Hamstrung by my hamstring.....
What a last week I‘ve had. As you know I was pacing the Virgin London Marathon at the weekend along with two other pace makers to try and get some of the other British guys round to that magical 2hrs 12mins, which would secure them Olympic selection. The short story is that unfortunately none of them ran the qualifying time. After the first mile (which we went through in 4:59/5:00) the leading British guys were about 5-10m adrift. By two miles that distance had doubled and then by three miles they were basically all on their own. The first three miles of London are quick; there’s a downhill section which is always going to result in a fast mile split. It was disappointing none of the guys came with the pace, although perhaps they thought it was a little quick in the early stages.
The first few miles the group we were pacing included Martin Dent and Scott Westcott, both from Australia and also Solonei Rocha from Brazil. Although I mentioned that none of the British guys came with us at the start, this isn't quite true, because also in the group was Nick Swinburn. He decided to come with the pace and give it a go. Fair play to him on what I think was his debut and I'm sure he'll go quicker than he did on Sunday. Luckily Tower Bridge didn't raise during the race!
The rest of the Team GB marathon places were selected on Monday following the results of the marathon. The GB women did amazingly and showed that even though the standards are tough, they stepped up to the plate and produced some great racing in order to be selected. The first Brit back was Claire Hallissey closely followed by Freya Murray. Both were quicker than Jo Pavey's time from New York, but unfortunately for Freya there was only one spot left. Along with the girls, Dave Webb was also added to the men's team having finished in the top 20 at the World Championships last year (that is also considered an A-standard). So the final GB marathon squad for the Olympics is three women and only two men.
For me pacing was good. We went through 9 miles in 45 minutes and then I could feel my hamstring get a little tight. The week leading up to London it had been a little tight and I had been seeing the UKA physios and getting it sorted. I really wanted to pace London so I did everything I could to make it to the start line, but was sensible not to ruin my own training. Luckily it is nothing more serious than a bit of tightness and I am good to start my marathon build up now. There were various reports I was injured and I've never had so many people asking me about my hamstring! It was good to run the first 10 or so miles of the race and it gives me a great idea of what I can expect when I do the London Marathon. Here is me at the start ready to take the stage.
On Tuesday I flew to Flagstaff to start my marathon build up at this amazing training venue 8000ft up in the mountains, I have come here the past five years and I absolutely love it here. What I didn't love, was knowing that while I was sat on the 10 hour flight across the pond, Chelsea were seeing off Barcelona in the Champions League. I was constantly asking the air hostess to go and ask the captain for score updates. The captain turned out to be a Newcastle fan but he was kind enough to tell me the score. When they told me the final score of 2-2, I think a lot of people on that plane thought I was crazy. Still, I think just finding out the score that way was far less stressful than watching the actual game! I still had to check the score upon landing just to make sure of course.
Right now it’s early and I am sat in the kitchen writing this blog, I didn't plan on being up this early but that is down to the joys of jet lag. For the first week I am staying with Andrew Lemoncello before my training group and coach get here next week. Andrew has a very nice place right by the trails and for anyone that knows Flagstaff it is close to Buffalo Park. I thought I would take advantage of being up this early, write my blog and then head out to do an easy run and give my body some time to adjust to the altitude. Hopefully those of you who ran the marathon are not too sore and you are enjoying the recovery period, maybe even indulging on some post marathon goodies. I will keep you updated with how training is going out here in the coming weeks. Until next time.
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