When is a marathon not a marathon? What actually constitutes a marathon? Today I ran 26 miles but is that a marathon or simply a 26 mile run?
Talkin circuit - 4 laps - 2 hrs 58 mins 28 seconds
It was a decent day weatherwise, dry and cool. The wind, as usual was blowing against for the final couple of miles each lap of the circuit and of course down on the lower ground there was no corresponding tailwind. Never mind. As a Russian Pro cyclist once remarked to me -'the wind is your friend, it makes you strong'.
I set off at a nice steady pace and recorded 44:38 . A good start in my bid to beat 3 hours. Lap 2 I ran at basically the same effort, but I had removed my cap, gloves and top layer which had lead to me feeling as if I was overheating on the earlier lap. Combined with being properly warmed up I got round in 44:02. The third lap was the one I intended to run pretty hard and I began it feeling strong. My plan was to run down the hills hard and up them a bit easier. The logic being that when I was taking it 'easy' on the uphills, my CV system would still be working hard due to gravity so I would still be making fitness gains whilst my brain was thinking it was having a little rest. About half way around the lap I began to feel pretty tired but pressed on to record 43:13. I didn't dare stop at the van for a drink so as I raced past I grabbed a bottle of water and a gel. The effort I was putting in now was much less and I actually started to feel rather better for it. It didn't seem too long that I was past the high point and enjoying the long descent to the conclusion of the final lap. I was a little disappointed to record 46:32 but overall my time was inside 3 hrs which meant I had beaten my own expectations
for the day.
If I can run the marathon 16 minutes faster than today (which I managed in 2004) then that would be a very satisfactory 2:42.