I have been running a lot better than I used to, largely because I haven't been running quite so many marathons or ultras and so, my leggies now get better rest and better quality training.
I just had a look at my splits and there were definitely lots of places I could have upped my time. I couldn't go as fast as I wanted near the beginning as there were just too many people in the way/ people in the wrong bit, with the wrong colour numbers for predicted time etc. There were at least 6,000 runners doing Manchester Marathon and it was very congested to begin with. In hindsight, I think I should have gone further up the field, but I'm in the habit of doubting my ability and speed.
|Some well-deserved post-marathon ale...|
It definitely wasn't the most scenic marathon in the world. It started from Old Trafford and there were a lot of out and back loop-de-loops. I saw a sign for the sewerage works at one point. However, I made sure to stick with the 4 hour pacer for a little while and eventually I was able to overtake him. Soon, the 4 hour pacer was out of sight and remained so until around Mile 22, when he overtook me. It actually really threw me off, because I was still running at a sub-4 hour marathon pace. I could still do it. I was struggling and really warm and my energy was being quickly zapped, but I was still on target. When the 4 hour marathon pacer overtook me, I had a mini panic. He was obviously going faster than this pace, which I guess is great for those that had followed him the whole way, but was really bad for those that he overtook, because it puts you in a bad head space. Anyway, I tried not to let this scupper my dreams. I did not want another Loch Ness Marathon moment, of finishing just over 4 hours and 6 seconds! So, I absolutely legged it (and kept saying 'Come on!' to myself, a lot!)
Overall, I know there were lots of bits I could have run better, the wheels definitely fell off at some points. However, all in all, a great day . And in some ways, knowing that I could have done better and knowing that I didn't feel my best at some points is amazing, because it means that I can do even faster on a really good day...
Ooooh and I also bumped into some other runner buddies at Victoria Station in London. I was making my way back from Manchester Marathon and they had just run Brighton Marathon. It's a small world!