Well, I finished it. Not in the 4 hours I hoped for, but rather 04:24:18. I’m delighted I finished at all, though.
The split times tell the story (the figure in brackets is the segment pace):
- 10km – 00:58:20 (05:50/km)
- Half way – 02:00:23 (05:35/km)
- 30km – 02:55:55 (06:14/km)
- Finish – 04:24:18 (07:14/km)
Basically, the first 10km was nice and relaxed as I allowed myself get into it (even had a loo stop :-), I picked it up a bit in the next section and was on track for a 4 hour finish, then flagged somewhat after passing half way but at around 30km it all quickly fell apart …
You read about “hitting the wall” and think you understand it, but somewhere not long after 18 miles I slowed to a walk and I was convinced I was done … it didn’t make any sense to me that I could possibly get going again for another 8 miles. I managed to keep myself going, ran a bit, walked a bit, ran a bit, walked a bit and by about 21 miles it stared to dawn on my that I was going to be able to keep that up until the finish.
Coming around College Green, along Nassau St. and onto Merrion Square was some experience … such a huge support from the crowd. In fact, the whole thing was a brilliant experience – so many people involved in organising it, so much support along the way (love the people handing out the jaffa cakes and fun size chocolate bars :-)) and such a feeling of all the runners being in it together …
Strangely enough, it’s my hips that were totally done in by the end. Last year I would have been worried about my knees, at the start I was worried about my shins, and so it’s a bit strange when a body part you hadn’t been worried about starts letting you down. Thankfully I had a lovely wife to pick me up at the end, get me into the car and home, cook me dinner and limit the number of trips I had to do up and down the stairs
(Update: turns out my pace calculations were wrong … the geek that I am, I hacked up some python code to do it right)