Running race 3:03:27  42.2 km (4:21 / km) +64m 4:19 / km
Amsterdam Marathon. Watch distance was 42.45km, but I'm sure they measured it correctly.
Can't remember why but I chose the 3-3:30 starting block even though I was aiming for sub-3. I jumped the barriers and elbowed my way up to the front, but there was still quite a lot of fighting for position in the first km, and even one section where the pack slowed to almost a walk. It also made the early drink stations a bit of a boxing match.
Started off with 4.05 pace which was ambitious but I thought it would be fairly comfortable - which it was, for the first 10km. I was surprised that my HR jumped around the mid-170s already in the first 1km, and never really dropped - considering I'd been keeping 175 for my 1km reps at 3.35-3.40 pace.
Stopped enjoying it from this point onwards. The section of the race out along the Amstel seemed to be slightly uphill (unlikely) and into a headwind, and I was already struggling to keep 4.10 or even 4.15 pace. Went through the half in 1.28, which was not super fast, but still on track.
Around the 23km mark I started to feel a bit of pain / deadening in my left quad. Seemed to be OK but through this section I was already going slower than 4.15 pace and even several splits over 4.20. When I saw Kyhil around 29km I was suffering but when I went through 32 I figured I only had to do 4.30 pace for the last 10km, which seemed achievable.
Held under 4.30 pace until 5km to go, at which point I hit the mythical "wall" with a bang. I think I'd always assumed with the right training / preparation / gear, it could be avoided - but either I didn't have the right prep, or it's just part and parcel of the experience. I faded hard, my last 3 km splits were 4.56, 5.02 and 5.02. I felt like I was hobbling, and wasn't sure I was even going to finish - let alone get anywhere near 3hrs. My legs felt like they were empty and stiff as boards.
I won't lie, I'm pretty disappointed that I couldn't achieve sub-3, but it is only my first. I'm left wondering what I could have changed in my training, or whether it's purely experience that will get my through the next time. I don't like to make excuses, but I wonder if being ill last week had a bit of an impact - my HR was a fair bit higher than I expected.
Completely ruined legs now - the AirBnB has two flights of insanely steep stairs up to our room and I crawled up them on hands & knees and down them half a step at a time.