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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guest blog: Carry On Embrocating. My second Amsterdam Marathon

I'm handing over the blog today to my spouse, the mysterious J, for his account of his second Amsterdam marathon (his 22nd marathon in total). J went with members of his running club, the Orion Harriers.
Take it away J.

This was my second trip to the Amsterdam marathon, scene of my 1st sub 4hr triumph in 2007.
Training for this run had been indifferent, so I had no real feel for my optimum pace for this race. Ideal conditions, cool with winter sunshine.

Good atmosphere at the start, Julie and I prepped together and got a good pen position quite close to the start line. Got off to a good start, let Julie go after a few minutes and settled down to an average 5mins per Km pace which was a pleasant surprise to me.

Kept close eye on HR (heart rate) but stayed with this pace, so again my performance on the day was well above expectations from training. Went through 1/2 in 1:46:37 well on pace for a pb (personal best), my aim was to keep in the low 5 to 5:30 Km's during the later stages and this was working well.

Around mile 24 got bad cramp in right calf and had to pull up couldn't keep going. Tried calf stretch and tried again -- no good, did some hamstring stretches which eased the problem and allowed me slowly get started again. After a few minutes gamely jogging back to pace the same thing happened to left calf - seized up, more stretches got me going again slowly. At this time I was convinced I'd blown any potential for a pb so settled in for a slow finish.

When I got to the 40km sign (only 2 km left) and saw the current time, I realised there was still a chance to get close to a pb. Legs were by now not doing well with cramps coming and going over the last 2k's, tried to raise pace all the way in, very emotional including talking to myself ovr the last k to keep the effort going. Once over the line not sure of eventual time, when I checked my Garmin it showed 4 secs outside a personal best -  very disappointing. So lost around 4 mins to cramps and stretches, overall got to be delighted with this run and the time - didn't look anywhere as good as this in training. my 3rd 3:43 marathon on the trot....


FitForNothing said...

Many congratulations J. I've done two half's recently, Nottingham and Birmingham, but can't see me ever making the plunge to a full marathon but I suppose you never know. So for doing 22 of them, you have my full admiration.

Question is... when is your other half going to join in the fun?

Anonymous said...

Well done you John!!! How infuriating to be so close and to be struck down by cramps - any idea what causes them? Seems like the older you get, the better you run - there's hope for all of us yet! Lucy