After actually training properly for London (the first time I have ever followed a training plan), I went from thinking that was terrible I’m never doing a marathon again for about 24 hours to being really annoyed that I had wasted so much training to come home with my worst time for 4 years.
As pretty much no one recommends doing marathons so close together I knew it was a big risk. However, after discussing options with John Law he thought it was worth a go and Edinburgh seemed to be the best compromise (no options were ideal) he came up with a plan mainly centred around recovery and not losing fitness. Apologies for keeping this one quiet but I thought it would be easier without any added pressure.
2018 saw a course change with the marathon taking in the sights before heading out along the coast, it also has a 90m elevation drop to make for a quick first few miles (WR wouldn’t count) and was a massive improvement for me from when I did this back in 2011. From about 5 miles the route hit the coast and the full force of the NE winds hit us head on. I really struggled in the wind and most people tried to take shelter behind me. It was a fine balance between sheltering in a group which was going slower than my MP and jumping to the next group and not losing time. Eventually I found a group going at near enough 3 hour pace so settled in with them; the pace being driven by about 10 people from the same club which helped. It was however pretty stressful running in a close packed group of about 30 but definitely better than being on your own. From about 15 miles the bay was more sheltered and the wind was manageable on your own. My average pace was a bit slower than what I had planned but I was still on course for sub 3 hours.
The long awaited turn around was at 17 miles and you then headed around Gosford House before heading back towards Musselborough at around 19 miles. I kept on pace until 21 miles before my legs seized up, it was quite clear that I wasn’t going to make Plan A (sub 3), or Plan B (PB was only 1 minute more) so Plan C sub 3:05 came into force. I struggled along at a massively slower pace to scrape in 3:04:53.
So whilst this was ultimately a failure I knew it was a risk and as Sonja had put it to me it’s better to try than to wonder if you could, so I’m glad I gave it a go. I’m actually quite pleased I came so close and thanks to John for coming up with a plan which gave me a fighting shot at this! Interestingly I caught up with the group I was in at the finish, it seems only 1 of them managed to break 3 hrs, all blaming the wind.
Unfortunately I didn’t realise that there were other Harriers running yesterday but there were actually 5 of us, so massive well done to you all. Results as below:
|264||Michael King (601)||3h 4m 53s|
|1871||Peter Lyus (3712)||3h 46m 32s|
|3367||Richard French (5694)||4h 8m 7s|
|6106||Deborah Stamp (75862)||4h 56m 45s|
|6845||Christopher Avis (12049)||5h 21m 41s|
Matt Ferries and John Baldock were also in Edinburgh, taking part in the Half Marathon, with Matt setting a very impressive 1:20:59 and John 1:40:12. So well done to you both in tricky conditions (they only had 2 miles with the wind behind!).
So the decision now is can I be bothered to do an autumn marathon, or become a 10k specialist?