Sunday, May 09, 2010

Age defying running - new PB & more running Icons

I have a new marathon personal best time of 4hrs 19 minutes 17seconds.
I am very pleased with this as i ran 4hrs 20 around 25 years ago. Since then i have run a few 12 in total now- marathons, and i would like to believe have a little experience about running marathon running and mental focus.

On April 25th 2010 i was at the start of the Shakespeare Marathon in Stratford. It was the same day as the Lodon Marathon , but having run London 3 times , yes it is a very enjoyable experience but it is rather busy. So i decided on a change.

Shakespeare marathon was said to be rather flat , but did in fact have a couple of cheeky hills. The marathon route was 2 laps - the start of the race was busy with lots of runners 'only' running 13 miles. I held my pace back - though still well under my tagret 9min50 per mile. After a long - it seemed - 3mile run back to town along the 'greenway' a cycle path on old railway line - the half marathon runners peeled right for a 2 mile run to finish, we peeled left for another lap.
I find marathon running is part physical training and dicipline ; and part mental training and dicipline. As i ran oto the greenway the first time - i felt that it was relatively easy going- very flat and a little give in the surface, also first time round there were a few half marathon runners slowing down.

For the second lap, i initially though that there would be very few of us, but for miles 11-15 or so i was with others chatting. The 2nd lap took a slightly different route so the hill on lap 1 didnt seem too bad. However the greenway was very long and straight. Many people seemed to have a problem with this - either because of the boredom factor, long & straight, or the warmth- in Stratford it was warm and sunny- London had the rain - we had no rain, anyway lots seemed to be slowing and walking. I tried to encourage a few fellow runners, 'hey we can run 6 miles' - i have learnt to try and be positive , thonk of only 6 not that its 8 of 26. I did manage to encourage a few - one fetcheveryone runner in fact emailed me afterwards to thank me. That does mean a lot.
However i didnt encorage many, i was on a mission, checking ,y 4hr 18 pace band , and seeing that i was still well inside target time.
Mind games and mental dicipline are certainly needed in the last part of a race - & probably any project. Keep the focus. One trick - or focus tool i have developed is to dedicate a mile to a family member, or friend and thinks of lots of things about him / her - come on we can run 0.2 mile etc - until the garmin beeps that i have achaived another half mile or mile. My pace did drop a bit later, but i managed to sprint the last 0.2 mie to get a pb - and it felt goooood. After a minute of recovery !

Big thanks to Stratford Rotary Club for organisation of a great event. Thanks

Running Inspiration - i ve probably mentioned before - Mick n Phil. Mick is a runner around my age, but he is far faster and stronger than me. Phil is Mick's son - - Phil has special needs - and Mick pushes Phil in his wheelchair in marathons and half marathons. Phil is now an adult ! As they live near Stratford - they were given a well deserved ' special start' to the acclaim of all other runners. I had a chat with Mick when i - eventually -caught them up - on one of the hills. Unfortunately - on this occaision they didnt finish, but they have run 100s of races. keep going lads - have a look just google Mick n Phil

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