09 Nov November
Chicago has come and gone and although the race didn’t quite go to plan I have come out of it healthy, in a good position to move forward, and engaged.
The race set up quite slow from the start (there are no pace makers in the US world marathon majors) and the chance to run a PB was out the window from an early stage, in hindsight would it have been better for me to lead from the front? Then the surging began from about 10 miles… I remember seeing the clock at one point and we went from running a 3:17km to a 2:51km. Hardly the most economical way to run a marathon, but the surging continued from 10 miles to about 20miles, and by that point I was well off pace for what I wanted to run, I believe a mile around half way was about a 5:30.
In the marathon the main damage is done to the legs in the last 6 miles if you’re really pushing it – the last 6 miles can really take it out of you. Rightly or wrongly I chose to shut it down and save the legs for another day and not have to have a couple of weeks recovery from the effort. I ended up with a time of 2:18. Not setting the world alight but I know the reasons why. Of course they’ll be others out there that disagree.
The following week I ran a local road race, the Cabbage Patch 10 miler. It is a race I love to do as it’s in my home town of Twickenham and it is a nice run – even had the British record at one point. I ended up in 3rd place running just outside 50mins, first and second spots were taken by some not so local Kenyan athletes. Results can be found here.
The week after I ran the Great South 10 miles and finished in 6th place running around a minute quicker than the week before, clocking 49:07. The race was won by my training partner Chris Thompson. Given that it was my 3rd race in 3 weeks, it was decent enough and something to add more work to. I am getting faster each week and looking forward to racing between now and Christmas.
After Chicago I decided to go back to my roots and actually enjoy running again without the need to build up for another marathon, and actually do things the right way. I have the time to work on my weaknesses (which at the moment is anything quicker than marathon pace) and before I start my next marathon build up I will be in a better position to race over the shorter distances. I am even running some cross country this year, which is completely alien to me. My first marathon all those years ago (2011) was off the back of a track season and now I have the opportunity to go back to that kind of fitness. It does make for some cold quiet tracks however. As I said, it is going back to what I once knew, enjoying the process, and learning to race again over the shorter distances. The marathon training can wait until next year, for now it is time to go woooosh.
I can’t finish without mentioning the awful news that happened this week. On Tuesday night a typical session day that happens up and down the country, two young girls were knocked down by a drunk driver at Aldershot as they were out for their warm up. I didn’t know either of the girls, but I believe both raced on Saturday at the cross country relays were I was. My thoughts go out to their families, friends, coaches, and everyone that knew them. Very sad news for two promising athletes. Look out for each other out there.