So it’s now been nearly a month since London and although it would have made sense to do a write up straight away, it wasn’t really possible.
The result and magnitude of what I had done had not really sunk and when it did, I simply forgot and then have been too busy.
Apologies if you read this and think, what an elitist plonker, that’s not my intention. It is to merely educate and inspire others.
Normally I leave my result to the end but spoiler alert, I managed a personal best of 2.44.18.
This time was just over 3 and a half minutes quicker than Amsterdam 2018.
Those that read my blog about Amsterdam will know how much of a success it was and after a small period of reflection and some slight persuasion,
I decided to give London another bash after the heatwave of 2018. I knew it would be hard with the birth of Stanley but thought I was fit enough and could do enough training to blag a sub 2.50 marathon. Normally I wouldn’t set a goal slower than a PB but I figured, as I had never had a good London and Stanley, sub 2.50 would be cracking.
After a storming race at Guy Fawkes and a couple of great Cross country’s I began the process again. Boosted by running 2600 miles in 2018, I decided to have a ‘quiet’ Christmas and start the first Monday in January. Simply put, (more detail in Amsterdam blog) I was going to run 4 weeks at 55, four at 65, four at 75 and finally 80. This was 5 mile longer per week but I had the intention of running Marathon pace at 5 seconds per mile. I figured this might help push through the 20 mile barrier better.
Training was going well and despite not being able to race in the build up, the mileage was good and I managed to run over 1000 miles in the run up to the race. The negative difference this time was the lack of sleep from Stanley and less time in the gym. I had to have more focused session with my PT (Lisa Bennett facebook is LBee fitness). With the help and support of Alison and a little bit of flexibility, I only managed to drop one session. I was quite strong on the final runs and managed a 10 mile treadmill run quite comfortably in under the hour.
So fast forward to the week before. I’d foolishly got my dates wrong so ended up spending a week in a Haven site in the lakes which turned out to be quite good. It did however, throw my carb loading a little on Thursday/Friday. After frantically rushing around on Friday, I was all set to go to London on my own for the first time. This time was different, I felt nothing, no excitement, no nerves just nothing. Looking back, I think as I was on my own and just going down solely for the marathon and back up, I was purely there to a job and that was run the marathon, nothing else, nothing more.
Once in London, there were various issues I had to contend with. Firstly, two of the lines I needed to my room were closed so I ended up on the bus for about 30 minutes. I eventually found the room which I must say wasn’t pleasant but was clean and dry. Nonetheless, I couldn’t stay there so went out straight away to meet Jamie for my number in canary Wharf. Here we grabbed a free lunch at Leon’s which was nice but without looking, Jamie managed then sent me on the wrong DLR. Despite all of this, I was very chilled out. I decided to kill time and went to the expo to try and get some motivation.
As I had to be back before dark, I rushed off from Strada on tower hill and spent a few hours watching some running videos for motivation before an early night. Approximately 11pm I was woken up by someone trying to get in there room and then again at 6 by someone going for a shower. My one night of ‘freedom’ turned out to be terrible for sleep.
So I got up and ready and prepared exactly the same as my previous 6 and headed over to the GFA start line.
Ultimate plan was, run 5 seconds a mile quicker (6.10 per mile) and don’t be sick in the last mile. This would get me 2.46/2.47 which I would have loved. The race was going to plan and there were even instances where I felt I could run faster but knew its a long race so had to slow down in patches. My pace was quicker and with the weather being favourable I figured if I could get past canary wharf in good shape up to mile 20, I just had to stick in and avoid fading too much. Mile 17 was the time for my second gel. I had a little but had to stop as I was going to be sick. The miles came and went and mile 21-22 were good but then, it was hard, was a war of attrition to get through the miles. I predicted (wrongly at the time) that if I got through 7 minute miles for the last four I should get 2.45. I just kept going at about 6.36 and ever time I saw a walker or someone stop, it was mind over matter.
Coming down the mall and realising I was about to get sub 2.45 didn’t really feel how it should have. I felt satisfied but not overwhelmed like Amsterdam.
I couldn’t stick around as I had a train to catch. I managed to get to Leicester sq before getting the tube back to the station. Here was a reward of a Mcdonald’s legend meal with a double cheeseburger. Bizarrely I could have had more but nonetheless, went across the road where I bought, some more water, one can of heineken (as I was driving), large bag of crisps, some sweets, some chocolate and a twister (which I forgot about until it was half defrosted).
Getting home to the kids and Alison was nice but it was back to the grind getting up with Stanley and then work.
What next? Who knows? Ive always wanted to get under sub 2.45 and get to Berlin and London in the championship pen but didn’t expect it so soon so initially thrown my plans out.
As it stands I’m thinking London 2020 and a big break to a flat out big PB in Berlin 2021. I might as well do it now as I don’t know if Ill to get to 50 plus running like many others at the club.
Especially Gerry B who is nearly 70 and managed to run so well at London.
Time will tell but as always I’m very grateful for all the support and encouragement along the way.