Monday, 18 October 2010

A six months wait finally over.

Abingdon marathon - My 2nd road marathon.

My 1st road marathon was London, where I was running to and planning a 3:40:00 (8.23/m) attempt so when I ended up with 4:00:08 I was very disappointed .... OK, I know it was London and I had started in the 4:30:xx zone - I was not even bothered about those 8 seconds - thought that was funny - I just knew I could do much better.

Come race day I really didn`t have a clue about what time / pace I wanted I run, I didn`t think I was in Pre-London shape but did manage to squeeze in a two week taper more to do with the couple of marathons coming up so I really settled around 3:50 (8.45/m) - I know huge window.

The race started at 9.00am which did mean a very early start to the day. Awake at 4:50 ish but at least breakfast was out of the way, could not really tell what the weather was up to as it was DARK. Slight delay driving out as I had ICE on the rear screen - it was blooming cold & dark !!!!

Arrived at Abingdon - at least someone had turned the lights on but not the heaters - it was chilly. I had decided on a vest with arm sleeves (if I got warm then at least I could tie them off). Met up with loads of folks I knew and that was even before I got outside. Got outside very late - no real warm up (mistake). Chatted to Kelly & wished her well for her big race, saw Ruth and ask what time she wanted & she replied 3:50... Anyway before we knew it the gun went off and over the two sets of mats (which one do I start my watch on???). Around the lap we went and out of the gate...

First mile down - it was a bit fast. Saw RachE & heard Gobi :-), through the 2nd mile also fast. I saw OS at about 3M, I guess I settled down after 4 or 5. Saw Ruth & Alan ahead, I resisted the urge to chase them down as I knew they were running faster than they had planned to. Through the 5M mark at around 40:36 - still up but OK. Now I don`t normally get any pains but my Achilles was giving me a bit of grief (no warm up I guess) anyway shorten my stride, imagined lifting my heel up in the wheel - it seemed to be OK after a few miles (a good warm up). Caught up with Ruth & Alan around the 7M mark. Alan dropped back a bit so carried on running with Ruth. No problems there as I had run with Ruth before, we were going OK, no strict time plan just wanted to finish strongly. Went through 10M at 1:20:54 (40:36, 41:18). Then we turned into the trading estate & I saw the balloons for the 1st time - hundreds of them. Around the corner & we were spotted - they went mad. The noise was deafening, didn`t stop - so couldn`t really say who was there but thank you all - what a buzz and that `Fetch wave` carried us for a few miles. As we turned down the track I said we needed to steady the pace as we still had quite a distance to go.

Didn`t really look at the halfway split or the 15M split but looking back it was 2:01:55 (40:36, 41:18, 41:01). We kept a steady pace with the miles ticking away nicely. We used the small undulations well when overtaking other runners, had some fun at the water-stations. One thing I had learnt that Ruth wasn`t that good at taking the cups at water stations. I ended up giving her marks out of ten. At one station, and to be fair to Ruth the water marshal did offer the water quite late....not much water left in that cup then - score 6/10 :-) This kept us going for a few miles.

The Fetchpoint seemed to come around quicker than before. Saw Mick N Phil who sadly retired but they were there cheering through the runners. Shortly afterwards I roughly work out that 20M split - 2:43:13 (40:36, 41:18, 41:01, 41:18) - which was a 20M PB by about 5mins - odd how the mind works as soon as I worked that out I felt very tired. We had picked up 2FF, during the next mile I dropped back a bit - loo stop & then stopped to remove the sleeves (didn`t want to drop the garmin). That 2nd stop was a mistake as it was a bit of a struggle to get the momentum back up again so dropped back even more. The small subway was horrible. I saw a lady that helped me during the Dunstable Downs 20M so I encouraged her to stick with me. Saw TracyB & Mike during this last bit...out of nowhere the 25M sign appeared - great but what wasn`t so good was a runner fell over a raised man hole cover but luckily enough MOAT was there & helped her back on her feet. Back into the college ground, then a loop of the outer fields which dragged on & on & on - I switched screens on the garmin to one screen - run time in BIG numbers - I didn`t want a 3:40:and a few seconds - imagine the grief so I sped up a bit and finally back into the track......

...Around the track & through the line......a six month wait was over.....Clock time - 3:39:41

Saw Kelly almost straight away after I had finished - she had a cracking race and finished with a 3:28:30 - a great time, pleased for her. Saw OS - who took some great photos and made my way to where Ruth, Gymfreak (another PB), RachE & Gobi were - got a big hug from Ruth and saw Alan come in. Shook hands with Ben (storming time) who somehow knew already about my PB. Martin & Mark were there too.

Great facilities afterwards - great viewing area, tea & coffee, hot showers, cheap massage area, BBQ, clothes stall, even the walk back to the car parking area helped ease the legs....ohh we got a medal, T-shirt, water, mars bar, pen.....

So many wonderful memories from the day - the lady with the speakers on her bike, the numerous helpful & happy marshals (SE cheering us past), the wonderful company I had for over half the race, the smiling faces of finishing runners, some with PB`s - so many memories that I`ve forgotten half of them - sorry.

On the way home Alan & I were trying to find areas where they could improve things...we were struggling & couldn`t find any.

Basically this is an event that every marathon runner should do at least once.

Splits -

1) - 1m - 8:00(8:00/m) - 139cal
2) - 1m - 7:51(7:51/m) - 141cal
3) - 1m - 8:03(8:03/m) - 140cal
4) - 1m - 8:19(8:19/m) - 142cal
5) - 1m - 8:23(8:23/m) - 140cal
6) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 141cal
7) - 1m - 8:26(8:26/m) - 139cal
8) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 141cal
9) - 1m - 8:13(8:13/m) - 140cal
10) - 1m - 8:11(8:11/m) - 140cal
11) - 1m - 8:08(8:08/m) - 141cal
12) - 1m - 8:06(8:06/m) - 139cal
13) - 1m - 8:03(8:03/m) - 142cal
14) - 1m - 8:26(8:26/m) - 140cal
15) - 1m - 8:18(8:18/m) - 140cal
16) - 1m - 8:20(8:20/m) - 140cal
17) - 1m - 8:09(8:09/m) - 141cal
18) - 1m - 8:16(8:16/m) - 141cal
19) - 1m - 8:17(8:17/m) - 140cal
20) - 1m - 8:16(8:16/m) - 141cal
21) - 1m - 8:16(8:16/m) - 140cal
22) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 140cal
23) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 138cal
24) - 1m - 8:52(8:52/m) - 139cal
25) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 139cal
26) - 1m - 9:03(9:03/m) - 140cal
27) - 0.28m - 2:20(8:19/m) - 37cal

Pace Zone Summary
Pace Zone: 6:40-6:59/mile: 1.7%
Pace Zone: 7:00-7:19/mile: 2.8%
Pace Zone: 7:20-7:39/mile: 7.1%
Pace Zone: 7:40-7:59/mile: 18.1%
Pace Zone: 8:00-8:19/mile: 21.5%
Pace Zone: 8:20-8:39/mile: 16.4%
Pace Zone: 8:40-8:59/mile: 11.2%
Pace Zone: 9:00-9:19/mile: 7.1%
Pace Zone: 9:20-9:39/mile: 3.8%
Pace Zone: 9:40-9:59/mile: 2.7%
Pace Zone: 10:00-10:19/mile: 1.6%
Pace Zone: 10:20-10:39/mile: 1.2

Pleased with time - just wished I finished stronger. I can use that magnetic race time strip from VLM.

Next up - A sports massage tomorrow night, then easy runs on Thursday night & Saturday morning, then the Great South on Sunday - again easy pace. Then a little trip to Athens which will be bitter & sweet.

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