Running race 4:26:59  42.2 km (6:20 / km)
shoes: New Balance 890 v2
Melbourne Marathon. Finished on the back of bugger all training so can't be displeased. In the end I didn't have anything that was particulary bad.
Up at 5am for a small bowl of muesli and yoghurt then ou the door at 5:50. I walked/jogged from Fitzroy to the MCG and joined the toilet queue then joined the bag drop queue and made my way to the start. I plonked in the 3:50 pace group as this was my pace last year. MaryMac found me to give me a wave and a cheer and we were off - into the slow shuffle to the start line. I was jogging as we went through only 1:07 after the gun.
The 3:50 pace guy caught me at the top of the rise before we head to Flinders St station. He was a bit behind where he thought he should be so kicked off doing 5min/km to catch up asap. In the end I let him go because I was trying to find my own rhythm.
The weather was ok except for the strong gusty wind from the NW. I really started to notice it as we headed N through Albert Park so I kept looking for some bigger blokes to run behind.
I was through 10km in about 54 which was just ahead of my planned 5:30 pace. Heading into the drinks station at around 12 km I had a gel and washed it down with a cup of water - not the nicest flavour as it was one of MaryMac's citrus Endurolytes. Not long after the drinks is a U-turn so you get to see the runners behind which helps psychologically as you can say "I'm ahead of that person". We diverged and exited Albert Park just as the leaders in the half marathon were turning in and they were flying.
MaryMac was spectating here so had a nice cheer,and then down the slope and right into the headwind. It is a long slow drag out to the Ferry terminal - and it seems as if the big boat just isn't getting any closer. My pace started to fall off a bit and I realised it was going to be a long day so just enjoyed the moment and the great supporters along the route. After the turn the wind was at least doing the right thing but I was also hanging out for a drink. Just before the drinks at 20km the 4:00 pace group caught me. I stuck with them for a bit and made half way in under 2hrs (last year I was 15min quicker to this point). MaryMac said I must have been running uphill along here - how rude.
On to St Kilda for another stretch, and around 25km I started to have some pain in my guts - but a good fart righted that ship. A couple of km to the drink station near 28km and I had a quick pit stop at the same toilets as last year- there are definite patterns. By the time I grabbed a drink and got going I was with the 4:10 pace group but wasn't going at their pace :(
Rounding the corner near Luna Park the wind was very strong so it was a matter of just pushing into it until it subsided. And then I was back at the Fitzroy St junction and a final cheer from MaryMac and a "are you OK" question - I said yes just slow.
After crossing the 30km timing pad there is a gradual rise to the drink stop so I walked for a minute so I could fish out some ibuprofen (for my left foot has been a problem ) and half a Shotz tablet and then juggled everything through the drinks. Starting running again was the first time I felt sore in my legs - mainly my quads - but that soon passed. We were joined by the back markers doing the half as they exited Albert Park so I was suddenly passing people and it made me feel much better.
I really enjoyed the stretch along St Kilda Rd as it is between huge trees that form an avenue - we didn't need the shade as the morning was overcast. The biggest difficulty was not hitting pedestrians as they tried to cross the road between the runners. I also started seeing quite a few people stopped to stretch out cramps - and one poor bloke jumped and yelled like he had been hit - but it was a severe cramp. I didn't have even a twinge so must have been doing something right.
Another drink and then we were turning left to run down the hill to pass back under the road towards The Tan. Everything then went a bit wonky at 35km. The 4:20 pace group went by and I suddenly had no energy and was feeling very light headed and dizzy. Then I realised I hadn't had a gel since 21km! My plan was to have one every hour but the third one was missed - oops. So I dug it out and started sipping bits as I walked up the hill beside The Tan. A Gatorade and some water washed it down and by the time I reached the top of the hill I felt much better so started running - just as I was joined by the 4:30 pace group. I kept with them, or just ahead for the last 5 km and was feeling quite strong and running comfortably all be it slowly.
Into the MCG for the final big lap. I made sure I looked around to soak it in this time, plus the announcer was making a reference to "the Doggies" and "hallowed ground".
Across the finish line but couldn't see MaryMac in the crowd (she was there) so just shuffled down the ramp to collect my finishers medal - the young woman giving me mine said it was lovely having all these men bow before her.
After changing and finding MaryMac we walked back toFitzroy - with a stop at the cafe in Fitzroy Gardens for an iced chocolate.
No blisters or chaffing. Quads a bit sore. A bit of diarrhea from not eating solid food but otherwise felt ok.