Well I felt strong all day today after such a great day yesterday. I got up early and drove what turned out to be a long way to the start line of the Bungay Black Dog marathon on the Suffolk/ Norfolk border.
Im starting to find with more and more races under my belt that I am now really quite relaxed all the way through to the start of the run. There are always a few familiar faces around and I quite often look at those with 100 marathon club vests on and think if I am relaxed just how calm must they be....
I lined up in the 2nd or 3rd row given that there were roughly 300 runners and started at a fair pace but still got to 1 mile in 7:15. 2 miles 14:20, 3 miles: 21:07, 4 miles, 28:08, 5 miles: 35:06: 6 miles: 42:00. What a great start and I felt strong. i was breathing hard and deep but my two checks, legs for lactic acid and breathing for straining both came back positive i was totally in control and now moving up through the field of 20 or so that were ahead of me at the start. The first 6 miles were over rolling hills on road, when we turned off we were on the flat through some beautiful villages and quiet roads. I loved it. 7 miles: 49:01, 8 miles: 56:02, 9 miles: 1:02:58, 10 miles: 1:10:03, 11 miles: 1:17:01, 12 miles: 1 24:01, 13.1 miles: 1:31:30. The first loop was fast and smooth, stopping to walk and drink at every aid station, 6 per lap.
The second lap I felt strong, i ate after 14-15 miles over the course of 2 miles and it helped. Had a couple of endurolytes as it was now getting hot. I lost track of my time here but I felt metronomic in my pacing, step and stride in time and I knew that i was maintaining 7 minute miles. At 20 my faint hope at the beginning of popping 3 hours which was massively over-ambitious was extinguished I knew I was dropping off but I had dreams of beating 3:05/ 3:06 and certainly at the very outside drop under 3:10:59 for Boston qualification, under 3:12 as a landmark. In the end I went through 25.1 miles in 3 hours and just held on for the final mile finishing in 3:09:11. Great to run with the lead lady for 2 miles or so as she broke the course record by 7 minutes to come in in 3:07.
Had a couple of bacon rolls straight afterwards and then went back to the car and had a sleep. very very tired and knew that I had pushed it but it was totally worth it I was delighted with the time. I loved the setting, the blazing sun and the small field nature of the race, I only hope in future I have the opportunity to run 100's of races like this.
The training I have done in preparation has been sporadic and unfocused but i proved to myself once again that with some short quick runs of 6 - 7 miles plus back to back long runs in the lead up i can turn out a strong performance.
Read Anton Krupicka's blog again today Riding the Wind. Looking at 50,000 lifetime miles by his 26th Birthday on August 2nd. Truly inspirational.