Ran My Second Full Marathon After 4 Months Of Training – Belfast City Marathon 2012 Review
I was up at 6am with Pop Tarts and 3 Cans of Monster Ripper.
Disaster struck almost immediately. One of the arms of my ‘Champion Chip’ timing badge broke off. Panic.
Fortunately with a bit of persistence I was able to tag the chip underneath my laces and there it stayed for 26.2 miles.
I got to the start line and met a guy I used to work with a while back. A good catchup was had.
Then someone fired a gun.
This may well have been Belfast, but it was also 2012, which made gunfire a good thing.
It helped too that I was waiting in line to start a marathon.
11 miles disappeared in a flash. I kept the pace at 11:00 almost perfectly….until I hit mile 12 and sped up after it started raining heavily.
This was not a good idea as a) I’d been almost in a trance up until this point and the race was flowing by and b) I was running uphill.
I only increased my speed by 3 seconds per mile but it made all of the difference on the 2nd half of the course, coming down Floral Road onto the Shore Road. My pace immediately sank to 11:15/mile.
At this point the rain was torrential. I jokingly asked a police officer if he had any spare window wipers for my glasses (which I could no longer see through). He said ‘What?’, I said ‘Sorry.’ and ran off awkwardly.*
*(I should have mentioned that I have a tendency to mumble that was exacerbated by my chewing of Maoam Chews and/or Reese’s Cups at the time (can’t remember which)).
Running Very Slowly Towards A Wall. Which Wall? THE Wall.
I could feel the wall looming at around 16 miles. Fortunately I was able to switch off my mind and just keep going up until around 18.7 miles (just short of Duncrue Industrial Estate). It was at this point that I opted to follow Galloway’s jog-walk-jog technique.
Instead of aiming for specific intervals, I walked when I needed to and then broke into a very slow jog and just tried to keep it going as long as possible.
By 20 miles I was at 3:43. I had to run the last 10km in under 1:17 to finish within 5 hours. This is where it got difficult. I figured I needed to average a 12 minute mile for the last 6. I was tiring, quickly.
I ran a 11:20 in mile 21, a 11:40 in mile 22 and two 11:30’s in 23, 24. By 24 miles I knew I’d come home in under 5 hours.
This is when I got complacent and started walking too much (I was going up the Ormeau Road and that place depresses the life out of me anyway because of the hills).
After more slogging, I got up to the junction of the Ormeau and Ravenhill Roads knowing that I could now run a 17 minute mile and hit my target. Pressure was off. So I just kept it going very slowly down the Ravenhill, stopping when I needed to and starting back when I felt I could.
I came home in the end in 4 hours 54 minutes and 39 seconds, a personal record by 6 minutes.
I was very happy with this.
Walking back to Central Station was a fucking pain in the ass. I had to stop every 2 minutes to stop my calves breaking into spasms.
They intensified when I got into the cafe at the Station. I went up to order my lunch and literally every muscle in my body was in mutiny at once.
I was lucky to walk away without at least a strained tit.
Infact I could feel both of them seizing up as I went to order the drink.
‘Could I have a pint of Guin-NESSSSSSSSSSSSSS?’ inquired I, trailing off as the chest spasms hit a crest.
This is me at 00:12 on Tuesday morning with my medal, unable to sleep and feeling festive.
Second marathon summary..
Running my second marathon was definitely easier than the first one as I had experience of the dreaded last 10km.
I find it helps to try to distract my mind from the distance remaining and concentrate on slowly eating into that figure with some steady jogging or quick walking.
Every step forward counts.
The miles I’ve logged over the past 18 months have had a huge impact in my endurance. My mind wanted to stop jogging altogether around 20 miles but my body just kept going, even when I gave orders for it to stop.
It was great to see.
In the meantime I’m just gonna keep jogging and putting in regular slow, mid-distance runs and enjoy myself as much as I can.
As for now? I’m gonna lie here and feel sorry for myself. I’m still in quite a lot of pain.
I had some Ibuprofen and a Codeine tablet yesterday afternoon and they hit me all at once.
Took me 2 hours to order a fucking Domino’s.
I was just clicking on random pictures on my computer screen, hoping that Domino’s would get the message and throw me up a Pepperoni.