I had a fitful night’s sleep the night before the race and was rudely awoken by noise from outside. It was only a catalogue dropping into our post box at 5:30 am on Saturday morning.
After going back to bed and snuggling up to my wife I realized how lucky I am to have supportive wife and family who allow me to spend weekends running.
We got up at seven and I got ready:
- Leukotape on my nipples.
- Vaseline on my nether regions.
- Sudocream on my feet.
I wore a 17 year old Asics top that has flaps at the end of the arms that fold over and effectively turn into gloves. On top of that, my C2CUltra top, which I wear with pride. I had a pair of Asics shorts that have two handy pockets for gels on the thighs and back pocket for my S Caps. My socks were long dry max and I wore my new Asics GT 2000-3.
I always like a big breakfast before a race and this day was to be no different. Two poached eggs on heavily buttered toast. Stick to FAT!, heh Nicky? We set off around eight am and drove the 70 km to Marburg, a pleasant university town with a lovely old quarter nestling in the banks of the river Lahn.
The Lahntallauf is a fifty km race run on a ten kilometre, mainly tarmac loop. I left my bottles of SIS energy drink and twenty odd gels on a camping chair near the start, so that on each loop I could pick them up easily. I took a gel every five kilometres and an S Cap every ten. Although I hard prepared five 500ml bottles of SIS go I only drank two and a half of them.
The race started at ten am and I kissed Chrissy goodbye. She went off to explore the shops and old town rather waiting to see me every hour or so for a few fleeting seconds. It is a mass start of ten kilometre, half marathon, marathon and fifty kilometre runners. This makes the course quite crowded for the first two loops, but it then empties out quite a lot. This leaves great empty long stretches of flat tarmac to run on. Lovely, you can really focus on form and lose yourself in dreams of victory.
I set the pacer on my watch to 5:00/km and soon found I was going at least thirty seconds too fast. I struggled to slow down and eventually settled on an average pace of 4:50. I felt very comfortable at this pace, which was a pleasant surprise. Obviously, the hard training in bin bags and a weighted jacket was paying off. I was two and half kilograms lighter than at the end of January when I ran the Rodgau fifty kilometres in 4:18. My C goal was to beat this, my B goal was 4:10 and my absolute dream, A goal, was sub four hours. I completed the first half of the race in two hours and was on for a sub four hours. Sadly the second half didn't go quite as well and I dropped three minutes over the second half. I really want to do a negative split at the next race!
I saw Chrissy on the penultimate lap and then as I crossed the line in 4:03:46 and collapsed into the camping chair which she had thoughtfully tidied up and packed away the water bottle and empty gel packets. Did I mention I love that woman?
I was so happy to have finished fifteen minutes faster than in January even though it was really hard to maintain the pace on the last loop. I had to shout my mantra of
- Don't be shit!
- Fuck average!
- No more girly bullshit!
- Don't be a cunt!
Out loud on many occasions. My fellow runners notice I am shouting, but fortunately, being German, don’t have a clue what it is I am saying.
I received lots of congratulations throughout the rest of day which really meant a lot. Even Mark Cockbain thought it was good.
The next morning Chrissy greeted me with a cup of tea in bed and warning that I was not to mention running at all today. She is good, but not that good.
The pace on the graph is, just as at Rodgau this year, pleasingly flat.
|Time per 5km|
|I really have not got that mean and keen 100 yard focused stare yet.|
On to Eschollbruecken 50km to the end of March and a sub four hour result.