Edinburgh Marathon 2014
“….at around mile 17, I started to feel something going on with my right hamstring, it was beginning to tighten and I knew this was just going to be a matter of time now before something bad happened. Was it the over-compensating for the left foot blister? Was it shifting the impact from 1 side to the other? Whatever the reason… this was happening and I was about to hit the iceberg head on and there was nothing I could do about it. At mile 18, the hamstring went into what I believe to be was some sort of spasm but again, I couldn’t stop, if I stopped now, I’d never get going again. I was now in quite a bit of pain and not even the gritted teeth war cries of “Come on Redmond” were offering me any comfort any more. Mile times began to slip like a train running out of steam, 17-6:49, 18-6:49, 19-6:59, 20-7:03 (amazed that I kept the consistency despite the spasm in mile 18!!?), I tried to keep going but during mile 21 I knew that I couldn’t just carry I stopped to stretch out and to see if I could alleviate the pain. I started doing the maths on the distance and the time remaining. I kept telling myself “only 5 miles to go…5 miles”, and then pushed myself off again… mile 21 was done in 7:19.
I pulled up again just before mile 22 and yelled out an angry and frustrated “FFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!!!!”
I was frustrated that I had stopped, frustrated that I could no longer maintain a sub 7min pace, frustrated that my body was letting me down….frustrated with the outcome that was on the horizon. I remember looking up at the skies knowing that the inevitable was closing…. I was going to miss out my sub 3hrs”
The background bit…
So, what’s it all about eh? Well, let me shine some light on it for you…. The above excerpt is taken from a blog (unpublished) that I wrote following my ill-fated sub 3hour marathon attempt at the Edinburgh marathon in 2014. I was in cracking shape for this at the time and had set a number of PBs over different distances on the build-up during training, I knew that this, this was “the one” it was going to happen, a sub 3hr marathoner I would be. But, to cut the rest of that story short…. It wasn’t, it didn’t…and oh man, I sure wasn’t!! Since this episode, I’ve been just a little bit broken when it has come to taking this sort of thing on again, marathons were “out” and nothing in particular was “in” as a replacement. This was until last year.
Last year, I had another failed attempt at a sub3 at the Manchester marathon, I thought I’d give it a go. My intention was good but knew that my build up had been a bit shocking (injury, work, family, excuses yadda, yadda) but never really had any confidence that I’d actually be able to achieve it anyway (it didn’t help that during the run I was physically sick at 9 miles and then had to use a strangers toilet at mile 17 as a truck load of gravy was trying to force its way out of me!). Anyway, after this, I fell out of love with running… hated it, could find every excuse under the sun not to do it… and this involved staying in work, so that should give you a good indication of where I was at.
Whilst on holiday a few months later (Murcia, Spain…its lovely there), I had a revelation about my running and decided, for the rest of the year, to take the pressures of time away and so I set myself some challenges with a view of enjoying the running experience as opposed to thrashing myself into a disappointed mess. The first was exceeding my week 50 mile record, then it was to take on 70miles in a week (this finished with a very, very hungover Kenilworth half marathon!) and then I went for the 100mile week which finished with a fantastic run out at the Chester marathon (3:14, can’t complain with that!)
The last challenge was the Snowdonia marathon (3:27), which was awesome.
Throughout these challenges I found my passion for running again, I could say that I actually enjoyed it, I now wanted to be out there, I wanted to achieve, I wanted that unicorn of a sub 3 marathon and now I knew that I was ready to go for it again….
The now bit…
“So what does this mean? Why have I read this crap up until now?” I hear you asking! Well, on April 10th 2016 I will be attempting the almighty sub 3 hour marathon again, in Manchester and for those of you interested in my progress, I will be keeping a weekly journal (or “blog” as you young kids are calling it nowadays) capturing my ups & downs, my learnings & failings and my comedy views on people taking running waaaaaaay to seriously! I mean c’mon… we all moan a bit about how we’re doing/not doing, we all sometimes gloat too much about a run that gone well and we’ve all been in that position of having to make a judgement call on a pork pie on a Friday night as it may impact your Parkrun time.. but after all, its just running, and lets face it… if you’re not enjoying yourself then you’re probably doing it wrong! 😀
First week of training starts 04/01/2016….. let the games commence!