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VLM 2012 was my first marathon. I have a fairly fit base from mountain biking (2 rides a week) and running (1 or 2 4-8mile runs a week). I did Hal Higdon's novice 2 programme of 18 weeks and was all set for a 3:15 on the day.
For example on my 14 mile training run many weeks ago, I did 7:14min/mi which was a bit fast for a training run, so decided to set my full distance target to3:15 (7:25min/mi)
All my training suggested I can run all day at 7:40 at 160bpm and 7:25 at 167 bpm.
So on the day I'm running along at 7:25 and after 6 miles, I glance at my heart rate and it's 180. I tried slowing down to 7:40 for a few miles, but it barely made any difference and after 12 miles I knew I was in trouble (yes it took me that long to realise! what a tool.... I just couldn't accept what was happening, because in training I had never encountered anything like this - I even assumed my HRM was wrong :rolleyes: )
So at 12, I really started to drop the pace off massively. My goals were: 3:15 and a fallback of "Finish", so I knew the first one was blown.
But then at 15miles both my thighs seized within minutes of each other, like a switch. I have never encountered this in all my years of running (I've been running for 28 years - but admittedly have never run this distance in one go before). The pain was searing with every step. At one point I almost passed out from it. I could barely bend my legs at the knee at all.
Like a fool, I carried on with the assistance of the medical massage girls along the way and hobbled to the line in 4:11, so whilst I got my fallback goal I'm now crippled! I can hardly walk and stairs are nigh on impossible. I'm devastated about failing the 3:15, but now my mission is to avoid all this the next time.
So, what happened? Why was my bpm so high? Why did my legs seize up? Are the two symptoms intrinsically linked? i.e. did my legs seize because my bpm was so high? And remember, in training earlier in the year I happily did 14 miles a fair bit quicker than I did the first 12 miles on the day.
I have tried to figure out what was different on the day, so here's my input:
Hot - all my training has been in much cooler weather.
Morning run - due to various factors only a couple of my long runs (including a 20 mile at 10am though which I did at 7:40 no problem) have been at a similar time of day to the VLM. Most of my running is in the afternoon or evening.
It's a race - I have only raced 10k before and not since last year - maybe there's an excitement factor? Although to be honest, I was feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing.
Any advice much appreciated - having missed my goal, I now need to do another marathon and I want to go in prepared next time, with risks like this mitigated.