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I used some of Matt Fitzgerald’s Marathon nutrition and tried some new things with possible success (they certainly didn’t make me worse). Caffeine abstinence 1 week out. Maxifuel Viper Active VO2 max phosphate load that I have done previously. Massage on Wed. 2 x normal beet-it shots on race morning 2-3 hours out. I have bonked before so was keen to keep gel intake up. Pasta at expo day before, Vietnam noodles and rice at 6PM night before. Breakfast was a porridge pot (Oats so simple) and a banana.
I left the hotel at 0700 and got to start at about 0730. 45 min toilet queue, dumped bag and jog to start 5 min to go. Took SiS gel.
Plan was as per the Marco plan I posted. Having the HR values really helped rein me in and feel confident when HR was lower than expected. 3:59 until 3k, 3:56 to 14k, 3:54 to 28k and 3:51 to finish. So I was aiming for 20:00 to 19:30 per 5k and was fairly well controlled. 4:00 was my first k so it started well. Even when i was fast my HR was lower than expected so was happy to carry on.
I was a little faster than expected but my HR safety net was removed at 10k when my HRM started losing beats. It was funny because it was the long downhill to the roundabout so I was watching it decrease and feeling pleased I was jogging along with a low HR and then it went well below my recovery HR and then below 100 and I knew it was wrong. This was just by the water station so i negotiated that and tried jiggling it before taking it off and putting it in my pouch. I believe it is due to the vaseline I put under my arms ‘melting’ down as I had previously use vaseline to lube the strap when it rubbed my navel during training and again that stopped it working. I put vaseline underarms as I had a sore experience in last training run.
I felt good and was in the 2:45 group but I think I may have got a little excited and pulled away from them a bit but my splits weren’t really poorly paced. I started to get some tightening in right hamstring (back of quad or glute area) and it is still tight now. I have a biomechanical issue I think with poor right knee lift and maybe hip rotation.
I may get it looked at.
I took my gels at 8k and 16k and took the powerbar gel and took a swig of every cup pretty much although I had only trained with a 100ml bottle in my pouch on long runs with 1 SiS gel. I didn’t mind the Powerbar gel but not as good as the SiS ones.
10k to go and the marathon ‘started’. I think mentally I had tried to prepare for this but was shuffling and this is obvious in the videos. I tried to spring along but couldn’t go for more than 10 seconds before settling into the shuffle. I lost 3 minutes over the last 7k. I had enough time at 10k to do 4:00m/m but as I have seen previously when the pace goes it goes the good points of this race was that I was only slow from 5k to go and lost very little compared to other marathons (1:22/1:24 Berlin, 1:23/1:32 Washington & VLM 2013).
On the home straight I knew I wasn’t sub 2:45 which was only the stretch goal anyway and I knew it’d be tight off my 35 min 10k calculation. I played up to the crowds and really enjoyed myself. Heel flick at the end was enjoyed by all (I had thought about doing it a few days earlier as I wanted to enjoy this marathon). I did enjoy it. 352nd. 9 Min PB. 29 min off my VLM 2014 time!!!
I was slightly more spritely thank PP but I also perhaps hadn’t tried as hard. I’d already seen his time which was amazing. It was great to meet another forumite in person. I had a flight to catch so went off to grab a sausage and beer. I got a train back to the zoo and a taxi to the hotel. On arrival I got a beer before chasing down my Mum which I’m glad I did. There wasn’t time for me to get to the finish so chasing her was the only option really! I met her at a bar by the river with my kit for a pint before heading to the airport. Picked up some 47.5% Tanqueray Gin for 15 euros. I got home to Portsmouth at 2230 and slept terribly with my sore muscles resting on each other. It reminded me of my post Ironman body. Back to work on Monday.
So in summary I’m delighted with progress and Berlin is a stunningly fast “downhill corkscrew” I’d recommend to all. I should have got my place back on the race team and hope to see you all at London where with some training and focus I hope to knock a bit more time off this. Thanks!