Hal Higdon, running writer and coach:
"The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals."
28th April 2013. 9am start. 5:15 Woke up, Shreddies and Weetabix for breakfast. Got picked up and chauffeured to Old Trafford. The car park marshalls were great and directing the traffic. Half of the cars were there for the Marathon and the other half for X-Factor auditions. I considered auditioning but then remembered I can’t sing.
Waiting around for the marathon to start was cold. I had a bit of coffee and flap jack. Because of the cold I went for a wee 4 times before the race started.
For some reason I lost track of the time and I had to work my way to the front of the crowd saying excuse me a million trillion times. I just about got to the front with ½ minute to spare then the race start.
The wind was hard for the first half of the race. I was in a group going just too slow to shelter behind but I did shelter behind then for a little while. Then I decided to catch the person in front and shelter behind him but when I left the group I just couldn’t seem to catch him and so ran into a 10mph head wind for a couple of miles. Still 10 mph is not too bad.
Once I caught up to John he was quick and so we kept each other company for a few miles but after about 14 miles I was running on my own until the end.
Mentally I was trying to feel comfortable in the first half because I just wanted to get a PB today (under 2h34m59s). I knew that I might have been able to get a sub 2h30m but didn’t want to go for it and drop out or blow up. I executed that plan perfectly. Once I got up to 20 miles I thought “right no more feeling comfortable it’s time to run until it feels hard”. I did this but actually kept to about the same sort of pace, maybe a bit quicker.
I’m now looking forward to the next one and hope to achieve 2h30m.