Calling it quits?

After my second worst ever marathon at Milton Keynes last bank holiday Monday, which came out of nowhere (I had done two fantastic 20 mile races in March including one in 2:58:44 pace, so a sub4 marathon should have been possible), I am now wondering if it is time to call time on marathons.

My 8 marathon medals in chronological order

My 8 marathon medals in chronological order

I struggled from about 5, so it was a long long trek to the finish line. I did keep one promise to myself though; I crossed the line smiling thanks to a girl I picked up at mile 15 similarly struggling and we chatted and ran/walked the rest of the way.

Why did it go so wrong? I got overheated and despite tipping water over myself at water stations was unable to cool myself back down (I wonder now if I even had heat stroke). I also got my taper wrong, pretty much giving up with runs of any real length after my successful 20 mile race; 5 weeks out from the marathon – I knew it was a mistake at the time but with Easter, visiting relatives and frankly celebrating a brilliant 20 mile race (which I mentally labelled as my “A” race), it was what I wanted to do at the time.

It sucks though – all that training and a 4:50:48 finish. Interestingly, it seems that there were a lot less finishers than last year (especially females). I also seemed to claw back a few places in the last 6 miles – which is interesting because I was mostly walking then!
Ugh. Still; to get round was an achievement considering how terrible I felt for so many miles. And the medal is lovely, but; I’m not sure I can handle such a long build-up to disappointment again (my 2014 MK marathon was similarly disappointing, going well until mile 18 and then falling apart and coming in at 4:21). My age graded results are always much better for the shorter distances too, which always get neglected in pursuit of a marathon.

Am I calling quits on the marathon?  Watch this space…

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