3.03 to 2.46 in 11 months
As I crossed the finish line at the Barcelona Marathon, and still as I sit here now, I am in shock. I ran that, I ran sub 4min/km over a 42.195 distance – really was that me?
In a synopsis, I still know I have room for improvement. This was not my best race.
The day before the marathon, as I rode around on the tourist bus (highly recommended) as it hailed and rained I had wondered what I had gotten myself in for. Was I really here, was it time to race a marathon already. I decided that I was going to try some new things on this one, this was what I wanted to call my incognito marathon, I was on my own, running on my own, let’s give it a crack. I figured I needed to work on what Pene calls the 1% to start to improve. Especially after my melt down in December.
This started with some of my training runs – or Mike did. Switching some of my days around, moving my long run, adding in more swimming etc. Some were sensational some were tough. Trying to do some of these runs without my buddies was tough and at times unsuccessful, however successful in others. I’m so grateful for friends who ran with me and pulled me through on different occasions.
Many backwards and forwards to Mike, from very persistent to painful Jules (I would think in this one) but we got it sorted.
I also met with David (Nutritionist) to see what I was doing with my diet and if this was the right thing. Lots of things were good, some things needed changing. Many I attempted but some didn’t go according to plan when travelling.
The other change was to bring in the watch, at this end it was time to start watching as the room for error was reduced. No dramas – right?
It was race day and out came the sun, thank goodness. Where I was staying was a 2 min walk to the start line, I could see the start line from my room. My corral closed at 8.25am and the race started at 8.30am. Up at 6.20 in with a banana and back to bed. (new thing to try)
As I jumped into the Sub 3 box – the yellow box – the intimidation began. Let’s just say there was two (I think) females in this box and like any good “group” you needed to prove yourself and in Europe – even more being female.
The gun went off and we were away, I was ahead of the 2.45 bus.
I decided that I would look at the watch every 5km, Gel every 10km and just keep running – the aim was 3.50 pace.
From the get go I had a buddy with me, bald mate. You would not believe how in sync we were, our steps are the same – the footage is incredible.
5km down and I was feeling okay, I was however sitting on 3.53 pace – hmm.
10km in and some negative thoughts were appearing – I was thinking of my Paris marathon, in a place I didn’t know and everyone around me didn’t speak English. Through the water zone, thumbs up to my mate, Gel in and we kept going. Paris I fell apart at 16km, God don’t let this happen again – Come on Jules you can do this.
Up some very long drawn hills, down some hills, recovery on the downhill, you can do this.
About 17km (I think) we got swept up with some runner running a lot faster than I was comfortable. I pulled it back, I had to run my own race to get to the finish line.
The push to the half way mark, 18 to 20km up a long long hill, but got to the top – right recover on the way down.
20km mark, Gel in – I had stopped watching the watch at 5km – Opse!
The half way, no idea where I was at, was pretty sure I was going backwards – only a half marathon to go.
25km mark, my thoughts were heading down hill, breathe through the negative, it was hurting, breathe through, it will pass.
28km could not hold on, Gel in – nutrition plan out the door.
My shins were hurting and also my knees and quads above. Focus look up, look at others I kept saying.
It was then the 32km mark – right a marathon is a 10km race on really tired legs – right you can do this. Under an hour to go and you can start your holiday, get moving. “Come on I want this done so I can start my holiday” – Only a Wednesday night run to go, only a Wednesday night run to go.