Saturday, 2 May 2009

Every Day Is A Winding Road

Two marathons down, three to go. The atmosphere in London was fantastic, there was superb support from the crowd and it felt great  to have my family there to see me race. I’ve got mixed feelings about the event itself, which I felt was let down by the organisation. Long sections of the course were far too narrow, which created bottleneck after bottleneck, as 35,000 tried to squeeze through. As a result, I found it impossible to run at my own pace until 18 miles. At that stage, as runners started to hit the wall, more space became available and I could finally get into my running. The last 8.2 miles were my quickest of the race. I found it incredibly frustrating because I’d trained hard and felt very strong – all you’re looking for is a chance to re-create on race day how you’ve been running in training. Funnily enough, I hadn’t done much queuing in training! 

With my Mum after the race

On the positive side, I can’t be too unhappy with 4 hours 01 minutes. I’m still on target to finish all five marathons in a total of less than 20 hours. That shows the difference that Laith’s coaching has made – before I started the fivemarathons, my previous best time for a competitive marathon was 4 hours 52 minutes (in New York, 2004), which would translate to 24 hours 20 minutes for the fivemarathons.

With Jill (and Monty), my Mum, my Dad and Vinnie (and Seb) 

Thanks to everyone who contacted me to say they’d spotted me on BBC2’s coverage of the marathon. I caught it on (15 minutes before the end of the coverage). I’m the one who’s inexplicably grinning like an idiot. 

Today saw my first training session since Sunday’s race, and it was great to get out and run again. I'm already looking forward to San Francisco and my preparations start here. With 12 weeks until the race, it’s the longest gap between the marathons and it gives Laith and me  the opportunity to increase the intensity of my training, while Harris & Ross can work on keeping me on the road. I trained for London at the same intensity as I did for Barcelona, but it felt easier and it became obvious that there was scope to step up a gear. As well as my running, I’ll be working on exercises for strength, to help keep my piriformis and plantar fascia injuries from causing any difficulties.

My parents have sorted a fantastic house on San Francisco Bay, from where I can finish my training, and prepare the carbohydrate-rich meals which I’ll need in the days leading up to the race. I’m really pleased that my Auntie June, and cousin Melanie, will be joining us from Canada. It should be a great fortnight.  

Hopefully, it won’t be too warm on race day in San Francisco. While the weather was great in London on Sunday, it was probably a little too warm for racing. I drank at each of the water stations, took 2 litres after the race, and it was still 6 hours before I needed the toilet!

Rob Ainscough, fivemarathons’ PR Manager, has been busy this week. Firstly, he contacted The Cumberland News, who published a great article about fivemarathons (see Many thanks to reporter, Linzi Watson, for her kind support in promoting fivemarathons in Cumbria, my home county. Secondly, Rob arranged for me to contribute to an article for Runner’s World Magazine (see about how running builds confidence and can help your work. Great work, Rob! 

Finally, congratulations to my Pannone colleagues on some superb performances in London on Sunday. James (4 hrs 04 mins), Ayse (4 hrs 50 mins), and Stephen (4 hrs 30 mins) had great runs and I know that Ayse has already entered the ballot for a place in next year’s race! 

Barcelona, 1 March 2009
London, 26 April 2009
San Francisco, 26 July 2009
Berlin, 20 September 2009
New York, 1 November 2009

This week’s training schedule:

Monday, 4 May 2009 5 miles easy
Tuesday, 5 May 2009  3 miles warm-up, 5 x 5 minute efforts (30 seconds sprint, followed by 30 seconds jog recovery, followed by 30 seconds sprint etc, to 5 minutes), 3 miles warm-down
Wednesday, 6 May 2009 30 mins easy
Thursday, 7 May 2009 Rest
Friday, 8 May 2009 6 miles steady
Saturday, 9 May 2009 10 km race pace
Sunday, 10 May 2009 6 miles easy 

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1 comment:

NYC Marathon, 2004

NYC Marathon, 2004
NYC Marathon, 2004