In an attempt to actually remember all the races I’ve done and remember the feelings of running in them, more my personal notes for future reference.
This is it, my first blog post. Let’s see how this goes!
Today marked the day of the Hull Marathon, also known as the last full long training run before York Marathon in October, I’ll still be doing my long split days for the next two week at least.
The mileage has been ace and I’ve really enjoyed picking the miles up the last few weeks in the build up, setting weekly mileage PB’s week, after week. Hitting a new high of 140miles for the week. I’m not saying every mile was easy. It definitely wasn’t! But they all almost definitely count.
Still feeling the runners high from 2 great races over the last 2 weekends (Cannon Hall and Vale of York) and a painful (rewarding) finish to the Spencer’s Dash series, I had gone into Hull enjoying my running in September, so far.
We stayed over in a Premier Inn, not too far away from the start line, as suggested by my Dad, I didn’t realise it was a 9am start, despite doing the run last year. Dinner was in the hotel, a healthy serving of chicken for starter and main the night before. With Breakfast also in the hotel, I had my special of Porridge and Nutella, with a few slices of left over fruit. I managed to smuggle a banana and a few pastries out for after the race, a speciality of mine.
Anyway off I set to the start line around 8.30, with it only being a 5 minute walk away it was great. One of the closest we’ve stayed to the startline, alongside Edinburgh, Milton Keynes and the Snowdonia Trail Marathon. I was aiming for a 3 hour pace, around 6:50 per mile, but it was all a tester of what is to come at York, mainly I wanted to finish and finish feeling strong. With my York PB being 2:58 and Hull PB from last years struggle in the final miles, of 3:08.
Anyways just before the race started one of the English Athletics reps had pulled another runner out for folding his number, although he wasn’t blocking anything from show, but threatened him with disqualification.. Setting the tone quite nice for the day there.
The race started bang on 9 o’clock with an out run of 3 mile and back for 3 mile to begin with, it made a great 10k. I felt strong through this bit, comfortably letting people pass me but I knew I was running 6:20’s way too fast for my intended pace. I must’ve entered back into the centre at the 10k mark around 30th position. Just showing that plenty of runners had made the mistake of setting off way too fast.
As we left the centre bound towards Humber Bridge, I knew it was time to drop the pace and focus on comfort, I was around 2 minutes infront of my target time and I had started to pass people climbing to 18th by the time we reached the first climb, at mile 12. I was also picking the relay runners off, so something was definitely wrong there! Going over the bridge is deceptively climby, knowing that from the year before, as this is where I officially died in that race! So I was to take it easy and look after myself, a few runners in front were stopping and slowing as we went over the bridge. One runner looked to have pulled his back just as we were coming off the bridge to turn round and come back, or looked to have some serious pain there anyway. I was still feeling good, my pace had slowed but I was in control of it, and my legs felt comfortable, I wanted to hit mile 20 still feeling like this.
Going back over the bridge after the turn around mark, the climb definitely shows and it was here that killed me off last year. I felt steady and ran 6:50-7:00’s just get over. I was still catching runners in front and I had eventually dropped the Dewsbury runner that I had been following all race from a far. Ticking off ‘2’ mile markers across the bridge on the way back, didn’t make it feel any shorter. We descending sharply down and into the car park, it was a little lumpy between here and mile 19. So I stuck my last lemon sherbet in, knowing that by the time it was gone, I would’ve finished.
The next real part of the route was approaching Sirius academy and the run around the grounds and through the building, this was extremely flat with a few speed bumps. The marshals here, weren’t particularly helpful in pointing you in directions, so it ended up being a weave amongst the tape for the relay and two marathon runners in front of me. When leaving the academy grounds, there was a another drinks station, through mile 22, it was here that I lost the runners and was running on my own. In around 10th position, I still felt strong and comfortable, the sherbet was surviving.
The last 5k going through the docks and approaching the finish I could see a marathon and relay runner in the distance, I was feeling strong and kept reminding myself that I’ve done tougher, I’ve run up Snowdon. I ran a half last week and finished strong, I could do the same here. So I kicked on and before I know it, I had caught them. Around the cobbles we go, the worst part of the Hull 10k, I could see another runner again around the bend, he was in 6th position, I knew I could catch him with a mile and half to go, I had plenty left in the tank. So as the cobbles ended I passed him, followed by a ‘oh, shit’ response from the guy. Finding myself in 6th with plenty in the tank and feeling well. I know I now feel confident ahead of the York marathon and I need to keep doing what I’m doing. Running a 6:30, 6:10 and 5:55 respectively, in the last 5k, even leaving enough for a sprint finish.
I finished in 2:51:01, 6th place, probably in hindsight to could’ve pushed a little more in parts, but then it wouldn’t have been a comfortable run, only a higher position, not really something that motivates me. With the real goal to post a better time in York. I ain’t too sure about beating my 2:45 set at Manchester earlier in the year, as I don’t usually run well in Autumn.
I would definitely recommend the Hull Marathon to anyone wanting to do a marathon, that is a little quieter to your London, Manchester, Edinburgh.
We will now see what the next few weeks of training bring until the October 9th. The 4th York Marathon and Dads birthday! The beard will be staying until then at least.
139 miles for the week. With a few quality sessions thrown in.
Peak week done.