Thursday, 8 September 2011

Down but not out

For those of you who have seen the result, you will probably already know that I finished 22nd place in the Marathon at the World Champs in Deagu, unfortunately narrowly missing out on a top 20 finish and subsequently missing out on achieving an Olympic A standard that I was after. It's been a rough couple of days having got so close and initally it left me feeling particularly frustrated with myself being that I was only 18seconds outside that 20th spot. I only found out how close that 20th spot was after the race which only compounded my frustrations with myself. My thinking being that had I known I was in touching distance that I was sure I could have found that little something extra required over the closing stages. Whether I would have is another matter, I will never know but even having that conversation with myself immediately following the race left me double guess myself as to whether I had exhausted every possible ounce of energy in the race.

In terms of how the race unfolded I came very close to executing the race plan I had set out to run, for all but those two places! I started conservatively with the aim of running a more even paced race than my fellow competitors with the believe that many people would get it wrong and start to fast. In general most of the field did exactly this. Whilst conditions on the day were not as bad as expected temparatures were still 25c and around 60% humidity. I think because the weather was cloudy and there was a breeze many people under estimated the conditions. At half way myself and Dave Webb were 51st and 52nd place, well down the field but only gaining in places until the finish. At 35k I got a shout out from the sides to say I was 33 place and in front of me I could see half a dozen people coming back to me, 3 of whom were the three spanish athletes who had beaten me last year in Barcelona (where I finished 8th, in Daegu I was the 6th European finisher). During that last 7km I figured I had passed approx 7 or 8 runners, hence assuming I had worked myself up to around 25th place, however I may have miss counted and also not allowed for drop outs, which evidently was the case as I crossed the line in 22nd place. Whilst I fell short of my target the performance itself is probably one I should be more proud of but because of what was at stake one I can't help but be disappointed by the result. Had the race just simply been a World Championships for me and not a chance to gain Olympic Qualification I think I would have probably taken much more positive from the race but it was difficult to see past that at the time.

Moving forward now though I have to run the Olympic A Standard time (which is to run under 2hr 12mins for the marathon) and I have already starting looking at how will go about doing that. My thoughts and disappointment of last Sunday have not completely left my head just yet but my appetite to succeed remains as strong as ever so I will do everything I can to ensure I achieve my goals.

Currently I am now enjoying a break from training, no running and more time at home... which is proving just as much of a challange as the marathon as our little girl Jessica is proving difficult to settle in the evenings. Whilst she is now 5 weeks old my wife was almost a single parent pre-South Korea so it's been a bit of shock to the system for me! I no can longer be excused due to preparing for a World Champs and there's nothing like a bit of real life reality to ground you again and remind you it's not just about running... at least not all the time :)