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,

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a tough one Phil but congrats on finishing. It is really hard mentally to have the race delayed like that.

    I know you'll be back stronger than ever. Don;t fancy getting back into ultras yet??