:51 a mile. I hate the Isle of Dogs. Reached this point and its normally a hell of a lot hotter than it was on Sunday. My miles started to slow as my calf and hammy got stiffer. I had a bad few miles 18-20 but managed to pull a bit back a bit. I put out of my head that it was only 6 days since I had run a marathon and didn't want that to be a reason to stop me. A few times a felt a bit dizzy so took my spare gel @21 miles.Looked out for Minni, couldn't see her. Saw Mr AA @23.5 miles, gave him my gloves and headband and checked my watch. I then thought I could actually try and get under 3:30 thinking it had slipped from me. Up onto Embankment and head for home. I was running really flat footed at this stage as my legs were properly mashed. Kept pushing all the way to the end thinking of you all out there aiming for your own goals and hoping you had got them. Turned the corner and knew I had done it. To be honest, a few weeks ago I wouldn't have believed anyone saying I could do 2 sub 3:30s at Boston and London. Still a bit in shock about it. Having said that, I have never, ever felt so sore and so tired for this long after a marathon. The soles of my feet are still so bad. The muscle ache has almost gone. Might try a slow shuffle with the dogs tomorrow but will see if I'm any better first. And no....I couldn't run 26.2 miles this Saturday!
AA - love your report, especially the way you zipped it up in the last couple of miles to get back under 3.30 ....I'd forgotten about the tape at the start, those marshals were the ultimate jobs-worths! I honestly thought the gun was going to go and we'd have to break through the tape ourselves!
Still no inclination to run yet. Just eating a lot!
12 miles done today, mix of running and walking off-road. 20 has to be done tomorrow as we are sweeping part of the Marshals 100 mile event ( and getting in a sneaky recce for the main event in three weeks. Toes a little sore were I pulled the nails off but otherwise all good. Aiming for 120 miles plus this week.
AA: please tell me your secret - bribes are available
Carrot- congrats on your shiny new pb. As Oomp said what was your A target as that was a cracker for a B! Parsnip is not human. Well done to him but he better watch out as you're catching up. I wonder had you raced a little less in the run up you might have hit your A target? But what do I know you have younger legs than me. Excellent report.
AA- you are a running machine with a mind as tough as granite? Seems like it from your race report. Brilliant stuff. I loved the irreverent way you approached Sunday....jobsworthWhose David Hemmery?Push the celebs out of the wayBreak the tapeEtc. Glad you ignored the championship start. Thought you were going to have a melt down at the prospect of having to wear non marathon socks but you showed real fortitude enduring the race with regular running socks.
Carrot/AA/Free- pity you are all at the championship start next year looks like we are going to have to recruit new members to the greenstart club.
O4S- well done getting stuck into the mega mileage immediately. Your body is tougher than mine despite what you say
Free- I haven't run yet either. My mind is getting there but my body is resisting
Barry- glad you're allowed to cycle and swim. You'll soon be back running.
Oomp - Liverpool Marathon 14th June has the prospects of a pb race....how about it ?
Bro- have fun in Pembroke. Lovely sandy beaches and clear water ...not that you'll have time to enjoy them looking down from the coastal run along the cliffs and dunes.
tally so far this week is 2 Swims and an hour spinning. May swim later and YKW tomorrow.(easy ). Making up for my recent alcohol abstinence too. Signed up for 2 triathlons and debating a HM in June too
how about a list of forthcoming races?
Oomp- I'd be lying if I said it was flat but it's ok. Google Rock and Roll Liverpool Marathon and take a look at the map and the elevation diagram. It's quite undulating I guess. The second half involves a short hill up and the rest is mainly downhill or flat and follows the HM route where I've gone sub 90 for the last 3 years so I know that is pretty fast. The first 12 goes up to and around the football stadia and back down to the centre of the city which makes that part worthwhile . I'm thinking about it and will do the HM if I bottle out of the marathon . Your hill reps today will help do the job nicely
So after an hour spinning earlier I went to swim club for the first time for ages and suffered painfully for just over a mile.
Chick- glad the lager louts were there not at the marathon. When is the Prague race?Hungary sounds great seems to have come on a bit since the days of Atilla.
so much for an easy ykw today. Met up with a pal who offered to pace me so I took up his offer. Before the first mile was done he gave up on the pace and volunteered a runner just behind me who pulled me along through the pain. So after over 10 years of trying finally went sub 20 with 19.52. Came 11th overall and first for my age. first run since Sunday too.
Hi Carrot, Great report and congratulations on the sub 3:10! The championship area sounds a bit strict. Although the portaloo situation sounds a bit more appealing than at the Green start! Well done to Parsnip on 2:45 also, super stuff.
Hi AA, Enjoyed the report and again congratulations on the two sub 3:30's. Tremendous discipline...Hoping you are back to normal now?
Hi o4s, I see you are back into the mileage. I think I would like two of what you are drinking
Hi Chick, Hope today goes well, nice run to clear the head after that wine?
Hi 2old, Freemers. Good to hear you are recovering well from Sunday..
Well not a very productive week for myself after last Sunday. Rested up until Thursday. The legs had recovered apart from a bit of a dull ache on the outside of my left foot. Went for 3 miles easy Thursday morning. First mile was not very comfortable, so I broke off and headed back home accross the field and that mile was a bit easier as it was softer underfoot. Since then I have been icing the foot and still feel a bit of discomfort now and again under the ankle and on the side of the foot, which could relate to Peroneal Tendinitus. I am going to start a bit of self massage on the calf and foot today and just see how things go. So now 4 weeks to Edinburgh and no running at the moment, I have a massage booked for Wednesday, so can see what the advice is from there. 'Got me bags on' at the moment, as my mother would say!
Carrot - Great report and well done again to you. Must be very happy with your progression. Impressive racing by Parsnip
AA - With your less than perfect build up to your double you performed well above what you expected. Great report and well done for toughing it out and getting the sub 3:30.
2old - Year of PB's for you? Very well done on the sub 20 parkrun. What's next race wise for you.
nell - Hope it's nothing too serious with your foot.
Chick- Good luck.
Nell- its hard to believe youll be nailing Edinburgh in a few weeks. Recover well
Barry-more pb's? Doubt it but it's sub 40 for 10k that's my holy grail . Next is Wimslow sprint TRI on 17th. Mulling over Liverpool R&R Half or Full marathon mid June but I've got a 2mile swim on the Friday before so not sure. How's your rehab progressing ?Any races pencilled in?
did some spinning/ treadmill bricks yesterday
Hi 2old Getting back into things then? Have you a good course in mind for the 10k?
Hi Barry, How is the glute?
Hi Oompa, Carl on the 3:30-4:00 forum is running Richmond and ran a recce last weekend and has posted some elevation stuff if you are interested?
No 2old/Barry, I can't imagine nailing Edinburgh at the moment, which is a bit annoying after last week. Just been icing and self massage at the moment. Foot still feels tight now and again throughout the day. I know I could not run on it without making it worse at the moment.
Just keeping my fingers crossed it will ease as the week goes on.