Monday, 8 September 2008

Wolverhampton Marathon

Well that's that done and dusted. After and odd awkward start it all seemed to work out quite well.

We were all up nice and early, we did all the normal stuff and then out 'posse' headed off to West Park for 8:30am (before the roads closed). The Park was already filling up with runners and under foot it was already suffering from consistant downpours during this wonderful British Summer.

I found the registration marquee, popped in, paid my money and collected my number. Then is was just a case of mulling around until the start while trying to avoid any showers that came our way.

The race start in truth seemed to be a bit of a farce (or that could have just been me). I joined the hoards a fair way back from the front because I'd no wish to get dragged along by any quick boys. We all started moving forwards, then we started walking and then we started jogging. I didn’t hear any signal for the start but maybe I was simply to far back to hear anything. Once I realised we were officially on the move I started my Garmin without actually knowing whether we’d crossed the start line or not.

The first mile was really slow as we wound our way around West Park and I wound my way around some of the folks I’d started with. Finally we worked our way out onto the road where there was a little more space to pass people. The next few miles were a touch quicker and after 4miles I was back on my planned 7:30min/mile pace while keeping my HR below 140bpm. I carried on and soon found myself at a point where the majority of people were running around the same pace. We’d still pass a few and get passed by a few but I was able to take pace off a couple of people running the half.

6miles came around in 44:39 and I decided I felt brave enough to up my pace a little. One of the aims of the day was to see how I felt at various efforts in a bit to judge my Ironman pace come November. 140bpm felt almost pedestrian so it was time to up it a notch. The jump to 145bpm felt negligible and if it hadn’t been showing on the Garmin I wouldn’t have noticed. What I did notice however was that I was now overtaking people again and my now familiar faces had disappeared. I even started catching a few people that had gone past me earlier. I decided that 6miles was a nice place to change pace and vowed to stay around 145bpm until 12miles.

12miles came at 1:28:04, which was 43:25 for the 6mile stretch. I was glad to see it was quicker than my first 6miles. By now I’d worked out that I’d started the Garmin around 0.15miles before the Start line as it was regularly hitting the mile figures before the race signs. I picked my HR up to 150bpm and headed around the park to start the 2nd lap. Suddenly the crowds of runners disappeared and I was on my own. I now felt as though I was running for the first time, 145bpm had felt like a jog, 150bpm didn’t. A quick stop to tell Shell I was comfortable, a high 5 for the nephews and I was away.

The pace had risen again, there were targets ahead that needed chasing down and I was away after them. One by one people would appear in front, I’d catch them up and then run away from them. Then suddenly from nowhere at around 17.5miles I developed a tightening in my stomach and I felt the need to throw up. I stopped quickly, keeled over retching only to find that it was nothing but gas. The sound must have resembled the biggest belch in history.

Panic over and I was soon back running and running with a new found gusto. With my pace still increasing and 18miles covered in 2:10:15 (42:11 for 6miles) I felt confident enough to raise my HR by 10beats to 160bpm. I knew this was much higher than planned, but the idea had been to run tired after a big bike ride and that hadn’t happened so what the hell.

A couple of miles into my latest stint I hit Codsall Village and knew I was on my way home. I know the road from there very well and with one of my targets proving very difficult to catch I decided that I’d ignore the HR for the last 6miles, I’d just dig in and put the hammer down hoping that I didn’t blow up.

It’s an amazing feeling getting 24miles into a Marathon (2:50:38 & 6miles in 40:23) and running past people as if they’re standing still, lets hope that I have the same experience on 1st November.

I spent the last mile chasing down the 2nd placed woman but just as I caught her I came across the family support crew. My nephew David himself fresh from a top 10 finish in the childrens 2k race wanted to run with me to the finish line. Unsure of his likely pace I eased off and told him we’d follow the above mentioned 2nd place woman in. There seemed little point us racing past her if he was going to tire and get in her way as she came in for the glory.

We jogged into the finish and crossed the line together for a finishing time of 3:08:21. Far from my best time, but easily my best paced Marathon ‘performance’. Objective achieved.

I even managed to follow it up with a 7mile run on Monday and an 8mile run on Tuesday – bonus.

Week off work next week – TO TRAIN!!! – I’ve just seen my schedule – HOLY COW!!!


Mark said...

You are one sexy bitch, not to mention, a very fast runner!

Simeon of Kent said...

Wow, thems very quick times sir. I'm sure you'll nail the IM and fly the flag with pride.