Sub 3h15



  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Stratford 10k is a good fast race. The last 3 miles are the same as the last 3 miles of the half.

    As much as I want to get this 3 hour monkey off my back, I am not sure the way my summer is panning out I could really properly do an Autumn mara. I want a bit of time off  the constant avoidance of socialising as well.

    I am debating doing the Dudley-kingswinsford 10k next Wednesday, just to get a 10k time on the board and to make my legs go a bit faster.

  • Gul DarrGul Darr ✭✭✭
    OO - New York would be a great experience.
    southwarkrunner - I'll be entering the ballot too with no GFA in sight. Pleased to see they've gone for 28th rather than 21st which will be Miss GD the elder's 21st birthday.
    Rich - good to hear from you. Unlucky with the weather - you did really well to get a PB. And as for the $60 million question...?
    Poacher - I still think the spring one should be called Middlemarch. Don't peak too soon for Berlin BTW.
    DT19 - looking forward to your race report.
    SBD - I'm thinking of doing a solo endurance effort instead, but still looking for a proper race too. Well done avoiding the temptation of doing some faster stuff for a while.
    Lorenzo - enjoy the recovery / cycling.
    Birch - it's mainly the price that puts me off Manchester ;)
    Leslie - I bet the 30 min tempo was worth the pain afterwards.
    Stevie - good plan. How are you getting on with the Lidl backpack? (Hope I've got the right person!) It's a bit of a squeeze to get everything in and I feel like I'm starting to get a bad back.
    Another sneaky 3 miles yesterday lunchtime. Then 8 miles with Ron Hill strides early doors and 5 easy miles to work. Need to make sure I keep it easy and not overdo it with all these doubles - currently on 65 for the week.

  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    Could be tempted by Abingdon - despite work commitments I'm going to need to try and keep some longer runs in to make Marathon du Medoc more pleasurable in September; if I can try and fit in 3 quality sessions a week minimum while busy I might be able to compete.

    No runs since London for me, not much of anything; where the 3 nails have come off the toes are just too sore. Will try some biking today to get my lazy ass moving.

    Is anyone doing Hackney Half? I'm working in London stadium over that time and may be able to take a couple of hours in the morning to smash it out.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    London Marathon 2018

    So this was to be my 5th marathon and my 4th London marathon. The year didn’t get off to the greatest of starts with me picking up an injury during a 10 mile race on New Year’s Eve. Consequently all of January was spent on the bench. I did still manage to run 70 miles but swapped the vast majority of it for spin classes. It was getting to the point where it looked like my London ambitions were going to need some serious rethinking, then suddenly the injury was gone, probably just in time.

    I picked training back up pretty quickly and February and March were my two highest mileage months to date. Unfortunately I didn’t have a great deal of luck with my tune up races with snow falling on the weekends of both my key races. This was followed by what would have been a successful half marathon in Liverpool had the organiser not cocked up measurement of the course in trying to incorporate some enforced route changes and left it 0.25 miles short. Finally the weekend but one before London I did manage a parkrun pb of 18.21.

    As I entered my taper I was feeling well placed for my planned sub 3 attempt. I tried this at the Birmingham in October and got it and a number of other things very wrong and came in at 3.07. This experience reminded me how hard a marathon can be and how important it is to not get carried away in the first half because things feel easy at mara pace. One thing I identified from Birmingham was my lack of in race fuelling, which amounted to a few jelly babies. I resolved to make my body accept gels for London and so gel training became part of any run of around 10 miles or more. I found it very difficult at first but it soon became easier.

    Unfortunately, the weather was not quite done with ruining my races and from the earliest possible stage on the 14 day forecast race day was due to be warm and sunny. Never in my life have I seen a specific days weather be predicted so early on with such complete accuracy. It dominated my entire taper madness.

    The marathon weekend clashed with my sons 8th birthday and so the agreement to me running was that we all go down to London as a family on the Friday and on the Saturday (his birthday) it is all about him and not me. Seemed reasonable! So we arrived in London Friday morning and it was hideously hot. We went separate ways for much of the day as I went to the expo. An early night Friday set me up well for Saturday’s usual fitful sleep. Saturday was best described as sub-optimal in the circumstances. Another warm day that was full with activity. My fitbit clocked me as walking nearly 10 miles over the course of the day.

    So, the build-up was what it was. I was also slightly concerned I had under done the carb loading. I had taken on board what Badbark (don’t eat too much) had said and so made sure my main meals were carb based and a few carb based snacks in between. I guess we would soon find out!!

    I hate the night before the London marathon and the battle to get some degree of decent sleep. But that came and went and soon it was time to set off for the start. I decided to walk from Holborn to Charring Cross and my wife drew me a little map. Unfortunately I got lost and ended up walking around 35 minutes before jumping on a bus that was heading towards Charring cross. I get there for the 8.29 train, somewhat later than the 8.09 I had planned. Arriving at the start zone I started applying my various creams and realised I had forgotten my f50 suncream!! After a short panic I find someone who kindly lets me use theirs. Bag deposited, I find a toilet. This was a much better arrangement than the green start with the toilet queue being a matter of 2-3 minutes.

    Off to the start pen. By now it is gone 8.50 and they are calling pen 1 runners in as they are about to move them forward. I jump into the back and see a clubmate. He is having a few issues at work and starts asking for some legal advice. Unfortunately my mind isn’t in that frame and we agree to speak Monday. I decide to move forward in the pen and cut out about half of it. As I am stood there in what was ridiculous heat I have a sensible chat with myself. I recall looking around and thinking ‘someone here is probably not going to make it home tonight, let’s make sure it’s not you’! I decide that chasing sub 3 is fools gold and with the new GFA times this may well be my last
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    London in a while, so resolve to run at a competitive pace and more importantly enjoy it. I decide 7mm is a good figure and keeping the HR in the low 160s. If I can stay near that in the latter stages it may just yield a PB. I had no expectation of that. At this point I relaxed substantially. A moment later we were off.

    The usual crazy first few miles with people everywhere made it very difficult to hit a decent stride, but I didn’t care. Being on the blue start there was the mini stand along the first 400m so that was my first sense of taking the occasion in. The first few miles came in 7.03, 7.01 (I don’t actually care this year, it’s close enough!) then mile 3 comes in 6.48 and reduces my average pace to sub 7mm. I couldn’t believe how pedestrian the pace felt and had to keep double checking I was in fact running at that pace. 7mm also presented a very easy calculation at each mile marker. When the green start merged with us this caused quite a bit of congestion and it appears like we merged with the 3.15 pace of the green start which wasn’t great.

    Shortly into the race I spot Madbee and tap her on the shoulder and wish her well. I keep plodding away taking in the sights and appreciating the event I was in. The miles tick by. Mile 4, grub time, gel goes down nice and easy thanks to my practising in training. The next 3 miles are relaxed coming in 6.51, 6.58 and 6.57. Right, Cutty Sark lets notice it this year and wave for the cameras. Job done and on I go still feeling good.

    I find that bit after the Cutty Sark to Tower Bridge a bit dull, sort of like I’m in no-mans land. On I press. At 8 miles (time to feed) the red start sub 3 pacer and his merry men come gliding passed me. They all looked to me like they were working way too hard and I was glad I had changed my plan. One of the followers was running completely bare-footed!!! Anyway, after hammering passed me they don’t make any great progress after the initial 100m gap they put between us.

    The next 6-12 mile period just passed in an unremarkable manner with splits of 6.55, 6.53, 6.56, 6.57, 6.54 and 6.52. By this point my average pace was 6.55mm, HR was low 160s and frankly I was feeling better than I had ever felt at any stage in a marathon. I knew though that the cumulative effect of the heat would get me in the end.

    With 12 miles done (another gel, lets stick to plan and get them in early!) I was really looking forward to Tower Bridge. This is probably my favourite part of the route and it really spurs me on. This was also the first evidence of things going wrong for people. Going over Tower Bridge put a smile on my face and I really absorbed the atmosphere. Up and over the hump, time for the work to begin. Historically the next 8 miles to 20 has always been my best period in London and so I have a sort of mental positivity connected with it.

    Mile 13 comes in at 7.01 (Is this the first sense of my implosion I wondered) and half way in 1.31.28. OK that’s faster than last year (by 12 seconds) but I feel much better. I tell myself the heat is going to get me sooner rather than later.

    After half way the regularity of people pulling up, slowing down etc increased substantially. This just spurred me on as I was cutting through numbers of people. The next few miles went well coming in at 6.55, 6.46, 6.53 (gel time) and 7.00. At about 15 miles a pacer comes into view and is coming back to me. This gives me a focus and by 16 miles I’ve passed him. It was the red start pacing looking spent. At about 17 miles I heard someone I was passing say Hi to me. It was Literatin. She said she had binned off any serious plans at 10k. A brief exchange and I ploughed on.

    I needed to escape Canary Wharf unscathed. I was eyeing my watch thinking, this is not what I expected to be doing (pb chasing) at this stage! Next 2 miles were the first indication of the hard work to come with 7.06 and 6.44 (final gel time, I really don’t want this but I need it!). On we go, head down now working hard. The numbers in front of me have dwindled and I have plenty of space which is great. The next few miles tick by, as I urge myself to keep it together, With 7.01, 7.11 and 7.08, I’m still at pb level, this is weird!!

  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    I just want to get to the Embankment now as frankly it’s downhill and you are as good as done. As I enter Blackfriars (?) tunnel I hear someone call my name and look up to see WJH. My legs are tired now and the lack of focus on where I am going leads to a stumble. Mile 24 (7.32) was a battle as there was still nearly 20 minutes to run. The gel at mile 20 was a step too far for my stomach and I have a sense of nausea from about mile 22 and this was getting worse.

    My watch was causing me additional anxiety, watching my pace slip away, so at mile 25 I turned the display off (and passed another 3 hour pacer). This may well have proven to be a crucial error, though mile 25 beeps up 7.12. I also pass the 40k marker and try desperately to do some maths but I cannot perform the simplest of tasks. I just plough on wanting it to end! Mile 26 comes in at 7.25. Before that, comes the 800m sign and someone calls my name. It’s a mate from the gym who is marshalling.

    I think, two laps of a track, that’s an awful long way when you feel sick as a pig. Oh actually here’s the 600m sign, that means 400 will arrive soon which is just one lap. As I pass 400m I think how quickly the last 400m had passed. As I come around the Mall passed Buckingham Palace everything gets a bit much and I stop briefly as I think I’m going to be sick. It passes and I go again. Into the final straight and I am overwhelmed with the desire to vomit. I stop again and the crowd quite rightly point out that I should keep going as I am nearly there. I am crippled however with dry heaving and I can’t move. Some marshals come over and I explain I am fine I just need a swig of water. They tell me I should get to the line as there is some there…

    By this point I assume that minutes have passed. I decide that the heaving is not going to stop and so resolve to just run the last 150m with it, which was quite horrific. As I approach the line (50m or so away) the clock is ticking on 3.06.xx and I think, yep blown a great chance there. Then I remember it took me about 90 seconds to cross the line. I push as hard as I can, all the while my body is heaving aggressively. I get there, stop my watch and fall to my knees as I cannot move any further like this. Some marshals come and try and get me out of the way. I beg for water and I am told there is some in the goody bag. I move about 5 feet and get my head over the side off the main start as I am concerned I may well vomit. Eventually a marshal appears with some water and a few swigs and deep breaths and I am fine. I did tell you this, I think to myself!

    I finally look at my watch to see 3.04.46. Damn, 1 second off a Pb. Perhaps in the drama I didn’t stop my watch promptly. I eventually get my bag and have a text confirming my official time is 3.04.45, meaning that I have somehow managed to match to the second my pb time from last year. According to RB results they class that as a pb and I won’t argue with them. On a day like that I deserve to walk away with something!

    With hindsight I am pleased with how I managed a day when many, many others got it so very wrong. My 5k splits were 21.44, 21.42, 21.51, 21.35, 21.34, 21.32, 22.07 and 22.16, which perhaps demonstrates a more consistent pacing than the mile splits do.

    It was a training block that was filled with many difficulties from injury and weather and whilst it is not the sub 3 I had hoped for, I feel satisfied that I have been presented with a return on what I put in.

    After the event, I made my way to The Chandos and could see no-one there I recognised so hung around outside and just stared OO out to the point that he had to speak to me. It was great to share a few beers with a few of the people that have helped through what was a tough block of training.

    I am yet to decide what is up next, but not sure mentally I can take a 4th successive marathon training cycle. Plus I feel that I need to mix my training back up and concentrate on perhaps a half schedule to force along threshold etc and to better prepare me for a Spring marathon next year. I’d like to think I can genuinely call myself an experienced marathon runner now (I appreciate that in present company I may be far from it) and that should assist me further my chances of a sub 3 in the future.

  • BadbarkBadbark ✭✭✭

    For anyone that didn’t achieve their goal because of the warm weather. Why not just book another marathon in the next month or two, so you’re not wasting all that good training?

  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭

    Rich I think you can do it, those are good times. And as you know this is the place where the experienced guys (and gals) hang out :)

    Well I've booked New York- it's done so no talking me out of it. I've saved a £1000 by taking over the package of a friend of a friend who can't run. Then again it's cost me the extra flight for Mrs OO and £3000 for 6 nights accommodation- deep gulp. Well it's our anniversary in November and my retirement before, so I guess we can call it a double celebration. After recent experiences I'll not get my hopes up for a good time. Anything around 3:15 would be very good indeed. I'm concentrating on shorter distances over the summer so it will be a short campaign.

    Good idea to rest Lorenzo. I was tempted last night by a club 5 mile race. I averages 6:30 pace which hurt a lot. Park running tomorrow.    

  • BirchBirch ✭✭✭
    DT - super report; you definitely deserve the RB accolade of a PB, after the compromised buildup, not to mention 10 miles on foot  the previous day !!!!   fwiw, my PB came in my 9th marathon, in the 6th year of my running "career" - years 1 & 2, one per year ;  years 3 & 4, 2 per year ; year 5 was 2 maras, but the first, a "designated" PB attempt, was a DNF.
    Was then a 10 month gap until my actual PB, and I remember thinking I had benefitted, mentally at least, from not ploughing into another cycle straight away,  so maybe a wise move for you to give it a year?   I'm sure you'll go well under 3 hours eventually, given your other race times to date, and with improvements yet to come.
    Well done again - lot of adversity overcome last Sunday B)
  • OO54OO54 ✭✭✭
    Cross posts DT, that's a fine report. I hadn't realized it was such a struggle. Definitely a PB in my book and hard to guess how much faster you could have gone in better conditions.   
  • JoolskaJoolska ✭✭✭
    Turning my thoughts to autumn races, and it turns out I don't have many free weekends!  Looking at w/e of 3 and 4 November and the 2 flat options for half marathons appear to be Nottingham or Lancaster.  Has anyone done either of them and would you recommend/advise I avoid like the plague?
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Thanks, Birch. I am edging towards there being more to gain from not ploughing straight into another campaign and targeting a couple of decent halfs in September, then spending October and November building mileage and starting a mara schedule early December.

    OO- It was the stomach issue that made an otherwise controlled effort run finish badly. If I could have held that off I would have galloped along the Mall and probably finished 20 seconds faster.

  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    Great report DT and congrats on matching your previous time. We must have been running pretty close for the first half of the race though as times seem similar.

    If you're masochistic and want to find your struggle down the mall - BBC iPlayer has a great little feature:  
  • RichNRichN ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the feedback all. Confirms my thoughts to go for it in another marathon later this year, hope for more favourable conditions and try and crack sub 3. It will be the first time i have done 2 marathons in a year, (I usually cycle more over summer and focus back on running in late autumn), so hopefully the extra endurance base will help. 

    Seems i need to concentrate on improving my conversion from half to full. From my 4 marathons to date my best is 1:27 to 3:13 last year. This year I thought i would convert better having done 5 20M+ runs in training to only 2 last year. Also my total mileage was up and i even did a decent amount of core strengthening, but maybe it was the heat and the silly decision not to revise my starting pace that did for me this year...

    Badbark - While tempted I don't think a marathon in the next month or two would work for me. Mentally Sunday was tough and physically I'm still sore (quads and abductors) so i think it will be next week before I'm running again. Also the thought of another potentially hot race... ouch! 

    Abingdon sounds tempting but I'm thinking later in 2018 so maybe San Sebastian or Valencia in late Nov/early Dec. Anyone run those? Partly to fit in with holiday plans and also so i can have a bit of a mental break from marathon training for a few months, try and get my 5k/10k times down over the next few months, and then focus properly again come August. 

    DT19 - you really did manage the conditions and race very well. Well done. 

    As for Manchester. I ran it in 2016 and PB'd. Its a good course with enough support to keep you going, while being quieter and less congested running wise than London. That was the year of the ridiculously badly organised bag drop/return though (but thankfully full length course!). However its run by a new operator now and it seems from reviews they've improved the logistics. 
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Nicko, yes and no in that dependant what start you were on we could infact have been several minutes apart from each other at a lot of times. Interesting prf who posts occasionally on the mg thread finished 1 position ahead of me officially, however he crossed the finish line about 2 minutes earlier than I did.

    I made the mistake of viewing the finish line cam at home on Tuesday night on my 60 inch tv. Horrific!!! Equally so are some of the official photos coming to the line clearly showing me in mid heave!

    I think there is a lot to gain from repeat mara campaigns. My purpose in doing an Autumn mara was to facilitate London this year. I have taken myself to the point in doing 3 back to backs where running 18-20 miles in training is no longer a big deal and I definitely felt doing that enabled me to pick things back up quickly enough in February after being injured. Had I not run an Autumn mara I think I would have struggled to build myself back up in the time available.

  • PoacherPoacher ✭✭✭
    Heck DT you certainly put it out there.  Great effort. Your times suggest a very good chance of 2:5X - just need to find a nice cool day and flattish course to try to cash in.  My PB came in mara no. 31, and I'm sure you will do the business much sooner than that.

    OO - did tell you NY is expensive.  But you have made the right decision.

    Joolska - not done either but I think Lancaster might be promising - plenty of flat ground in the area and it's the home of a fast LM warm up (the Trimpell 20).  Good excuse to combine a with a trip to the Lake District and get in some proper hills.

    As for Manc, I have done it the last 3 times - it was a shambles in 16 but the problems are now sorted.  The course doesn't actually go through Manchester, it's Old Trafford cricket ground to Altrincham and back. Mostly suburban, but pretty flat.
  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    Because I'm procrastinating - looked up our results based on your finish position and we actually hit the 5k marker at the exact same time of day (10:23:36); though I started in Red a bit behind.

    I got 6 seconds ahead of you at 10k; but you pulled away to 11 secs in front at 15k.

    By 20k you'd increased your lead to almost a minute and then obviously sped off over Tower Bridge to victory.

    I really should get on with some real work and stop stalking race results.
  • PoacherPoacher ✭✭✭
    Nicko that finish line vid is hilarious.  But you can see the joy and effort on people's faces.  I'm at 4.22.10, which is nothing to be proud of
  • That finish line camera is interesting  - but dear god how slow am I up there ! I really thought I'd be looking a bit faster than I was - seems to take me about five minutes to get up the Mall !
  • PoacherPoacher ✭✭✭
    Forgot to say: just skimmed through the TV mara coverage from Sunday - massivest chapeau goes to Kathrine Switzer who gave running its key suffragette moment, and is in amazing shape for a 71 y.o. Respect.
  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    I thought I was sprinting. TV says otherwise.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    good stalling, Nicko! I assumed with your fast start you'd have been further ahead of me early but factoring the red start evened us out. So what did you got half at, about 1.32? 

    Thanks Poacher, I'm sure it'll come. The problem with a marathon of the weather isn't great or it's just not your day you can't just find another one in 3 weeks and get it right then. 
  • SBD.SBD. ✭✭✭

    Excellent report DT.  If you'd had Brighton weather you would have run 2:55.  And if it wasn't for the nausea at the end you would have PB'd!  Do you think that was just too many gels and sports drink or did the temperature play a part as well?  If you're desperate to nail the Sub 3, depending on how well you've recovered from Sunday, why don't you try and get a place at Edinburgh at the end of May.

    I'm all booked for NY Marathon OO - I've ordered good weather.

  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    DT - 1:31:23 - then took 1:41 for the 2nd half !
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭
    this can't be right as I was 1.31.28.....? 

    SBD funnily enough I was looking at Edinburgh today. Can enter until 4th may. Not sure I'd get domestic approval though. May look at the prices of the weekend and position to the wife. 
  • nicko1981nicko1981 ✭✭✭
    I started a good minute and a bit behind you; went out faster then slowed so it all gets a bit weird with the timings.
  • G-DawgG-Dawg ✭✭✭
    DT. Great report, mate. Defo get straight back on the campaign trail, you're on fire right now and whatever you do will be a fantastic base to greater things, regardless. I missed a PB at Abingdon in October by 14 secs due to vomitting in mile 23... twice!!. So, I know how it feels.

    On Holiday in Madeira right now. Not run a step but drinking plenty! B) Will do 3.7 over the weekend in honour of Matt Campbell who I saw at 22.5 last Sunday, so, so sad. 

    VMLM 2018 was every emotion a marathon can thrust upon us. My overriding feeling is that I have something left.  I trained bloody hard in adversity yet I was unable to unleash it all on the day. My time is slower than desired but I resigned myself to survival only during the first few miles. Being able to run steady in tough hot conditions at a pace I would previously have been blowing out of my arse to negotiate is pleasing in itself but I have been denied the opportunity to really fulfil my potential. So, we go again. This relentless mission of self-fulfilment and desire to lower the clock, the rankings and the PB continues.

    I reflect on Sunday and draw a varied gamut of feelings. Fortunately the biggest is the desire to press on and apply the learnings to the next training block. Varied sessions, attention to volume and diligent plan application against day to day life challenges should see me through OK. A 7.30am Chicago start line should be of benefit too as long as the poxy weather isn't hotter than a pizza oven...AGAIN!!
  • Gul DarrGul Darr ✭✭✭
    DT19 - amazing report and even more amazing achievement.
    I must find time to watch some of the finish line footage.
    20 very slow miles early doors today (avg pace 8:41) to bring up 85 for the week.
  • StevieWhStevieWh ✭✭✭

    Great Report DT - an absolutely cracking run.

    Gul - I haven't had chance to try out the backpack yet, I'm going to start running to and from park run in the summer so it will hopefully get some use then. Cracking mileage this week as well.

    I love my finish line footage, cross the line with arms in the air then the final shot is me stopping and having a big shake of my head! Around 3.38 on the clock in the top right corner if anyone wants a laugh!

  • Leslie HLeslie H ✭✭✭
    Dt19 end of may is probably too soon for a mara comeback ,your legs will not be recovered and it will most likely end in disappointment, take the time and another mara cycle and nail it proper and show us how its done  ! 
    Gdawg enjoy the holiday and rest
    Gul 85m ? I thought you only started back again ,cracking volume.

    Parkrun today , hard to get going at all after Thursday's tempo but 21:31 is a few secs quicker than last week and nobody tried to out sprint me at the finish luckily this week. Splits 6:57,7:02, 6:55 and 5:45 for the last bit so fairly even.
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