This was to be my second marathon of the year after London
I approached the training to this one in a different manner to London, with longer runs and a proper tempo run midweek. All went well with no signitcant days lost to niggles.
Race day turned to be wet windy and cold ( not as bad as Manchester though). I met Mark for a warm up, so with 5 minutes to go, we said are good byes and lined up. It was quite low key; you could have lined up with Ben Fish, (winner) if so inclined.
The Hooter goes and off we go. This time I was determined to run to my plan of 7.10 miling as all I wanted was sub 3.15 time to qualify for London 2014.
The course? Well its not Berlin flat and its not Snowdon – its more of a roller coaster, up and down we went for the next three hours leaving me finding it really hard not to go to fast for the first ten miles. I must have looked at my Garmin for pace at least every 30 seconds
I was feeling ok at 10 miles and still not really working hard, (good sign) keeping to plan and pace. The temptation to kick on was insistent but as some of you may know, I have been there and done that and paid the price (at every previous marathon to be honest)!
At about half way I was greeted to Wigan Harriers support team Dave Collins and Jane, Dave Waddy, Jacqui, and Julie. You cannot apreciate how much you look forward to seeing friendly faces, and it gives you a massive boost.
So of we go for the second half still feeling ok. The weather deterated with horizontal hailstones and wind trying to rip my hat off (I was going to ditch the hat and gloves after the first mile but they did the full 26.2 with me thank you magic gloves). I said to my self: steady till 20 then see whats left in the tank
20 miles passed in 2hr 20in, (Ben Fish was just finishing). I was starting to feel tired, saw Dave Collins and Jane, another boost. “Right”, I thought, “55 minutes to do 10k for target finish time, in the bag now, going for sub 3.10 time”.
23 miles: help! The pace was dropping. We had caught up to the runners doing the half, and the sting in the tail: hills and descents for the last miles, dodging half marathon runners. Sorry to the people I shouted “track” at, they looked at me in bemusement. It means “shift I can’t sidestep, I am XXXXXX”
25 miles: saw and heard Dave Waddy Jacqui and Julie. I so needed that last encouragement. “Come on fella, dig deep, you’vev done the work, empty the tank”
Yeah did it! Ran to plan and hit my goal.
Lessons learned: train to a harder plan, race the distance not runners and stick to your race plan
Recovery: wasn’t ill no medical tents no injections and raced at through the villages the following week (report to follow)
Thank you all to Team Harriers who helped me on the day and in my training