Archive | April, 2016

When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or … no, I refuse to write off the year!

25 Apr

So, the London Marathon 2016 – how was that going to pan out?

Recovery from Frankfurt 2015 was ok but not great. I ran a mediocre 10k in Leeds in November then 3 cross country races in December: 1 badly and 2 well. The Midlands cross country championships in January were ok but February was tough. At the Bramley 20 I could only manage 6.39s for my marathon pace section and windy conditions at Wokingham left me outside 1.25 in a half marathon for the first time in ages.

March was a bit better, perhaps even some glimmers of hope, with a 1.24 half at Bath, a modest 5 mile pb and a solid but not amazing 10 mile effort at Maidenhead where my target marathon pace felt just about within grasp.

3 weeks out from the big day I ran the Reading half and fell a minute shy of the 1.22.30 I wanted. I revised my marathon target down to 2.47 from 2.45 and started the taper.

I had some pleasing club sessions but an appalling run at the road relays where I could only manage marathon pace at a time when my legs should have felt great. I guess my heart just wasn’t in that race.

Edit: how could I have left this gem out? In a way, I started my preparation as far back as May 2015 when I booked my hotel. I did notice it was being built, due to open September 2015, but figured that couldn’t be a problem. I got an email the Sunday a week before the race, welcoming me to said hotel on Friday “completion December 2016”. In a complete panic, I called the hotel. It was true: my hotel was still a building site, but they were going to email me the next day (honest, guvnor) to offer me a replacement nearby. My heart rate returned to normal.

I spent the next week trying to rationalise that result and get my head into racing mode. I arrived in London on the Friday and popped over to the race expo to get my number. When I got back to my hotel I noticed my left knee was a bit sore but assumed it was psychosomatic angst and stretched it out. It still felt a little niggly but I hoped it would be fine the next day.

It wasn’t.

I went for a 3 mile jog and could feel it every step. Back at the hotel I realised there was also a bit of swelling. I did my best to tape it up and spent the day resting it but also carb loading just in case I could race. I tried to sleep but in reality doubt I managed more than a couple of hours. ¬†Would now be a good time to mention that the replacement hotel’s lift was broken and I was on the 3rd floor?!

The next morning the pain was still there. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t risk the chance of making this niggle more serious for the sake of the chance of a modest pb, and so carded a DNS: did not start.

I’m off to the physio this afternoon to see what the verdict is. Hopefully I can get back into easy running soon and capitalise on my fitness to attack my short distance pbs. Chicago beckons in the autumn, and I still believe 2016 will be a good year.