Monday, 4 May 2015

80 marathons - celebrating at Milton Keynes

Another weekend, another marathon!

After a PB in Brighton, a week off and then my third fastest marathon at London, I couldn't quite maintain the pace at Milton Keynes today, but I still ended up with three of my six fastest marathons all completed in the last month!

This has spurred me on to start thinking about how to hit the London Marathon Good For Age target, which for me means running 3:15.  More on that in another post.

After London, I had been wiped out this week with a stomach bug, unable to keep food down for three days.  I only really began to feel better yesterday and was still tired even then, so wasn't expecting great things at Milton Keynes.

I set off at PB pace anyway (5 minutes per kilometre), which felt just a little more of an effort than it should.  It was a nice day, mild and sunny with not much wind.  A couple of miles up the road to the city centre, followed by lots of fun out-and-back sections, which gave me a chance to spectate for a change as there were always runners heading towards me.  Back out of the city centre and back towards the start, I was feeling reasonable and maintained the pace OK.  But around 10 miles it just began to feel like a little more effort.  Over the next couple of miles I felt the pace slip, nothing I could really do so I just let it go.

I clocked half way in 1:45:46, five seconds faster than London, to my surprise given that I thought I was slowing down.  I settled down into a slightly slower pace after that, still making an effort but knowing the PB was way off.  I guessed I'd finish in 3:40, which turned out remarkably accurate.

Despite the effort required, I enjoyed the second half, mostly flat along redways (cycle paths) alongside the main roads, dipping in and out of parks and past Willen Lake.  There was a long downhill somewhere and a nasty surprise turning a corner at 24 miles, with a long uphill.  Many runners resorted to walking here but I kept a steady run until nearly the top.

In the last mile I passed a couple of flagging 100 club runners whom I recognised, spurring me on to the finish.  As usual, my calves were threatening to cramp and if I hadn't had to stop to stretch it out just as I entered the stadium, I might have got under 3:40!  I wobbled round Stadium MK to finish in 3:40:34, Claire and Arthur cheering right by the finish line.

I enjoyed the run and while the time was slower than hoped for, I couldn't realistically have expected another PB after being ill.

Here is the route of my 80th marathon.  A small milestone and with another 11 marathons already entered, I feel the goal is now in sight.