Wednesday, 23 October 2013
The last 12 - 14km of the Abingdon Marathon didn't go to plan. I was targeting 2hrs 50mins and hoped there was a bit of upside if I had a good day. It was horrible to get slower with every stride in the final quarter of the race. I was in a dark place when I finshed.
As I made it over the line I wanted to collapse, but feared that doing so in front of St Johns Ambulance tent might have given me more than I bargained for. The ground was wet too which put me off.
I pack a pre-race bag so that I can change clothes, stretch and get some fuel back inside me when I finish. I didn't care about any of that and just wanted to get home. I was almost certainly quite grumpy to those around me, but after I'd got home and had a bath I was (almost) back to normal.
After every previous marathon I felt I could run faster and there was more to give. I had known that I wanted to run another one almost immediately. This time I feel like I left nothing on the road and achieved the maximum possible. Knowing I gave it everything makes me unsure if I want to run another marathon.
There could be lots of reasons why I didn't run the time I wanted to. Could my training have been better? Did I get my hydration and nutritional strategy wrong? Or was it because I ran the race with a (potential) stomach ulcer?
On reflection I'm fairly sure it was the ulcer. I've done enough running over the past few years to know how my body reacts in different circumstances and this time something different was going on.
Looking back I'm proud of my time and to have cracked three hours. It is a shame when four months of training doesn't come together on the day, but then it is very rare to have the 'perfect' day on race morning. You need to be content with the cards you were dealt.