It was hot. For 26.2 miles it was hot. It was a shock to the system. Until last week I was running in Ron Hill tracksters and a jacket. The body just wasn’t acclimatised for wall to wall sunshine. The forecast (which some of you know I check “occasionally” before a marathon!) said sunny intervals. Someone forgot the intervals bit.
Fortunately I had the forethought on Saturday to purchase sun cream from Morrisons. So by the start of the race I was well suncreamed and vaselined to an inch of my life. Fuelled by a lovely big bowl of porridge especially provided by my great B&B we were off.
I was experimenting running by cadence rather than by pace. I’d done this quite successfully during my training and it worked well. By keeping an eye on the time I could tell I was running to my plan at a steady pace. The plan had been to up it a bit after halfway but with the heat I reconciled myself to continuing steadily on. Miles 13 to 15 for some reason felt hard – I’d have expected this to be a good period seeing as we’d turned at 13.1 and were on our way back. Gel and stretch at 15 miles seemed to give me a boost and I felt a bit better for the next few miles.
From there on it really was just a matter of grinding out the miles. I had to stop to stretch another couple of times as I was afraid of cramping but fortunately this didn’t happen. I always start near the back knowing I’m a slower runner but from mile 14 I was passing quite a few people who were obviously suffering from the heat. From mile 20 the mind games started. Once we got to 22 I told myself it was just a wee 4 miler left, imagining my 4 mile route at home. Then it was a matter of teeth gritted saying to myself the next sign will be 23, then 24, 25 then just 1 more mile to 26. I even managed to push a little in the last mile or so and to sprint at the finish (I use sprint in the loosest sense!). 4:33 on the clock. I was happy with that considering the heat and the training I’d done.
PS By the way, I now have a lovely brand new Montane lightweight jacket bought a few weeks ago when the forecast read sleet/rain for 10 April. That’s probably why it was so sunny…..!
PPS At mile 21 I consoled myself that I just needed to run 5 more miles and I never had to do another marathon if I didn’t want to… by the time I was in the shower I was already planning the next one. Sound familiar anyone…
Posted under diary
This post was written by TechnoTrotter on April 11, 2011