In the buildup to this race, I was really inspired by David Goggins interview, he is ex special forces, an ultra runner, public speaker etc. After watching his interview on the Impact Theory I took a lot away from it.
(Warning there is strong language used in this video, plus it’s an hour long so read the blog first!)
One of those things is as human beings we avoid discomfort, for a comfortable life. However the latter doesn’t exist as everyone has challenges, but growth tends to happen after overcoming challenges.
One thing I took away from the interview and became my running mantra for the buildup to Ealing, was to face and fully embrace each situation, then not to complain and to remember my strengths.
For this race it would be easy to complain about the hills and the warm weather, but I took David’s advice and focused on my strengths.
When there were hills, I remembered the hill work my coach had me do, and although it wasn’t easy, I remembered how it made me stronger.
With the warm weather, in the Tokyo marathon the heat became a stumbling block for me. But following Tokyo I remembered the fact, that in my last marathon this year I got heat stroke and still ran a sub 4 hour time.
By focusing on your strengths and what you’ve overcome is important to deal with the times you have doubts, as we all do.
Just one thing…
Ok so moving onto the race. I will cover all the great points, but first the only thing which could improve it would be to make the phased starts longer.
As I found the course very congested until at least mile 10, which meant I was ducking and weaving for the majority of the race, which meant I ran further than the distance and wasted energy accelerating and decelerating around other runners.
Whilst the race directors aren’t responsible for people que jumping and being in the wrong predicted race pens, I think if they made the phases for the staggered start slightly longer it would mean that it’s easier to run your own race.
The good points
Over the years this race has won best half marathon at the Running Awards multiple times and I can see why.
It has great organisation from start to finish, from the bag drop off through the pre run warm up.
It’s easily accessible by public transport, plus the roads are closed off and the crowd support throughout the race was fantastic.
If you wanted to run for a time you can do this with the pacers. Whilst listening to the pacers on the route, they were very encouraging to the runners around them.
The start and finish where in the same place, and there where plenty of facilities from food, drink to post race massages etc. The benefit of this is it’s easier for your friends and family to meet you post race.
The volunteers were helpful, encouraging and were outstanding throughout. When I went to get my bag it was like an F1 team during the pit change. They spotted my number on my vest, as I approached and had my bag on the table before I reached the stand.
The medal was good and well designed.
Overall this is a great race, to run with my fellow FrontRunner’s, which I would run again and I’d highly recommend.
Moving to Chicago…
This was a great training run for Chicago, where I practiced using my SiS gels. Basically taking one every 20 minutes, which consists of one electrolyte gel and two regular gels. Towards the end of a race I replace a regular gel with a caffeine gel.
The plan was to run 3 miles at an easy pace, 8 miles under marathon pace and the last 2.1 miles at an easy warm down pace. Well I achieved the first two and should of slowed down for the last 2.1 but I felt comfortable throughout and finished in 1:42:03.
After the warm up miles, on Mile 4 I ran it at 7:07mins per mile. So I had to reign in my ego, remember I wasn’t running for a half marathon PR, and slow it. Running fast on roads takes time to recover from which I reminded myself of. So I slowed it down and felt comfortable for the rest of the race.
Overall it was great to run in Ealing, and to add the miles in the training bank. And now the taper begins for Chicago.