Long run race 3:15:31  26.2 mi (7:28 / mi)
ahr:182 max:193 shoes: Saucony Fastwitch
Wow! I don't think in my dreams today's race could really have gone any better. Although 3.15 was my original, naive as hell April aim, training hasn't gone perfectly and my sights were set at the more manageable 3.15 - 3.30 time bracket. But I actually managed to produce a well paced, controlled and tough race, and just about hit my top aim, and I'm dead chuffed.
Was calm at the start, stomach a bit disturbed but as I knew there would be loos every 4km was not letting that bother me too much. Ran a slow first km as it was the only one that was at all crowded, then settled in to 4.35/km pace, with a plan to hold that for at least the first half and then maybe slow to 5.00/km if needed. The first 6 or 7 km was actually pretty tough, but the lore of running had warned me about that, so I pushed a little to hit the times and then they started to come much more easily, with a heart rate being maintained in the high 170s/low 180s. Kilometres flew past, usually around 4.35 with the odd 10 second increase at drinks stations as the drinks were in stupid cups and I had to walk a few paces to get the stuff down me. Lost my jelly babies in a jelly baby massacre at about 8km, and had to change food strategy a bit. Went for bananas at the next three stations (only about 1.5 inches each), then a gel at the start of the second lap (just over halfway). Alternated isotonic drink which was really strong with water at the start, then was gulping down iso followed by water by the end.
Had a bit of a gel high and managed to get as far as 36 km and the long stretch out along the lake before my legs started to hurt. Even so it was bearable and my mins/km only slipped slightly, I still felt I was running strongly. At the turn of the lake section at 37km there was a slight uphill that precipated the real beginning of the end, with quads starting to hurt every time legs hit the floor, then hamstrings starting to tighten. By this time though it was 38km, the people coming in the opposite direction looked worse then I did despite having further to go, and I figured any idiot could run 4km. So I dug in and almost maintained pace, and before I knew it it was the last kilometre, I switched my watch from split time to full time, and I realised how close I was to 3.15. But the legs wouldn't really move any more quickly, I was having to think through each step - pick up left leg, move forward etc etc, and I crossed the line in 3.15.31, which to be honest, is far better than I dreamed I could do.
The stomach was totally fine to the whole way - I think being relaxed before starting about the whole situation helped massively. I could maybe have run a little faster earlier, but if the pain has started at 30km instead of 37 who knows how much I might have slowed down. For a first marathon, I am dead pleased. And the fact that all the good people were in Berlin meant I came 5th, 1st female under 30, and in true Swiss style, won 425 quids worth of good hard cash! Amazing! Especially as I was expecting a voucher for a sports shop for 20 quid.
A fantastic experience, and one to be highly recommended!
Splits as follows:
7 4.23 (swear those markers were slightly wrong)
22 5.15 (dunno what happened there!)