26 April 2010

Epilogue? The London marathon

I entered London about 11 months ago and got on through the ballot. I had always assumed that I'd be so tired after the MdS that I'd just pull out and roll my place over to 2011 but - blisters aside - I felt pretty good after the big one. My feet had a couple of weeks to heal so I decided to give it a go yesterday and see how I went - it was a great opportunity to see if I could run sub-3:30 given I'll probably never be as fit again. In fact, my target was 3:20 and I wanted to start well enough over the first few miles to give myself the opportunity to run 3:10 if I could.

I never felt great to be honest. It p'ed it down for the half-hour before we started (I neglected to take a bin liner) and when we got going, it became fairly warm and humid. I don't think my immediate preparation was ideal - dinner in the awesome Iberica on Friday night, followed by a bbq and beer at my friend Gus' on Saturday.

However, I think the main problem was that I haven't trained much for this kind of race. My runs have mainly been pretty low intensity, with little in the way of quicker threshold runs. Basically, I wasn't really equipped to maintain a pace of a touch over 7 minute miles. The first half of the marathon went OK nevertheless - I got to 13.1m in 1:36 - but I knew that I couldn't keep it up. By the time I reached 19m, on the way back from Canary Wharf, I was really starting to feel it and the last hour or so wasn't the most fun I've ever had. I assume that at the end of an 'ideal' race you should feel as knackered as you ever have done if you're going for a good time, which I managed but which doesn't make for a lot of fun.

On the positive side, though, the crowd was as amazing as I remember and I eventually stumbled home in 3:21, which I'm very pleased with and is decent enough for me to think about calling it a day on marathon running. That latter feeling has stayed with me today given how stiff I am! I'll post a photo or two when they're released. This time I tried to smile, given how pained I looked in the ones in 2006...

By now, I am very much a "reluctant runner". 2009 is over and we're a good chunk into 2010. I've still a post or two to go - particularly some kit tips for the MdS itself, but I have a feeling that this might be it - the blog has served its original purpose of livening up my training and providing a chronicle of my training for the MdS. What should I do with it now? Suggestions in the comments box please!


  1. Great stuff. Clearly where there s a will there's a way. You can do anything you want and be good at it. Impressive.

  2. you are well fit, can I buy you a drink?