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London Marathon 2010
Learning from past mistake
This year I will be running the London Marathon (less than 2 weeks away) and although I am excited I can't help think back to my last attempt at the race back in 2003.
I was still in University, living with 6 other guys and thinking 12 hours a week scheduled work was a lot! (bugger i hate work!). This was a time before I had full and consistent access to the Internet; except for the computer in my big gay flatmates room which is somewhere I did not want to venture to often for fear of seeing 'implements'! Therefore most of my training was based on the London marathon magazine and advice given to me by my flatmates - none of which were runners and yet I thought they knew what they were talking about.
All my training was running focused - no cross training, no trips to the gym, no stretches etc. The training way also based on what the magazine called 'minimum requirement' - I hope you can see where this is going - I couldn't!
Minimum requirement was running continuously for 30 minutes before Christmas. OK done that. Training was going well!
After christmas I tried following the plans they had written up (the magazine had 3 training plans: Beginner, Intermediete and Advanced) I, being fairly fit, and having reached my pre christmas goal so well, decided that the intermediete plan was the one for me. No I had never run a marathon before...
The other piece of advice the magazine imparted was to not even try the marathon if you couldn't run half a marathon atleast 3 weeks before the race. I read this as 'if i could go 13 miles I could do the marathon'! Oh dear...
The by March the training schedule was going badly, not only was i not fit enough to do finish the training runs but my busy (12 hour) uni schedule meant I was finding it hard to go for the long runs. But was I worried? Was I hell! All i had to do was travel 13 mile before the start of April and I could do the marathon (please note I am saying 'travel' rather than 'run' 13 miles. Mistake number 42)
Well by the time of the big day all training was complete and all training goals hit! (yes they were pathetic goals but i didn't know that then.) The night before I had pasta (finally got something right) and washed it down with a beer or two (bugger), and went to bed early - in a hotel that was inhabited by more rats than people (I had left it late to book).
The morning of the marathon arrives quick shower (located 3 floors down form my room) and a full English breakfast for energy! (...I know).
Now I'm at the start, lining up with thousands of other. feeling confident and excited. I decide to push forward as much as possible - Actually I push forward to virtually the front even though my expected finishing time was 4hours 30miutes (Ha!) and everyone around me were sub 3 hours.
The gun sounds and we're off. For the first 100 metres I'm stride for stride with Paula Radcliffe! I keep up a riduclously fast pace (7 minute mile ish) for about 4 miles before I finally start thinking this might be a bit quick. All goes well until about 14 miles...
The last 10 miles took nearly double the time it took me to run the first half. By the end I had no powere in my legs to run but it hurt to walk!
I can't remeber seeing all the site of London but I do remember being overtaken by 3 rhino's, a camel and a group of runners carrying a canoe!
This year I have training properly, ran a number of 16+ courses as well as 3 official half marathons. God I hope I beat my time from 2003.