Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Munich Marathon race report

Munich Marathon race report...
Not quite up to the exploits of fellow ATHelites over the last few weeks but I had a little run on Sunday in München. wink emoticon
Back in April when I was assessing my shoulder injury, I thought I'd better sign up for a race which avoided swimming. A trip to Germany in the October school week seemed to fit the bill. I reckoned that if the worst case happened (I hadn't accounted for a 2hr 7min swim at that point!!!) and I didn't make the swim in Zurich at least I'd have another event to train for.
To be honest, I was utterly exhausted after Zurich and it took me a while to find my running legs again. The regular Thursday night sessions at the Palace grounds helped me to blow away the cobwebs and rediscover the feeling of the simplest of our 3 sports. Many thanks to everyone who helped tow me round Strathy Park! 
Work has been *crazy busy* and excuses aside, I'd only managed to squeeze in 3 'long' (i.e. 2 hour treadmill) runs in the lead up to this event... Maybe not the best preparation... I can feel my coach glaring at me over my computer wink emoticon
We flew into Munich on Friday evening from Edinburgh after I'd checked the tickets about 20 times to ensure we were leaving from the correct airport wink emoticonAn easy registration on Saturday at the Olympic Stadium was followed by a lazy afternoon with Lorna and the kids watching The Martian at a local cinema. I decided to carb load that evening with a couple of Radlers - damned tasty.
Didn't think I was nervous, after all it was 'only' a marathon... something we'd normally do after a wee swim and a pedal. However, I saw 1 am, 2 am, 3am etc. until getting out of bed at the luxurious hour of 7:30 a.m.
Hopped onto the über efficient tram system and was kicking about at the start of pen B by 9:30 waiting for the gun to go off at 10 a.m. Atmosphere was good, obligatory Euro-pop being blasted out of the speakers and loads of runners dressed up in layer after layer... it was 12C for goodness sake - a Scottish summer!
Our group was meant to go at 10:10 but within a couple of minutes of the gun going off at 10 a.m. we were off and I was trying desperately to catch a glimpse of the 3:30 pacemakers. As per usual, it was a little stop start for the first 1500m or so then the field thinned out and it was easy running from then.
I stuck to my plan of approx 5min/km for the first 30km or so, focusing on staying tall and keeping the cadence at 180 spm. I was downing a banoffee torq gel every 30 mins and counting down the kilometres which started arriving more slowly...
I spotted Lorna, Luke and Zoë with about 10km to go... just as the wheels were starting to come off. That gave me a massive boost (she's clever like that) and I dug deep for the final few miles.
I knew my huge stretch goal of 3:30 was away from me but I was determined to get in under 3:45 so I bust a lung to keep the legs turning over and finally entered the tunnel onto the track in the Olympic stadium. Has to be said - definitely the coolest place ever to finish a race (even better than Carluke's John Cummings stadium). Managed to find the turbo boosters and crossed the line in 3:43:52, knocking over 25 mins off my previous best from London in 2006. Knackered but very happy grin emoticon
All in all, delighted with the race and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an excuse to carb load on some amazing beer.
Thanks again to everyone in our fantastic wee club for your banter, time, advice and general splendidness. I was proud to be wearing the black and orange repressing team ATHelite.

This will be my last race of 2015 as I'm scheduled to have surgery on my troublesome shoulder on the 2nd of November. It turns out I'd torn the subscapularis tendon and it's 2/3 detached from the bone. No wonder swimming was sore!!!

Start of the race at the Olympic Park, Munich

feeling good around 25km in...
Good heel lift - Nick would be proud ;-)
Up to around 30km into the city centre

Running into the Olympic stadium...
...starting to hurt now

...pushing hard down the final straight

and across the line for a new personal best - happy days!

Munich Marathon highlights... it must be in slow-motion, I'm sure I was running faster than that ;-)

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