I'm back, I think!! .......... Two posts in less than a month is a start at least.
Well it's early on Easter Monday as I type and I'm wondering what training to do because it's absolutely throwing it down outside. It's been a decent weekend up until now though, very overcast but dry which means I've been out destroying myself on the bike - and ache a lot!!
Back a week though to Taunton Marathon which took place the day after my posting. After some last minute arranging I had a car share with my clubmate pal Sean. We met up nice and early and got to the race venue with masses of time to spare, so unusual for me. We chilled a little and met up with fellow NDTC lads James and Matt who were running the Half Marathon and Marathon addict Jimmy who was gunning for his first sub 2:50 run.
As normal I was very calm about things and took my stuff into the baggage area with 10mins to go before disappearing off to the toilets for a while, finally rocking up to join the rest of the 1300 or so competitors at the Start area with a minute or so to go. With a reasonably big field and a small funnel shaped start area it would have been cheeky to force my way to the front and as I didn't want to start off by getting dragged along too fast I was in the perfect place. With the chip timing it doesn't really matter if it takes you a couple of minutes to cross the start line unless you're chasing prizes or course records - none of that for me thanks!
The first lap was very controlled, I had the 'Virtual Partner' on my Garmin set to 7:10min/mile pace and kept it ticking over slightly faster than that pace. It was all I ever looked at, never bothering with my overall time, heart rate etc until I finished the first lap when I looked at my half marathon time (1:32:30). My original plan to run around 3:10-3:15 then got adjusted a little. I'd run the first half so comfortably I wondered if I maybe picked the pace up a little whether I'd manage to sneak under 3hrs. I started doing the maths in my head, trying to work out how much I would need to be ahead of the 'Virtual Partner' to get a time beginning with a '2'. This was skewed a little my my Garmin signalling every mile a good 15-20secs ahead of the official markers (probably due to my dodging runners early on). Keeping the numbers turning over in my head was great fun, especially as most of the field were only racing the half marathon and the 2nd lap got very lonely. Around 17miles I caught a group of 4 runners that had been in my sights for a while, I thought about sitting in but then decided I couldn't be bothered and so I ran straight past. When I looked over my shoulder a mile later the group of 4 were all strung out, I'm guessing one or more of them must have tried to tag on. Oooops :-D
I have to admit that the little climb at 22 miles was a toughie and by the equally small climb at 24miles I was beginning to feel it, I ran in towards the Finish at a decent clip while at the same time there wasn't much left in the tank. It was quite nice to see the Garmin saying 2:59:59 but not too much of a disappointment when the official time was 3:00:00. I quite like round numbers and as I've got a few sub 3's under my belt it didn't smart too much.....
Race over and onto this week, supposedly my first build week back............ Hmmmm, it didn't really happen (until Friday). I managed a sneaky 5k run the day after the race and then I did absolutely nothing, due to a combination of work, post race aches and general constant tiredness. Then came the Bank Holiday Weekend and BOOM the Weekend Warrier is back!!! 3h30m bike on Friday, 4hr bike & 1hr run on Saturday, 3h15m bike on Sunday. A trio of days that meant I have had no problem at all doing stuff all today while the rain has absolutely poured down outside. Welcome to British Summer Time :-D