03:17:05 is my chip time from todays Cork City Marathon which finally gets me past the post for Boston Qualification - so my primary target was achieved.
To be quite honest I had no more ambitious target in mind although when I could still see Thomas 100m ahead at mile 5 Hmm! - glad I didn't pursue ---- better off in the long run ('scuse the pun). Although I did have in mind beating my first marathon time of 03:47:08 by half and hour ( the ultimate would be to better it by a full hour - i'm half way there although the other half could be 10 time tougher to achieve)
If i'd pushed a bit harder over the last 10k I may have got under 03:15 but a least I am thankful that my lack of endurance and tempo training over the last six weeks did not make for an unbearable final 10k (that's not to say it was a walk in the park either I certainly slowed down and no amount of motivation could get me to change the pace - I knew I was heading for sub 3:20 and that was enough for me).
Briefly (don't have much time)
Thomas stayed over last night (good to keep an eye on the competition) and Abina gave us a big feed of salad, potatoes, rice and the traditional pasta. When she heard of Thomas's finish time today she claimed that it was her pasta that did it for him.
The race started in ideal conditions as the sun managed to hold off for the first hour. While I was expecting to lose satellite contact for the Garmin in the 600m road tunnel at mile 7 my stopwatch also paused so much so that when I exited the tunnel the satellites kicked in to give me a 3:38 mile (world record pace - and in a marathon an all).
I was very comfortable over the first half (01:36:5x - 03:14 pace) and generally maintained pace as far as mile 20 (02:28:4x - 03:15 pace) slowed for the long drag to mile 21 and progressively tired over the last 4 miles but kept the pace below 08:00 to give an overall pace of 07:31 (not far off my target opening pace of 07:25 to 07:30).
Results put me 110th overall out of a field of 1336 finishers approx. Well done to Thomas, Pat and Richard who all Pb'd on the day. Well done also to Brendan, a colleague at work, who finished in the 6th fastest relay team in 02:48:13. One final note is that the world record for a three legged marathon was supposedly achieved today in a time of 03:25:20. One and a half of those legs belonged to an ex colleague of mine, John Meade.
I started running shortly after my 40th birthday to train for the "once in a lifetime marathon" (mid-life crisis and all that) and haven't been able to stop since. This blog charts my progress as I attempt to go farther and faster than I have ever gone before.