Well – that’s my final marathon of the year done and what a way to end it. Fantastic location, fantastic people/support, fantastic weather (cold and dry) and a personal best by over 14 minutes!
You can review my marathon stats here.
The stats make interesting reading (if your into stats or are a runner).
It shows how my pace per mile has changed since my first marathon and also how Chester compared with Dublin (4 weeks apart). It also finally drummed it into me that starting slow DOES enable you to hold a more consistent pace for longer.
My worst race ever.
Prior to the 2012 Edinburgh Marathon I have only ever not finished one race before – a Strathclyde parkrun when I pulled my hamstring.
Bearing in mind I did the Great Welsh Marathon last month – I was just doing some “easy” runs as I “know” I can “do” a marathon so I was just treating this period as an extended taper/recovery period.
On Sunday the day was very sunny and hot.
I had multiple applications of factor 50 sunscreen – been upping my hydration in the days before, the only thing I did differently was grabbing a tuna sandwich rather than my usual porridge.
My plan was to run 12:00 miles in the hope of beating my PB of 05:42.
I knew I’d have to revert to a run walk strategy from about mile 19ish but I should have enough in the tank for about a 05:30 finish.
I knew I would start way faster than my planned pace so for the first three miles it was a case of forcing myself to slow from 10:00 to 11:00 until I settled at a comfortable 11:30 pace.
I started feeling a bit “wobbly” at about 9 1/2 miles so I had a walking break, a gel and some water.
This was fine until mile 10 when I “lost” my breakfast – not exactly lost – I knew EXACTLY where it was !
More water and gel and I soldiered on with a walk/jog until mile 12 (15:00+ mins per mile) when I knew if at this point I was having to play mental games to force a jog – there was no way I could continue.
After 20 minutes sitting by the roadside – thanks to everyone who took the time to check I was OK – I started the long slow walk back to the start.
I have two more marathons in the plan – Chester 7th October and Dublin 29th October so hopefully the heat will not be as big a debilitating factor.
I still “owe” a Scottish marathon from my 4 marathon plan – I have an inkling as to how to address this – stay tuned for more info!
I have never been a fast runner – but parkrun has always been a competitive event for me.
If I have not been chasing a personal best (PB), I have at least been trying to shave a few seconds off my time for the previous week or trying to pass the runner just in front (truth be told I always aim for the person two in front, to make sure I PASS the person in front of me).
This year, what with a series of coughs, colds, splutters, work commitments and various slight injuries; my running has really suffered and my head has not been in the right place either so I have really neglected my marathon training schedule.
I was supposed to be tail running at Strathclyde parkrun event 99 but John Edge asked if he could take my place – he is tactically planning to run his 50th parkrun at our 100th event next Saturday. This left me free to run the event at my own pace! I’m still nursing a slight pull to my hamstring and I was supposed to be running the Alloa half marathon the following day, this left me free to pick my own pace.
Just as we started there was that ominous sound from my Garmin – No Battery, my watch died. Nothing left for it but to just run and listen to my body – run at a nice comfortable pace and enjoy the view and enjoy the company.
This resulted in one of my best parkrun running experiences ever – comfortable enough to have a conversation and enjoy the view. Running in a different part of the field from normal allows you to meet completely new runners, I’m privileged to be a regular volunteer so I do get to see most of the runners but maybe not have as long a chat as I would like.
So why don’t you try it – experience a parkrun at a completely different pace!
For the last three years I have dedicated a years fundraising to each of these charities. This year my challenge was to run 1,000km in 2011 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
If everything goes to plan then I will achieve my 1,000th kilometer when I run in Strathclyde Parkrun - event number 86 on Saturday 17th December.
I know that this is an expensive time of year but if you could see your way to giving a donation at https://www.justgiving.com/1000k-in-2011 or by texting “Ross70 £5″ to 70070 – feel free to adjust the amount as you see fit!
Every £20 raised helps to provide 1 hour of nursing care and I can personally vouch for how invaluable the Marie Curie are!
Thank you all for your donations and your support and encouragement in this past year!
If you would like to see just how far 1,000km actually is have a look here.