Yes, I know it was in April and it's now September.
Just a quick update to bring some closure to things.
In short, I messed things up a bit.
5:18 is not a great time for a marathon, especially as I was aiming for less than five, and it was five minutes SLOWER than my time at the far more hilly Liverpool marathon from 2 years previous.
I put it down to training - I just didn't do the distances. You are told that, before it gets to the 4-weeks to go mark, you need to do a big practice run - about 20 of the 26 miles - and then taper until the big day.
I held steady at a half marathon distance and no further.
Perhaps unsurprisingly when I was in the race, the first half marathon went fine. I made it over London Bridge - the halfway point - without dropping my pace. I'd passed the 4:30 pacesetter and was going well. Then my thigh muscles turned into plates of iron as if to say 'you usually have a bit of a lie down about now, so why are you still moving?', and I hobbled around painfully the rest of the way.
I just couldn't get back on the horse - the lactic acid buildup in the legs was just too much. Although my performance might have also been affected by the thousands of other runners squeezed into the narrow roadway, either going too fast to allow me to move away from the 'hard shoulder' and thus stuck with the walkers, or stop-starting right in front of me so I couldn't build momentum. Some less than helpful spectators shouting encouragement - if it can be called that - right into your earhole as you passed didn't help either.
Anyway, despite remarking to Ms. Plants that I was never going to do that ever again, I will be doing it again next year, assuming I make it through the ballot.
And, I still have a chance to get a sub-5h time this year. I'm also doing the Jane Tomlinson York Marathon, and well in training. I did 17 miles last weekend in under 3 hours, and next weekend, I'll attempt 20 or so. Hopefully, this will give me the edge I was missing in the race.
Wish me luck.