Countdown to the London Marathon

Just over a week to go. If I’m not ready now, nothing I do between now and Sunday 23rd is going to help. The good news is that my last big run – the Reading Half Marathon – went very smoothly. You can’t tell that from this photo though, kindly provided by Marathon Photos.

I finished in 1h 41m 48s – a new personal best. That was 2,025th out of a reported field of 13,500 (although the race website lists finish times for only 8,500 or so). Interestingly, the site shows the gun position (i.e. what position did I cross the line in after the gun had gone off) as well as my finish position, which I used to show that I overtook just under 1,000 people on the way to the finish line – that’s a lot of folks to dodge.

From the strain on my face in the photo you can see that it wasn’t the easiest run. I was committed to beating my Liverpool time from a couple of weeks before (1h 46m odd) so set out at a pretty fast pace. What was new was that I ran the second half of the race faster than the first half. I haven’t managed that before. The first 10km went by in 48m something, the second in 47m something and then the last km and a bit in around 5 minutes. It wasn’t my lungs that were ready to give up, but my legs.

I could certainly have run another 21km after this one, but it would have taken me most of the rest of the day I think. For the marathon itself, I’ll run a little slower in the first half – looking for around 1h 50m or maybe 1h 55m – and then speed up once I’m through 18 miles. I learnt last time that the true half way mark is 18 miles – up until I was in great shape, after that I felt like I was 105.

Fundraising is bang on track – I’m at £4,754 as of now. Some fantastic donations have been made by friends, family, colleagues and business associates (current and former). I know that there are still a few more to come in. If you haven’t had a chance, please visit Justgiving to make your donation to Macmillan Cancer Relief.

I’m looking forward to the big day. I’ll find out then whether all of the training has paid off – 650km of running, 2,282 minutes on the stairmaster/cross-trainer or bike and 33 gym workouts (since September 1st). If that’s not enough for sub 4 hours, then I suspect it was never in me to start with.

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