New York 2019 represented a return to my first marathon in 2008 – the year of Obama’ election and my twisting my ankle quite badly in the first 500m. I was hoping to last a bit longer this time.
Training had gone well. Lots of heavy miles in the bank, averaging around 60 per week, and even some encouraging “speed” sessions on the track at Lewes.
Then something magical happened. Liz bought me a pair of the Vaporfly NEXT %. Wow, they make a difference. But they can come at a cost, as I found. They put lots of additional strain on the calves. Thankfully some heavy massaging and rolling meant I was pretty much ready to go by race day.
New York. Huge crowds, awesome atmosphere and iconic sights. But a tough course, particularly the second half.
Had agreed on a 3:15 pace strategy with my coach, Leo and managed to find that pacer at the start. Sweet.
Stuck to him like glue through half way. Kept reminding myself I had the Ks in the bank and there are some lumps around Lewes for all that strength work.
Began to pick up the pace over Queensboro bridge onto Manhattan to be met by a wall of noise. Now was the time to really push on and work off the huge energy up First Avenue. It was 5 deep almost all the way. Managed to put in some low 7 minute miles so I knew I was going well. Nutrition working and calves behaving. All good.
Overtaking lots by now which was a huge confidence builder. Over the hills in Central Park and up to the finish to see a very emotional wife and some serious celebrations.
So, overall a 3:12 with a 1:37/35 negative split. A GFA for London in the bag and also a qualifying time for NY (and hopefully another party like 2008). You might say I am a touch chuffed.
Now, where did I keep my swimmers?