Monday, 26 October 2009

Cramps! But I prevail...just

I'm the one in the blue shirt, with the awful form, trying to hang onto the coattails of the guy in the white singlet. This was taken just before the 26 mile mark

The weather today was ideal for marathon running, as was the start in contrast to last year's squeeze and shuffle down Holles street. Additionally, Leeson street, St. Stephen's Green and Dawson street are a bit more picturesque than the Lombard street area! However, I did have this guy who insisted in suddenly slowing and passing across my stride, which he managed to do three times in the first two miles. Anyway by the the time we reached the Phoenix park it had settled down nicely. There was certainly more spectators there this year. The temperature being thirteen degrees warmer probably helped.
The first half went really well and I passed it in 01:29:00; spot on. I was feeling really strong, despite my HR being 169 since the end of the first mile and it rarely went a bpm above or below for the whole marathon.
I was putting out very consistent miles and my heart, head and lungs felt good, my legs, not so much! I could feel both hamstrings and my calves beginning to cramp up. At mile nineteen I thought my marathon was over. I had to stop and stretch my hamstrings at the side of the road. Alot of other people were pulling up here also. I heard a girl to my right say 'Oh God!', the verbal expression of my thoughts were a little less civilised! I managed to get going again and after a quarter of a mile I was surprised to see my pace back in the 06:40s! The last seven miles were very tough and I was breathing very very heavy but managed 06:50s pace with my HR in the early 170s. I had no idea if I was still in sub three hour pace as I set the garmin to lap info only and refused to look at my overall time. On reflection, I am very happy with the consistent pace I managed over the last six miles, despite hurting bad and I have to admit I thought I was slower than I actually was.
I had to concentrate very hard to relax my hamstrings and calves and as I passed the twenty-six mile post I was sure I was home and dry. Then I felt a sharp pain in my right calf and was basically running on my right hip with my leg rigid. Thankfully it loosened and I managed a relatively dignified line crossing.
Anyway, I crossed the line in 03:00:26. Close to sub three but I am not overly disappointed. I would have been happy with anything sub 03:05 and to finish so close to sub three on no more than fifty-five miles per week augurs well if I increase my mileage by only a modest amount. On to the next marathon! Maybe Boston...

Time: 03:00:26
Average pace: 06:49/mile
Average HR: 169


Grellan said...

Excellent race Westley. Well done for getting through the cramps. Pity about the cramps at the 26 mile mark end being so close to 3 hours.

It certainly was a perfect day for running and the crowd support was brilliant. Rest well and start preparing for that sub-3 that's just around the corner. I have a bit to go yet!

bricey said...

Well done Westley, Sounds like the you ran a very even paced race and a big PB. I'm sure if you deduct the 'time out' for stretching at mile 19 you could claim to have covered the 26+ miles in under 3 hours!!

Enjoy the recovery.

Thomas said...

Wow, that's a hell of a time. So close to sub-3, but you obviously have it in you, just need slightly more cooperation from your legs. Well Done!


Yes great racing, impressive second half, taking into account getting cramp etc.
As you say 55 miles a week is not a lot, so plenty of room to improve, maybe add some extra easy- mod aerobic running next time.
well done.