The Big Day

Ryan Phillips Friday, 26 April , 2013
Hello everyone and welcome to what will be my last blog before the biggest day in my ‘running life’ - Where have the last 5 months gone? It only feels like yesterday that I was meeting everybody involved in Project 26.2 for the first time and our respective marathons seemed like a lifetime away - it don’t half come around fast!

I’m now well into my taper period and I’m really trying to make the most of it and give my legs the best chance of responding positively to the strains and stresses of race day. My typical week has changed dramatically and now includes several 30 minute easy sessions with the occasional interval at marathon pace/threshold just to keep the legs turning over. I’ll be having a chat with Nick in the coming days to discuss race tactics and what my target pace will be - when I started out I aimed for around 3:30 but since Cambridge when I exceeded my own expectations to run a 1:28 half marathon I think 3:20 is achievable - to get nearer 3:15 will be absolutely fantastic but will mean running at an average of 7:25 minute miles and that’s going to be very tough - all I can do is run sensibly and see where it takes me.

I’ve really enjoyed this past week tracking and following some of the other Project participants running their marathons. It started with Mark, Bernie and Leanne taking to the streets of Brighton and they all did fantastically well to achieve PB’s - especially Mark who suffered a blown ankle at mile 23 and still managed to hobble over the line and knock over 6 minutes off of his previous best. Next up was Steve taking on the tough Boston marathon and despite the heat and incredibly hilly course managed a PB to come home in 2:49 - an incredible effort and just goes to show the work he has put in. The events that followed the were absolutely terrible but luckily Steve had left the area where the explosions were around 20 minutes earlier and we were all relieved to hear that he was okay. I then settled down on Sunday morning to watch the coverage of the London Marathon, in which Aaron and Sheila were taking part. Angela was also due to be running but unfortunately had to withdraw the day before. Aaron overcame some problems late on in the race to come home in 3:28 which is a fantastic time - Aaron is a very talented runner and I’m sure if he carries on it won’t be long before he’s running a sub 3 marathon. Sheila also had a terrific race and she really is a great inspiration. Credit must also go to Helen who travelled to both races to cheer on our fellow runners.

What really struck me about London though was the turnout but the supporters, especially after the atrocities in Boston. There is a real sense of family within the running community and it’s great to be a part of it. There was a terrific quote I heard in the aftermath of Boston which read

“If they were trying to break the human spirit, then marathoners were the wrong group to target”

That couldn’t be more true.

Well it’s Hollie and I up next and I can’t wait to stand on that start line in Manchester for what will be the culmination of a hard 5 months training. Hopefully my next blog will be a triumphant tale of a sub 3:30 marathon - only time will tell! Follow on twitter @Philly3719.


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