Friday 6 June 2014

Edinburgh Marathon

Leading up to the race lots of people commented at how much more relaxed I seemed compared to how I was before London!  I had a time of between 2hr 40 and 2hr 42 in mind which was several minutes slower than I was aiming for in London but definitely well within me.  If things were going amazing on the day and I was on for 2hr 40 with 5k to go then if I had anything left the aim was to try and get under 2hr 40.  

Unfortunately the weather was awful!  Torrential rain before the race started and gale force winds!  

I had an elite start and was in the front pen!  I felt quite special!  To start with I ran with a group of 7 including Vince from my club with a similar time in mind and a French girl.  My km splits were looking good and I was staying sheltered from the wind.  Then they started picking up the pace and I had a decision to make.  To stay with them and risk running too fast too soon and maybe dying in the last 10k or to ease up.  Looking behind me there were just 1 or 2 runners dotted behind me and no groups.  After around 10k I decided that it would be suicidal to stay with them and let them go.  I now had to run on my own and into the wind.  

I was currently in 4th place and 1st Brit and I just needed to hold this position.  I started to lose my head around 15 miles as my km splits were way out and I let it get to me.  Another British girl went past me and this played on my mind too.  My calf (which has been niggling for a few weeks) was also playing on my mind and by now it was feeling tight (was probably slightly in my head though).  I stopped to stretch and wasted about 45s during which time about 5 guys gradually went past me.  I then got going again and just kept telling myself to get to 20 miles.  

Edinburgh is an out and back course with more out than back and I saw Vince still with the group with the French girl coming back.  It took me about 2 minutes to get to the turn around so they were now about 4 minutes ahead of me.  Once I'd gone past the turn point and then gone through a country park estate I started getting back into my running - probably helped by the wind now being with me.  When I got to the magic 20 miles I started to really pick it up.  My turnover was much better and I felt like I was running well.  Several spectators were shouting out how strong I was looking which really helped spur me on.  I now started picking off lots of men. 

At 2 miles to go I then saw the the other British girl was in my sights and I was catching her quite quickly.  By now all I was thinking was that I wanted to be the first British girl and play it safe.  My first thoughts were to catch up to her and sit a few metres behind then out kick her in the last 400m but as I was catching her I then saw Vince.  I couldn't believe it !  I ran past Vince with a 1 mile to go and realised I was running too well so went past the other girl like I meant it and kept going until the finish!  

My time was a disappointing 2hr 48 but all things considered with the weather it wasn't going to be a pb day.  In the end the French girl was only just over a minute ahead of me.  It turns out that she beat me in La Rochelle 2 years ago by 6 mins!  The first 3 girls were all between 9 and 10 mins outside of their pbs so that says something!

As soon as I crossed the line I was nabbed by drug testing!  My first ever drug test - I feel like a real elite now!

Thanks to the organisors of Edniburgh marathon for my accommodation, race entry and for the support in the weeks leading up to the race.  It was a great event and one I hope to do again in the future.

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