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The Road to Richmond
29-08-2017, 09:44 PM,
#41
RE: The Road to Richmond
(29-08-2017, 10:34 AM)Bierzo Baggie Wrote: Very useful to have clear records to refer to and compare. I'm trying to dig mine out at the moment but they are all scribbled down in notebooks!  Blush Blush

That looks more classy on a bookshelf...
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03-09-2017, 07:42 PM,
#42
RE: The Road to Richmond
Pretty much the last serious run of the training this morning, a very gentle 12 miles with Marathontalk and Science Hour in the earphones. There's a slight anticlimactic, end-of-project feel about this run, but of course the next two weeks will build to a new climax. Back to school tomorrow so plenty to take my mind off that.

Year to date: Jan 6 miles; Feb 19; Mar 39; Apr 56; May 69; Jun 61 (shoulder); July 109; Aug 125

Very satisfying numbers. Irrespective of the marathon, this year has been an undreamed-of success in terms of getting back out there. September will drop off a cliff edge, and then the plan will be a modest 30 miles per month maintenance programme.
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03-09-2017, 09:38 PM,
#43
RE: The Road to Richmond
(03-09-2017, 07:42 PM)marathondan Wrote: Pretty much the last serious run of the training this morning, a very gentle 12 miles with Marathontalk and Science Hour in the earphones. There's a slight anticlimactic, end-of-project feel about this run, but of course the next two weeks will build to a new climax. Back to school tomorrow so plenty to take my mind off that.

Year to date: Jan 6 miles; Feb 19; Mar 39; Apr 56; May 69; Jun 61 (shoulder); July 109; Aug 125

Very satisfying numbers. Irrespective of the marathon, this year has been an undreamed-of success in terms of getting back out there. September will drop off a cliff edge, and then the plan will be a modest 30 miles per month maintenance programme.

Great news, Dan. That's a decent sequence of monthly totals for a busy, semi-retired runner. Looks like you've safely reached the critical point without last-minute injury worries, so well done. Seems like the good old HH Novice Plan has done its job.

Good luck for the new term. I'm sure your kids -- real and proxy -- will be proud of you.
El Gordo

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
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04-09-2017, 08:43 PM,
#44
RE: The Road to Richmond
Well done, Dan! You've managed to run a lot of miles in the last months. Best of luck with the taper the marathon and the new school year!


Saludos desde Almería

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05-09-2017, 03:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-09-2017, 03:08 AM by Sweder.)
#45
RE: The Road to Richmond
This campaign has been exceptional, Dan. Shoulder impediment notwithstanding, the incremental ramping up of mileage is admirable and enviable. As ever, the day itself will depend on a few factors, not least the old biorhythms, but I'm pretty sure however it pans out, you'll enjoy it. Which really should be the aim, unless you're out to smash records.

Nice work, Sir.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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07-09-2017, 07:05 PM,
#46
RE: The Road to Richmond
No, no plans to attempt any records. My V40 PB was set 5 years ago, so with the passage of that time plus the addition of a modest but slightly encumbering costume, I don't expect to be anywhere very near 4 hours. The super smooth 20 miler is tempting me into over-confidence, but I know that came about by careful pacing, so that's what I'll be doing on the day for sure. (Pace band is already calculated and printed.)
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09-09-2017, 06:03 PM,
#47
RE: The Road to Richmond
Very nice work indeed, Dan. Looking very good!
Run slow, run far.
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10-09-2017, 04:57 PM,
#48
RE: The Road to Richmond
Dan is the Winston Wolfe of marathon running. (Before the dreadful insurance ads you understand.)

Problems solved. Perfect excution. Every time.
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10-09-2017, 09:28 PM,
#49
RE: The Road to Richmond
Did I mention that I am ridiculously excited? It's like rehearsing a show for 6 months, with a single one-off performance. I'll try not to say "It's showtime!!!" on Sunday morning. But I may not be able to stop myself.
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11-09-2017, 05:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-09-2017, 05:36 AM by Mid Life Crisis Marathon Man.)
#50
RE: The Road to Richmond
(10-09-2017, 09:28 PM)marathondan Wrote: Did I mention that I am ridiculously excited? It's like rehearsing a show for 6 months, with a single one-off performance. I'll try not to say "It's showtime!!!" on Sunday morning.

Oh, you definitely should shout it out, Dan. You most definitely should!
Run slow, run far.
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16-09-2017, 07:22 PM,
#51
RE: The Road to Richmond
All set for the morrow. Heavy hydration today; my urine is like a mountain spring in both colour and volume. Bagels for lunch and a pile of rice with mild veg curry for dinner should top up the glycogen levels a little. On the downside, going back to school in new shoes wasn't such a great idea; I now have one moderately sore pinkie toe. Should be alright I think. And my race pack has failed to arrive. I'm assured there will be plenty of spares available on the day, but I now need to set the alarm even earlier than planned - for an 8am gun.

Tally ho!
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16-09-2017, 08:08 PM,
#52
RE: The Road to Richmond
Best of luck tomorrow, Dan! Take it easy and enjoy if possible!

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17-09-2017, 06:31 AM,
#53
RE: The Road to Richmond
Good luck Dan. Let us know how it went.
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17-09-2017, 07:05 AM,
#54
RE: The Road to Richmond
You bought the ticket, enjoy the ride Dan
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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17-09-2017, 01:48 PM,
#55
RE: The Road to Richmond
Cracker of a run, 4:16 and change against a target of 4:20. At a bit of a loss to explain how it went so well, really. Post mortem to follow...
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17-09-2017, 07:58 PM,
#56
RE: The Road to Richmond
Congratulations, Dan!

Looking forward to reading your report but now you definitely deserve a rest.


Saludos desde Almería

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18-09-2017, 05:49 PM,
#57
RE: The Road to Richmond
Whoop! That's a superb effort : )

I thought your training was pretty much text-book - and I include the sojourn for illness/ injury that appears to blight most schedules. But you never know, do you? It's on the day, which side of the bed, and all that.
Clearly you got out on the right side.
Brilliant.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph
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18-09-2017, 10:17 PM, (This post was last modified: 18-09-2017, 10:21 PM by marathondan.)
#58
RE: The Road to Richmond
Richmond Marathon 2017

I was at Kew Gardens' Victoria Gate 20 minutes before it opened, and so when 7am came around I was one of the first in, and went straight to the information tent to try and sort out my missing race pack. It was immediately obvious how much smaller the scale of this event was compared to my past marathons: the info tent was a couple of gazebos. There was apparently no record of my entry, but they were happy to accept my printed email as evidence and I was given a race number as a late entry.

Being in Kew Gardens meant we did have some nice loos - although the queues were as long as ever - and then it was over to the baggage area to don my Science Guy outfit and drop my bag at the van. We lined up in two waves - a simple under or over 4hrs system. One runner posed for a selfie with me, which gratified me somewhat, I chatted with a couple of other guys in the 4+ pen, and at 8am we were off. 

My race was largely defined by a chance encounter right after the start. A Wonder Woman appeared at my side, and we quickly fell into conversation. It looked like we were the only two fancy dress runners. She had 20+ marathons under her belt and on a good day had 3:30 aspirations, but today was highly undertrained and was just looking to get round. Cue Science Guy, with his 4:20 pace plan calculated down to the second, to reel her in whever required. Also it turned out that she was a very good talker, and I'm a very good listener, so a mutual need was fulfilled and we ran together for 16 miles, two and a half hours going by almost in the blink of an eye. 

The field was about 850, and the number of supporters probably fewer - a far cry from my previous experiences of marathons, London and Brighton. But two fancy dress runners together made a good double act, and whenever we encountered supporters, there was good banter to be had. Not many people recognised me as a mad scientist; many thought I was a doctor, and I got a fair few Professors. Interestingly, most kids that expressed an opinion thought I was a science teacher.

The course is delightful (map), consisting largely of bare Thames towpath, interspersed with paved sections through Kingston's rowing scene with its boathouses and breakfast cafes. There were sights to be seen - Hampton Court Palace (complete with Henry VIII actor), Teddington Lock, Ham House, but in general it was just lovely to be enjoying this genteel stretch of river where London starts to feel like it's petering out into countryside. (Of course, it's a long way from real countryside, but it's a lot more relaxed than following the river East.) Overall I guess the course is about three quarters offroad, which no doubt helped my joints. Also the 85 feet (FEET) of climb over the whole course was nice.

At around 15 miles, Wonder Woman suddenly became a little less talkative, and shortly afterwards confessed she would have to take a walk break, the lack of training finding her out already. I pushed on, solo. From this point till the end, I believe not one man overtook me, perhaps 3 or 4 women, but otherwise I was steadily reeling others in. This probably shows that women are, on average, more likely to pace themselves sensibly. I was still remarkably chipper, 1-2 minutes ahead of schedule, and feeling very comfortable.

A little while later I caught a young Eastern European woman who was very angry, convinced that the course was too long by some ridiculous figure like 8K. How anyone could really believe this was beyond me, but I tried to soothe her by just encouraging her to finish. She said that yes, she would definitely finish, so that she could throttle the organisers. Fortunately I was able to drop her. She did manage a genuine smile when I wished her good luck. 

We were heading for 20 miles now, and the field was very thin, sometimes the marshals were closer together than the runners. I was still feeling fine, and decided I would stick to plan until 23 miles and then, as the Marathontalk boys say, test my central governor and see what was left in the tank. I was about 2 minutes ahead of my 4:20 target, and started to think that if everything went perfectly, I might just make 4:15.

So at 23 I upped the effort level a little, but this increase in effort coincided with a decrease in capability, and so overall the effect was pretty neutral. There was certainly no sign of any kind of wall. Miles 24 to 25 were heavily populated with charity cheerers, which gave me a tremendous boost, and I found energy for much fist pumping and whooping. At 25 miles there was nothing to lose, so I gave it all I had, and managed to put in a 9:25 mile as we entered the Old Deer Park and a series of winding taped sections which contrived to make the exact distance. Now here I was, the first fancy dress runner home, putting on something of a sprint, and still feeling pretty good. Arms raised - goodness knows how ridiculous I must have looked - I crossed the line and stopped the watch just outside 4:16.

Recovery was remarkably good. No desire to vomit, no feeling faint, no problem walking the mile back to the car and then driving 20 miles or so home. Today, aches and pains are no more than those commonly associated with a 10K or half marathon.

So, how did it all go so right? The plan was a generous 20 minutes outside my veteran PB, but that was meant to be offset by 5 years of ageing, and the fancy dress. SCIENCE GUY has applied LOGIC to this problem and concluded... probably the outfit didn't slow me down at all. I think once you've got used to it being a bit sweaty and clingy, it's not a real encumbrance. So the reality is that I possibly could have run it 10-15 mins faster. And then I would have been vomiting, dizzy, hobbling, and suffering the valley of the shadow of death for the last hour of the race. Instead I got a tremendously fun day entertaining people with my silly wig, and felt great afterwards. I think I may have once again validated the fancy dress fun runner approach to marathons.

This was brilliant, and I would love to do it again (maybe just shave 5 mins off the target time...). Unfortunately at present they are only advertising the half for next year, which makes me suspect that they won't carry on with the full (I think this was the first edition). But I've learned a lot about small field marathons, and gentle mixed terrain marathons, and the importance of cameraderie when you don't have a million supporters lining the streets to sustain you. Happy days.

Splits: 9:44, 9:44, 9:32, 9:17, 9:25, 9:21, 9:33, 9:35, 9:37, 9:45, 9:35, 9:40, 9:34, 9:43, 9:45, 10:01, 10:04, 9:54, 9:56, 10:02, 10:10, 10:32, 9:29, 8:56 pace for the last 0.2
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19-09-2017, 11:46 AM,
#59
RE: The Road to Richmond
Great to read. I've never thought I wanted to do a marathon. But having now done Marathon in a Day. And having my name down for London ballot ....

So if I do, I might count this as inspiration point
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Yesterday, 07:14 AM,
#60
RE: The Road to Richmond
Thanks for the report Dan. Most marathons end up dominating people's life for a couple of months. But it feels like you've hardly broken your stride. Masterful.

I started writing an entry about women being better at pacing than men. And you seem to have added some hard facts to that theory. I'll try and finish it and post.

Enjoy your form.
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