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Fantastic! I'm so pleased for you! (And more than a little jealous as I sit here still coughing up my lungs)
Thanks everyone! Very happy with my result, about to go out with the other guys, we all ran so well. Will post a better account of the day tomorrow, but time was about 2.53.xx with a 2 minute negative split. Felt strong pretty much the whole way, did have a couple of dodgy patches though!
Brilliant execution - fantastic!
That's a fantastic performance Alex, well done!
Congratulations Alex. That's a brilliant achievement.
I've just looked in here after some considerable time away. I guessed you'd smash the target and am delighted for you. I'm slowly recovering from injury, hardly done any running for 2 months now but will probably pitch up at VLM in two weeks anyway and see if I can jog round the first half. Might see if I can get upto half your pace
Just awesome! Well done, great to see the training paid off for you and to see a massive chunk taken out of your PB! What's next......?
Congratulations great PB I hope the hangover isn't as big!
Thanks everyone for your messages! Well done to you too Denis, great time!
So I thought I would post a bit of a race report to give people a bit more detail on the ups and downs of race day. My official time is 2.53.13!
Things didn't start very well, we all left together for the start pens with about 25 minutes to go. By the time we reached the baggage drops and left the guys from Asics and Runnersworld we only had 15 minutes until the start, I started to panic a bit at this stage as there was still quite a way to go for me to get to the start pen. I decided I had to get a move on so left Ady, Sarah and Mel and started to run down, I thought this would be a good warm up anyway!
Things got worse when I got along side the start pens, it was so congested I had to run around the side streets and cut back in, I had 5 minutes until the start and I still hadn't reached the front and my Preferential start area! With about 2 minutes to go I reached my pen, but they had closed it off and sealed the railings, I was really panicking now. The only thing I could do was climb over the six-foot fence into the start pen, the marshals tried to stop me of course, but luckily I managed to get past. Not an ideal start to the race!
My plan was to run consistent pace until 20 miles and if I felt good and had anything left increase the pace then, so started with the planned 6.40 pace. This felt nice and comfortable to begin with and it was a pace I thought I would be able to hold for the whole race, but you’re never too sure until you get to those last 6 miles. I just concentrated on breaking the race down in to small chunks to make it manageable for my head, concentrating on 5k blocks and keeping the splits consistent.
I started to have some stomach problems from around 6 miles; at this point I also needed to take a quick pee stop so lost 30 seconds here! Unfortunately the stomach problem was something I would have to put up with for the entire race and made it a little less enjoyable experience, it was made even worse when I had a gel or took on water. But despite the problems I managed to hold my pace and keep to plan.
I reached my first major target time at half way pretty much bang on in 1.27.10. By the time I got to 18 miles I was thinking more about hanging on than pushing on as at this point my stomach was really complaining! This eased a little by 20 so I thought I would at least try and push the pace on a bit to see how it felt. It actually felt ok and I found myself feeling stronger and the confidence grow as I started passing runners, my last 6 mile splits were 6.31, 6.40, 6.29, 6.29, 6.19 and 6.15, giving me a sub 40 minute last 10k I think. This felt incredible and is something I've never experienced in a marathon, its always been me slowing and being passed.
My legs felt tired but so strong at the same time towards the end. Crossing the line seeing the 2.53 time up there bought about a huge sense of relief, satisfaction, happiness, a real mixed bag of emotions.
I've improved so much as a runner through this Asics Target 26.2 project and I'm extremely grateful to Steve and everyone else involved for helping me achieve my goal.
The last 16 weeks have given me so much, and I think I can push my times on a lot more still.
Terrific time and very impressibe final 10K!! Many congratulations, it's well deserved. Shame about the stomach issues. I guess it's one on those things.
Not an ideal start having to jump over the fence specially with the adrenaline flowing and the stress that goes with it.
It does sound like you could have gone sub 2.50 but obviously did well to be a tad conservative and reach your main target of sub 3.
I bet you can't wait to start planning your next one! Enjoy!!
We, VLM people, still have under 2 weeks to go. The day can't get here quick enough. All the hard work is done and starting to plan strategies and logistics for the day.
Great report Alex. Nerves at the beginning of a race are bad enough without having to worry about actually getting in your pen in time - the adrenaline must have been flowing! A very strong finish too, which does suggest more potenial and your time is close enough to have a go at sub 2.50!! Enjoy a bit of non training for a while!
Well done AW, fantastic run and a well-deserved PB.
It's been great following your progress on here and it's given me the spur I needed to have a crack at a sub-3 in Vienna on Sunday
This is funny but it wasn't me:
Ouch! Paris Marathon 2013
A brilliant effort by Alex and well deserved after carrying out all the training almost to the letter.
Yes, 2:45 could be possible next year but will mean getting the half time down to probably about 76 or 77 which is feasible.
Yes Rennie it's on the edge for sub-3 as for me really based on my similar half times. It will depend on weather and pacing in first 20 and how strong in the last 10km
Thanks again to everyone for the congratulations!
I've been enjoying a week of not running, eating and drinking what I want! Next week I will start some light exercise again, I go to Hamburg next weekend for the marathon there, but the intention is just to jog round and enjoy the sights! When this is done the training starts again!
Cookbox - That's a great time for your first marathon, but I can see your frustration being so close to sub 3. Your sure to break it in your next marathon though!
Ruth - Yes, just one of those things. Like you say my energy levels were good so the loading did its job! Thanks again for all your help.
Kevin - I carb loaded from the Thursday, on the whole I found it ok. It did feel like I was eating for the sake of it at times when I wasn't really hungry, but it worked as I had energy for the whole race.
Denis - I heard about that video, it is funny!
Rennie - That's the long term goal, how long it takes who knows. If I can keep the training as consistent maybe next year some time. Good luck in your sub 3 attempt.
Steve - Thanks again for everything and giving me the structure, its what I needed, and knowing I had to do it made all the difference on some of those cold snowy days when I didn't fancy training!