A few thoughts from me on Sundays London Marathon.
I'm now completely fired up (For the triathlon season), feeling positive and have entered the Berlin Marathon in September with a view to achieving my goal of running under the 2.45 barrier (i.e. unfinished business).
After all the amazing Turbo performances by the runners at London and the duathletes at Milton Keynes I'm afraid this story doesn't really measure up. It would be easy to hide for a few weeks and hope nobody mentioned that fact that I fell short!
I ran 2hrs 49mins 25s and I'm extremely disappointed. Read on to find out why. Writing this is part of the mental healing process for me. It's kinda like therapy!
Firstly a big mention to John Taylor who stuck with another one of my grueling plans to run a lifetime and household best 3hrs23mins. Here's a man who has tried, failed and now succeeded in beating a truly challenging goal and at the age of 50!
Speaking of challenging goals, it's no secret I was hoping to break 2hrs 45 mins on Sunday. Why 2.45? Because it's widely considered to be the divide between club runner and elite runner. My lifetime PB is 2hrs47mins. This was set off the back of some monster Ironman training but only a peak running volume of 45 miles in any week. Naturally there were some big bricks and some looooong rides.
Recently I'd run a 1.16 half marathon and a 1.35 Kingston 16 miler. Surely a sub 2.45 was possible (the race calculators predicted anything from 2.38-2.41). Those race calculators assume that you'll do the correct training though. In the main I did (hit a lifetime peak 7 day volume of 75 miles) but due to a bout of illness in late February (lost a week) and some pretty acute ITBS problems (not irritable bowl…..but a painful side of the knee overuse type injury), I lost out on some key 20 milers.
The above isn't meant to be an excuse for why I didn't run to my potential more of a way of picking myself up and fronting up to the challenge once again. I've now failed twice to beat the 2.45 mark. Last time (2006 London Marathon – at mile 19) I convinced myself briefly that I'd never be able to do it. This time I'd paced the first half marathon extremely sensibly and at times it felt like I was holding back big time. Went through half way in 1hrs.21m.40s. This was 10s slower than my goal but in my book spot on otherwise. I was strong to mile 21 and was hitting goal mile splits of around 6.13-6.19. I was starting to reel people in by the dozen and was starting to get excited about what might happen if I simply kept going at the pace I was running. THEN I HIT THE WALL.
Miles 22.5 – 26.2 were terrible in every way. People were coming past in droves, my splits were 1m20s per mile slower than goal pace and I must have looked knackered. Most of you havel been there so there's no need to explain how bad it felt.
So I finished with a shocking last 5km split and 4 mins over my goal. It all went wrong in 4 short miles. Once again I briefly considered throwing in the towel and admitting defeat. I'll never be able to hold 6m16s miles for the full 26.2 miles!! But Chairman John didn't give up after the wind and rain at the Luton Marathon (where he missed his goal by 3 short mins). Nor did Warren when tendonitus threatened to end his epic MTB race with Barry, nor did all of you out there who battle through low points in races only to come through the other end victorious in achieving your goals.
So I'm entered for Berlin in September.
What am I going to change? I'm going to introduce a longer midweek run (say 15 miles), insert one 3.5hr cross country run 4 weeks out, run up to 18 miles at race pace once a week, cut out some of the trash 10 mile nothing type runs and make sure I hit 6 x 21 mile runs in the 9 week prior.
Bring it on (again).