3. Rob de Castella, winner 1983 World Marathon Championships:
“If you feel bad at 10 miles, you’re in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you’re normal. If you don’t feel bad at 26 miles, you’re abnormal.”
Done, dusted and finished my last marathon. Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 and it was emotional.
I’m not going to be reviewing the race mile by mile, split by split or much at all really. It was what it was. First off I finished in 3:15.48 and well outside the Sub 3hr and 20 odd min behind people I am usually as fast as if not faster than in what was perfect marathon running conditions.
So I must be downbeat right? Hell no.
The expo was madness but the free goodies great and I’m glad we got there for 9:30 Saturday morning because by midday it was murderously busy. So the race?
Let’s put this into perspective, I knew that my training had been pretty awful at times, inconsistent and problem struck but I hoped that this would be an advantage. Fresher legs meaning no real fatigue in the legs. I hadn’t managed to run anything over 18mile in the 4months of build up so I had to be clever and sensible. No stupid dreams of anything but a potential sub 3hr run which was always going to be tough.
The few runs at the 6.50mpm pace in the taper had given me hope but that nagging lack of quality 20mile long runs countered this. I Set on the plan to go for it and see how I felt at 20mile, the first one in a full year, and if I was still inside the time to push, make it hurt and put it all on the line or if well off the sub 3hr pace to take my foot off the gas and enjoy the last 10k.
The plan was to hit the Halfway mark in close to 1hr 30 for a potential negative split and I hit it at….. Drum roll please
So on course there but 5mile later my legs were starting to feel tired and by 17miles I was beginning to hang on slowly losing distance on the 3hr pacer in front. I started to pray for the 20mile arch.
When I finally made it I was only 30sec off the 3hr pacer and it was decision time. I did a quick assessment and a little bloated from the lucozade and Buxton water I’d consumed and on tired legs I decided to drop off, enjoy the sights and play to the crowds.
I made a catastrophic mistake at 21mile when approaching the lucozade gel station I first thought “don’t grab one, don’t grab one” then “suppose the energy will come in handy” so I took one, consumed it and ran on.now I know my body can’t stand the horrible artificial crap so…Just 1/2mile later I was rushing for the toilet point, seeing the sign and sprinting into a stinking portaloo. 4min approx later I departed leaving my own piece of momento in there. From here on I smiled, waved, walked when I felt, took a selfie with a female Sheffield uni student and just took in the sights. along the embankment waving at friends and under the 25mile arch. From here it was running all the way still waving and geeing the crowd up, past the houses of parliament and finally past Buckingham palace to finish. Not quick but I finished running 8.5mile further than I had ran all year. Collected my medal and substantial goody bag and found my loved ones.
My second slowest marathon but I feel with my lack of consistency in training it’s my greatest achievement. Enjoyed it so much, the support was magical if not sometimes overpowering and I was on sub 3hr course for 20mile and a nice way to finish my marathon career……. Except……. It’s not.
I know I have a sub 3hr or even a sub 2hr 50 one in me. I have one more year of guaranteed GFA entry off the back of Blackpool 2014 which would be a shame to waste that. The long suffering running widow wife is understanding saying “you’ll not rest till you do it” so I will yet again enter London, it has to be London for me and get myself in the best possible shape.
VMLM2016 I will see you again.
Anyway, bye for now
“The thirst you feel in your throat and lungs will be gone minutes after the race is over. The pain in your legs within days, but the glory of your finish will last forever.”
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