As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

51 weeks until the London Marathon?......

Maybe not eh. I think I will give it a miss in 2013 after a second consecutive disappointing result. Not really a result at all of course as I quit the race just before the halfway point having previously stopped to walk at 10 miles.

Didn't get as far as Canary Wharf  in the race - saw it from the bus

So what was the problem? Very similar to last time - major trouble in the abdominal region - felt exactly like a stitch but now I'm wondering if there could be a bit more to it than that.

I went to pains to ensure I got up real early and ate my usual breakfast so as to then have 4 hours for it to digest prior to starting running. I drank nothing at all with one hour to go. I drank nothing in the race (was planning to take energy/flud on board from 15 miles).

To some runners such abstinence so far out from racing might seem far too radical, but it's just what I am used to and (usually) works well for me.

Did I run too far? - hardly, this happened after about 6 miles and was too much to continue by about 9.5miles.

Did I run too fast? - At just inside 6:15 pace I was some 30 seconds/mile SLOWER than I can run for 5-7 miles and my 10 mile time when I stopped running was just over 5 minutes slower than my last 10 mile race. So no.

Maybe when I return again to London the Shard will be complete

Thinking about other long races I have done this year, Buttermere and Trimpell.....
 Although I ran badly at Trimpell I didnt have this particular problem, and at Buttermere I was flying, in fact I have always ran well there. Being shorter than a marathon is irrelevant as I didn't get anywhere near the end, so there must be something else about those races (and every other race I have ever done apart from the last 2 Londons) that lets me run OK. That pretty much means there is something about The London Marathon itself that is the cause. So it must be to do with the change in routine, sleep, food, preparation etc.... I wonder if sleeping on the other side of the bed could have set off something awry internally? I usually sleep on my left side but the night before the marathon I was on my right ( I know I was because I woke up often and reached out to check the time on my phone)

Anyway - at the time I was disappointed, but a lot more puzzled than anything. I didn't dwell on it  and was looking for positives within hours. The first one being that I could after all run the Keswick half marathon which I enjoyed last year on heavy marathon legs. It's next Sunday. Hopefully I will improve on my time and placing.

Tower Bridge on Saturday - A bridge too far on Sunday

3 days after the (nearly half a) marathon I was due to take photos of the Round the Houses road race in Keswick. It had been  bitterly cold all day and I wasn't relishing the idea of standing around in the rain trying to get photos in poor light and trying to keep the rain out of my camera. So I called in at home and changed my camera bag for my kit bag and entered the race instead.
Steve Hebb' - wins in Keswick
I think I raced well.  A real battle with Ian Davies of my second club Keswick AC was decided only in the final few hundred metres when the young chap edged away from me to take 8th place. I was 9th and 1st vet40. Border were first and second team, and only a win by young Steve Hebblethwaite (Keswick) prevented it being a thorough routing by the city boys in the orange and black vests.

Ian Davies - less hair, but more speed than me

Apparently the race was exactly the same distance as always despite a slight change of course due to roadworks. This gives me 5:43 pace for a fairly hilly 5.3 mile race. I  have ran it 80seconds faster in my heyday but not in such cold and windy conditions, and not with the extra small hill and switchback section over the narrow footbridge as was featured in the detour.

Despite the disappointment of the marathon I have already entered another - in about 6 weeks time!!
The big difference is it's in Cumbria, offroad, up fells on trails and paths I know very well. I will enjoy sleeping in my own bed, walking the dog before driving through to run with zero pressure on hitting split miles etc.

Nice one Wesman


  1. Sorry to hear about your problems Steve:0[
    Do you eat anything different the night before the race?
    Anyway I'm sure your have a great summer racing with all the base training you have done!

  2. at the end of the day-
    your still an ugly git!!!!

  3. Disappointing for you, as you say change of routine and the travelling wouldn't help. Also the anticipation and the head might not be in the right place - too much riding on it? Look forward to hearing of your success back on home turf :)