I probably should have written this right after doing the marathon distance … but I was busy trying to make sure I ate and did all the usual things to make sure I recovered!
All of my clothes were set out the night before… my nike tights, blue nike socks, red nike warm underlayer and my purple north face top. It’s ideal for running with as it has a clever little pocket for my ipod on the front at the top and a good pocket at the back for about 3 energy gels.
I got to Lomond Shores car park at around 8:30am. I’d already had my breakfast – porridge and fresh orange juice and had consumed a caffeine lucozade too. On the way up I drank half a lite lucozade too… I wanted to make sure I was fully hydrated through out the run. I took 4 energy gels for during the run and had 1.5 litres of water in my water pack. I also took some nuts for some instant carbs after the run.
The weather was good… about 6’C…. sunny intervals most of the way. A bit cold but good weather to run in. The plan was to run for 13.1 miles… then turn back. Kind of replicating the type of route I’ll be running in April. At one point about 8 miles in it got really dark and I was hoping it wouldn’t rain… it didn’t thankfully, but it was so dark it seemed like it was getting close to dusk (at 9am!).
I left the car park and turned right….more or less right into a slow steady hill… I thought … this’ll be nice on the way back!! Then the route went down….for quite a bit… and although it was good at the time – I knew that at 25 miles… I wouldn’t be liking the incline!!
I started strong. I was looking at the distance in 6 blocks, 5, 5, 3.1, 3.1, 5, 5:
5 miles (take caffeine energy gel)
10 miles (take blackcurrant energy gel)
13.1 miles (turn around head back)
16.2 miles (take caffeine energy gel)
21 miles (take tropical energy gel)
26.2 miles finish.
As soon as I started running I took one energy gel in my hand (the one I was going to take at 5 miles). I did this mainly because there wasn’t much room elsewhere. At 5 miles it was great – the usual slimey thick energy gel had been heated up and was like water… a tip for next time. 🙂
At 13.1 miles in the shade of Ben Lomond on my right… I kept running up to 13.15 miles, then turned around and headed back. I felt great… the scenery was good, my music was good… then I noticed the wind… in my face…oh no… I thought.. .I hope I haven’t been running with the wind behind me!! Luckily it was just that bit, there wasn’t much wind after that. Although there was a bit of drizzle it cleared up.
I was going well to about 17 miles when I felt my hip get sore… I’ve had this before in half marathon distances. I kept going then around 20 miles my right thigh was getting sore… as if it was the leg that I lead with… so I thought about trying to lead with my left leg and it just so happened that at about 22 miles they were both sore!
I got my energy right, my brain and my cardio was fine … it was just my legs that were feeling the strain.
I had run very consistently for the first 20 miles or so (between 8:00 – 8:24 minute miles)… and even notice I ran slightly faster on the second hour of the run… (7-15 miles).
Then with 4 miles to go I found it a bit harder but still managed to keep my pace under 9 minute miles for all but one mile – the last one with that damn slow hill!
I was able to keep going and knew I only had about 30 minutes left… and could also tell that I was probably going to make a sub 3:40 marathon… much better than I’d thought (sub 4 hrs).
I pushed home for the last mile … taking on the ‘counting method’ for the first time on the run. Then finally I got the down hill towards 26.2 miles. I stopped my watch at 26.2 dead on… and kept up a little jog for about 3 mins to the car. (photo = me after it all)…
I stopped at the car and got a lucozade and did some stretches. And as soon as I stopped my right calf seized up and my thighs were on fire! Lots of stretching… then I ‘waddled’ to the Lomond Shores toilets to do a pee and stretch some more.
The whole thing was very scenic and my music and the thoughts of those close to me kept me going through out. Thoughts of my friend Jackie running over a fox made me laugh quite a bit and thoughts of my gf and my friends really gave me the strength to push through any pain I had.
As soon as I stopped I realised my legs were done in…I had the kind of pain you get the day after you do a different kind of exercise… but it was right there straight after the run. Not good I thought.
I drove home, had some nuts and finished off the lucozade light I’d started earlier… I had a shower when I got home and had a protein shake in the hope it would help me recover! We then went out and I had a scrambled egg roll to start, followed by a baked potato with prawns. Lots of carbs and protein.
And luckily for me I felt fine (apart from my legs) for the rest of the day. No sore head, fully hydrated and energised.
Hydration: Before: 250 mls OJ, 500mls caffeine lucozade, 250mls lucozade lite.
During: 1- 1.5 litres of water.
Right after: 750mls lucozade lite.
After: 300mls Fresh Orange juice, 1 litre water.
RUN: 26.2 miles, 3:38:24, 8:17 min miles (7.2 mph), 2,795 calories.
Ave HR: 159 (84%), Max HR: 175 (82%)
262 miles challenge: 98.81 – 26.2 = 72.61 miles to go.