Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Looking forward to the OMM

A brand new experience awaits me on Saturday/Sunday. I have never done a MM before. It starts and finishes in Comrie so couldn't be more local. My partner for the weekend is Sam who I believe and hope is a better navigator than me.
It should be a challenge and good fun.
The kit is now bought/gathered, wonder what it all weighs?
I think I am reasonably recovered from Liverpool now. I plan to run tomorrow and then that will be it until Saturday at 10.19am when we are off

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Stirling Eastern district X country Oct 15th

Pretty ropey forecast and some gloom still hovering over my head from Liverpool were not ideal preparation. However it was a fine day and I felt wonderfully relaxed prior to the race with no expectations at all except to run quite slowly.
I watched the ladies finish with Rhian pipping Kerry and Emily finishing well and then saw Dom charge off and finish high up.
We had 6 men and a team at last- hurrah!
I headed off on the 5.5m 3 lap race at a v relaxed pace but was still surprised to see Jeff in front. After half a lap or so I had passed Jeff and Doug and had Andy as a handy target. The 1st mile came up in 6.17 which was surprising to say the least. I really enjoyed the 1st lap and had some great encouragement from the other Harriers as the 2nd lap started. Soon into the 2nd lap I passed Andy and enjoyed what I thought was a nice circuit. It was satisfyingly muddy in places with some small climbs that didn't take too much out the legs. The Harriers were still in good voice at he end of the 2nd lap although they did need some encouragement. The 3rd lap was harder work but I was more than happy with 36.32 (ave 6.41).
So all in all a great day with lots of Harrier Juniors as well taking part which is the main thing.
I think I've got my Mojo back now, bring on the OMM.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Liverpool marathon

Completed in 3.27.12
I thought I was in decent shape leading up to this race. I had run 1.24 at Glasgow and 2 weeks ago I ran 38.23 at the Pitlochry 10k. Liverpool was a new course but mainly flat. As described in this blog my training has beeen pretty good up until about 7 weeks before tha marathon. I had 5 20 milers under my belt. September wasn't good however but I still thought I should be capable of under 3.10, maybe even 3 hrs.
The start was delayed by 45 mins because the police hadn't closed a road. This is completely unacceptable. Most runners are ready to go, hydration and nutrition geared to running at a certain time. 5-10mins is acceptable but this wasn't.
We eventually got going but people had reassembled not necessarily in the correct part of the field. Consequently I had lots of slower runners to pass including scooby doo. This does make a difference and the 1st mile took over 7.30. I then did a 6.17 which got me back on track but not a great start.
The race starts in Birkenhead Park, goes north through New Brighton and back again to the Queensway tunnel.
Running north I felt pretty good and got into a 3 hr pace OK. Running south with the wind behind I was working harder to keep that pace and some thoughts were creeping in that 3 hrs might not be on even at the 8 mile point. I went into the tunnel shortly after 11m and ran downhill feeling good and overtaking. Halfway came in 1.30.30 so not bad. After running down into the tunnel you have to run up out of it (obviously). As I emerged into the daylight I was amazed to see big crowds lining the route and a massive drum band blasting music out. I waved to the crowd and felt an embarrasing spasm in a calf which fortunately didn't stop me. It was round about 14-15m that the wheels really started coming off. I did 15M at exactly 7min mile pace and after tackling the only real hill on the course at 16m struggled thro Toxteth to Sefton Pk. Sefton park was ghastly as it went round and round, criss crossing and seemed to go on for ever. Maureen was there at 20m which was nice but life was just getting more painful for me.
By 22m I was in so much discomfort and so lacking in energy I had to start walking. I have never walked in a marathon before, not at all. I really cant put into words how difficult the last few miles were, just horrible.
The finish was great in that the crowds were wonderful, the marshals were fantastic, so lovely but I felt absolutley gutted. How can this happen? I could do better in an average training run!!
After the race I limped along to get my drop bag and made my way back to Maureens. Having an hour or so to myself was good as I quickly put it into perspective. A v v bad day but I finished. I am incredibly lucky to have the physical capability to do a marathon at all and I will have better days, hopefully quite soon,