P&D Spring Marathon 2018



  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    Jools - sounds like a tough day but you've had a brilliant set of results in the lead up to this so plenty of good racing already done. And some tosser like that is the last thing you need at the bar.

    HA - well paced race in those conditions and given the lack of decent build up. Now that things have settled down you shoiuld be in a good place to smash an autumn marathon
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭
    Great report HA. 10 hours extra at work each week is easily what you'd spend marathon training. So to fit in what you did is impressive. Great to catch up ovoer a beer as well.
  • Good luck for your interview Reg or hope it went well if it already took place.

    Well done for raising all that money AWC.  Drumming up sponsership can be as tough as the training and the race itself I've heard.

    Some more great reports coming in - I like the overtaking / overtaken statistics.  Some good positive splits there.  What an idiot at the bar Jools.  

    Thanks for the feedback everyone - some good things to think about there Joe.  I will get back into the saddle on Friday with the hill race (now signed up to it).   I will be going with a couple of others which will be nice.  No PB pressures as it is a new course due to a rock fall on the original one so I will just amble around and enjoy it.  I will have further think about the other mara over the next couple of days - I can sign up for it a couple of days before so no pressure to do so straight away.  Will do a long run at the weekend probably and see how that goes.

    Standard 6 miler with my group yesterday evening then off to the pub for some beers (non alc for me due to driving..) and lots of talk - mostly about the group doing Medoc this year (not me as it is a week before Berlin).  Feeling quite a bit better about Sunday now.
  • Tom13Tom13 ✭✭✭

    Afternoon all.

    Have been reading all of the reports. Inspirational stuff-you all should be very proud!

    Glad you are feeling a bit better Hazel-sounds like a very unpleasant set of circumstances which would have scuppered anyone's plans of running a good race. You definitely made the best decision by stopping when you did. No need to make a quick decision on the next one so just see how you feel in a few days. Hope the hill race goes well.

    HA-That was a fantastic time after the less than ideal build up you had. You were one  who seemed to cope pretty well with the conditions but that's not a complete surprise bearing in mind where you come from! Are you planning on racing an Autumn marathon? Unfinished Abo business perhaps?

    Jools-Very tough day so well done for seeing it out. Great battling determination shown when it would have been easier to throw in the towel. I'm amazed you were able to drive home!

    Joe-Really enjoyed reading your blog as ever. You always seem to have a great time no matter what-love that! Very well controlled race-paced it superbly. Liked the flat cap but not sure about the trunks and press ups at the finish! 

    Everyone else seemed to have similar stories of just battling to get to the finish in varying degrees of pain. It was very bad luck to get those conditions on the day given what the winter had thrown at us.

    General consensus is that this was another very good day for the thread and certainly one to tell the grandchildren about in years to come!

    Hope the recoveries are going well.

  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    London Marathon 2018

    Although I lived in London for 15 years, I never ran or had the urge to do the London Marathon, I would only watch it on TV if I happened to switch it on. So some might think it crazy that I would fly 24 hours and halfway around the world to now run it. It hadn’t been part of my plans but having done Boston last year I got a taste for the WMMs and the big city marathons. Also it was bang in the middle of school holidays (a big factor for my overseas races) and I had a GFA so why not use it?

    Training had gone well, better than previous marathons. Even including the taper I averaged over 70 miles a week, 8 LRs over 20 miles and only missed 1 run (after a huge weekend with a 10k race and 24 mile LR, I could barely get out of bed). I had PB’d every 10k/PR and felt in great shape to have a crack at 2:55. The MP runs had gone better than expected and although the outright speed was not there, I was confident that taking out the heat and humidity would indicate it was possible. Compared to Boston training last year it was possibly even worse conditions but I had pushed through it. 

    We left Sydney the week before VLM and after a few days in Tokyo (would love to be back next year...) we landed in London, but it could have been back in Sydney with the unseasonably warm weather. Fitted in some beautiful early morning runs along Embankment and the last few miles of the course, it seems like a parallel universe to the traffic clogged, tourist mobbed, tout ridden London that we usually see. However there was no getting away from the weather obsession and it wasn’t looking good. It increasingly looked like it would be a repeat of Boston 2017, when I knew early on that it would be a tough day and ended up walking, cramping, jogging in a 3:31. It made it tough to figure out target pace, my head told me sub 3 would be a fantastic result but I convinced myself that the summer training had prepared me for 2:55 even in these conditions. 

    Race day

    I’m an early morning runner, often getting out at 5am. Similarly Australian marathons start at 6:30am and parkruns at 7am. So it’s a step into the unknown to be running one at 10am, through the hottest part of the day. The one benefit is not having to get up in the middle of the night for a pre race breakfast. I had my usual porridge with honey and a bottle of tailwind for last minute carbs. The excitement grew at Waterloo with the buzz of runners squeezing onto packed trains, before efficiently streaming off at Blackheath in a huge wave. It really was a magnificent morning and it would have been perfect just to lie in the sun. 

    The FGFA pen was surprisingly spacious and zero toilet queues when I arrived. I sheltered in one of the changing tents to stay out of the sun, but didn’t stay long as I had to escape the vaseline fumes and stuffiness. I joined the forming queues for the start and as we shuffled forward I switched on my Garmin and waited and waited to get a GPS lock... and waited some more. The national anthem played and just as the Queen did her bit, it seemed to lock in but I couldn’t be sure. No time to worry about it and crossed the line 15s after the gun. 

    Surprised that it wasn’t as crowded as expected, however I was probably further forward than I should be and the 3 hour pacer was some way behind me. As a result I was straight into 2:55 pace. A small voice was saying this wasn’t a wise decision but it didn’t yet feel like the heat would be unbearable. Sped up on the downhill and even hit 2:48 pace for a km.... Anyway it all felt very pleasant and cruisy, and went with the flow. Crossed 5k in 20:23 and feeling OK if not great. It certainly wasn’t as comfortable as when I went sub 3 so that should have been a sign to slow down but I didn’t. 

    The next 5k was a case of ticking through and now the green and blue starts had merged there was a bit of a rhythm. There never seemed to be any packs to join though, everyone was running their own race. I’d already started pouring water on my head and down my back and wrists, not that I felt hot yet but as a precaution. I’d done the same in Boston but they had cups so far less water. Through 5-10k in 20:36, so I was up on time but the first doubts surfaced that this was going to be sustainable. My HR and effort felt too high and when I had my first gel it was tasted sickly sweet, not a great sign this early on. 

    Shortly after I decided to ease back to 3 hour pace but it didn’t feel any more comfortable. Going through Cutty Sark was amazing but I didn’t take the time to soak it in. The crowds were full on and I could barely hear my watch beep. The water stations were getting busy and I did wonder if they would run out later as everyone was taking one. 10-15k was 21:30 but I now noticed I was being overtaken more than I was doing the overtaking. It was this stage I saw the first walker. 

    It was now definitely warming up and I was moving into the shade whenever I could, annoying a few behind me as I cut them up. The discarded bottles were all over the road and it became an obstacle course to avoid them. As I went under the 10 mile arch, I distinctly remember thinking it was going to be a long long day. Next 5k was 21:51 I knew then it would be a mental battle to not blow up like Boston. Tower Bridge provided a temporary lift and a wave for the cameras and it seemed the crowds were even bigger on through Wapping. 

  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Hit halfway in 1:28:54 and what should have felt like a cruise so far was now just holding on. The best bit in the next 5k was the tunnel in Canary Wharf, both shady and downhill, taking me through 25k in 22:03. 

    The run down the narrow streets of Isle of Dogs was now a drag and I was just waiting for the 16 mile mark so I could start counting down. I did have the energy to help a runner whose cap blew off which gave me a bit of a feel good boost. 25-30k in 23:03 for the biggest drop in pace so far and I was losing the will to keep going. 

    Canary Wharf provided some relief with the shade and I got overtaken by the blue 3 hour pacer with a small group attached. I kept waiting for the red and green pacers but they never appeared and I later heard all 3 of them dropped out, a sign of how tough the day would be. At least I was now heading back towards the finish and it was a minor boost to see the crowds heading the other way. I finally cracked around 33k and took advantage of a stretch of shade to walk for a few seconds. There was carnage with plenty of championship runners also walking, which made me feel a little better. Still it meant 30-35k was slower still at 25:23. 

    Coming back into the city and the downhill on Lower Thames Street was a nasty surprise. I could feel my left hamstring tighten up and then it went into full on cramp. I had to stop for minute to stretch, went on a bit further only to stop again for a longer stretch. I gingerly restarted and it seemed to go away but now I was at no more than a shuffle. Blackfriars tunnel was more welcome shade and at least I knew how far I had to go from here. This last bit was literally one foot in front of the other and the crowds were overwhelming. I reached 40k in 28:29, which could have been a lot worse. 

    I kept moving though and edged closer to Big Ben, completely missing my family at the right turn, and before long there was just 1k to go. It was hard to believe I was actually overtaking people but I picked up a little speed as I realised I was close to 3:15. I made the last turn onto the Mall and was relieved to cross in 3:14:14. 

    I immediately felt drained and my legs could barely keep me walking. I had to sit down against the tent along with many others who looked just as shellshocked. Tried refuelling on Lucozade Sport and after 15 mins made the long trek to pick up my bag. I almost missed my family again but saw them on the exit funnel, they told me I was pale and sickly, which was exactly how I felt. Eventually made it back to the hotel and after a quick shower I was knocked out for a couple of hours. I haven’t felt this much fatigue in 5 marathons even though it was my second slowest time. 

    The stats don’t lie - first half I passed 317 but then passed by 795, second half It was 139 vs 810. Surprised that more didn’t pass me in the second half, which goes to show it’s all about who slows the least. 

    I thought I would be OK in the heat but what I didn’t factor in was the sun. Despite training in temperatures up to 30C all of it was early morning with little or no sun. As with Boston last year, I didn’t cope well in these conditions even though the fitness was there. Fingers crossed I get into Tokyo next year as that’s almost always cold!
  • Tom13Tom13 ✭✭✭

    Great report John-another fine battling display-Well done.

  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    John - great report, really captured your experience on the day. Well done for toughing it out to the end! Interesting that even training in 30 degrees didn't acclimitise you to running in midday sun.

    I'm guessing London starts later than other marathons becuase of the logistics of getting 40,000 people there for 10am? Otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever. Not sure starting at 9am on Sunday would have made a great deal of difference though.
  • dctdct ✭✭✭
    Cheers John. All sounds very familiar. Congrats on getting through it. 
  • Reg - I know I'm an absolute fool, but sometimes I think it helps not to take yourself too seriously. At the end of the day, we're all miles behind the elites anyway. If you can't have fun with it, somethings going wrong I think. Hows the injuries coming along?

    Jools, AWC, John; all great recollections, enjoyed them immensely.

    HA - same time, same place next year on HG parade then; my mum loves the yearly catch ups. What are your thoughts after the weekend? I'm desperate for you to realise your potential. Convinced you've got a 2:30 in you. Happy enough to come and support you at a race in the future to help you get it.

    Tom - are you still doing Newport?

    First day of feeling much less stiff today. Going to try a bike session tomorrow and run session friday. 
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    Good to read more reports though I too am amazed how badly you were affected by the heat John after the difference in training conditions you'd experienced.
    Glad to hear you're going for the hill race Hazel & nice that you can decide on the marathon anytime.
    Gentle but progressive 5K on the TM this afternoon in 26:06. Finished at 7:59 pace for 400m. Definitely my limit at the moment.
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭
     Cracking report, John. Enjoyed that. Although a painful experience for you. Completely agree re the blessed relief of the tunnels and the horrific walk after the finish. Hope you recover well. 

    Spot on, Joe. Got to enjoy yourself. 

    Another 30 min very easy spin. May attempt a short jog tomorrow. 

    Just been officiating high jump at sports day. Vicious hail and rain. Would have paid good money for that about midday on Sunday. 
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Enjoy yourself?! 
    Great reports John and HA.
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Good report HA77 and a nice controlled run. Guess your genes do a better job of coping in the heat than my couple of summer training blocks!

    Joe - well written report and liked how you made the most of the day. 

    AWC, Jools - yes I still haven’t figured out if I should have just started more sensibly as once the HR was too high there was no way back. I was (and still am) suffering from hay fever or some sort of ailment that can’t have helped. That’s one of the risks of doing overseas marathons I guess. 
  • Great reports John and HA.

    Only run 3 miles this week so far.  If my current woozy head and general slight nasal discomfort turns into a full blown cold before Sunday, then my two mucus-laden, sore-throated children will be grounded for a month!

    I'm off to bed!
  • RamjetRamjet ✭✭✭
    Great reports Jooligan, John and Ha.

    John and I both started off wanting a 2:55 and ended up with a 3:14! John did it a more painful way though.

    I'm sure you will get your sub 3 Jooligan with a cooler marathon and maybe a bit more tapering.

    First post-marathon run today. 4 mile shuffle didn't feel too bad. Refreshingly wet as well.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭

    John - It's a funny one really. I thought I'd fully acclimatised to the cold weather but must be something about running in the heat all those years ago that's still with me. Tough day and great report.

    Joe - Tell your mum (and dave) to lock it in for next year, it's a date! I'm feeling more motivated now than I did in the whole lead up, which is good. I could be changing jobs again so it'll be a matter of finding a new routine but if I can stay motivated I'm sure I'll find a way of fitting things in. If I don't give it a proper crack I reckon I'll regret it. Cheers for the support.

    Tom - I'm not so keen on Abingdon. On the plus side I like the small, club run feel and it's pretty close to me but I didn't really like the course. We'll see. I've started negotiations with the boss into going to Valencia. From what Joe and others have said, it sounds like an awesome race. If that doesn't work out I might try to get up to Chester.

    NE - Good luck with the cold. Hope it clears soon.

    Like others I did my first post race run yesterday, about 3.5 miles. 8m/mile seemed my limit too.

  • Reg WandReg Wand ✭✭✭
    Reg - I know I'm an absolute fool, but sometimes I think it helps not to take yourself too seriously. At the end of the day, we're all miles behind the elites anyway. If you can't have fun with it, somethings going wrong I think. Hows the injuries coming along?

    To be clear,  I love your attitutde, I wish i'd had the confidence to do whatever I wanted at your age. My injuries are behaving themselves, just had my last physio appointment and I have been given a series of exercises to do.

    Went to the track last night and did 10 x 600 off 200 jog RI, averaging just under 17min 5k pace. I feel like I'm not too far away from some good form and hopefully knock out some spring PBs before the Tri season gets into full swing.
  • dctdct ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Completely missed your report HA. Very well run with, as you put it, a "terrible" build-up. Would love one of those build-ups and coming in under 2:45. You're clearly a great runner. Also, a good sign you're more motivated now after Sunday. Feeling similar and desperate to run again but have a horrible pain on the top of my left foot. Hurts to even walk. Really annoying.

    Completely agree on the enjoyment thing. It's a hobby after all. And on Sunday the first half was hugely enjoyable and I'd love to give London a second crack. Pretty sure I'll struggle for GFA with the new 3:00 cut-off.

    Hope the cold backs off NE.

    Very nice 5k pace Reg.
  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    Reg - nice pace on the reps, fingers crossed for your PB's!
    John - Nice report. Is the plan to do all the majors?
    NE - Hope you recover soon.

    8 miles with 2 at LT today, those 2 came out at 6:24/6:31, so in the right area. It's gone cooler this week, which is a shame as these conditions would have been perfect for London, but you can't predict the UK weather!!

    It's good to see all your first half v second half splits, seems P&D did the trick and you faired a lot better than some runners!
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Steve - not planning all 6 but will see how things pan out, it’s hard to fit them in when each one is halfway across the globe! I love tokyo anyway so ticking off the marathon is a bonus but there’s only a 10% chance in the ballot (unless I can pull off a spoons and run a 2:45!)

    dct - hope your foot recovers fast, you should definitely give london another go and see what you can do.

    HA77 - great to hear your mojo is back, you’ve got a fast time in you this autumn.

    Reg - good news on the all clear (or at least no more expensive physio fees). Are you in tri mode for the rest of the year?

    First recovery back, a bit wheezy and stiff but eased up gradually. Next up I have a fast (well fast for others who have prepped properly) 10k in 2 weeks then a 100km trail ultra in 4 weeks. I’m also giving serious thought to Gold Coast marathon on 1 July, maybe the fastest one in oz (but heat could again be the killer...)
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Interesting to read all of the reports and how the heat had such an effect on everyone, evens seeing that we are all experienced runners. Was also surprised to see how John coped even with many training runs in the heat.
    starting at 9am would have made little difference. Parkrun on the Saturday was just as hot.
    got out for a shuffle last night with the club. First 5 miles were fine. The last 2 were a real struggle.
  • Enjoyed the reports & blog, bringing up the rear I think.

    London 2018

    My day started in auspicious circumstances.  Anticipating a few beers I jumped on my bike to get to the club coach pick up point. The rear derailleur hanger snapped about 10metres down the road. Made it to the club coach via car which got us there about 8ish. The FGFA area was empty and I had about 50 portaloos all to myself.  Time flew by, assisted by bumping into Millsy.  I recall the first few miles last year feeling downhill, not so this year, it all felt uphill.  I tried sub 7mm pace for a few miles to see how it felt, unsustainable was the answer.  Pace seemed to naturally settle around 7:15mm so I thought that was a sensible adjustment. I was aware of having my heels clipped more than usual and more sideways movement at drinks stations.  The smell of molten rubber at the timing mats wasn’t pleasant either.  My endearing memory of the first half was working hard and sweating a lot but I thought my pace adjustment would mitigate the effects of that. The first half always flys by, the merge, the Cutty Sark, club cheering point circa 9m then Tower Bridge.  On TB I started to think about meeting my family and the food I might ask them to get me for the finish. Unbelievably TB passed me by completely whilst I pondered over a Tesco meal deal.  I got a lift from passing the race leaders on East Smithfield and whilst I had decided times weren’t important today I had thought something around 3:10-3:15 would be nice, halfway done in 1:35ish.  Mile 16 was the next target to meet the family. Alas I couldn’t see them and assumed they had found something more interesting todo (it’s happened before). There followed a couple of low miles and when someone took one of my legs away, I turned round shouting ffs - spirit of London eh ! I recovered the stumble and whether it was the adrenaline or not, I felt stronger and started to think only 6m to go.  I was making reasonable progress (for me) around 8:30 mm but sometime in mile 22, maybe after the 3:15 pacer went past, the desire to walk just became all consuming. I limited it to 2mins and one per mile but I had to repeat it I think 3 times.  As said by others, the tunnels were a relief and the crowds fantastic, particularly along this stretch. I wasn’t in any great pain, I just had nothing left in the tank.   A bit of high 5ing seemed to pick me up a bit to plod the last bit home.  I bumped into Jools in the last mile and felt gutted for him that the heat had taken away any chance of a shot at sub 3. I’m convinced it will come though.  I couldn’t work out where baggage pick up was, a long way, but being clapped by the people on the lorries was a nice touch.  By the time I had walked to The Admiralty for a quick drink and to meet family I didn’t feel too bad.  Another quick drink with the club didn’t leave any time for the RL, as evidenced by a “you’re ****ing late” text on the way home.  In summation, bit of a crap start to the day, bit of a crap end, but the bit in the middle was fantastic as usual.


    1st half in 1:34:34 passed 627, 1133 passed me - that felt about right

    2nd half 1:49:14 passed 518, 469 passed me - surprised by that.

    Looking forward to the Thames Path in 9 days time, time to taper I guess.

  • Great reports from everyone, really enjoyed reading them. Was quite a day wasn’t it!

    Jooligan you were clearly in sub-3 shape, it will come.

    Hope the job interview goes well Reg.

    Great to hear you’ve got your running mojo back HA

    Joe, like Reg I love how much you enjoy these events, and wish I had your confidence!

    My race report is now up on my blog: https://run.spoon.run/london-marathon-2018/. Was a weird one for me after the high of Manchester. Despite working hard over the years to get my place in London it became a bit of an anticlimax. But I still enjoyed it on balance, and it was a good reconnaissance for a proper go at it next year :)

  • 1SteveMac1SteveMac ✭✭✭
    John - Yeah, travel will be an issue as everything is so far from Aus!!
    Spoons - will give the blog a read now!
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    Your report made me chuckle Macca....
  • Reg - realised that when typed, that came across as a bit short from me. Didn't mean it in that way at all, just more a matter of fact statement. Good news on the injury front, and that workout shows you're in decent nick.

    Macca - nice report. Tesco meal deal is definitely not what I'd be having post race though. Sub in massive pizza or fish and chips and then you're talking. Followed by a bucket of ice cream.

    Spoons - enjoyed the London write up. I reckon you're going sub 2.40 in Frankfurt. You heard it here first.

    Had a decent 3x15 minute bike session this morning. Starting a slightly different running plan tomorrow, with a 12x800m track session, run at around HM pace, starting the next rep when the HR drops to 120. Something slightly different. I think 12 should be fine, but could get interesting when it gets us to 20. 
  • Thanks for the reports everyone.

    Hazel - as others have said, it sounds like you made exactly the right decision on the day. I have read your posts with interest the last few months as I knew we had similar targets. Your training seemed to have been very good and consistent, and I'm sure it will pay dividends down the road. I think you're right to take some time to think about the upcoming marathon, especially if you can sign up at short notice. Best of luck for the hill race, sounds like an excellent next step.

    Good luck also to NE and Tom at Newport this weekend.

    I'm over my VLM debacle. I'm not so fussed about blowing up - it is what it is, and the cliche about your first marathon being where you learn how not to do it rings true - though reading the reports what comes home to me is how I didn't take any time out to enjoy it on the day, at least from mile 10 until the pub after. Lesson learned.

    Onwards and upwards though, and I ran 4-5 pleasant miles yesterday and today. Legs feel fine. Given that I didn't actually summon up anything resembling LSR pace for the last 10k, I guess that shouldn't be a surprise.
  • Thanks Joe. Given the success I've had with seemingly overambitious targets over the past year, 2:40 seems like as good a goal as any! :D 

    Andy - getting your first marathon right, and not blowing up, is tough in any conditions. In the heat of Sunday I'd say it was practically impossible. Just look at how many of us here suffered, despite many marathons worth of experience! Sounds like you have the right attitude towards it though. 

    Legs feeling almost back to normal now I think. Had a short spin on the bike yesterday to get the blood flowing again. I was going to go for a run today, but not sure I'll bother given the pouring rain. I see the forecast for London on Sunday is overcast and 10º... :/  
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭
    I need to start running again as I'm still eating as if I'm running 70mi/wk.
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