WOOO HOOOO - I love it when a plan comes together!!!
After DCM 2011 the plan was to try and keep running throughout the winter with the aim of doing a few more races and then probably doing Dublin Marathon again in 2012. We set up the continuing challenge log for a follow on from the Novices Thread and a good few of us continued to log mileage and keep it going.
Then Ecoli came on board and decided to give us a helping hand with posting weekly plans with a goal race at the end of each plan. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to race the goal races but I kept the training going and I was seeing so great improvements in my racing times, so happy days.
So it was a natural progression to follow Ecolis marathon plan seeing as he was willing to keep posting them weekly and giving us help and guidance and great explanations for why we were doing the different aspects of the training.
I discovered that I love the hills and the intervals and there is very little of the plans that I didn’t like. A willing participant if you will. Bar an odd missed run due to a bit of trouble with my calf and a few missed runs because of ongoing Sinusitis, I reckon I did 90% of the runs. And more importantly I enjoyed them and it wasn’t a chore.
Roll on Dublin Marathon 2012 and I felt that there were a lot more eyes on me that normal, for some reason so I had to pull this sub 4 plan off. Lead by example and all that malarkey!!! A bit of a confidence crisis a few weeks out but I think that’s fairly normal!!
Up bright and early at 5.30 with a very restless night behind me and I was tired, nervous and excited all rolled into one big knot in my stomach!!. Porridge 3 hrs before my run was unheard of, I usually have it about 1.5 hrs but nothing I could do about it!!! My lift arrived at 6.10 and off to Dublin we went. We arrived at our destination to meet the work gang at 7am and had a few things to sort there and before I knew it I was on the start line, literaly!!
I popped back to the 4hr pacers and slipped in a bit back and just happen to spot Emer911 to my right, Racheljev was with her so introductions made although with Boards & FB, I felt that I knew her already!! 2 mins later and LizzyC just happened to arrive in beside us. So anyway the race started and next thing Wave 2 was off and running, well shuffling really but it had started!!
It was great that the 4 Boards ladies crossed the start line together, but I was amazed that with in about 2 mins, Emer & Rachel were about 5 rows of people ahead of us. Myself and Lizzy decided to try and stick together and get each other in under the 4hrs. We were both doubting ourselves yet believing it was possible at the same time. I knew it was possible but I was kinda afraid to believe it!!!
Our first couple of miles were nice and easy and the perfect warmup. Mile 3-4 going along North Circular road I couldn’t believe how heavy my legs were and I was just praying that they would warmup and loosen out...we kept an eye on the pace and the Pacers but didn’t worry too much about it at these early stages. Next thing we’re in the park and 5m done…wow 5m already, that flew by
miles 1 -5 9.45, 9.10, 9.00, 8.59, 8.53
I spent the run up Chesterfield Ave looking out for a friend on the left and then hubby and kids with their posters on the right. They were in their designated area, so cheers, waves and high fives and on I went.
Mile 6, Lizzy had to remind me to take my gel, I was a bit hyper. The she kindly told me to stop taking as she had to keep answering me and she was trying to conserve energy, so I told her I’d give her a break…I lasted .14 of a mile, she checked!!!
What can I say I like to chat!!! Anyone who has met me might have noticed…
Heading out the park gates we came to an abrupt stop as everyone tried to filter out the smaller gap. Water station was a bit of a mess as there were no bottle out of the plastic covers and people were grabbing like it was the last drop for the rest of the course. The crowds there were fantastic all along there and I was keeping an eye for a few more people but couldn’t see them as there was just so many spectators. Up the road to the underpass and the crowd doing their chanting and there was a great atmosphere among the runners.
Then the first test. Up the hill no problems but I was suddenly sweating like mad but not feeling hot and feeling a bit unwell, but I put it down to the effort on the hill. Lizzy said she was similar a mile or 2 back and just take it easy breath and I’d be fine, which of course I was!!!
6 – 10 - 9.05, 8.57, 8.59, 9.12 (the hill)9.00
We powered on and kept an eye on the pace but made sure we didn’t get carried away and go too fast. We had great fun reading the posters along the way and I have to say my favourite on of the day was
“Mortuary ahead – Look Lively
” i saw this sign in 2 different places and made me smile on both occasions!
At 12.3 mile I took my second Gel, again nearly forgetting about it altogether!!
We passed the halfway mark pretty much on schedule in 2hrs even and were both feeling great. Then the miles just seemed to fly by, I remember being surprised when we got to some of the mile markers as I felt like we had just passed one but I took this as a positive. I remarked at one stage that I hadn’t noticed the 15m marked and to my delight I was informed that we had over 17m done!!! This happened again when I was looking for mile 17(haven forgotten we passed it earlier) to be informed that we had 19.9 Garmin miles done so marker 20 wasn’t far away.
At about mile 17, I could feel the start of a headache coming on and I got a bit alarmed when I couldn’t read one of the posters as my eyes were a bit blurry so I drank a bottle of water and took my 3rd gel. This did the trick and I was ok again.
Miles 11 – 20
8.48, 9.08, 9.21, 8.55, 8.50, 9.05, 8.53, 8.50, 9.05, 9.03
I reckon I was in a trance for some of those miles I was finding it difficult in places but nowhere feeling the need to slow down or anything like that and I was flying in other places.
We were doing an imaginary baton passing exercise, as we were feeling the pressure at different time, so I’d “ carry the baton” for a few mile and then “ hand it over” for Lizzy to carry and lead! This worked great for us. Only for her company and support I really feel that I would have slowed down when the going got tough and let it slip through my fingers!!!
At this stage I was foolishly beginning to think that I had missed the infamous hill as I thought it was at mile 18, but then there it was. 100m and it would be over is what I was told so off up the hill and it was fine, said now that’s done and on we went!!!
We were surprised how strong we were both feeling and we tentatively began to talk about pushing on, like the experts tell us but were still a bit afraid that it would all come crashing down around us…so we just kept going. The view from the top of Fosters ave was amazing, nothing only runners to be seen for the full stretch ahead. Next thing we are out on Stillorgan dual carriage and we are on the home straight!! Up and over the flyover and down Nutley….OMG we are at mile 22, last Gel taken dig deep, its starting to hurt but we are not stopping….
Along side the RDS we catch the pacers and a quick chat, a bit of banter, comments on my running vest, my username which was on the vest and on we pushed!!!
Splits - mile 21- 23 9.00, 8.53, 9.02
Mile 24, right that’s it, on we go. We were very excited as unless something disastrous was to happen we knew the sub 4 was in the bag. We were chomping at the bit, but my legs were getting very heavy, I kept trying to get Lizzy to push on but no she would not leave me, she was about 5m ahead of me and I just had to dig deep and keep going with here as I didn’t want to slow her down. I knew my gang were outside Trinity so while watching the crowd the next bit flew by and then I knew it was just around the corner and we were there. There was a point where I seemed to be on my own and people was roaring out my name and I felt so proud. My legs were screaming at me and by now my lungs were starting to hurt, all that talking was affecting me now!!! Lizzy was in front of me but getting further away and I just had to hold on, and keep chasing her.
Yes Yes Yes the line, its over Thank God
!!!!! A few colleagues were on the finish line to wish me well but I was unable to talk, I was very emotional and very happy too and my legs nearly gave way. We were so thrilled that it was completed and of course we told each other then that we had no doubt that we knew we were going to do it!!!
It the first time I have run a race with someone and I have to say it was the best experience in any race I have had to date.
Maybe there was more in the tank because I knew if there was another mile I could have done it. But I’ll not know now and I’m not going to worry about a few seconds fast that might have been achieved, you never know it could have gone fhorribly wrong if we’d pushed from further out!!!
Mile 24 – 26.44
8.56, 8.43, 8.28, (.44), 8.23
Overall 26.44m in 3.57.46 chip time, Garmin time 3.57.46 @ avg 9.00/171hr. Calories burned 3599!!!
I used 4 gels, half a bar of a nutty muesli thing at mile 18 and about 1.5l water. I never took my jellies or anything from the crowd and I managed with no toilet breaks!!!
Back to McGrattan after and got to meet so many Boards members it was fantastic. Also meeting the Novices and hearing how the race went for them was good to. I even bumped into my cousins and theire pals from USA who just happened to come into the same pub. While there I began to fell weak, sick and dizzy and I realised I hadn’t eating or drank anything since the race, not ever water so chocolate and coke was the diet for a bit, followed by soup and then a while later fish and chips. Back to the hotel shower and change and off to the pub when I finally managed to enjoy a few beers.
my poor toes will take a bit to recover and I might not be able to run for a few day but whats the rush, I have 6 weeks for recovery and build back up to a decent weekly mileage before the London marathon training has to kick in and I’m sure the plan will be very similar to this one as I have to say I couldn’t fault it.
Again a massive Thank you to Ecoli for the training plans, I know he says he just gives us the plans that we do the training but the correct plan is a half the battle.
Thank you to everyone on Boards who give tips, encouragement and advice and the hand of friendship. Thanks you To all the different people I did the LSR with and to the girlies who weren’t doing the marathon but kept the advice and encouragement going.
Thank you Lizzy for her company on the runs big & small and for her company, and encouragement through the marathon!!!
And i have to say i have the best hubby who helps with the training by letting me get the runs in when i need to and i think he is starting "to get" this running lark!!!