A late race report but hopefully welcome because we all need a bit of good news!
Nearing the end of my 2016 running streak, the small but perfectly formed marathon in the neighbouring town of Abingdon loomed.
Loomed, because there is nigh zero crowd support (just the odd sheep); you aren't allowed to wear earphones as they don't close the roads, and the weather can be precarious. Nevertheless, it was selected as it is an 11 minute drive from home, and anyway... it all went ABsolutely-FABulously.
|Daughter as race crew as wife had to go to Canada urgently - |
but she watched my progress on iPhone findfriends
Executed marathon properly. Finally. For the last three marathons I've failed at sticking to the plan. Either too little running and too much rowing. Or went out too fast and blew up. Or just failed, full stop. Or followed the plan and the legs didn't cooperate after 18. But today it all worked.
Plan was 10, 10 and 6.2: first 10 miles of patience and holding back. Rein rein rein. Starting with 8.45 miles and gradually easing down to 8.35s by ten. Letting people run away knowing I'd pick them off later. Enjoying the views. Turkey farms and sheep and no crowds just countryside.
|This is on my arm, not leg. Haha|
Then 10 miles of focus, getting down to 8.30s and holding there. Not suffering or racing just hold hold hold. Picking off runners and executing the plan.Then the last 6.2 was drive drive drive. "None shall pass" me. And no one was allowed to. Pace thus picking up and dipping under 8.30s.
I physically felt the Wall at 22: It was a double loop course reasonably flat and suddenly at 22 I couldn't breathe for half a mile as my body switched to fat burning.
Amazing that I didn't fall apart but I'd run 2000 miles in training this year so my body and little mind could handle it. So I gulped air and Gu and dug in for the final push. And SMILED AND SMILED AND SMILED
Ecstatic at the Finish. Daughter got the announcer to name-check me as I ran around the stadium track, noting this was my 20th marathon and that I'd last run this one in 1998 when daughter cheering me on was 3 years old!
Then tea and results check 3.41.01. Faster than the last time I ran this course all those years ago! And better than I'd aimed for for the last three marathons and this one i.e. 3.45. Fabulous. The days of 3.16 marathons may be gone but I'm really chuffed. Phew!!!!