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Taupo, New Zealand - MARATHON TRAINING - 4th August 2018


Full Marathon Report


My 9th full 42.2km Marathon and 4th in 9 months


So this Taupo marathon was a difficult one for a number of reasons. My London marathon 3 months previous was a bit of a personal disaster health wise as I had food poisoning, flu and severely damaged knees. Compelled with the hottest London Marathon on record it proved to much and I barely finished it in a very modest time, just over 4 hours.

So this was a redemption run for myself. Again I had serious injuries to my right knee which had blown up a week before filling with water around the ligaments and leaving me with a large marble size movable bump under the knee. Then a previous left ankle joint problem flared up from when i was in plaster for ankle stress fractures a few years ago after completing my 5th marathon in 1 year. And finally my big run plans were somewhat disrupted with flu again and the ankle injuries meaning my longest runs of 32km's never got completed and 1 run Tamsyn even had to come to rescue me as my flu nearly made me collapse so out she came in her pajamas in the car to pick me up late at night about 5km from home! Our youngest daughter found that rather amusing who decided to come as well to have a laugh at me.

Anyway for the final week i decided to abort proper running and cross trained on the elliptical trainer, bike and running in the swimming pool backwards. I did manage a 3km run on the thursday, 2 days before the marathon just to limber up the body and did it slow. I stuffed my face full of potatoes and pasta to carb load for energy for the whole previous two weeks and lined up at 7.30am at lake Taupo in 6 degree Celsius temperature weighing in at about 67kg which is the heaviest I have ever run a marathon at! This was due to carb loading and unable to train properly leading up to it and dropping weight. I normally weigh in at 64kg and finish the marathon at about 62kg. Thats like running with an extra 3 bags for sugar attached to my waste.

I had a plan to finish in 3.44.59 and break the 3.45 barrier so off i set trying to follow my run plan. I had prepared pure honey cubes to eat at set points that came from my very own bee hives to try to give me that extra energy.

As usual the run plan went out the window and although I tried to keep it slow at a 5 min pace per 1km, it quickly got up to 4.40 to 4.54 pace for most of the first half of the marathon. By half way I hit a 1.45.12 which was 2.14 mins up on my run plan. Now that may seem a slow time but my personal best for a half marathon race (not a full) is 1.39 flat out which i think i can beat but on a marathon that is not what you are trying to do. It is a marathon, not a splint but my body and mind does not always take that into account!

By 25km, I was 3.44 mins up on my race plan which to be honest was not good as I had run so many major hills to get to this point and knew it was a matter of time before the big hitting of the wall where the body just suddenly gives up and no matter what you do, you cannot go any faster for long periods of time.

Anyway, I persevered for another 10km to 35km and still I had not hit the wall putting in a series of 5.40 ish times for the past 7km which was over my run plan but well withing what I was happy with.

THEN THE WALL at 36km. Straight into a 6.03 min km, then 6.15, 6.20, 6.20, 6.10, 6.05. 6 shocking km's and I hate to see anything over a 5.59 per km so all my banked saved time quickly shot into a minus believe it or not. As it was a small marathon, the drink tables were about 4 or 5 km apart which does not suit me as i need a lot to drink through the run as i dont eat or drink beforehand. I got severely dehydrated and dizzy and though I might not finish but I had cleaverly hidden a full bottle of energy drink under the bush outside the hotel complex I was running past at 37km so grabbed it which pretty much saved my run and meant I could finish it in one piece. Seeing the end in sight with 1.2km to go, adrenaline kicked in and put in a fast 5.12 min 42nd km followed by a quick sprint over the last 200 metres meaning I beat my predicted time by just 16 seconds for an official 3.44.43 finish. My GPS clocked 42.2km at 3.44.33 so just 10 seconds difference.

Here is the thing with my times. On big marathon races that I run like London, New York, Sydney etc, there are 10's of thousands of people so I often run corners very wide meaning I run way further than 42.2km which messes up my times as I run to my watch and pace of the watch. In London, I hit 42.2km at 4.00.17 but officially finished in about 4.06 hours and ran 860 meters further than required. For Taupo, there were just 196 marathon runners (but over a thousand half marathon runners) so the first half I ran a tight line and pretty tight on the last half as well by sticking to the pathways. Just goes to show you why the pros stick so close to corners!

So all in all, this was probably one of the best runs I have ever done. New York was a slower time but I was spot on with my race plan for New York and the atmosphere of 2 million people cheering cannot be match. New York is officially the biggest marathon in the world at 52,000 people running and Taupo was my smallest marathon at just 196 so worlds apart.

I officially came 44th and 6th in the 45-49 year old category and was 28th overall for most of the run and 3rd in my category till I hit the wall which was the first point anyone overtook me from the marathon side.

Next up is up for debate. I am due to run Tauranga in 6 weeks time and then finish the year running Auckland 6 weeks after that BUT I am a bit worried about the ankle and further stress fractures so will take that as it comes and concentrate on low impact cross training for the next few weeks and assess it then. Tauranga is a fast flat marathon so would suit me trying for a seriously fast time but with it comes the risk of bad injuries and being as I have applied fo rLondon again and also Tokyo next March, I would like to keep fit for those if I can get in.

We shall see........


(I only got up to Disposable Heroes by Metallica and then I was finished :-) )