This was the marathon I really did not want to do. As I’ve said before, there wasn’t a race that fitted in for Feb so my only option was to do a solo run which also meant no support. Hence this time I had to carry everything I thought I was going to need in the absence of marshals, feed stations and medical services. Added to that, I needed a run that was going to be quiet and traffic free for the same reasons and so I chose a recent half-marathon course I did along the Grand Union canal and ran it as an out & back which made motivation as much of a challenge as the distance.
I completed the run but fell a little short of the sub-4:00 I was aiming for, coming in at 4:07:13 which considering the circumstances wasn’t as bad as I thought it might have been. A couple of bad cramps in my calf dropped me to a walk in a couple of places after I’d completed around 18 miles so that cost me some time while I stretched it out. Also, one of the things I underestimated was despite the canal being nice and flat (apart from the locks) the surface is quite punishing on the ankles and knees being a mix of gravel, mud, tarmac and grass and is pretty rutted in places so there’s quite a bit of skipping and jumping along some of the sections. Doing the 13.1 mile route in one direction is ok but doing it all again on the way back felt twice as bad. Still, minimal blisters as a result but I’m sure my ankles will be complaining in the morning.
All I can say is that I’m glad to have that one ticked off the list now and hope it’s not going to be a bad one to recover from as I’m really looking forward to the Cornish Dutchy Marathon in March which I’m hoping will bring me back into the sub-4:00 bracket.
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Now, time for some (more) food and possibly a beer 🙂