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Race report thread

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  • tunguska wrote: »
    This deserves a report by virtue of it being the hardest race I've ever run. On paper it looked straight forward, run 25 laps at 76/77 secs per lap. I train on the track all the time so it was cut and dry...........or so I thought.
    Knew the field would be top notch and with only 23 starters the possibility of coming last(and being lapped several times) in front of a crowd, loomed large. Waiting in the call room I was surrounded by dudes who all looked in great nick, not an ounce of excess body fat to be found. I started to feel myself gettinig intimidated but I reigned that in quickly and reminded myself that you're dead before the race even starts if you allow yourself to be overawed. Said hi to Brian maher, whos a top bloke, asked him not to lap me. He laughed and said he'd see what he could do.

    We got the call to head out onto the track, again I felt a little intimidated/nervous, but I was able to knock it on the head and focus on the race and nothing else. It was me, the lads and a track, thats it, nothing else was relevant(well maybe the weather). Lined up and possibly the loudest starting gun ive ever heard got things going. Took off and was on course for a 69 sec first lap so reigned myself in over the last 150m to run a 75. It was baking hot and there was a strong gust of wind that would hammer you in the face for a good 200m of the track. Before the race a couple of the stewarts asked us if we wanted bottles or cups of water. I thought to myself, for a 10k??? Thats a bit over the top. But after 3 laps I was starting to think water was a good idea.
    First mile was 5:02, which should've felt fine but for whatever reasons it took a bite and I knew I wouldnt be able to hold that pace for the entire race. Pauric mckinney went bombing by and I went with him for about a lap but I had to conceed that his pace was too hot, so I let him go. When I did I was a bit alarmed to see two other dudes tear by me. I was a bit unsettled by that and in two minds as to what I should do, try and go with them or stick at my current pace. I decided to stick and got into a rythm alongside Brian murphy from ennis track. But even at that pace(79/80 secs per 400)it felt really uncomfortable. It seemed to be getting hotter and the wind stronger as time went by. I was wondering if I could hold this pace for the full whack. I remember coming up the homestretch at one stage feeling absolutley bolloxed and looking at the lap counter, it said 20 laps remaining...........That was tough. I've never felt like quitting a race so much in my life. It would've been so easy to do, just step off the track and run into the changing rooms to hide away from the shame. Im always giving alaister cragg a hard time over dropping out of races, but in that moment when I saw 20 laps to go I could understand, in some way, why he'd DNF. I suppose its ego really, you dont wanna get lapped by other runners(which just wouldnt happen in a road race)so you quietly give up. But giving up is an easy habit to get into so I resisted the urge to stop and told myself just do one more lap, see what happens.
    Myself and Brian were grinding it out. Im not sure if he was trying to help me with the pace or trying to skin me(I think it was the latter)but every once in a while he'd make a surge to go around me(I had the inside lane)and everytime he did I'd surge aswell so as to not let him by me. This took a bite everytime and I was in a jock trying to hold on. He had lots of support from the sidelines aswell so every 200m there'd be people telling him to skin me. I have to say a few bad words about my club in this respect, I was the only runner from our club in this race, which is bad enough, but the support from the club was zero(it was actually negative, but thats a whole other story). Bad form all around for a race like that.
    But **** it, I had to turn it around some way and make the ennis track support for their athlete work for me. I enjoy being the pantomime villian so there was no way I was gonna miss an opportunity to twirl my mustache and laugh manically(maybe club a few baby seals to death while Im at it).
    I was in a heap though and hanging on for dear life. Lap counter read 6 laps remaining. Not so bad but then I remember something happening in the all too early stages of the race. Brain Maher had come by, I was being lapped. It could've been soul destroying and embarressing but Brian being the top bloke that he is comes alongside me and apologies for lapping me! Thats was a really nice gesture. Anyway to get back to the point, Brian actually lapped me twice so when the lap counter read 6 laps to go it really meant 8 laps to go for me. Which was another kick in the balls and another opportunity for the urge to quit to raise its head. But I had to turn off my thinking and just concentrate on the piece of ground in front of me. Got to 4 laps to go and the lads who had passed me earlier were dying and coming back to me. I re-took the places I lost and started to reel in a few others, which gave me a bit of a lift. By now though I was running out of laps, part of me wanted the race to end(and thats a big part of me)but another part of me wanted more laps so I could gain a few more places and have this run turn out to be halfway respectable.
    2 Laps to go and it was time to concentrate on wininng the inevitable showdown between myself and the dude who'd glued himself to my side for most of the race. He looked like he had a good finish in him, he had the cut of a 1500m man. 1 lap to go and we got the bell, I made a surge that lasted for about 100m before my legs turned to jelly. I had opened a gap but the other guy closed it fairly quickly just like the concertina effect in F1. I thought that was it, I'd blown it and he'd go sailing by me at any second. But he didnt. It must've taken a bite out of him to bridge the gap. Even so he was on my shoulder, but I had the inside lane and he'd have to work hard to get aorund me. I felt him coming around my shoulder as we hit the bend into the final 100m but then I mustered another kick and that was it, I had it. So something of a small victory to salvage from a brutally tough race.
    Sat down with all the lads after the finish were everybody was in a heap, it was carnage everybody was like a zombie, completely fecked. We were only spurred into life though when the girls fresh from their 200m heat came through the vicinity. Wow some seriously hot girls there and all the lads were all of a sudden re-born.

    Upon reflection it was a great race experience. I've had a fair few 2nd and 3rd places over the last few months and when that happens you can start to think you're decent enough. But then you do a race like this and its a reality check. You get to find out where you really stand and its like a blow to your ego. But its a good blow because now I know how much work I need to do to bridge the gap so that this time next year I'll have a crack at top 5 or better in that race. Well done to Brain Maher on winning, great performance but also a really nice touch when he lapped me........twice.

    33:12 13th place
    i love your never give up attitude




  • That's a brilliant race and race report, fair play to you tunguska.




  • tunguska wrote: »

    Stephen Kings editor once told him that he had the literary equivalent of diarrhea......I think maybe I have some of that. However my reports pale into insignificance compared to your own, eh, bowl movements. Ok I dont like where this is going......
    Anyway thanks for the nice words. I read your dunshaughlin report and I think mine could actually be a bit longer, so you need to up your game there. I know you weren't happy with your result but I was happy to see you weren't happy, if you know what I mean. It shows you care and when you care that much it'll be like rocket fuel in your next race.


    Tunguska, I have another chapter to add... the verbal diarrhoea game is on... ;)




  • I’ve started writing this race report quite a few times today but every attempt has been a massive fail. It’s genuinely mostly a blur. Now I’m sitting down with some brain food in the form of chocolate covered rich tea biscuits and a large bar of dairy milk and I’m hoping it’ll jog the memory and give me enough fuel to bore you all to tears

    This race had been a goal race of the Berlin Marathon training plan since its inception back in May. In May I set a HM PB of 1:33.35 and the intention was to see whether I’d made any improvement (or otherwise) on that and to put some sort of perspective on the Berlin target. Breaking 1:30 was a target that was in my mind; but I had to be careful that I wasn’t falling into a trap of setting an unrealistic goal based on an arbitrary glory time. Failing that I wanted a PB. In my heart I knew I wanted a top 10 finish. And in my mind I wanted a top 6 finish so TRR could watch that Heineken go down the swanny. I knew I was capable of taking at least two minutes off Kildare on the right day. About 3 weeks ago I ran a hard session (12 miles: 7 easy followed by [email protected]) – 8:20 being easy pace and 6:50 being HMP. Suffice to say that it was a nightmare of a run. Ran a 6:52, followed by a 6:48 followed by a 7:09 within which I had to stop for about 3 minutes, followed by a 7:08 within which I had to stop about 3 times, after which I just called it a day and trotted home at 8:30 pace. I tried to erase this run from memory as the thought of running 13.1 miles at that hard pace was just ridiculous and incomprehensible and terrifying! Fast forward to race week and a horrible 14 miler on Tuesday during which I could barely hold easy pace (8:22) and was completely empty and broken by the time I finished. I panicked after this and was worried I’d overcooked it and ruined my chances of a good race. I diligently took the rest of the week really handy and did all things sensible (apart from a midweek bottle of wine to calm the nerves...). I was genuinely gutted on Saturday when a recovery run at 9:45 pace did not feel so hot.

    Stewarding at the 10 mile race on Saturday morning stirred the competitive spirits and racing excitement and I figured that there was nothing I could do except relax, cop on and run as best as I could.

    Myself and Digger headed off bright on early on Sunday morning picking up Meno en route. I had forgotten all of my pace bands – yes, all of them.... I had one for every minute from 1:29 to 1:35. With the help of 3G technology, I decided that I’d get the paces for my dream time (sub 1:30) and if I couldn’t hold it, then I’d just do what I could and my pace wouldn’t matter at that stage. Like a true pro (or a bold child!) I scribbled the important info all the way down my right arm in blue ink. We arrived well on time, registered, used the loo, got excited about the perfect weather conditions, started fretting about the fact that it was hotting up, tied my shoelaces too tight, loosened my shoe laces too much, got a pain in my knee and my ankle, stretched too much, didn’t stretch enough... all of those weird and wonderful things a crazy runner does before a race! It was about half a mile from the car to the start line so we jogged down together to get the legs moving. By the time Meno got his picture taken for the 100 marathon club and the Olympian action on the stage was finished, it was time to hit the start line and brave the unknown. Linda Byrne got the race started and off we went.

    I had lined up as far as close to the start line as I could and headed off pretty quickly with the top groups. The first mile was a loop of the town and I was on Meno’s shoulder (he didn’t know as any time he cocked his head in the slightest, I dipped out of his sight!). We ran the first mile at 6:24 and I knew it was too quick. I also knew that it was first mile excitement and it’d settle down so given that I wasn’t feeling it or breathing heavy, I didn’t worry about it. There was another girl right up there and she was kind of annoying me in an ‘invading my personal space’ sort of way so I just backed off and didn’t bother getting into a race with her. Secretly, I knew she had definitely headed out too quickly and wouldn’t last long - I was not falling into a trap to have my race ruined. Sure enough she made it about another half a mile before completely dropping off the pace. The next couple of miles were good. A guy from Donadea was definitely targeting me and I could hear him coming for the big overtake for what seemed like an eternity – he went past me looking really strong but not sounding it. The average pace dropped and remained at 6:36 or so. I noticed this average at about 3.5 miles and thought ‘dear lord, what am I doing?!’. But I couldn’t help it; I figured a couple of seconds here and there wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. At this point, I knew I was the first lady and started day dreaming about a potential win. I swiftly gave myself a severe kick not to be thinking such things – there was still a long way to go and racing that distance is not to be disrespected – anything can happen over 10 miles; hell anything can happen over half a mile. And I’ve had my fair share of nasty races to know that nothing should be taken for granted!

    I don’t remember a huge amount of mile 4/5. The Donadea guy who had passed me stopped for a pee (so unfair that guys can do that!) and I went by him. He made me his target again and went flying by me. He made about 200m on me and there he stayed (until the 11th mile....mwah ha ha!) There was a decent drag from mile 5 to 6 and a man who had been behind me caught up and ran with me for a good mile and a half at this stage. There were no words spoken but we both knew we were getting each other up that hill. I think I would have lost a lot more pace on it without the angel in black beside me.

    When we got to the 7 mile mark I had the wonderful realisation that I was over halfway and I couldn’t get over how strong I felt. My form was good, my breathing was controlled, I had no nasty stitches threatening and I felt so strong mentally. The guy who I’d run the previous mile and a half with kicked on at that point and I let him be. I was happy with my pace, which was averaging about 6:39, and I knew there was still a hell of a lot more work to do. At this point I was just focusing on the guys up ahead and maintaining a steady strong pace. Again, it’s all a bit of a blur...

    I popped a gel at about the 8 mile mark. I didn’t feel like I needed it but better safe than sorry. I was sensible enough to know that I was putting my body through a tough effort and it must need refuelling. I was a little worried that it might not go down well running at the pace I was, but the stomach behaved thank god. I nearly choked on a mouthful of water at about the 8.5 mile mark and thought it was game over. I recovered from that but it turned me off having any more water.
    At the 9 mile mark, I started to allow myself enjoy the fact that I was first lady. Until I looked over my shoulder and spied someone about 500m behind. I convinced myself it was a lady who was using me as a pacer and who was going to bail right on by when I was shot. I started to think how annoyed I’d be having pretty much led from the start, to be sniped like that so that spurred me right on. At this point, I wanted to win!

    There was a turnaround point at about 10 miles and I was keeping a good eye out for Meno who I knew was a couple of minutes ahead of me but I didn’t spot him. When I didn’t see any other women at the turnaround, I got a bit more confident. There was a short sharp climb at this point and I just put the foot down and barrelled on. The pace was at 6:43 at this stage and I knew that if nothing went horribly wrong that I had 1:30 in the bag. I had a good minute up on goal time which was reassuring. When I rounded the corner up towards the 11 mile mark I spied my target – the Donadea guy who’d passed me earlier. Twice. I could see he was struggling and I knew I could go past him and maintain a strong pace to put a bit of distance between us – and so I did passing another guy at the same time.

    I think it was about the 11.5 mile mark when I spotted the lead car holding up traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road. Not being great at maths, it took a moment to put 2 and 2 together and realise that it was there for me. It was absolutely mortifying. When I relayed my feelings at this point to the lads, I think they nearly choked on their lunch – basically, I was so worried that I was holding up the car, and that they’d be cursing me, that I put the foot down and just went hell for leather for the last stretch. I could see the time ticking over and that took my mind off any pain (I say that because I don’t remember it but I’m sure there must have been some!) Running up the finishing straight towards the banner, watching the clock counting down, I was elated at the thoughts that I was going to break 1:28 – break 1:28 and win?! Incredible! Finishing was just hilarious – I couldn’t believe what I’d achieved and I was so delighted.

    I can’t get over how strong I felt. I am so used to demons and pain and doubts during races, and none of them visited me during this race. I couldn’t have dreamed for a better race and I will not be taking it for granted or forgetting it in a hurry. The podium photographs were wholly embarrassing (especially when I realised I still had my 1:30 paces scrawled all over my arms... – how professional! I don’t think Linda Byrne has anything to worry about just yet!)


    I’d like to thank Digdig for the loan of his blue pen, the present of my go-faster kinvaras, and for cooking my dinner on Saturday night. I probably wouldn’t have broken 2 hours without those individual god-sends...


    Chip time: 1:27.48
    1st (very extremely happy!) female over the line




  • claralara wrote: »
    Tunguska, I have another chapter to add... the verbal diarrhoea game is on... ;)

    Its on like donkey kong so. I'll see your war and peace and raise you a biblical epic.........

    (well done on the win by the way. I was shocked - in a good way - when I saw your result in the paper)


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  • Wasn't gonna write a report for this but seeing as claralara has uped the race report stakes........so be it.

    Did a session on tuesday, mile repeats with a few 400s stuck on at the end. Mile repeats went well but right calve tightened worringly during session. Should've gotten it treated straight away but thought it was nothing.
    Paddy didnt get a race number via some kind of technical clich so we duly left it til the very last minute to blag a number. He got sorted literally 3 minutes before kick off. Jumped over the fence and positioned myself upfront. I was amused to see the two bootcamp gimps at it again, right up the front acting like two human bollards. Im starting to think they're not the full shilling as nobody could be that stupid. Anyway myself and paddy had done a recce on the route during the week and so I knew I needed to make hay on the first mile. Took off at a good clip and covered first mile in 4:58. Felt grand, nice and relaxed. One of the lads im training with for the marathon was about 50 yards up the road having took off like a lunatic(4:30 first mile). I had a plan so I didnt really care that I was at the point of a group and being used as a wind breaker/pace setter. I uppd the pace and I could sense the heard being trimmed. It was me and another dude who I recognised as a hardy bugger, so I was in good company. Miles 4-6 I knew should be quick so I put the boot down(5:15, 5:16). Calve was actig the maggot a bit but all in all it was fine. Turned down the kyber and hit military hill, calve gave me a jolt at the change in terrain, now I was worried. A donore harriers lad caught us, he was big so myself and the other lad tucked in behind him and used him as a wind breaker. Felt really strong and in control, was thinking about how I was gonna finish the race off when heading down the hill from the S-bends calve went into a spasm. ****. I actually thought at that point the gig was up, it felt like the calve was about to tear. I started shaking my leg out as I ran, contorting my right foot this way and that, trying to get the tightness out of the muscle. By this stage we had reached the summit of upper glen road and were headed towards 9miles gone. In all the excitment the two boys had gotten a yard on me. I caught back up to them but my calve felt like it was gonna pop. I tried to run in a way so as not to put too much pressure on my rightleg but you cant run flat out like that and thats what I needed to be doing at this stage. The two lads pulled away from me and I've never been so angry at myself during a race. I felt like pissing fire. This for me is what the race was all about, this point coming to the finish, the other 9miles was a bulidup to this thats all. But now it was slipping through my fingers. It was horrible watching the lads battling it out, I knew I would've given them a good race. I crossed the line passively and fairly disgusted with what had just happened. Everybody was congratulating me on the time but I knew in my heart of hearts I'd let myself down. I should;ve ignored the calve and just gone for it. I allowed myself to be caught off guard and have my focus shifted from racing to just passively finishing the race. Its all about learning though and the big lesson I got from today was dont allow yourself to be distracted from the task at hand. National half marathon this weekend and I wont make the same mistake. I dont care if my leg gets severed mid race, I stick to the job.
    Paddy ran a stormer, 58:55. Considering his knee is giving him serious grief thats an absolute belter of a run. Dave fitz ran a great one too, 56:45, shame he cant make national half.

    Time: 54:31
    Position: 12th


    (Actually thats a fairly short report but Im keeping the good stuff for national half).




  • I know the two bootcamp dudes you are on about. I wonder do they do it to get into photos and use these to advertise. That's the only sane reason I can come up with.

    I reckon we won Dublin team champs and by my calculations you were second Dublin individual so well done. Yeah pity about the half. I asked my wife to move christening date but she nearly had another baby when I suggested so :)




  • TRR wrote: »
    I know the two bootcamp dudes you are on about. I wonder do they do it to get into photos and use these to advertise. That's the only sane reason I can come up with.

    I reckon we won Dublin team champs and by my calculations you were second Dublin individual so well done. Yeah pity about the half. I asked my wife to move christening date but she nearly had another baby when I suggested so :)


    Where can you check the results of the 10mile champs? I heard Sean might be running sunday so that should bump up the team substantially. You'll be able to run the half in the park which isnt as good but its a half marathon race at least.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Wasn't gonna write a report for this but seeing as claralara has uped the race report stakes........so be it.

    Did a session on tuesday, mile repeats with a few 400s stuck on at the end. Mile repeats went well but right calve tightened worringly during session. Should've gotten it treated straight away but thought it was nothing.
    Paddy didnt get a race number via some kind of technical clich so we duly left it til the very last minute to blag a number. He got sorted literally 3 minutes before kick off. Jumped over the fence and positioned myself upfront. I was amused to see the two bootcamp gimps at it again, right up the front acting like two human bollards. Im starting to think they're not the full shilling as nobody could be that stupid. Anyway myself and paddy had done a recce on the route during the week and so I knew I needed to make hay on the first mile. Took off at a good clip and covered first mile in 4:58. Felt grand, nice and relaxed. One of the lads im training with for the marathon was about 50 yards up the road having took off like a lunatic(4:30 first mile). I had a plan so I didnt really care that I was at the point of a group and being used as a wind breaker/pace setter. I uppd the pace and I could sense the heard being trimmed. It was me and another dude who I recognised as a hardy bugger, so I was in good company. Miles 4-6 I knew should be quick so I put the boot down(5:15, 5:16). Calve was actig the maggot a bit but all in all it was fine. Turned down the kyber and hit military hill, calve gave me a jolt at the change in terrain, now I was worried. A donore harriers lad caught us, he was big so myself and the other lad tucked in behind him and used him as a wind breaker. Felt really strong and in control, was thinking about how I was gonna finish the race off when heading down the hill from the S-bends calve went into a spasm. ****. I actually thought at that point the gig was up, it felt like the calve was about to tear. I started shaking my leg out as I ran, contorting my right foot this way and that, trying to get the tightness out of the muscle. By this stage we had reached the summit of upper glen road and were headed towards 9miles gone. In all the excitment the two boys had gotten a yard on me. I caught back up to them but my calve felt like it was gonna pop. I tried to run in a way so as not to put too much pressure on my rightleg but you cant run flat out like that and thats what I needed to be doing at this stage. The two lads pulled away from me and I've never been so angry at myself during a race. I felt like pissing fire. This for me is what the race was all about, this point coming to the finish, the other 9miles was a bulidup to this thats all. But now it was slipping through my fingers. It was horrible watching the lads battling it out, I knew I would've given them a good race. I crossed the line passively and fairly disgusted with what had just happened. Everybody was congratulating me on the time but I knew in my heart of hearts I'd let myself down. I should;ve ignored the calve and just gone for it. I allowed myself to be caught off guard and have my focus shifted from racing to just passively finishing the race. Its all about learning though and the big lesson I got from today was dont allow yourself to be distracted from the task at hand. National half marathon this weekend and I wont make the same mistake. I dont care if my leg gets severed mid race, I stick to the job.
    Paddy ran a stormer, 58:55. Considering his knee is giving him serious grief thats an absolute belter of a run. Dave fitz ran a great one too, 56:45, shame he cant make national half.

    Time: 54:31
    Position: 12th


    (Actually thats a fairly short report but Im keeping the good stuff for national half).

    Great race - well done!

    My chronicle-writing title is safe for the minute I think. Although you're catching up on me in terms of your ability to run fast... I better keep an eye on that and up my game... :rolleyes: Haha; I wish.

    I look forward to next week's chapter - bring it - screw the calf. Healthy calf muscles are for wimps!

    (I'll take your surprise at my race as a compliment - I'm good like that! Ta!)




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Where can you check the results of the 10mile champs? I heard Sean might be running sunday so that should bump up the team substantially. You'll be able to run the half in the park which isnt as good but its a half marathon race at least.

    Thet aren't up anywhere yet. I went through results on marathon webpage and counted number of Dublin based runners ahead of you. The first 5 were Brits I think and Joe Mcallister (6th) is from the north. 11th place runner is from Donore and only Dub ahead of you. Official results should be out in a week or two or next year depending on who handles them :rolleyes:


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  • After a reasonably good nights sleep at Premier Inn in Galsgow , got up at 7.30am and did some stretching before going out for a stroll and getting some breakfast. Race start time was 11am but the sister-in-law and my Mother were both walking the 10k which kicked off at 0930 so the plan was to head down for the start of that and see them both off. The brother who lives near Edinburgh was running his first Half Marathon today and I was trying to give him some advice to help him on his way...don't go out too fast,keep an even place,,all the usual stuff.

    The 10k started anyhow and we did a bit of awarmup run together, paid a few last minute trips to the hotel toilets before heading to our appropriate "Muster" areas, he was Yellow(4th wave),. I was Blue( 2nd wave). Organisation of this event is excellent. The race start is ideally positioned on Georges square so the waves all feed in from different side streets and as each wave goes they move next wave in.Worked really well I thought.

    Was nervous about this one. Have been struggling with injury last few weeks ,missed a good few training runs and LSRs and although did a PB in Frank Duffy the week before suspected the injury may flare up again and I'd be screwed. Did one five mile run on the Friday beofre travelling and it seemed ok but still not 100% confident about it lasting the race.

    The atmosphere at start was great, friendly crowd, good guy on the PA making everyone feel welcome etc. Music playing was Deacon Blue which made me laugh, a real blast from the past..if anyone remembers "Real Gone Kid".Even the Proclaimers " I would walk 500 miles..."...so Scottish!

    From the Blue wave start I could see the first obstacle for us...the mother of all hills....it was a bit like looking at a very wide Ski Jump from the bottom and about a mile long! At least it was at the start I thought to myself.

    So the goal for me was to A) get through the race without aggravating the injury and ruining my chances of doing DCM 2012 B) If at all possible break 2 hrs. When I got to start line, no sign of pacers( not nearly as organised as the Boards pacers!) so just slotted in aboout 30 metres from front. Evetually they appeared and I could see 1:50 pacer in distance and 1:55 came through the crowd and went in somewhere behind. So grand I said I'd head off and keep the 1:50 well ahead of me but within sight in the distance.

    Race kicked off and made it up the first hill and down the other side. no niggles, sweating a bit after a couple of miles as it was very humid and I tend to sweat a lot if i is warm. Good crowds along the way , even a Bagpiper in the early stages making for a good atmosphere. 4 or 5 miles in was wondering if I was going a bit too fast so tried to gather myself but was feeling decent enough so went with it as I was feeling comfortable. A few glances at garmin was showing I was averaging at 8:30 min/miles which I knew was probably a bit too fast for my target but wasn't really sure of what was ahead of me so thought it might be useful to bank as much time as possible now. I hadnt really researched the elevation profile before race so was going into unknown terrritory! As you can tell..rookie here!

    At about 10k was feeling ok and we turned in off the roads into a park area. At about 7 miles the 1:55 pacer came up behind so decide to try stick with her. My first experience of running with pacers was in CLontarf half in July where I tucked in behind ClaraLara and Digger ,if I remember correctly. That was a much ore interactive experience as CL and D were very focused on amking sure the group were going well and pointing out water statiosn etcc. This girl, who was on her own , which I thought was strange was copletely silent and was literally sporting a balloon and I guess it was a case of follow me , and that was it. So Boardsie pacers, you guys are the pacer kings in my experience..limited that it is...thus far:)

    In the park we found more hills, and then more hills, Jesus it felt like there was no end to them. So by about mile 9 I was starting to suffer a bit. BY 9.5 I decided to take on a gel and by mile 10 I was officially not doing well and was beginning to wonder if I'd even make 2 hrs. i'd lost the 1:55 pacer at this stage and knew now that the lack of LSRs was now coming home to roost. The last three miles were a struggle I have to say, a complete contrast to the last three the previous weekend in the park. So 11 and 12 came and I had walked a couple of times to take on water and get some respite. When I started running again I found myself talking to myself as one does in these situations, saying get your arse moving , you can do it.But strangley sounded like I was talking to myself in a scottish accent. Maybe I was delirious.:D THe good thing was that the injury hadn't really affected me it was just that I had very little in the tank so at least I knew I could work in that over the next few weeks.

    Coming close to the finishing stretch I was beginning to find a little bit extra and when I turned the corner into finishing straight I found another gear,another couple of gears in fact and almost sprinted the 100metres to the finish line where I crossed in 2:00:41. Arrgghhhh!:(

    So the elusive 2 hr mark still eludes me but I learned a few lessons and to be honest was still a little happy as I took 3 mins off my PB which was run in Clontarf in July and that was about as flat as you can get. So all in all some progress.

    So I learned:

    1. Missing the LSRs in last few weeks has set me back a bit in training for sure.

    2. Injury is fine so I can resume full training now for DCM

    3. Deacon Blue and the Proclaimers are really a Scottish Institution.

    4. The 2 hr barrier will be broken in the park on the 15th!:)




  • Roll with the punches.........man if there was ever one skill you needed to develop in sport this is it. Its great if everything goes according to plan but when does that ever happen? Felt great after the 10miler, body recovered horror show like. Myself and paddy went for an easy run during the week with a friend of mine whos wife is pregnant at the moment. Rewind a few days before this lad ran with us, his wife slipped and fell in a shop and so he spent the few days prior to running with us in the hospital. So we went for our run on wednesday and on wednesday night I started to feel very ropey very fast. Woke up at about 3am covered in sweat with my throat in a jock. ****. I suspect that this lad we ran with had picked up something in the hospital and transmitted it to myself and paddy because on friday morning paddy called me and told me he was tom & dick too with the exact same thing(chest infection). Needless to say this lad has now been blacklisted, pregnant wife and he already has two young kids.......he's like a mobile germ factory.
    As thursday progressed I felt worse and worse. I couldnt believe this was happening. I'd been looking forward to the national half marathon for a year and now my chances of making the start line were evaporating. I didnt wanna resort to anti-biotics and had a national race not been at stake I would've let whatever it was play itself out. But I was feeling terrible and running a fever. I started taking the anti-biotics thursday evening in a desperate bid to be ok for sunday. I left the decision on whether or not to race til sunday morning. I never take anti-biotics so as soon as I started taking these bad boys I felt a dramatic effect. By sunday morning I still felt ropey but I decided I was gonna give it a shot. The provisional plan was to run 10mile marathon pace and the last 3 at threshold pace(if I could). Paddy unfortunately didnt recovery on time, he was gutted,like me he'd been looking forward to this one. But he was in a heap and there was no way he was even up to the journey to galway.

    Anyway I stood on the startline wondering how the hell this was gonna play itself out. I had no idea what would happen, I was doped up to the eyeballs on penicillin and asprin, I could blow up after 1 mile. So I went off and got in with a solid group. First mile was 5:23 and I felt fine. second mile 5:22, still feeling ok. Mile 3 5:22. The group I was in was fairly large so I was nearly tripping over some heals. The lad Im training with for the marathon like to go off hard but I convinced him to relax and reign it in for a bit. But he was straining at the leash. He bolted to the head of the group and everybody tucked in behind him. I legged it up alongside him, tapped him on the back and said, relax man, let someone else do the donkey work. So the two of us drifted back into the pack allowing others to do the work. By 5 miles gone I was getting a little frustrated with the pace so I gave my mate a nod and the two of us set off in pursuit of two lads about 100m up the road. I dont know how it was possible but I was feeling grand. I was kicking myself for going off so easily though and losing ground on a couple of lads I shouldve beaten. Went through 10k in 33:52(10k station being manned by craughwell superstar and housewives favorite mrak). By this stage the lad Im training with droppd back a litttle so it was myself and another guy in red singlet. Didnt get a good look at him because he spent the remainder of the race glued to my shoulder(well just slightly back off my shoulder allowing me to do all the work).
    We were going at a good steady 5:25 pace and we went through 10miles at 55 dead. By this stage a lot of people were coming back to us. Caught up with a tall lad from GCH who I later found out was matt bidwell. He was struggling a little but once he hooked in with myself and the other lad he held on well. That was mistake number 2. I should've blown by him as fast as I could so as to deter him latching, that would come back to haunt me at the finish.
    12miles gone and I couldnt believe how quickly the race had flown by. But just past the 12mile point I felt a stitch coming on, Fecking anti-biotics I reckon. The pain became really intense very quickly. I shouted all manner of profanities. The two lads must've thought I was nuts. I started to drift back a little but then I regained my composure and latched back onto them. I was digging my fist into my right side and breathing sharply everytime my right foot hit the ground. 12.75 miles gone and I was face with a decision. I dont know what its like at this point in a race for other people but for me this is the moment of truth, I get to find out if Im a coward or if I have some courage because the temptation to to just let the two lads battle it out between themselves and just coast passively to the finish was massive. I mean nobody would say anything, nobody would take me up on it and say; I see you bottled it at the finish there. But its at these moments you realise its not about anybody but yourself and doing yourself justice. So for a fleeting moment I felt myself relax and let the two lads get half a yard on me. But then I knew what would happen at the finish and beyond. Id know in my heart that I acted like a coward and thats the worst feeling in the world. It burns away at you and ultimately undermines your progress. So at 12.75 miles I kicked. It was torture because the pace was already fairly hot. I went by the two lads, one went with me(matt bidwell) and the other dude had had enough. We tore down towards the finish, 200 to go. Matt got in front of my shoulder I was giving it everything I had but I was runnig out of road. He got me. Beaten fair and square which is fine by me, so long as I went for it and gave it everything I have, all is well and Im at peace with myself. Some other bugger got me on the line aswell though........he came out of nowhere. I was focusing on matt and just as I got to the line this white blur dipped and got me on the left hand side. I had a little laugh to myself about that.
    Anyway Im really happy with this race. I did go off too easy and let a few of my rivals get the jump on me but to be fair Id been pretty sick during the week so to even make the start line was doing well, anything after that was a bonus. Roll with the punches was It was a great day soured a little by a bit of petty vindictiveness from a grown man in my club. Silly carry on altogether.

    I'm a litttle beat up this week, did a session today which was a bit of a beast, completely shattered. Gonna have to take it handy ahead of the half in the park next week. I know predictions are a fools game but Im pretty sure I can at least 60secs off the time I did on sunday. But talk is cheap and theres always the danger of writing cheques your ass cant cash. I'll see what happens on the day.......


    Time: 72:12*
    Position: 15th

    *on the official results it has me at 72:22 but I stopped my watch at 72:12. Im taking 72:12, they can feck off Im not being done out of 10secs.




  • Jeez man, savage race and report, I'm tense after reading that. That's a super run after a bad week with sickness, looking good for the Dublin 1/2.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    ............. Some other bugger got me on the line aswell though........he came out of nowhere. I was focusing on matt and just as I got to the line this white blur dipped and got me on the left hand side. I had a little laugh to myself about that........

    I think the moment that 'bugger' passed you was caught on camera.

    (Photo 2031) Eyeballs out going for it.
    (Photo 2032) WTF... Where'd he come from.

    Photo 2031

    Photo 2032




  • pconn062 wrote: »
    Jeez man, savage race and report, I'm tense after reading that. That's a super run after a bad week with sickness, looking good for the Dublin 1/2.
    Bugsy2000 wrote: »
    I think the moment that 'bugger' passed you was caught on camera.

    Thanks lads. Although I think I broke something running that race sick. This week my entire body has completely shut down on me. Its as if I took out a loan to run the half and now Im paying it off. Getting blood test on thrusday but not looking too hot for saturday in the park.




  • Wasnt gonna write a report but then I remembered a line from "If" by rudyard kibling:

    If you can meet triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same

    So here goes.........

    I've had a good year, lots of top 5s and top 3s and one outright win. So going into marathon training I was super confident. Plan was to do 10k training then a marathon and thats how it went. This year I became fascinated with barefoot running and started to work towards my ulitmate goal of running everything I do in zero shoes. The problem though was I was starting from a place were I was coming from wearing heavy orthotics. So I had to wean myself off the orthotics then graduate to regular shoes, then to lighter and lighter shoes. Its a long story but I got to the point were I was running all my races orthotic free. But I didnt get away with it completely because a couple of times over the summer my calves became seriously tight after a race. Anyway went into marathon training and was managing things. Plenty of good races and high finishing positions. Did the frank duffy 10mile and it went well enough, calve though became very tight near the end and cost me 2 places. But I worked on it during the week and got the tightness out. The national half was the week after and as luck would have it I came down with a chest infection midweek before the race. I was in a jock and had to resort to anti-biotics, something I never do but I was desperate to run that race. Anyway I ran the race feeling more than a bit ropey but it turned out fairly well. But the week after I wasnt right at all. I did a session with my training partner paul and he left me for dead, usually it was the other way around. My legs just had nothing in them. I did the race series half the following week thinking I should be ok by then but I still wasnt right. I came 3rd and everybody was telling me I had run great but they didnt know the truth. I hadnt run well at all, it was shocker and the result was more of a refelection on who wasnt there than any great performance from me. I was worried. I got a blood test and it showed that my iron stores were fairly low. I dont eat red meat but with the marathon coming I had to start lashing the steak into me. The following week I ran the rathfarnham 5k. I still was feeling crap. Whatever I had dome to myself racing the national half in a depleted state still hadnt fixed itself. But I figured I'd run the 5k and inject a bit of pace into my legs. The night before I had a shoe dilemma: light or ultra light. My ego won and I choose ultra light. And this is were I ruined my marathon.........
    After the first mile of the 5k I came around a corner and felt a big jolt in my achilles. I finished the race but it was a howler. Not only was I not feeling right but now my achilles was hurt. To top it all off I puked my ring all over the road at the finish line. Some dude was trying to usher me off to the side out of the way of on coming runners but I just kept puking, I even threw up on his shoes. To make matters worse we had a 21 mile run scheduled for directly after the race and if I was sensible I wouldve called it off. But after missing sessions the week before on account of my legs feeling shot, I went ahead with the session. My achilles was screaming at me all the way but I got through it. Stupid, very stupid. The next day I still wouldnt concede defeat and I ran a 10miler........took me 88minutes. All that week I continued to grit it out and run. I was hobbling and running arseways and very slowly. Passed a group of kids in the park and I was running so awkwardly they laughed at me. Man that was funny, I laughed myself. It was ridiculous, I needed to stop running and let things repair themselves, but It being 4 weeks away from the marathon I was digging my heels in and refusing to stop. I ran a 20mile race, and came first, but again, that was more of a reflection of who wasnt there than any great running on my part. Achilles was at me all the way and after I could barely walk. At this stage I hadnt trained in weeks, all I could manage was slow running/hobbling. The athlone 3/4 was the following week and because I hadnt been training I figured I'd give it a lash and hopefully not **** myself up too much. Again, another very silly decision. Achilles was even worse than the week before and by the end I was barely moving.
    It was 3 weeks to the marathon and I had to stop running completely, even though all Id been doing was hobbling. Now I couldnt even hobble.
    Over the next 3 weeks I hit the bike and managed 2 runs, one of them on the treadmill. And so to the race itself.........

    Race day
    So having not run for 3 weeks and having not done any consistant training since the national half marathon at the start of september I arrived at the start without any clue where I stood fitness wise. My plan was to take off easy then feel things out form there. Paul, I knew would attack like crazy from the start but I knew it'd be suicide to try and go with him. So we shook hands at the start and I wished him well. My only fear was he'd attack too hard and blow himself out.
    So off we went and I was nice and relaxed. Went with pauric mckinney for the first mile(5:42) but I decided it was too hot and I let him go. John Byrne came alongside me and we chatted away for the first 4 miles. We were then joined by the great cathal o connell who took things up a bit. I decided to go with cathal but John didnt. So it was me and cathal running very sensibly I thought. We'd push on the downhills and take it very easy on the inclines. Hit 10k in 37mins and 10 miles in 58 and some change. I felt great, very strong and in control. Achilles was at me from 4 miles, though nothng major and I was beginning to think I'd pull off the great escape. Myself and cathal hit half way in 77:20 or so and all was well. achilles was getting tighter but again I still felt it was ok. We hit the terenure road and cathal took things up a notch, which was grand as I was gonna do that myself. But as we approached the cross roads in terenure my achilles went from manageable to worrying very quickly.
    I got a gel from my buddy phil and contiuned hoping the achilles would settle, but it got worse. I was starting to run assways and cathal pulled away at 17miles. That broke my heart because I felt really strong, I knew I could stay with him but my achilles just wasnt working right. I tried to accelerate to cath up with him but the achilles screamed and I had to make a choice: Try and catch up and not finish the race or run at a slower clip and finish. And that was it, I slowed to about 6:11/mile feeling very frustrated as I knew I had a lot more in the tank than that but I just couldnt use it.
    I was running awkwardly, trying to spare my right leg and putting too much strain on the left. As a result my left quad started to cramp. Jesus I mustve looked gas. People started to stream by me which was soul destroying. One by one every single dude I'd beaten regularly in races throughout the year passed me. It was like a christmas carol, all the ghosts of christmas past coming to revisit me. Eoin callaghan went by meand fair play to him he was trying to get me to jump in with him and his buddy, but when I tried to speed up the achilles screamed and that was that. But it was cool of him to try and help me out.
    And then I heard the worst sound in the world. A sound I thought I'd never hear again after the good year I'd had: "C'mon Maria"
    ****, I was about to be chicked. Maria mc cambridge went by me with entourage in toe. This was getting embarressing..........
    I hung on at the same pace, my left quad was really starting to lock up though and I was worried if I'd even make it to the finish. The downhills were the worst and ironically were I slowed the most. Tommy mc elwaine passed me and like Eoin, gave me great encouragement aswell. I got to the rds and heard more runners behind me. I had a quick glance and it was the road runner. Himself and pete mooney were going great guns.
    At about 25 miles gone john byrne went by me. John was briliiant, he was shouting at me telling me to dig in. I tried to tell him my achilles was fecked and I actually felt ok otherwise, but he was so caught up in the moment he didnt hear me and conitued to shout at me. I had a little chuckle to myself about that one. I was really seeing the best in the all the lads, they were being so good to me.
    So finally a was running up nassau street with about 300m to go. By this stage I hadnt looked at the watch since 20miles so I had no idea how much time I'd leaked. There was a clock at the 200m to go point and I was pleanstly suprised to see that it was a lot better than I thought it'd be. Managed to make a sprint for it, to hell with how the achilles felt, no way I was gonna hobble over the line.

    When I crossed the line I saw paul hanging onto a railing for dear life. I went over to him and asked him how he did. 2:29. Now me and paul being mens men and all are not ones for displays of emotion or anything like that. So it came as a shock to both of us when I hugged him and he hugged me. It was a bit awkward and like watching two ironing boards embrace but it was pretty deep stuff for two blokes whos idea of showing emotion would normally involve a bit of eyebrow movement at best.
    Anyway pauls legs had locked up and he couldnt budge so I had to kind of carry him over to the physio tent were they got him to the point where he could walk again.

    I've never finished a marathon feeling like I had so much more left in the tank, I felt great apart from the achilles. Im not so disapointed though, I can honestly say I did all that I could do on the day. I know I have a really good marathon in me, the only thing I have to get right is to get myself to the startline in one piece. But to do that I gotta rein my ego in and start being more sensible about things. I will never run on an injury again. Had I taken a step back after rathfarnham 5k for even 3 days I know I would've been up there with paul instead of hobbling my way to the finish. The plan was to do berlin next year but Im a bit niave about these things and I've already missed the boat on that one. So its probably gonna be dublin again next year, maybe amsterdamn. 10k plan first though which Im looking forward to. But next year the name of the game will be self care.
    Well done to paddy who ran 2:48. He was a bit pissed not to dip under 2:48 but upon reflection he'll be chuffed. Next year he'll go sub 2:40 because he, like me has learned a lot this year, mostly what not to do.
    Dave fitz ran a stormer on a difficult day. There was a stiff headwind on a lot of sections which I reckon robbed him of 2:35.

    Sorry nearly forgot to put down my time:

    2:38:44




  • You were looking strong on Cromwellsfort (that was me giving you a shout)
    Do you have a coach? Someone to tell you when you need to sit out a race, or miss a day's training, to hit the longer term goal?




  • RayCun wrote: »
    You were looking strong on Cromwellsfort (that was me giving you a shout)
    Do you have a coach? Someone to tell you when you need to sit out a race, or miss a day's training, to hit the longer term goal?

    No I coach myself. To be fair I should get fired after that debacle. Although Im not sure it would've made any difference if there was someone telling me to back off. I always gotta learn these things the hard way.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Now me and paul being mens men and all are not ones for displays of emotion or anything like that. So it came as a shock to both of us when I hugged him and he hugged me. It was a bit awkward and like watching two ironing boards embrace but it was pretty deep stuff for two blokes whos idea of showing emotion would normally involve a bit of eyebrow movement at best.

    Ha, probably one of the funniest things anyones ever posted on here. :D

    Sorry to hear it didn't go to plan Eoin. You were flying and looking comfortable when you passed me.

    Tough lessons learnt, it's always hard to be the one to make the call that you need to take a few days rest or not take part in a race when it's all you want to do.

    Hope you recover and get back on track quickly. Be careful with that achilles, you'll regret it if you don't let it repair before you start smashin out sessions again.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Wasnt gonna write a report but then I remembered a line from "If" by rudyard kibling:

    If you can meet triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same

    So here goes.........

    I've had a good year, lots of top 5s and top 3s and one outright win. So going into marathon training I was super confident. Plan was to do 10k training then a marathon and thats how it went. This year I became fascinated with barefoot running and started to work towards my ulitmate goal of running everything I do in zero shoes. The problem though was I was starting from a place were I was coming from wearing heavy orthotics. So I had to wean myself off the orthotics then graduate to regular shoes, then to lighter and lighter shoes. Its a long story but I got to the point were I was running all my races orthotic free. But I didnt get away with it completely because a couple of times over the summer my calves became seriously tight after a race. Anyway went into marathon training and was managing things. Plenty of good races and high finishing positions. Did the frank duffy 10mile and it went well enough, calve though became very tight near the end and cost me 2 places. But I worked on it during the week and got the tightness out. The national half was the week after and as luck would have it I came down with a chest infection midweek before the race. I was in a jock and had to resort to anti-biotics, something I never do but I was desperate to run that race. Anyway I ran the race feeling more than a bit ropey but it turned out fairly well. But the week after I wasnt right at all. I did a session with my training partner paul and he left me for dead, usually it was the other way around. My legs just had nothing in them. I did the race series half the following week thinking I should be ok by then but I still wasnt right. I came 3rd and everybody was telling me I had run great but they didnt know the truth. I hadnt run well at all, it was shocker and the result was more of a refelection on who wasnt there than any great performance from me. I was worried. I got a blood test and it showed that my iron stores were fairly low. I dont eat red meat but with the marathon coming I had to start lashing the steak into me. The following week I ran the rathfarnham 5k. I still was feeling crap. Whatever I had dome to myself racing the national half in a depleted state still hadnt fixed itself. But I figured I'd run the 5k and inject a bit of pace into my legs. The night before I had a shoe dilemma: light or ultra light. My ego won and I choose ultra light. And this is were I ruined my marathon.........
    After the first mile of the 5k I came around a corner and felt a big jolt in my achilles. I finished the race but it was a howler. Not only was I not feeling right but now my achilles was hurt. To top it all off I puked my ring all over the road at the finish line. Some dude was trying to usher me off to the side out of the way of on coming runners but I just kept puking, I even threw up on his shoes. To make matters worse we had a 21 mile run scheduled for directly after the race and if I was sensible I wouldve called it off. But after missing sessions the week before on account of my legs feeling shot, I went ahead with the session. My achilles was screaming at me all the way but I got through it. Stupid, very stupid. The next day I still wouldnt concede defeat and I ran a 10miler........took me 88minutes. All that week I continued to grit it out and run. I was hobbling and running arseways and very slowly. Passed a group of kids in the park and I was running so awkwardly they laughed at me. Man that was funny, I laughed myself. It was ridiculous, I needed to stop running and let things repair themselves, but It being 4 weeks away from the marathon I was digging my heels in and refusing to stop. I ran a 20mile race, and came first, but again, that was more of a reflection of who wasnt there than any great running on my part. Achilles was at me all the way and after I could barely walk. At this stage I hadnt trained in weeks, all I could manage was slow running/hobbling. The athlone 3/4 was the following week and because I hadnt been training I figured I'd give it a lash and hopefully not **** myself up too much. Again, another very silly decision. Achilles was even worse than the week before and by the end I was barely moving.
    It was 3 weeks to the marathon and I had to stop running completely, even though all Id been doing was hobbling. Now I couldnt even hobble.
    Over the next 3 weeks I hit the bike and managed 2 runs, one of them on the treadmill. And so to the race itself.........

    Race day
    So having not run for 3 weeks and having not done any consistant training since the national half marathon at the start of september I arrived at the start without any clue where I stood fitness wise. My plan was to take off easy then feel things out form there. Paul, I knew would attack like crazy from the start but I knew it'd be suicide to try and go with him. So we shook hands at the start and I wished him well. My only fear was he'd attack too hard and blow himself out.
    So off we went and I was nice and relaxed. Went with pauric mckinney for the first mile(5:42) but I decided it was too hot and I let him go. John Byrne came alongside me and we chatted away for the first 4 miles. We were then joined by the great cathal o connell who took things up a bit. I decided to go with cathal but John didnt. So it was me and cathal running very sensibly I thought. We'd push on the downhills and take it very easy on the inclines. Hit 10k in 37mins and 10 miles in 58 and some change. I felt great, very strong and in control. Achilles was at me from 4 miles, though nothng major and I was beginning to think I'd pull off the great escape. Myself and cathal hit half way in 77:20 or so and all was well. achilles was getting tighter but again I still felt it was ok. We hit the terenure road and cathal took things up a notch, which was grand as I was gonna do that myself. But as we approached the cross roads in terenure my achilles went from manageable to worrying very quickly.
    I got a gel from my buddy phil and contiuned hoping the achilles would settle, but it got worse. I was starting to run assways and cathal pulled away at 17miles. That broke my heart because I felt really strong, I knew I could stay with him but my achilles just wasnt working right. I tried to accelerate to cath up with him but the achilles screamed and I had to make a choice: Try and catch up and not finish the race or run at a slower clip and finish. And that was it, I slowed to about 6:11/mile feeling very frustrated as I knew I had a lot more in the tank than that but I just couldnt use it.
    I was running awkwardly, trying to spare my right leg and putting too much strain on the left. As a result my left quad started to cramp. Jesus I mustve looked gas. People started to stream by me which was soul destroying. One by one every single dude I'd beaten regularly in races throughout the year passed me. It was like a christmas carol, all the ghosts of christmas past coming to revisit me. Eoin callaghan went by meand fair play to him he was trying to get me to jump in with him and his buddy, but when I tried to speed up the achilles screamed and that was that. But it was cool of him to try and help me out.
    And then I heard the worst sound in the world. A sound I thought I'd never hear again after the good year I'd had: "C'mon Maria"
    ****, I was about to be chicked. Maria mc cambridge went by me with entourage in toe. This was getting embarressing..........
    I hung on at the same pace, my left quad was really starting to lock up though and I was worried if I'd even make it to the finish. The downhills were the worst and ironically were I slowed the most. Tommy mc elwaine passed me and like Eoin, gave me great encouragement aswell. I got to the rds and heard more runners behind me. I had a quick glance and it was the road runner. Himself and pete mooney were going great guns.
    At about 25 miles gone john byrne went by me. John was briliiant, he was shouting at me telling me to dig in. I tried to tell him my achilles was fecked and I actually felt ok otherwise, but he was so caught up in the moment he didnt hear me and conitued to shout at me. I had a little chuckle to myself about that one. I was really seeing the best in the all the lads, they were being so good to me.
    So finally a was running up nassau street with about 300m to go. By this stage I hadnt looked at the watch since 20miles so I had no idea how much time I'd leaked. There was a clock at the 200m to go point and I was pleanstly suprised to see that it was a lot better than I thought it'd be. Managed to make a sprint for it, to hell with how the achilles felt, no way I was gonna hobble over the line.

    When I crossed the line I saw paul hanging onto a railing for dear life. I went over to him and asked him how he did. 2:29. Now me and paul being mens men and all are not ones for displays of emotion or anything like that. So it came as a shock to both of us when I hugged him and he hugged me. It was a bit awkward and like watching two ironing boards embrace but it was pretty deep stuff for two blokes whos idea of showing emotion would normally involve a bit of eyebrow movement at best.
    Anyway pauls legs had locked up and he couldnt budge so I had to kind of carry him over to the physio tent were they got him to the point where he could walk again.

    I've never finished a marathon feeling like I had so much more left in the tank, I felt great apart from the achilles. Im not so disapointed though, I can honestly say I did all that I could do on the day. I know I have a really good marathon in me, the only thing I have to get right is to get myself to the startline in one piece. But to do that I gotta rein my ego in and start being more sensible about things. I will never run on an injury again. Had I taken a step back after rathfarnham 5k for even 3 days I know I would've been up there with paul instead of hobbling my way to the finish. The plan was to do berlin next year but Im a bit niave about these things and I've already missed the boat on that one. So its probably gonna be dublin again next year, maybe amsterdamn. 10k plan first though which Im looking forward to. But next year the name of the game will be self care.
    Well done to paddy who ran 2:48. He was a bit pissed not to dip under 2:48 but upon reflection he'll be chuffed. Next year he'll go sub 2:40 because he, like me has learned a lot this year, mostly what not to do.
    Dave fitz ran a stormer on a difficult day. There was a stiff headwind on a lot of sections which I reckon robbed him of 2:35.

    Sorry nearly forgot to put down my time:

    2:38:44


    One of the great things about Boards is that plodders like me can share the experiences of elite athletes like yourself. Really enjoyed that report. You've put your body through some savage hardship there. Don't know how you did it but well done hope you give yourself some time to heal now.

    Lot's of HTFU in action in that report!


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  • tungusta
    everyone on this site can only look up to the likes of yourself:)
    most of us could never run anywhere near the times you might run on a bad day,but we could all learn from you,you never give up.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Although Im not sure it would've made any difference if there was someone telling me to back off. I always gotta learn these things the hard way.

    Sometimes we all need someone to tell us when we're being ****ing stupid :)
    It's hard to get that distance on your own training.




  • tunguska - Fair play to ya. You're an inspiration for us middle of the road runners, love your attitude and guts in races from the reports.

    Would you be steering clear of the zero shoes now? I'm a Physio myself and the evidence behind them is still fairly minimal. Metatarsal stress fractures and achilles tendinopathy such as yours and presenting more often than any of the other problems they are supposed to avoid it seems!




  • runsir wrote: »
    Would you be steering clear of the zero shoes now? I'm a Physio myself and the evidence behind them is still fairly minimal. Metatarsal stress fractures and achilles tendinopathy such as yours and presenting more often than any of the other problems they are supposed to avoid it seems!

    Im gonna give it this year anyway, so that I can say to myself I gave it a proper go. If it doesnt work out, so be it but I have to give it a shot because I really think theres something there. I haven't even got down to the zeros yet though. I've been wearing orthotics for the last 3 years so my first target is to do all my running without any aids. Then when/if that works out I'll try to work my way to the zeros.




  • Kinvara Rock & Road Half Marathon

    Theres nothing special about this race to merit a report other than it went well for me & I enjoyed it, so here goes;

    (Note: It was originally written for the club website so it there's a few reference's in there that might not make sense to the general public)


    Red Rag to A Bull! / Angels &Demons:

    Whilst I had always intended on running this race I hadn’t initially intended on racing ithard, with the focus more on the half in Connemara, but over the last month I’ve felt I’ve been in good form so it would be a shame to waste it.

    The first edition of this race was also my first half marathon two years ago and what an eye opener it was. I realised very quickly that my sporadic training and basic mileage wasn’t going to cut it anymore & struggled home in 2.28. Two years down the line with a much more regimental training plan & a couple of thousand miles under the belt I felt in a much better place this time around.

    So down to Kinvara early Saturday morning on what was a perfect day for racing & who better to meet on my warm up then last year’s half marathon winner & fellow Athenry AC member, Sinead Foran, who gave some brilliant advice on course profile & where it was going to get difficult (Congrats to Sinead onanother podium finish in Kinvara). Then, on the way to the start line, I met another Athenry member, Boards.ie member and one of my training buddies, BrokenMan, who gave me the best kick in the arse I needed before the race by telling me ‘Beat my time & I’ll beat you!!’ (Pronounced Beet my time & I’ll bait you!!!) (Red rag to a bull)

    I’ve learned by now that I go out fast for the first mile no matter what distance the race is. I’ve tried to change it but I’ve finally given in and now I factor that burst of adrenaline into my race strategy. I also like to get out ahead of the crowd too at the start so for those reasons I was practically toeing the line as the countdown started.

    The claxon sounded & as always I was away like the clappers, a loop of the town & left turn up the hill onto the race course proper. Some great support around the town but I knew that would change soon as we headed off into the Burren. My race strategy had me running between 7:15 – 7:20 min/miles to achieve the 1.35/ 36 I was after. First mile down & I was feeling comfortable but seeing as I was neck & neck with the 1.30 pacers I knew I should pull it back a bit.

    Mile 1: 6.43

    I always find with longer distance races that in the first few miles you can overtake & be overtaken by the same people on multiple occasions in short periods as everyone settles into their rhythm & this race was no different. There was plenty of room though as my initial burst had me ahead of the bulk of 500+runners, but unfortunately despite making a conscious effort to rein in the pace, by mile 2 I was still within touching distance with the 1.30 group. I still felt comfortable but didn’t fancy that to last for the full race at this pace.

    Mile 2: 7.01

    The adrenaline was finally draining as I settled into the race and let the pacers go ahead of me slightly. The course is very slightly uphill for the first 5miles with a few small rolling hills but when you train in Ryehill every week these hills seem that bit easier. By the turn at mile 4.5 I was happy the pacers were well ahead & I was comfortably moving along.

    Mile 3: 7.09
    Mile 4: 7.19

    As we turn the corner we get the first hint of wind but its light and shouldn’t cause any problems. (But in fairness, after the recent Athenry Club ‘Fun (??)’ Run in Connemara anything less than Force 5 is a mild breeze). I knew from looking at the course profile that the next few miles were fairly flat with a slight downhill so was tempted to pick up the pace again here but Sinead’s words were echoing in my head ‘Save it for the end, there’s a few tricky hills’. I had a little giggle to myself as Sinead appeared as an angel over my right shoulder with her words of wisdom while Broken Man appeared over my left shoulder as the devil;‘Beat my time & I’ll Beat you!!’. Good triumphed over evil though & I kept the pace level. Got to the water station at 6miles & although still feeling comfortable I took a gel knowing that it surely wouldn’t stay like that. Hit the first of the hills at 6.5m (small, short & steep as they tend to be on this course) and was able to power through it. Next hill at the turn at mile 7, bigger & steeper but again powered through it. It was at this point I realised how spread out the racers were around me. From mile 4 on I had practically ran the race on my own with only a handful of racers being overtaken by me or passing me. I normally only run my own race and ignore what’s going on around me but as I was still feeling ok I decided to try and rein in a few people ahead of me.

    Mile 5: 7.22
    Mile 6: 7.16
    Mile 7: 7.22

    The turn at mile 7 brought another slight rise in the wind speed & a slight incline(wind, hills; this isn’t wind & hills) but again it wasn’t anything to worry about. I had a few targets up ahead now and the focus was on them. A few minutes in and my breathing & stride pattern was feeling a little bit raggedy for the first time. Doubt started to creep in slightly & I was wondering did I try too much too soon. So I did what any self-respecting Athenry AC member would do and asked myself ‘What would Dee Quinn do?’ (It’s a club thing) So I gave myself a good talking to; Hush the Fup Up, Cop On & Boot Down! Next mile ticked over & despite my worries I was delighted to see the lap times consistent. Mini crisis over, I picked it up slightly on the small downhill section & headed for the last turn that would bring us back in from the Burren & heading for Kinvara. This turn gives you the feeling you’re on the home stretch which always buoys you a bit & passing the 10mile mark I was at 1.12.**, leaving me 23mins for thef inal 5k to get in on target. Easily doable for a normal 5k, how about today?????

    Mile 8: 7.23
    Mile 9: 7.13
    Mile 10:7.22

    This course has a habit of throwing little steep inclines at you out of nowhere and as I was beginning to feel the pace it threw another one in, just after mile 11.WTF!? Where the hell did this come from? And the wind? Again WTF!? I take it all back, Ryehill & Connemara haven’t a patch on this. (Looking back at the stats the hill is only about 10m high but I could have sworn at the time I was climbing Everest) I again powered up it but knew half way I was failing fast.Got to the top and had to stop to walk for a breather. I was only walking for about 5 – 10 seconds when someone passed and gave some words of encouragement. It was the first person who had passed me in miles and after making up plenty of places over the last 3 – 4 miles I wasn’t a happy bunny. I managed to start up again and hung on to the heels of my competition for dear life. (He might have offered me some encouragement but a race is a race :)) The short break had done me good though & I quickly passed him again with another two more in sight. I could see they were flagging badly & caught them soon enough. Into the last mile and I had some confidence back & was putting my energy into reining in as many as I could. Hit the final turn into the village proper and knew there wasn’t much left to the end. Caught two more on the turn & felt my pace quicken again. I could see one more ahead of me & was confident that my normal speedy kick to the line would get him too. Down onto the quays and immediately I could hear Pam & her rent a crowd screaming like lunatics (I think she bullies everyone into screaming my name). I had picked up the pace and was hurting like hell, couldn’t even acknowledge them. I passed my next target with about a couple hundred meters to go but I had nothing left. I couldn’t kick on at all and as we dodged a stray child on the track he re-passed me about 30m before the line.



    Over the line in 1.35.13 for a 9min PB and a 53min increase over this race two years previous & happy that there wasn’t another second out there (Well maybe at the top of my Everest, but there are always What if’s?).



    So all done and dusted, thanks to the words of wisdom from Sinead, the encouragement on the start line from Philip & Pam & the kick up the arse from Broken Man. Only one thing left now – name a time and a place Broken Man :D.

    Edit: I've since found out the the lad who caught me before the line was none other than Spurscormac from these parts - small world.




  • Bugsy2000 wrote: »
    Only one thing left now – name a time and a place Broken Man :D

    Portumna June 15th :p




  • BrokenMan wrote: »

    Portumna June 15th :p

    Ah bo!!ocks!




  • I only usually write a report for a marathon, but seeing as there's no spring marathon for me this year, thought I'd throw down some thoughts on this one.

    It's the first time I've actually trained specifically for a half marathon, instead of doing one as a marathon warm-up. Well, that was the plan in December anyway. As it turned out, I've spent the last two-three months doing very unspecific training, but a lot of quality work. Cross country races went fairly well, and I did a decent 5k a few weeks ago. Last weekend, I did a bit of a 10 mile tempo run, which was faster than my 10 mile PB, so was feeling confident of a decent run out today.

    The race started at 10 in the square in Dundalk. I decided I wanted to get out relatively well, and try and bank a bit of time on the flat first couple of miles. 5:59 for the first mile felt fairly comfortable, but I decided to back off a bit, to 6:15 pace. Gary O'H, Krusty, Pronator and a few others headed off, so I figured I was in and around 10th-12th early on.

    As soon as we hit the first couple of hills, I pretty much broke up the group of 5 that I'd been running in, maintaining pace at 6:20, with all but 1 or 2 dropping back. My small group didn't seem to be wanting to share pacing duties, so it wasn't until I took a small wrong turn at about 5 or 6 miles that they actually went in front of me. The marshalls heard a few profanities before I spent the next mile catching up to my group.

    This point of the race, between 6-10 miles was very tough. No longer on the sheltered back roads, the wind was really becoming a factor. I thought at the Carrickdale Hotel at mile 8 that the hills must be nearly finished, but they kept going. After 9 miles, one of our group made a mini-break and got a bit of a march on us. I'd very little in the tank, and mile 10 showed up at 6:52, by a distance the slowest mile of the race for me.

    Happily though, the road levelled out, and I managed to get a bit of rhythm back, clocking mile 11 in 6:20. Then, the promised land, the huge drop into Newry lay in front of me. My fellow runner was still camped on my shoulder, having only spent about a quarter of a mile in front of me for the whole race. At this stage, I decided there and then that I wanted to burn him. A quick calculation at this point, and I knew that I needed two sub-6 miles to hit the PB, which stood at 1.23.30.

    I took off like an absolute lunatic heading down the hill, the shackles of the wind and hills finally gone. I hit mile 12 in 5:45, and thoughts started turning towards the possibility of running sub 1:23. At the start of the race, this had never been a realistic though, but here I was, pretty much flat out, going downhill. I kept up the effort, and mile 13 was run in 5:36. I now had absolutely nothing left and pretty much stumbled in a haze over the last couple of hundred metres, hitting stop on the Garmin at 1:22:55 for 10th place.

    I was absolutely spent at the end, on the floor, but kept it together well enough to find the one and only tray with buns and cake. Had a chat with the lads I was running with, good banter.

    This was probably one of my strongest ever performances, and a real eye-opener of what I might be capable of. I've still got a love affair with the marathon that's not going away, but have really surprised myself with the shorter stuff this season. A great race to finish up a good season.





  • This was probably one of my strongest ever performances, and a real eye-opener of what I might be capable of. I've still got a love affair with the marathon that's not going away, but have really surprised myself with the shorter stuff this season. A great race to finish up a good season.

    Great report Aonghus, and a great result. I hate to break it to you but the season is getting going now! :pac:


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  • The Race

    Start is good fun, if you're not in your pin (B for me) around 30 mins beforehand expect the biggest crush you've ever experienced 'til they open the barriers between pins & everyone surges forward. It's everything you see in the video clips and more, atmosphere is a level above any city marathon I've ever been to.




    Following advice I had a bottle of sports drink with me so was going to skip the first batch of aid stations and sip from the bottle instead. Water comes in little sachets so there will be a few mini explosions of water at aid stations when someone steps on a full one.

    Early stages went grand, morning was nice and cool and I met up with an Irish guy living in Oz who was doing a world running tour including the marathon de Sables (having an Irish flag on your vest is a good idea)! We left Durban in the dark with massive support along the streets & then the motorway towards Maritzburg. Sadly lost touch with him somewhere after the 13k mark. First hill was Cowies roundabout 17k which wasn't too hard to jog up. Lots of people looked to be making breakfast along the road in the towns. Second hill is Fields around 23k, took this one handy so combination of jogging and walking, felt grand at the top. At this stage sun was coming up but still didn't feel too hot.

    The third big hill, Botha's around the 36k mark, is nice and long so again combination of walk/jog but noticed I was doing more walking than jogging as the temp was still going up. Just after the hill we passed Kearsney College which looked like quite a posh private school. Think I was around 3.50ish at 42k so little ahead of my plan which was to aim for a finish somewhere around the 8.15 time frame.

    It was somewhere around here that things started to get "interesting" & not in a good way! Picked up a flower from one of the aid stations to drop at Arthur's Seat as tradition dictates. This is a niche in the rock where one of the famous early winners, Arthur Newton, is supposed to have taken a break on his training runs. It's just after the Comrades 'Wall of Honour' & before the half way point at Drummond. After this there's a nice tasty hill called Inchanga around 46K & then the part I was really looking forward to which was running past the Ethembeni school for the disabled that we visited on the tour on Sat as the kid's enthusiasm is supposed to be legendary!

    The crazy thing is that I remember none of the above apart from getting the flower! After some unknown period of time I realised that I still had a flower in my hand & glancing around nobody else had. Also the next km marker said there was 36km to go which meant I had run ~9km in some sort of daze! As you might imagine this had me somewhat concerned so I switched to survival mode running. If it was up hill I walked, if it was flat jogged and if it was downhill ran, all thoughts of finish times went out the window!

    Temp at this stage was over 30C so I started grabbing two water sachets at every table, sometimes drinking both or usually pouring one over my head to try and cool down a bit. My original plan was to snack on energy bars during walking bits but my stomach wanted nothing solid with the heat so switched to using the energy drink sachets available at the aid stations which worked ok.

    Was happy to back in touch with what was going on around me now! Got some welcome support from the guys with green numbers (>10 Comrades medals) here and there. The seeding means sod all on a run like Comrades & doubly so on a day like this, I jogged past people with green numbers from the A pen & people from the C & D pens jogged past me.

    My friends planned to catch me at Camperdown but we missed each other by around a min we worked out afterwards, traffic to go anywhere along the route was ferocious with very restricted access. Was disappointed to have missed them complete with Irish flags and all :(

    At this stage decided there was no way I wasn't going to finish even if I had to crawl over the line! Time wasn't on my mind at all as I was sticking rigidly to the walk/jog/run plan from earlier. We hit the highest point around the 70km mark which was a good lift to the spirits. The sun was still beaming down, there wasn't a scrap of shade & now there was a nice occasional strong headwind to deal with as well. Passed some chicken farms somewhere around here, the smell of chicken sh*t filled the air for around a k :)

    Little Pollys appeared around 76k but wasn't too bad to walk up, was doing the whole arm pumping thing etc. Passed some people & some passed me. At this stage my sense of unease about passing skinny Africans with A numbers had left me as I really didn't care about anything apart from getting to the end. Nice downhill bit & then it was time to face the final battle of Polly Shortts around 79k. Nothing I can say about this really, it's long, steep & winding, the advice I got was get to the top any way you can! Mercifully there was a bit of shade available by hugging the right side of the road. Around two thirds of the way up despite all I'd been drinking was parched so with all sense of dignity long gone I picked up a discarded half full bottle of sports drink from the side of the road, it really did taste like an angel crying on my tongue :o

    Top of Pollys was like the promised land, started to jog down the other side into a small sand storm for a few hundred meters, couldn't really call it running any more. Less than 8k to go so had a look at the time and to my amazement realised that sub-9h was still within reach. Tried working out what pace I needed to do and it seemed possible. Of course nothing in Comrades is just flat or downhill so I still walked the uphill bits but these were short now. 5k to go & we started hitting the outskirts of Maritzburg, one final challenge around the 4k mark, a small bush fire that the fire brigade were just arriving to put out. Walked until I got out of the smoke cloud which was then replaced by an almost overpowering smell of BBQ's, streets were lined with locals cheering, eating & drinking!

    Checked the watch again as only 3k to go, a fast walk would get me there under 9 at this stage so relaxed a bit & took it nice and easy as didn't want to look like death on legs at the finish line! At the 1k mark my friends were waiting, Irish flags made them easy to spot. I particularly appreciated the 'shift your arse' roar as I went past :) Didn't stop as wasn't sure I'd be able to start again. As normal last k felt like two but finally into the cricket stadium, followed the track round past some gantries that sneakily looked like a finish line but then there it was, the gantry with the clock! Crossed the line, heard the beep from the mat & stopped my garmin. 8.53 & change! Apologies for not having any profound thoughts to share from this moment, all I can remember is something along the lines of 'f*ck yeah made it!' :)

    Bit of blur afterwards, got my medal & a flower! Downed a bottle of water and went to fetch my bag. As i was walking across the field, heard the single shot that signified the 9 hour cutoff mark. Some wandering around to find the showers which were basic (think cold water hoses on the wall while standing on pallets) but did the job. Getting out of my gear was tricky as lots of nasty cramps when I sat down but got it done. Next headed to the international tent for some pasta washed down with some sweet sweet beer ;) My friends showed up and we hung around for an hour or so to cheer on the finishers & soak up the atmosphere.

    Pic is from outside the international tent.

    9ovq.jpg

    Headed off then to avoid the traffic so was back in the hotel to catch the final 30 mins on the telly with the heart rending final cutoff at 12 hours. Much larger numbers than usual didn't make it cause of the heat. Heard from another runner (silver medal on his first go!) that the 'bail buses' were full from the Top of Polly Shortts on so anyone who missed the cutoff there at 16:50 was told to keep going to Maritzburg anyway even though they had no hope of finishing, that's tough :(

    My biggest worry that evening was that although I drank what seemed like my own bodyweigh in liquid since the morning, I hadn't had a pee in over 13 hours! Thankfully normal service resumed later that night :p

    Funny comments I remember along the way:

    Random supporter: Go Italy!
    Me: Ireland dammit Ireland!
    Random supporter: Sorry, Go Ireland!

    Irish supporter: You wouldn't see this heat at home!
    Me: I'm fecking melting!
    Irish supporter: Laughs his head off!

    Anyway that's it! Report is longer than the race :) Having thought about it for two weeks now it's safe to say I'll be back for the down run next year to get my back-to-back medal and hopefully won't get quite as cooked as no other day during the two weeks I spent in SA was as hot as that Sunday. One day it got up to 27C but mostly hovered around twenty with the following Sunday being totally overcast & a relatively chilly 15ish.

    If you're thinking of doing it & have any questions drop me a pm & will do my best to answer.

    Notes

    Tour buses for the route on Sat leave outside Hilton in Durban. Seven people there at 7am so 7.30 should be ok. Filled up by 8am & left just after. The tour can overrun time wise so don't count on being back in Durban at the appointed time, we were over an hour after it. Make sure & bring some rand for the kids at the Ethembeni school (& bring some tissues as well unless you've a heart of stone!).

    Registration on Sat afternoon was very quick once you ignore the huge queue for the locals and walk past them to the end where you'll see the sign for international entrants (on the right in my case). Remember to get tickets for the international tent for anyone who's going to be waiting for you at the finish.

    Camperdown would be a good spot for spectators as one of the sponsors lays on a big supporters zone there and access is ok (relatively) on race day.


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