With a race as long as the marathon you’ve got 26.2 miles for things to go wrong. I thought that, since it was my 10th marathon, i was seasoned enough to sail through, maybe not with a PB but at least in a respectable (for me) time of around 3.40.
But, although i had more energy than i needed to finish the race, my legs at mile 22 decided otherwise. The cramp started mildly in my left groin, then the right, then right quad, followed closely by both calves, and then the left buttock by which time i could literally not even walk properly let alone run at all!
So i turned off my stopwatch in anger, and walked for the next two or so miles, trying to run every couple of minutes….. by mile 25 i was able to lurch like an elderly gorilla for the last mile…….. I didnt even look at the finish time, my pride was too hurt!
Of course, a day later, i can see the wood for the trees, and can see that a number of things hampered my training…. one was that i was severely dehydrated about 5 weeks before the marathon (my fault entirely!) so i sabotaged two of my longest runs….. then i had tried a strategy of 3 runs per week instead of the normal 4 or 5 in training……. obviously didnt get the mileage up high enough……… and lastly i did next to no speedwork in training, just a few tempo runs here and there…… all in all a pathetic attempt at something which i should know by now requires dedication and effort to train up to…….. a classic example of being smug! Never again will i take my fitness for granted……. the next marathon will be a good one, i have promised myself, or if its not a good one, i will at least have trained properly for it!!