…prepare to fail!
As 2021 developed, the training load took it’s toll. I was running more miles per week (often 40) that I’d done before, week after week.
At some point in the year, the challenge and the enjoyment dropped off an it became a bit of a grind.
I started missing some of the key long runs, and I was missing my weekly mileage targets.
So the Southampton Marathon rolled around, and essentially I was not as prepared as I should have been, I guess I’d lost my ‘mojo’. In reality I had done enough miles to do a decent job of getting round the marathon. However, in my head I was full of doubts as I hadn’t done the long runs I’d have liked.
So I went into this marathon still intending to pace my run as though I was trying to hit 4 hours.
Race day came along, and a few things were going to go against me and put me in the wrong frame of mind. It will sound like minor things, but when you are up against it on a long run, it doesn’t take much to activate the negative forces in the mind!
First up I’m not a big fan of the course, two laps, four times over that bridge and the second lap is very quiet once the bulk of the supporters have gone home. This was a hot day, so conditions were not great. Within the first few miles I witnessed a bizarre incident where a runner in front of me stopped to shout verbal abuse at the people working in the local Covid testing centre. The other piece of Covid relate annoyance, were a few sets of ‘anti-vaxers’ out on the course. I don’t care if someone wants to have a vaccine or not, that’s their business, but I don’t appreciate them coming along to hijack a sporting event, waving their placards and forcing their opinions on everyone else.
So all in all my mood was not great. Then at 11 or 12 miles I noticed I was really sore on my inner thigh. Closer inspection showed a hole in the bottom layer of my shorts, a hole which was starting to shred my skin! At that point I decided I’d be finishing the first lap and packing it in. It wasn’t my day, so let’s call it a day and not make things worse.