Tuesday, 23 September 2008
In less than two weeks is the Cologne Marathon. It's my favorite. It's also this season's final race for me. I am going for a PB there. I'll run my butt off. So I am trying to beat my 2:50 from Berlin last year. It's not an ultra race I know. It's speed work for most of the ultra runners. Anyway I am looking forward to it. We are leaving tomorrow and will see the families (Silke's Grandma celebrates her 90th birthday).
Good luck to all who are doing the Loch Ness Marathon! It's on the same weekend... so I cannot do that one. I entered last year (one week after Berlin) but my hamstrings were not up to it.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
We were slightly late (caused by the queues for the porta loos) and I was almost lost to find anyone familiar in the crowd of the "white" block. Finally I managed to spot some yellow/black shirts of the Kilbarchan AC one of which had John Kynaston inside. I managed my way through to him and also found Ian Beattie here. Ian with his Perth 100 mile epic in mind which was just a week ahead was not after a fast time today. I told Ian I wanted to go under 1:24 but I hoped for a PB since I had that deal with Silke. I expected John to run under 1:24 too.
PB Pace for me was 6:15/mile or faster.
Off we went and it was uphill St Vincent street. That uphill was new and tough. The downhill was steep and runners were slowing here. Soon it was up again this time to climb Kingston Bridge. Thankfully the field started to stretch and there was little queueing and zig zagging required.
I met Gavin, one of the fellow West Highland Way runners just after two miles. We chatted for a bit and then he was off. It looked like he was jogging but his pace was closer to 6:05 and I was struggling holding my pace at 6:15 already.
The GSR is not a quick course I have to say. Loads of hills, corners and uneven tarmac in places.
The temperature was good for running but it was also windy which was a bit of a problem as far as PB's are concerned. All the uphills were tough. I was running at my limit and when I reached 10 miles I was 2 seconds behind PB pace. I was overtaking runners all the way, everyone around me was slowing down and it was getting more and more difficult to keep myself motivated to push harder and harder.
I did remember the deal with Silke however. It was not about keeping the pace anymore. I had to go even faster! At mile 11 I heard someone screaming my name. It was Gerry McNamee (used to run for Giffnock North). "You look great, c'mon". Then I saw Gavin again probably 30 seconds ahead. I was going faster now. I felt great. Just a couple of miles. I have a mad sprint against Gavin on the finishing straight. I see the clock changing to 1:21. I know I have got the PB. We cross the line together and chat about the WHW Race. He too had quite a disappointing race in 2008 although he finished. We both have entered the race in 2009 though. John Kynaston arrived in 1:27. Not too happy with that. He is still struggling with a foot injury. I hope he can get this sorted for the Loch Ness Marathon!
The finishing area gets more and more crowded. I am cold now. Shivering. No trace of Ian or Neal. I need to find a spot to watch out for Silke. She arrives sooner than expected, looking fresh and overtaking other runners. She finishes in 1:55. A new PB by more than 7 minutes!
My Mile Splits:
6:16, 6:19, 6:10, 6:10, 6:23
6:10, 6:15, 6:18, 6:11, 6:15
10 Miles Split: 1:02:32 avg 6:15
6:10, 6:02, 6:00, 0:30
13.1 Miles in 1:21:15, avg 6:12