I deliberately kept my plans (to run this marathon) quiet. I wanted everything about it to be as far removed from the London Marathon as possible. London was planned out for months in advance, training was completed often to within 5 seconds per mile. Money was spent on hotels and travel. Weather was constantly checked and worried about. Pre race day was spent concerned over fuelling and resting whilst still trying to make it an enjoyable tourist trip for the rest of my travelling companions. Expectations were set, (realistically I still believe), and when it all came tumbling down I had the (still-unexplained) thought process to go through to assess what caused the problem.
So once home, and after proving I was as fit as I have been for ages (with a half marathon 4yr pb in the hilly Keswick race) I looked online to see what was available. Being less than an hour from home the Karrimor Marathon perfectly suited my desire to be able to spend the pre-race day at home and also sleep in my own bed and do the normal routine for Sunday morning of early breakfast then walking Scamp before driving out to the race.
Being a trail race also suited my plan as I knew there was no possibility of a 'fast' time so it would just be a case of trying to remain strong through the second half and finish as far up the field as possible. Since London I hadn't ran more than 10 miles on road (apart from the Keswick race). I didnt really want to resume long road runs so soon as I will have to do so by July if I enter an Autumn marathon. So I got myself up into the fells most weekends. In fellrunning, the inevitable walking sections when its too steep to run, and the 'easy' sections when you have long downhills mean that I find a 3 hour steady fellrun is nowhere near as demanding on the body as say a 90 minute road run. Huge bonus to training over fells is that you get used to running up steep hills, so in the race itself the climb from Lonscale farm onto the Cumbria Way a third of the way up Lonscale fell, whilst being very steep (and judging by comments from many other participants, the steepest hill they have ever scaled), was not the most difficult climb I have ran up, and certainly nowhere near the longest.
As the race day drew nearer I made no concessions to a taper, even racing the 85 minute Tebay fellrace on the Wednesday prior where I beat Robb Jebb(s Mrs). I did ensure I ate plenty of carbs in the week prior to the marathon, culminating in a massive feast from the local Chinese takeaway on the Saturday night where I ate so much I felt ill and actually worried I had eaten something bad and would be up all night - just gluttony though - I was hungry again by 7am.
On race day I didnt even set an alarm. I awoke 45 mins later than planned which meant my breakfast was only 3hrs prior to racing. I prefer at least 4. I was a bit rushed travelling through to Keswick and was stilll pinning my number on my vest as I lined up. None of that bothered me in the slightest as I had not put any pressure on myself for the race and intended above all else to enjoy the day, which I certainly did!