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Well done everyone, bad luck Hazel, sounds like it wasn't going to happen for you and probably a wise choice.
Haven't read back everything yet.
I went pretty well yesterday, 2:44. 10 min slower than last year but it's to be expected with the poor build up I had. I didn't really feel like the heat affected me much, although I'm sure it did in reality. Was stupidly on for sub 2:40 up to about 30km but did a textbook 20 mile fade and battled home with a 6 min positive split. I really quite enjoyed it though - the first 30km reminded me that I can run and the last 12km wasn't bad enough to ruin the day.
Good to catch up with SQ, Spoon and Joe for a beer at the Red Lion and also having a chat with Millsy at the baggage claim and ML84 at the start.
Will catch up on and write more later.
Sounds like you loved every minute of it all Westy....See you next year then!
Pretty tragic the death yesterday at London marathon , and such an experienced runner. Scary!
I think Macca gets
it spot on: ‘brutal last 19 miles’! Amazing what a difference a day makes. And
you’re right – it is an achievement to finish the hottest London Marathon on
Reg has got a
fair point. I’ve always thought it must be bloody hard starting a marathon at
1pm or so, especially in the hotter European races.
Great effort, Ramjet.
Bad luck on missing the train. I found it tough in the last third when the
water had heated up a bit. Not really what you want to cool yourself down. Did
you ‘make use’ of your yellow shorts?
Well done AWC –
having another reason (charity) to do it would no doubt have helped.
Good positivity, Andy.
Other marathons are available!
Good effort, FBT.
Well done, spoons.
Must have been tough following Manchester – physically and mentally.
I’m impressed with that 2:44, HA. Even though you felt the heat didn’t affect you, it must have
to an extent. Combine with a change in job and more hours, and you have done
Impressive from Joe,
a casual sub 3 on a hot day following a long bike ride and a fight to the near
Well done Westy. It
would have been good to see you in the RL, but the initial queue was a bit of a
beast. What the Manchester prices/date etc?
London Marathon 2018 race report:
I have always found the build up
to London intense – it on every medial channel and those at work take so much
more interest. This is a good thing as it builds excitement and helps to
contribute to such an amazing atmosphere, but I also find it psyches me out a
little. Stress was eased enormously this year as spoons very kindly collected my number. So I travelled there and
back on the coach on the Sunday.
Never before have I been so indecisive
about kit and pacing choices. The weather obviously had a big impact on these
decisions. In the end I went for my loosest vest even though it didn’t represent
my club, Cancer Research or have my name (which I find a massive lift in big
races). Having been saving a new pair of NB Zantes for the day, I opted for a
pair of Adios that had already done 350M, but looked a lot more breathable. Had
the weather been, say, 8-10C, I would have been truly focused on the sub 2:50
goal. With the heat – not incredible in the grander scheme of things, but 23C
is very different to months of 5am 1C training – I knew that would be a tall
order. The wind was also a headwind for over half the course, although this
came as quite a relief in the end. Having played different scenarios through in
my head, I decided minutes before the start that a course PB (2:55) would be an
I had a good chat with spoons and
another club mate in the FGFA pen, and did everything in my power to keep cool –
staying in the shade, eating the ice from two iced coffees, holding a frozen
water bottle to my wrists. It seemed to be working as I had goose pimples. But I
was realistic enough to know it would last for long.
Soon enough we were off! It I such
an exciting atmosphere and the crowds, as always, are amazing. It is so easy to
get swept up with faster runners, and the adrenaline definitely plays a part. I
averaged about 6:30s for the first 8 miles. This was PB pace, but I just went
with it. I enjoyed running with Joe
and his trunks for good chunks of the race – he certainly knows how to whip a
crowd into a frenzy. I always enjoy the bands and the cheers especially on
Tower Bridge. Things were certainly hot, and I was doing everything I could to
keep cool – running through the showers, which were fairly pathetic (with the
exception of the Fire Station hose – that was immense), dousing myself with
bottles and rotating my cap as necessary. I probably drank a little too much
and felt pretty sick at the end as a result.
At this one third stage, things
became tough. From there to mile 21, I averaged about 6:45 – 7:00, thinking
that sub 3 could be a possibility if I didn’t continue to slow too much. My HR
was a bit higher than I’d want, although perhaps not a surprise in the heat,
but it was a conscious effort not to walk. From mile 21 I was definitely being
overtaken a lot, although equally was passing many who were walking. I averaged
about 7:30s from there until the end and had to just focus on getting to the
next mile arch one at a time. Has anyone ever enjoyed the dreaded mile 24
underpass more than this year?! When I passed the 23 marker, with roughly one
parkrun to go, I was attempting some calculations in my head about whether sub
3 was possible. I suspected it probably wasn’t but it was going to be close.
Fortunately I never saw the pacers – I think had they passed me I would have
stopped. (I hear that at least one dropped out.) The photos of me in the final
mile show absolute agony written on my face. I tried to give it everything and
strava said I did the final 0.2 (well 0.3 on strava) at 7:11 pace. I couldn’t
remember how long after the official start I crossed the line, just that it was
about 45 seconds. The clock had clicked over 3 hours and I chucked everything I
had at it.
Once over the line I collapsed
and was scooped up by the paramedics – I was definitely being a bit dramatic.
They passed me a sick bag as I was retching so much. The walk to the bags was
so painful and took for ever. Why are the FGFA at the very end each year?! When
I got my phone out, the first thing I saw was the VMLM text: 3:00:00 – unbelievable!
Had it been the first time I had been going for sub three I would have been
distraught. But in the circumstances I am really proud. A few have said do you
wish you had pushed yourself just one second harder? Well you can always extend
that line of questioning, and I know I gave it my all. I took half an hour to
recover under a tree although still felt pretty sick. It was then a pleasure to
share a couple of beers with spoons, Joe
and HA in the pub. Sorry to
anyone who I missed or arrived later. Fairly stiff today, but no real trouble
walking. I think the greater impact was that of the heat and dehydration. That said,
my left glute and hamstring are very niggle.
It was a really fun occasion and
one I will look back on favourably. It is difficult when you put so much
training in to be in PB shape, but the conditions don’t line up. It almost
doesn’t seem fair – but that’s the game we play. I think I find Autumn
marathons more suited to life and so will think about later this year. At the
moment I have a place in Snowdonia, which is my favourite marathon of all time,
although am considering swapping that for eg Chester or Abingdon.
- Four months of training through a nasty winter only for the weather to ruin any chance of a fast time. Hmmm. I think if you enjoy the training that is OK. And I do enjoy it.
Well done charlotte - cracking time...
My advice after i had itbs - stop running till it clears up then start up slow. Its a nasty injury when it gets chronic.
Its not if you decide - but when!!!!
I left out the
last recovery run on Saturday as I felt it would cause me stress timewise and I
knew I would be doing some walking around.
was located very conveniently between the main station and a 20 minute walk
from the start but was a disaster in terms of the room. The windows were more or less soundproof but
the room had been in the sun all day and was ridiculously hot.
visit was dealt with fairly quickly – a quick ride on the tram, grab the number
and eat a portion of pasta. I had
already had a decent meal at lunch and had decided this would be my evening
meal rather than go out to eat.
from the expo to the start to check things out, and from there to the hotel –
was a bit too much walking to be honest.
surprised how little of the coming event could be seen on the evening
beforehand and also by the small number of portaloos.
small beer and back to the hotel to sort out my stuff, relax and sleep. Room still far too hot. The ventilator did little other than move the
overheated air around but provided no relief.
Opening the window was no option
due to the level of noise outside. Couldn’t
sleep and was getting more and more agitated.
I probably had about 1 hours sleep in one go.
I got up at
6am feeling completely knackered and slightly sick and in no mental or physical
state to run a marathon. Shoved
in some breakfast (own stuff as none available early enough in the hotel) but
no coffee (machine accessible) as I didn’t think it would stay down. Walked to the start as planned already saying
I can’t do this, I can’t do this and feeling sicker. At least it was still cool at that time – I could almost
have done with an extra layer.
portaloos had materialized overnight meaning the queues were quite long and
with some occupants taking several minutes I had to join the public peeing on
the verge with several other women. It also meant no warmup.
I got into
my start block in time placing myself a bit behind the 3:30 pacers. The start itself was ok – I didn’t shoot off
like an idiot and had enough space. I gradually
worked my way through the 3:30 train to place myself just in front of them . I was a bit quick over the first 3 miles but
not excessively so (around 30 seconds). I
found the pace pretty tough and had the feeling the whole field was flowing
past me. I missed out the first drinks
station as planned and was able to pick up a drink at the second ok – just a
couple of sips in a plastic cup – not the best to drink out of but I
managed without choking for once. Also
got down a gel at around mile 5 without too much trouble On to mile 6 and I just wasn’t comfortable at all – it was
warm but not exceedingly so. The shade
in the city centre was helping to keep the temperatures down. The 3:30 train was right behind me and swamped
me at this point – I kept moving with them and had just about enough space to
run although I was beginning to struggle badly.
The next water station was
carnage – I got battered by the others, there were no cups available with the
volunteers frantically pouring from plastic bottles. It took over a minute to continue in any
way. That was more or less the beginning
of the end. Kept going for another km or so
but then had to let the 3:30 group go.
Stepped aside for a few seconds to give myself a talking to, tried to
get going again at a slower pace (around 5:20m/km) but then stopped finally at just
under 8 and a half miles. Took off my
number and started walking back. A little voice said why don’t you at least
try to get back in with a much slower pace group but I just couldn’t. I walked against the tide of runners watching
almost the whole field pass. One hour to
walk back to the start to hand in my chip.
Back to the hotel, shower, pack
and off home again. Was really tired on
the train and had to doze. Also had to
sleep for a couple of hours on arriving home.
Two days later I still don’t
feel 100% healthy.
retrospective I probably did the right thing by bailing out as I was in no
mental or physical state to run a marathon on that day. I might have got round in the heat (probably
a lot slower than I wanted to) but I thought it would be better to not have to
spend weeks recovering from a result I didn’t want.
I am struggling badly with the fact that I have put in months of training for
nothing. I could do a second try in 3
weeks time in a low key race to which I could travel on the day but I don’t know how to approach the training in that
time. It could also be hot again. I haven’t really got anything else in the
pipeline – won’t be attempting the 35 mile ultra I was thinking about doing –
if I can’t run more than 8 miles of a mara then there is no point in even trying
to start an ultra. The regional hill
race series starts this week but I’m not trained for the hills and I don’t know
if I am in the right mental state to try a race again already. Berlin
fills me with dread as exactly the same could happen again. Need to do some more thinking in the next couple of days.