Quite frankly I was thoroughly annoyed and disappointed with my performance. I was 100% sure I would run sub 2:50, and thought I had a sensible game plan.
My first mistake was to drink a bottle of water about 30 minutes before the start. This meant I was dying for a pee after the first mile. I should have stopped immediately, but I hoped the feeling would go away. However it didn't. And I ended up running with increasing stomach pains, and a stupid stitch kicking in at 20 miles.
My second mistake, but perhaps less critical, was to run the first 13 miles a bit too slowly so that I was over 1:25 at halfway. I should really have aimed for 1:23, since I felt like I was just pootling along in first half.
What I didn't remember or realise is that the second half of London is naturally slower and tougher since it contains several underpasses, and the winding section through Canary Wharf with loads of right-angled turns. So the chance of running the second half as quick as the first is pretty remote, and you have to be a bit of an idiot to aim for negative splits.
I was feeling pretty much OK up until mile 15, but shortly after that I started dropping time and putting in slower miles. I tried to get my act together coming up to Mile 20 by taking on gels and lucozade. My big plan was to get to 20 miles inside 2:10, and then try to grind out a 40 minute 10k to finish.
I felt OK going through 20 miles, but as soon as I tried to push the pace on a bit I instantly got a stupid stitch that just wouldn't go away. So for about the next 3 miles or so, I was gasping for breath and hitting my abdomen trying to make the stitch go away. It was infuriating and incapacitating at the time.
Finally I got onto Thames Embankment, but by this time I knew the sub 2:50 was out the window, so I was just pottering along to reach the finish, but I still thought I was on for about 2:52, however somehow I lost more time and ended up with 2:54:09.
In retrospect, I won't be drinking any water before the next marathon, and I won't be farting around running so slowly in the first half.
I should however thank everyone who sponsored me for TakTent for Gordon Shannon, and raising over £2500!!