P&D Spring Marathon 2018

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Comments

  • Sorry to hear about the DNF Hazel. Hope you’re not too down about it.

    Nice post race treat to get 1st class Westy!

    Great photo SQ.

    Great reports so far, as Macca says at least we can say we were there! I see results are up on Runbritain now, and it has a SSS score of 3.1 - the highest of any race I’ve ever done (although that’s partly because I never do hilly races lol). 

    My legs are more beaten up than I hoped they would be, but definitely better than they were at this stage after Manchester. Unlike after a big full race effort, I feel keen to get going again now, but will give it at least a few more days before I start easing back in to things.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Hazel - sign up for that one in 3 weeks....do one more long run if you can and a tempo and/or some intervals, then taper for two weeks....and the weather will be perfect, guaranteed. 
  • Missed your report when I posted Hazel. Tough break, but don't let a bad day destroy your confidence. The lack of sleep and hot hotel would have left you tired, possibly under hydrated, and in no state to perform at your best. All those months of training won't have disappeared. Personally, I'd take some time to let your body (and indeed your mind) recover, and then ease back in to things. Another block of training and you'll be stronger than ever and ready to smash Berlin.
  • Hazel,

    I totally symaphasize with you , I have had a shit winter, been ill for 2 months, 2 crap marathons and London was hell, I should probably have pulled out as you did rather than get a shit time and hate every mile!

    I Think its at time like these we need a bit of time off to reflect and see how we feel in better days.

    All i can say is that Berlin is my no 1 marathon. great city and great marathon.

  • OuchOuchOuchOuch ✭✭✭
    Hazel - Treat it as a one-off a set of circumstances that are not going to reoccur.  The  hot hotel room and lack of sleep was the main factor and you did exactly the right thing drawing a line under the race. I would take that as a positive.  I would go for the race in 3 weeks time to make use of your training, but with no expectation beyond enjoying and finishing it.  Go back to your plan and do a 3 week countdown from now.  Get a long slow run done asap. See you in Berlin.   
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Hazel - sorry to hear about your dnf, that feeling of being down on yourself will be shared by thousands right now, but you’ve done the training and that will still be there. As westy says, sign up for the one in 3 weeks and just get back into it, you’ve still got a chance to make the most of your fitness. 

    SQ - well paced run and sounds like you enjoyed it. Wise decision to back off early as well?

    Ramjet - well done, the cap and shorts did the trick!

    Macca - great performance after paris, must be equal to your run there at least. 

    Joe - nice and easy sub 3, good IM heat training. 

    Westy - nice in and out marathon, I’m with you on the painful finish. 

    Spoons - sounds like you avoided a nasty ankle twist, glad you enjoyed the experience, it’s pretty special. 

    HA77 - great run and well done on the heat management. Back in the game!

    Andy - tough run but great report and well done on getting to the finish

    AWC and FBT - I know how you both felt at 8 miles, well done on toughing it out. 

    Jools - brutal day in the office, your sub 3 will come. 

    Haven’t written up a report yet as I’ve been wiped out the last 2 days with fatigue and a runny nose. Not sure if it’s cause or effect from Sunday but I haven’t felt so bad in 5 marathons. At least legs are pretty good so may still be able to get something out of this in the next few weeks. 
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    London Marathon - 2018

    That was the toughest thing I’ve ever done! I’ve never struggled in heat that way before and so I put it down to not having had time to acclimatise since the winter.

    Start

    Already I was feeling hot – I took a frozen bottle of water with me and I tipped a few bottles over my head before the start but I had a bad feeling before we even got off. Told myself to start running at 7:20-30 per mile and see how that feels (7:00/mi had been the plan but that was off the cards because I didn’t want to risk a DNF with all the sponsorship I’d raised £4,146 and counting!). 

    5km – 22:36

    I was fairly close to the front of pen 1 which meant I didn’t have much trouble running at my target pace to start with. Checked my heart rate and it was already up at MP levels so I knew things were bad and told myself to slow down.

    10km – 23:03

    My legs felt good because they were fresh but my heart rate was really troubling me so I continued to try and slow down but the legs wanted to keep going (normally it’s the other way round, right?!). By then end of this section my HR was getting to HM levels and I was beginning to fall apart mentally a bit. I knew any thoughts about time were out the window and this was going to be about finishing the race. Never had I experienced anything like this so early in a race.

    15km – 23:26

    I was constantly looking at my watch, thinking I was slowing down a lot because I was telling myself to, and because it felt so tough. However, the splits were still around the 7:30/mi pace, I guess because we were running through Cutty Sark which was brilliant. I was getting loads of shouts already because of my Macmillan vest – there weren’t any others around me which helped. This began to feel a bit hard – why so hard so early? It should feel like this 15 miles in, not 7-8mi in.

    20km – 23:49

    10 miles in and I’m thinking this is way too hard, I can’t sustain this, how am I going to finish this bloody thing! It was here I decided to totally forget about my watch and only look at it to check my HR occasionally – this is going to take everything I have just to finish. I also decided this would give the chance to enjoy the crowd, really take in the sights and somehow revel in the spectacle of this day without any pressure.

    When I knew Tower Bridge was coming up I told myself to look up and take it in. The Bridge was pretty special and I was now starting to interact with the crowd – I would clap them or fist pump and they would react by shouting my name even more and I loved it. I also realised this would help get me to the end.

    Halfway 1:38:01

    25km – 24:46

    By now the wheels were starting to come off but I didn’t really care. I heard a noise down the road and assumed the leaders were coming up the Highway so positioned myself on the left to get close to them. Saw Kipchoge fly through and gave him a good cheer, then I heard a wall of noise behind him and assumed it was Mo so started doing the MoBot when I saw him (ridiculous I know!). The water stations were now becoming a scrum and the constant slowing and accelerating was getting more and more difficult.

    The Macmillan cheer points were coming into their own now as well – as they weren’t many other vests around they would spot me well down the road and be chanting my name by the time I got there – it felt truly amazing and I was revelling in it.

    Having had a few cramp twitches from 10 miles in I was now getting proper cramp in my left quad and right hamstring, so this stopped me from being able to push at all and in hindsight probably saved my race from total detonation.

    30km – 25:52

    I was still surprised by my pace as it felt like 9-10 min/mi but was around 8mm. I saw some mates around Isle of Dogs or Canary Wharf which gave me a boost and then another Macmillan cheer point – mentally I was just self-talking myself through the distances till the next cheer point and water stop. The problem with the cheer points was that the adrenaline would kick in and when I passed them I was out of breath and cramping badly again. The electrolyte gels did give me a bit of respite from the cramps but only for about a mile.

    35km – 26:12

    I saw my sister going back up the Highway and now I was beginning to believe I could get to the finish in some kind of decent shape without having to walk as I was managing the cramps OK (so long as I didn’t get carried away with the crowds).

    I was now moving into the middle of the crowd so people would stop shouting my name (it got a bit much), and then move back out when I needed a boost. It was also at this point where I recognised the carnage around me – there seemed to be people everywhere walking, struggling and a few laid out with St John’s Ambulance with them.

    Now my pace had slowed my heart rate had dropped as well so whilst I was really hurting I was also in decent shape to keep running properly to the end and I really wanted to run the whole way despite how bad it felt. I remembered back to how awful the early miles felt mentally and also to my long runs and told myself I can do this.

    40km – 26:16

    Coming up Embankment was great and I was almost sad the race was ending as I was running at a fairly comfortable 8:30/mi which kept the cramps relatively at bay. I wanted to drink this atmosphere and the sights in – I didn’t want it to end. I realised that I was having an amazing day. Not in the way I expected beforehand but in a new, surprising way I realised that running was about more than just running PB’s every race (make no mistake though – I would give it all up for a 3:10!).

    Finish – 11:50

    I tried to run fast up the Mall but the cramps were awful now – both quads, right hammy, calves, so it was everything to just keep going. I noticed everyone was struggling along, heads down and the stands were really quiet so I got over to the side and started clapping and fist pumping the crowd and they reacted really well, getting involved and cheering a bit louder. So I crossed the line, arms aloft in relief more than anything else and then collapsed with cramp and had to be helped off to the side.

    Halfway 1:38:01

    2nd half: 1:49:46

    Finish: 3:27:47

    Final Thoughts

    Not the marathon I expected, nor the one I hoped for but it surprised me in many ways and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. And when I look around at how badly some people slowed or DNF’d then on reflection I think I handled the race pretty well for only my second sub 3:30 marathon and 7 mins slow than my PB from Abingdon.

  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Nothing to be ashamed of there Andy. It was a baptism of hellfire. My first was London 07, the previous hottest. I crashed a lot worse than you.
    You'll be a lot more ready come the autumn.
    Well done Charlotte, that's a very respectable time ITC.
    As others have said get signed up for the one in 3 weeks time. You did the right thing bailing if you can go again as you've not destroyed yourself for nothing Hazel. I'd be back on it but we're all different.
    Definitely less spectacular than my slowdown AWC & you got to enjoy yourself. Nice report btw. I was in survival mode from far too early.
    I was looking up Brighton & Manchester yesterday. :D Reckon I can do both & VLM too - all 2 weeks apart so time enough to recover between. I'd only race one but could choose the one when the weather is at it's most propitious.
    Still really frustrated that the hot weather came to spoil the party: 4 days & now it's gone! On reflection I do have PBs at 20M, HM, 10M & parkrun from this campaign which with 14 yrs of running behind me is not to be sniffed at.
    Anyone done/fancy Dorchester Marathon at the end of May? Sensibly starts at 8:30am :) Profile looks a bit lumpy but times of the leaders looked pretty similar to their VLM times. 
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Great report AWC. Well done for getting it done. Funny how on the embankment you felt sad the race was ending soon, I just wanted it over so much by then.  That was where I was imploding, literally. My form was deteriorating as if I was collapsing in on myself, head rolling back into my body, shoulders all hunched. Very weird, and seen by lots and lots of people who were all pointing at me and laughing.
    I also remember on Birdcage the crowd cheering for SpongeBob and I was waiting to be overtaken by a big sponge which would have been the final nail in the coffin, but it was just a man in a spongebob tshirt. Small victories. I'll take anything I can.
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭

    Ramjet – I’m pleased you seem to be recovering well. I agree with your thoughts – today’s weather is perfect(!) and you’ve got to enjoy the training when weather/injury/just a one off shit day can ruin the race.

    Jooligan – sub 3 will come if you stick with you high mileage easy mid week runs. Have faith. Impressive array of recent PBs.

    Andy I have done both Chester and Abingdon before. I have really enjoyed both – indeed they are my two quickest marathons. Chester is not flat, but is still a fast course. Abingdon is flat, but not the pancake described. Chester probably a bit slicker and flashier (in a good way), Abingdon a bit more traditional. Both excellent marathons in my opinion and gave me just enough big race edge, whilst remaining relatively low key. ‘traumatic portaloo stop’!!! And don’t be too hard on yourself – it was bloody hot.

    Impressive, Charlotte. Well done. So… you need to do P&D for an Autumn marathon!

    Hazel your training certianily won’t be wasted. If you are motivated to do the marathon in three weeks then go for it. Just run easy until then. Hope you feel ok soon.

    JohnOz there was no decision to back off – it was forced upon me!

    AWC you’ve racked up an impressive amount of sponsorship – well done. Great report and I think you ran really well.

    I’ve definitely got Tuesday legs – sorer than yesterday.

    Interesting to look at the results analysis. In the first half I overtook 1660 and was over taken by 160, in the second half it was 270/170. Do people start too fast (I did!), are they in the wrong pens at the beginning? Not really sure.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Not done Abingdon but have done Chester a few times, a great marathon, very well organised, a nice city to spend the weekend. There are a few unwelcome hills towards the end. I would choose whichever is closer...
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    Westy: sounds like a painful finish! At least you fended off Sponge Bob.

    Spoons: interesting re RunBritain - it reckons VLM was slightly better for me than my 3:20 at Abingdon.
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Over 1st half I passed 2075 runners, 177 passed me. 2nd half I passed 429, 174 passed me. Felt like about 1000 people passed me in the last mile.
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Over 1st half I passed 2,377 runners, 142 passed me. 2nd half I passed 982, 218 passed me. P&D works even in atrocious conditions :D
  • Hazel - I think it's great you still posted a report and I was really interested to read it. Sounds like a pretty traumatic day. I'm not sure I agree with the others taking into account the way your feeling about running/other marathons. I would take a step back and figure out why you're doing it and what you want to get out of it. I think once you know the answer to that, then you'll know what the next step is. 

    Really great reports from everyone else - have enjoyed reading them over the last few days. 

    Always love those little 1st/2nd half stats. 1st half I passed 347 and was passed by 573. 2nd half passed 477 and passed by 25. 
  • dctdct ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Thanks for the reports. As has been said it's really interesting to hear others' experiences of Sunday.

    Hazel I can't say I really know what I'm talking about but what others are saying about racing sooner rather than later seems to make sense. Get another LR under your belt and a taper and have another crack maybe.

    Well done AWC on raising so much cash. Sounds like the Macmillan cheer points did a great job. And I like that you didn't want it to end. A good day.

    A 2:57 Joe with finish-line push-ups. Standard.

    3:00 SQ. Well done and glad you can lol about it. Good photo of a few of you too. And also agree with Ramjet about enjoying the training.

    I work across the river from one of the Fuller's pubs on the route. Was in there at lunchtime licking my wounds with my boss, who got to 15 miles and then found himself in a medical tent but can't remember how he got there (!), and the landlord gave me a London marathon 2018 pint glass with a map of the route on it etc. More useful than the medal.

    With a lack of posting throughout the campaign, a report seems a bit indulgent. The short version is I was stupid, ran my second quickest 10k, quickest 15k and HM and completely fell apart by 20 miles. Far too excited to see my mates in the early stages and it came back to bite me on the arse. Still, I finished and am happy with a sub 3…just. Plus a proud wife and had nice afternoon enjoying our boys' birthday once I got my act together. 

    Nice to see some fellow Berliners here. Looking forward to putting together back-to-back training blocks and seeing what comes of that. As well as training in the summer months again.
  • Finished off my blog from Sunday if anyone wants a full recap! 

    https://spragginsblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/london-marathon-24-04-2018/
  • dctdct ✭✭✭
    Nice one Joe. Reads well and sounds like an enjoyable day.
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    Joe: great blog as usual. Hugely impressive that you cruised round to that time in those conditions the day after your bike ride and a busy week of travelling. Although I'm glad you still recognised a marathon is still a long way however you are running it :)
  • I was going to finish my report on the train but now I’ll have to read Joes :) 
    Enjoy is probably the wrong word but I’ve taken solace from all the reports posted, so appreciate.  Apologies for not commenting on them individually but there are obviously similar themes emerging.

    Hazel - on a previous thread a few years ago we posted our worst marathon horror stories.  You are in good company here. I’m going to sit on the fence with, you will know when to enter another, sooner or later, you decide.
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    I can't imagine MarathonFoto are going to do very good business. 
  • Reg WandReg Wand ✭✭✭
    Fair play Joe, I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone dressed quite like you in some of those photos. Strong look all round!

    Sorry things didn't go to plan Hazel.

    That looks like a pretty decent turnout Charlotte.

    I will read all the reports tomorrow after my latest job interview is out of the way.
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Good luck Reg.
  • RamjetRamjet ✭✭✭
    Well done Millsy on a well paced marathon.

    Great report Andy. It is hard to say what was caused by the heat and what was caused by (lack of) training. Sounds like you did enough 20 milers to me.

    Well done Charlotte. That is a very solid time on a hot and hilly course.

    Thanks for the report Hazel. I dropped out of a marathon a few years ago (ran out of energy after 16 miles) and concluded that I had a low level virus. I'm sure you have strong marathons ahead of you if you want them.

    Great report AWC and a fantastic amount raised for charity.

    That's a lot of PBs this year Jooligan so definitely not a wasted campaign.

    Well done on the sub 3 dct.

    Westy - I refuse to use MarathonFoto. They are just ripping off people doing their bucket list marathon who they know are going to want the photos. The reasonable thing would be to let customers choose the photos they want and charge about £1 each for them.

    Just two cycles today. Enjoyed them. Might try a run tomorrow.
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    JB: Pretty impressive 2nd half stats even if you hadn't stopped for T & showboating on the Mall. Great read as ever.
    VLM 2018 Report
    Friday: got away from work early & made it to Leytonstone by 5:45, parked & on the bike within 10 minutes for the 5.1M bike ride to Excel. 9M later & I'm starting to question the wisdom of this strategy given I've not been on the bike for 5 months & I still don't appear to be in the correct place. Fortunately found a bit I recognised & a mile later I was inside the worst Expo yet. Still managed to spend almost an hour in there gobbling the minute bits of energy bar & downing electrolyte samples - beer counts right? Bumped into a couple of club mates but other than that a waste of time & energy really. Managed to get back in just over 7M so not too disastrous an effort & actually quite pleasant to be back on 2 wheels. Got back to a slap-up feed & 2 pissed mates. Managed to resist the booze but didn't get an early night.
    Saturday: Wanstead Flats parkrun was a leisurely 10 minute walk away & another new one bringing me closer to the ton so I headed over with every intention of jogging it hence no warm-up beyond a few glute activation exercises. Went off slowly but as the path narrowed I had to keep skipping round people to avoid clipping them & so I could get a clear view of the uneven ground ahead. 2 lap course & by the end I'd moved up to 11th running around MP. Was a bit toasty though & only 9am. Mmm. Mixed a Zero electrolyte drink & sipped that throughout the morning. Spent the rest of the day reading, dozing & eating lunch for 3 hours with another mate. Early bed after a bottle of Guinness. 
    Sunday: Up at 6am, breakfast: coffee, dark chocolate & 2 bagels with honey then roller & glute activation before a 10 minute walk to the tube. Simple journey to Greenwich then walk up to Green. Still nice & early so no panic then get to the entrance to be met with a massive queue as security had decided to search everyone's bags here. 10-15 minutes cooking unnecessarily but at least I'd bumped into another clubmate so passed the time chatting. In & NO toilet queue so that was a result. Spent the next 45 minutes chilling in the shade with clubmates, drinking a bottle of Zero electrolyte drink & rolling on a frozen bottle. Then it was load the bag, toilet queue, few lunges, bridges, planks etc to get the glutes fired up. No warm-up jog whatsoever before entering Pen 1 which was still empty. Found a spot of shade on the pavement right at the front & was very pleased to hear the celebs had been moved this year. Kept cool with the iced water over the head & carried it til the first water station.
    Race: Crossed the line at 10:00:16, Through 5K in 20:41 so a tiny bit quick but nothing serious. Took an early gel & dropped my other. Taking water at most stations: sipping & tipping over my hair & neck. Next 5K in 21:13 so bang on but it was already starting to bite. HR was 10 bpm higher than it had been at Wrexham HM which I'd run at 6:45s with a stinking cold & hacking cough. Had my first Caffeine Bullet sweet: tasty but not the easiest thing to unwrap especially in the heat. Persevered in burying myself with 5Ks in 21:37 & 21:34 which brought me to Tower Bridge bang on target but I was starting to doubt myself now. Through half way in 1:29:39 & then got overtaken by the 3hr pacer between there & 25K. Contemplated tagging on but knew I was working too hard. Decided to slow & hope that by minimising the damage a 3:05-3:10 would be possible ensuring I at least salvaged a shot at GFA however it was too late. After 5Ks of 22:03 & 23:25 I capitulated posting 29:15 & 31:11 for the next 2 with a walk a little / shuffle a bit strategy. Final bit from 40K took me 14:19. Passed by Macca with a K to go we shook hands but I was suffering with crampy hamstrings so sent him on his less sorry way.
    Yet another lesson in how not to enjoy London.
    Aftermath: 50 minutes from finish line to Horseguard's Parade, collapsed in a heap 3 times, threw up then made it to Whitehall Place for a massage, tea & food. Headed over to the Red Lion. Massive queue, had some tosser threaten to remove my teeth cause I commented that his mate had jumped the queue as I was still a few back from the bar then downed a cold pint & realised the time so made a beeline for the tube & back to Leytonstone before driving home!
  • Some really great and entertaining reports thanks.  
    What an epic finish for SQ!   
    Hazel... do it - but only if you're fit!  Nothing to lose if you are. 
    Charlotte... cracking time given the limited training. 
    Great effort andy. 
    Westy...  despite your off hand, don't-give-a-crap persona...  you're a tough cookie (so's everyone actually).  
    AWC... you held it together well, given the heat. 
    DCT too... fantastic guts.
    Well done Macca... and fbt despite everything.
    Joe...  I've not read your blog yet, but I know it will be entertaining!  Great race HA. 
    Jooligan... that's a tough one... how on earth did you drive after that.

    Apologies for the many I probably missed... but I got to get some sleep.
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Wow Jooligan, what a story - similar to many others too I imagine.
    Taking of sub3 pacers, I was behind both red and green sub3 pacers for a while in 1st half, they were definitely going too fast, I passed them both just to get ahead of the crowds and neither passed me again (I don't think), and I came in after 3hrs.
    My legs still banjaxed, and not been sleeping well either. Feel pretty crap to be honest. Need the weekend.
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭
    Good write up, Jooligan. A tough day. I do think runners should get right of way at the bar before general public...

    Westy - agreed on the energy and sleeping front. I did try 30 minutes very easy bike spin bike yesterday to help lease the legs. Didn't really work. 

    Good luck on the job front, Reg.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭

    Good luck Reg. Hope things are ok. I'm hanging on in my current job but am still looking for something more secure.

    Good read as always Joe. I'm already looking forward to seeing how you get on in 12 weeks in Bolton.

    Hazel - Sounds like a tough couple of days. I would try to not get too negative about it all, it's meant to be fun right? I've needed to remind myself of that a few times over the last few years. As someone said, it sounds like a set of circumstances that won’t happen again, so no reason to let it put you off next time. I’d just try to get back to doing what you enjoy. I think the decision to race again in a few weeks depends on how you feel. If you’re raring to go in a few days, go for it, but if it’s just something you think you should do so you don’t waste your good training, maybe not. I certainly wouldn’t worry about wasting fitness you built, just think of it as a base for the next campaign.

    Well done everyone else, sounds like quite a familiar theme through lots of reports. I like SQ’s precision timing and Westy’s endless optimism. Judging from the number of people passed stats, as a group, we fared much better than a lot of people out there.

    Here’s my report:

    Build up

    In a word - terrible. After a great November / December a new job in January meant a new routine. With about 10 extra hours a week at work, my wife busier with work also and a calf injury in mid January I really failed to build on the great base I had coming into the new year. The calf injury took ages to clear and even when I did string together some training my legs felt fragile, like either of the calves or hamstrings could go at any moment. This was a bit demoralising too and really affected my motivation and enjoyment of running. It was a real contrast to last autumn where, despite a bad race, in training I felt indestructible, pushed really hard and loved every minute of it.  

    With 5 weeks to go I managed to put together 4 solid training weeks, averaging about 65 miles. However there was no time for proper long runs, with my biggest days being 12 mile each way commutes, which I did 3 times. Also no big MP sessions so I didn’t really have an idea of what shape I was in. Fortunately in the last week I started to feel pretty good. I’d seriously thought about running around with Joe in about 3 hours but, even if I wasn’t going to run a good time, I had no reason not to push as hard as I could. Also I wasn’t sure I could spend 3 hours in close proximity to those obscene swimmers.

    Race Day

    Got the club bus which makes things really easy on race morning. Just a few minutes down the road to get the bus and they deliver me right at the start. I catch up with Joe and we have a good chat before the start. Also said g’day to ML84 who’d had issues with various niggles and planned on dropping out at halfway. Didn’t bother with a warm up and lined up towards the back of the champs group with Joe and his pants.

    The first mile was pretty congested, not too bad though and I didn’t worry about the pace. I’d decided to run purely on feel, with my watch only showing total time and lap time, and only take laps at the 5km intervals. First mile in about 6:30 and I start to feel alright. I speed up over the next mile and down the hill through mile 3. First 5km in 18:45, a bit faster than I thought given the slow start but it felt good.

    The next 15km were completely uneventful. I must’ve maintained the speed from the downhill as the second 5km was 18:32. A bit after 5km I latched onto a group and just decided to stick with them. I remember hearing some advice that the first half of a marathon you should just feel like you’re sitting on a couch watching the race without thinking, so that’s what I’d decided to do. The group fell apart after a while but I just stuck to the guy on the front till it was just the 2 of us. He seemed to know what he was doing, keeping a steady pace and the effort felt right. I took a drink at most of the water stops, just a sip, then poured some over myself. It was warm but I didn’t feel like I was struggling at all with the heat.

    Third 5km in 18:51 and forth in 19:01. I could feel my guide was slowing a bit here and I had a burst of motivation with Tower Bridge in sight so I moved ahead and started making the pace myself. I was feeling good and think I got a bit carried away with thoughts of a big negative split. Halfway in 1:19:01. I reined it in a bit but the fifth 5km was 18:38. I was still feeling good here but a couple of miles down the road, I knew that I was starting to struggle. I was still holding pace with those around me but I was starting to work harder, sixth 5km in 19:12.

    I held on pretty well until 20 miles but then I definitely slowed and people started coming past me. It wasn’t a complete detonation and I felt I could still finish well under 2:45, even if sub 2:40 was gone. Seventh 5km in 20:01. It was getting harder and my hamstrings threatened to cramp. More people were passing me now. I did consider stopping to stretch once but after hobbling a bit for a few 100m the cramps settled a bit and I could run again. Eighth 5km in 21:45 and very thankful to come around the corner at Big Ben. Struggle on to the Mall and put in a bit of a fast finish to pass a few and finish in 2:44:17.

    I didn’t feel great but it wasn’t the worst I’ve felt after a marathon. I’m not sure how much the weather affected me but I didn’t feel I struggled with the heat, just with lack of fitness. Overall I really enjoyed the day and the slow down at the end wasn’t bad enough to ruin things. I’m glad I went out a bit faster than I was capable of as I felt I wasn’t too far away from running a good race.

    Saw Millsy and had a quick chat while he was trying to find his bag. Had a bit of lie down in the shade of a tree before making my way across horse guards to the Red Lion. Saw Joe on the way and had a good chat with his mum, the same as last year. It was nice to end the day with a beer and debrief with SQ and Spoon, before getting the train home.

  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    Great reports all!!

    AWC - I might have had a better weekend, but I did start my runs a lot earlier than the VLM start I was out at 7am for my 24 miler to get most of it done before the heat!! Great fundraising!

    Easy 6 mile recover yesterday and an 11 mile MLR today.
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