Well done to Johnny for a PB at the Lochaber Marathon is a shade over three hours...
Hi. I ran the Lochaber Marathon yesterday.
Just missed out on my sub 3 target although I'm not sure what I could or would have done differently. Truth be told, I was super confident right up until the wheels (marginally) fell off. I had a great taper, felt good all week and the conditions were grand (though a wee bit of sun and wind appeared from about halfway but nothing to bother about).
I went out super conservative, hit my first 2 miles in 6:55 and 6:53. A lot of people charged out *very* fast, it was amazing to see. I think I was about 50th after the first mile or so, then I didn't get passed again and finished about 26th I believe.
My pace was very easy, barely breathing, legs felt good, holding it was no problem. One issue was that my Garmin was reporting the miles slightly long, and after the first couple, the mile markers started getting further away from the mile alerts. Ended up at 26:32, made pacing a bit awkward but nothing that made a difference. I thought I was running 6:48-50 miles but I was actually running 6:50-52 which didn't leave me much leeway.
Started passing people steadily from about mile 8, I think. Hit halfway at 1:29:50, which was cutting it very close but I figured I felt good and was running easy, so I was confident of managing my plan of picking up the pace about 5-10 seconds a mile from mile 20.
Got to mile 20, after passing quite a few more, hitting my marks, then almost every mile from 20-24 has a bit of a climb, nothing major, just enough to make you feel it. Ran about 10 seconds slow for a couple and started feeling it, wasn't worried though. Then I started to steadily slow down and ran the next 3 or 4 in 7:10ish but my legs were on the edge and I just couldn't pick it up, as hard as I tried. My brain was addled by then as well and I was having trouble working out what my splits would need to be to get it back.
I was still passing a few but the whole race, I ran on my own. I don't remember running beside anybody at any point after the first mile! It's a long way on your own.
By mile 24/25, I knew the game was up - had to run impossible splits for the last couple but subconsciously knew I couldn't. Last mile was about 30 odd seconds slow, not helped by a couple of steep rises where I almost lost it!
So, disappointing but considering my previous PB was 3:53, I can't complain. I honestly don't know what I could have done differently. I trained hard and well, tapered properly, didn't miss many sessions, got to the start in good shape, paced my race pretty well (if a touch slow, could have done with a couple more seconds a mile for the first half but the mile markers confused me a bit), had enough gels and water in the race but just couldn't get it done. The only thing I could have done was HTFU but try as I might, it just wasn't happening.
I now know what it takes to get it done. I have a Good For Age entry to London next year, so I'm probably going to aim to run a blinder there next year.