Archive | October, 2015

Frankfurt: dritte mal

26 Oct

So, after a brilliant Frankfurt 2013, an amazing Frankfurt 2014 and a London 2015 which saw me hit my 2015 marathon goal 6 months early, what would Frankfurt 2015 hold?

It was a funny build up: a bad cold post London knocked me for 6 and it wasn’t until late June that I began to feel like myself again. Even then, although I managed course bests, I wasn’t hitting personal bests in races, even if training felt ok. I had a below par run at the Bristol Half at the end of a stressful week but felt that the better run I had at Cardiff 3 weeks later, where I cruised round in control sub 1.22.30 showed I’d been right to have faith in my training.

So right up to the Monday before the race I believed another pb was on the cards, and possibly even sub 2.45. Then I woke up in the early hours with a throat like sandpaper and overwhelming fatigue. I took whatever was legal (the decongestants in Lemsip, etc., are not for athletes) and hoped for the best. 2 trips to Plymouth and a stressful 2 day trial in Taunton probably wasn’t the sort of work/life balance I needed, and my 7 miles with 2 at marathon pace on Wednesday was awful: I could only average 6.45m/m, or not much better than 2.58 pace. By this point, there’s little you can do to change things except hope, and so that is what I did. Friday and Saturday I felt just about ok, albeit I was sleeping more and more deeply than I usually would in the taper.

And so to race day. I wrote splits for 2.46 pace on my arm and set off. I felt a bit lethargic but still wanted to try my best. Things got weird half an hour before when, despite being well carb loaded, I felt hungry. Really hungry. I’d had this earlier in the week, too, and I guess perhaps it was my body battling the virus.

As I stood in the start pen I was really affected by the cold weather but also really emotional. The gun went and as I started running I noticed my legs felt heavy and sore, as they had all week. I told my self to ignore it and ease back to 4 mins/km instead of 3.56 then reassess at 10km. Even that didn’t feel good. And that was the sad tale of the race. I couldn’t hit 4 mins/km and the pace just gradually slipped away. Any time I tried to pick up the pace my chest tightened and my legs refused to co-operate. I split in 1.25 and bits and just about redeemed the day with 2 54.36. A year ago that would have thrilled me but I was left a bit non plussed by a time 5 minutes slower than my pb.

Where now? A good month of limited running and then regroup for London. I’m already pretty decided I won’t race an autumn marathon in 2016 as I think it’s time for a (shorter) focus to freshen up. Sometimes you don’t get out what you put in when you race a marathon, but the training won’t have been for nothing.