Week 11 of 12 London Marathon Build-up 1 week to go - 9th April - 15th April - A Trip down Memory Lane - London Marathon 2005, 2006, 2012, 2016.

With a week to go I thought I would share my experiences of the World's greatest city marathon. Despite living in Greater London and having the marvellous spectacle on my door step, I have only competed a handful of times. Having watched the Marathon on numerous occasions as a youngster on television and then in person as a student in London in the late 90's, it's an event I've always wanted to be part of. In total I have competed in 8 Marathons. Sunday will be my 4th London Marathon. In 2005 I made my first attempt.



2005 
DNS (did not start)
Having turned 30 at the end of the previous year I embarked on a new running challenge. I was due to make my 26.2 mile debut at the 25th Anniversary of the London Marathon. My wife and I were also expecting our first child, due at the beginning of May.  Training and racing had gone perfectly. En route to London I ran 30:52 at the Ashford 10k, and recorded PB’s at 10 miles (Bramley 50:23), Half Marathon (Reading 66:33) and 20 miles (Worthing 1:46:15). In the early hours of Saturday morning my wife went into labour, but didn't give birth till 4:30pm Sunday afternoon. This was one Marathon of a different kind (but not for me) that I wasn't going to miss.


2006 
53rd 2:28.35 PB

Showboating on Tower Bridge

1 year later, I managed to make it to the start line, albeit in a race against time. I had won the Watford Half Marathon in 68:05 at the beginning of February, and I could barely walk when I stepped out of the car upon returning home. It was later diagnosed that I had severely strained ligaments and tendons in my foot. I subsequently spent the next week on crutches and the best part of a fortnight Aqua Jogging mimicking all the training I otherwise would have done on land. I had to miss the National cross county champs but by 4 weeks later I finished 3rd in the Silverstone Half Marathon incorporating the British and English Champs in 68:18.

By marathon day all was well. There was very light rain. I remember standing on the start line on the heels of the great Haile Gebrselassie. My target was 2:20 I got into a group of like minded domestic runners. The camaraderie was very good. We shared water bottles at drinks stations and pacing duties. Half way was reached in 70 mins approx but the underfoot conditions were tough as the wet roads provided a very poor surface to grip to. By 15 miles my calves started to cramp and I made the conscious decision to alter my running gait by running more off my heels rather than mid foot to toe. This enabled me to keep on moving but not quite at the velocity I had had previously.

20 miles was reached relatively comfortable, but by this time the pack had split up somewhat. Over the next 3 miles I didn't recall much. I was running but with very little awareness of self-being and surroundings. Guess this was the wall! Glycogen stores had now depleted and fuel combustion had converted to the less energy yielding fat metabolic process.

I recall waking up along the Embankment prior to Westminster Abbey. Such a welcome sight! Along Birdcage Walk I was greeted by the cheers of my wife, 1 year old daughter who probably wasn't aware of what was going on, and some of my closest friends. I crossed the line happy just to get through it after the difficulties experienced.




2012 
193rd 2:41.02
After a 6 year hiatus from Marathons I found myself on the start line having had no intention of being there 4 weeks earlier!

The previous year I had set lifetime bests at the age of 36 at 3000m, 5000m, 10000m & 5k, 10k Road. Following this was a lengthy spell out with a knee injury. However, come March 2012 I had finished 20th in the UK Intercounties XC my highest ever placing, and recorded another Pb in the Reading Half Marathon (66:31) despite my longest training run only being 10 miles. This recent spell of good form, encouragement and support of others led me to believe it would be a good idea to toe the line.

"I can’t believe I’m here" I thought to myself as I was on the line. I reflected on the limited specific training I had done in the previous 4 weeks. One run stood out stood out in particular, which was an aborted long run. I was aiming for 23 miles but found myself in trouble at 18. Completely spent hypoglycaemic and needing refuelling urgently. Fortunately I found myself near a Wilkinson's store at about 8 o’clock in the morning. I had with me my bankcard and I promptly emptied the shelves of all the products containing sugar; sports drinks, wine gums chocolate etc. to bring myself back to equilibrium. I then caught the bus to work. Not the best memory to recall moments before embarking on a marathon!

In the hours leading up to the race I made the mistake of over-hydrating. I needing to go to the toilet several times before the race. I managed to flush myself of all the necessary electrolytes consequently very early on in the race and approximately 10 miles the and sensation of cramp was beginning in my calfs. I didn’t even make it to halfway before having to decelerate I knew climbing the slight incline on Tower Bridge that I was in trouble as my calves seized up more. It seemed like a good spot to pull out of the race but that’s not me. I always try to finish no matter what. I struggled on through. At about the 15 mile mark my toes cramped up in a clenched claw position making running very difficult indeed. By 18 miles I developed cramp in my groins and by 22 miles my left hamstring completely seized up I had to stop and stretch. This clearly wasn’t going to be my day. Still determined to finish I hobbled the remainder of the way whilst being passed by hoards of runners. My running gait felt and looked I'm sure very dis-coordinated. I eventually crossed the line in two hours 41 totally dejected but pleased that I hadn't let the Marathon beat me but very disappointed with the overall performance and finishing time.







2016 
32nd overall. 
3rd Vet 40-44.  2:21.28 PB
Once again I had no intention of running a marathon this spring. However, I was persuaded with only 4 weeks to go that I should give it a go. Form was great over the cross country with a succession of personal best performances in the Surrey Champs(2nd), South of England (7th), National (13th), Uk Intercounties (6th). This was topped off with a Half Marathon PB of 66:13 at the Wokingham Half Marathon, and 3 weeks before London I equalled my previous best of best of 66:31 at the Reading Half.

Subsequently I went into this marathon very confident indeed. My main target was to be first vet 40 to 44 to finish the marathon. My aim was to stick to 5:18/mi pace to reach halfway in approximately 69 minutes. This was achieved with a good group of athletes surrounding me such as the legend Steve Way, Tom Payn, Aaron Scott and Sean Dixon to name a few. I was very conscious that Steve Way my main rival for this 40-44 title had not ran a Half marathon this spring under 70 minutes yet he was still with me at halfway.

Slowly beyond halfway Steve dropped off the pace. I ran the majority of the next 7-8 miles with Tom Payn. I had tried to push on but my calves twinged every time a tried. I was also aware of a cramp in my left hamstring stemming from a minor injury sustained in a sprint finish at the Wokingham Half Marathon the previous month. The hamstring got so bad that I had to reduce my stride length and frequency. Any small gradient took me to the edge of full hamstring seizure. I had no option but to take my foot off the accelerator, for the best part of 2 miles between 22 and 24 miles. In the closing miles my hamstring cramp eased away but I was unable to regain the same level of momnetum. Steve Way passed like an express train and opened up a sizeable gap of almost a minute. I felt great in the final mile. I closed in a PB by almost 5 minutes. I was over the moon that I didn't have to withdraw but was left wondering what may have been.

Ukrainian Serhiy Lebid Former 9 time European Cross Country Champion was the Vet 40-44 Prize Winner. Steve Way 2014 Commonwealth Games Marathon 10th place finisher was 2nd and I finished 3rd.

The quest for a sub 2:20 continues. Maybe London 2018?

                                 32nd Place Highest ever position to date 







JustGiving Fundraising Page




                                                  

As part of this years London Marathon I am raising money for St Georges Hospital Charity, more specifically for my department of Echocardiography. To learn more about why I am raising money for this charity and if you wish to sponsor me please click on the following; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kojo-kyereme





In the media

Following a press release from St George's Hospital I had the pleasure of being invited onto Wandsworth Radio to talk about being an "Elite athlete" whilst working full time, and the motivation behind my fundraising efforts.

On Monday 16th April I will be featured in the London Evening Standard Health section.














            Training Diary 10th April - 15th April 2018



Monday.
a.m. 10 miles easy @ 7:23/mi
with the 6am Club; Tom Higgs, Rob Knight and the infamous Kevin Quinn.


Tuesday. 
a.m. 10.0 miles @7:00/mi
p.m. 5.1 miles lunch run @7:10/mi


Wednesday.
a.m. 14.9 miles (Road) incorporating
2 miles warm up.
2x1mile; 3x1200m; 4x1k, 5x800m. 2 mins rec throughout
1.4 miles cool down.

p.m. yoga


Thursday.
a.m. 10 miles @6:47/mi
Majority of this run was on grass lapping around a field which was no more than 500m. Boring I know but good mental practice for the Marathon and better for the joints.


Friday.
a.m. 10.2 miles easy run. @ 6:42/mi


Saturday.
a.m.
2 miles warm up @ 6:54/mi
9 miles tempo @ 20-30 secs slower than Marathon pace - ave pace 5:43/mi
1 mile cool down @ 6:26/mi


Sunday.
a.m. 16 miles easy run @7:03/mi with Kevin Quinn.





This week in numbers. 


1 - double day


1 - yoga session


7 - runs this week


9 stone 10 1/2 lbs / 61.9 kg - weight


15 - mins live on Radio


37.5 hours @work


85 average miles a week for last 11 weeks.


89 miles ran this week




14 49 75 85 95 103 103 116 102 106 89
Weekly mileage progression





Next Race


Sunday 22nd April 2018

Download the Marathon Tracker App to follow me.
My Race number is 1682.
Weather forecast looks dry but maybe a little warmer than late.


                                    
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