The Auckland Marathon has now been and gone. It was a perfect day if there ever was one for running a good marathon.
I had a great start to the day and got in a good group running at a nice even pace.
I decided a while back to put all the chips on the table and go for a 2.48. I thought that if it went downhill I would be able to back off and still run 3hrs.. it turns out I had something to learn on that one. Even though I have now done 3 Ironman’s I have found there is quite a difference between my ‘out for long training day’ non-competitive approach and trying to go at the edge of my abilities for a marathon. Unlike cycling there was no resurrection from the dead.. I have even more respect now for those people who have gone under 3. In hindsight if I had aimed at a 3hr pace I would have more than had my work cut out.
If I have another go there will be more time to build up so I will include a half marathon as well as some 10k races. Only after I have acheived the 3hrs then I might attempt something more ambitious.
I justified my ambitions of a sub 2.50 off the Jack Daniels tables which have proven to be uncannily accurate for me in the past. It was suggested in my case they could over predict for a marathon given my lack of running miles relative to my general fitness. This proved to be spot on. At the 23-25k mark the rationalization started to kick in and my thoughts changed rapidly from ‘ok, this second wind might be a while coming’, to i’f I back off a little 3hrs will still be doable’, to at the 29k mark thinking ‘I will forget paces and just try and keep moving’. Then at the 31k mark somehow walking became all too appealing. My legs were history and I was getting shivers. It started to occur to me that I would have to suffer a lot to perhaps even go 30mins slower than my best Ironman run time off a 180km cycle leg. This was a price I was not willing to pay so I decided to pull out. A decision today that I am happy about. I didn’t enter the Marathon to finish it, I entered it to push my limits and I found them!