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Race report thread

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  • Sorry for the belated report - I wasn't going to bother but Git101 twisted my arm. Be warned, it's a long report so I've linked it here.

    Garmin for London and Cork, pics from Cork.




  • Here is my report from the Le Cheile festival of running on Saturday, 22nd June.




  • I have (very belatedly) updated my blog with a report from the Energia 24 hr race last Friday/Saturday week in Belfast.




  • belcarra wrote: »
    I have (very belatedly) updated my blog with a report from the Energia 24 hr race last Friday/Saturday week in Belfast.

    Thrilled for you J:) 100 miles!!! Having read your report I'm seriously tempted to give it a go, you make it sound like so much fun.
    I'm also very happy you made it home in one piece, as you say, next time it'd be wise to book a hotel.
    Well done you!!!




  • Marthastew wrote: »
    Thrilled for you J:) 100 miles!!! Having read your report I'm seriously tempted to give it a go, you make it sound like so much fun.
    I'm also very happy you made it home in one piece, as you say, next time it'd be wise to book a hotel.
    Well done you!!!
    Haha me too .... definitely not going to read it again ;)

    Well done J. Fantastic acheivement :D


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  • Marthastew wrote: »
    Thrilled for you J:) 100 miles!!! Having read your report I'm seriously tempted to give it a go, you make it sound like so much fun.
    I'm also very happy you made it home in one piece, as you say, next time it'd be wise to book a hotel.
    Well done you!!!
    Haha me too .... definitely not going to read it again ;)

    Well done J. Fantastic acheivement :D

    It'd be no bother to the pair of you! Claralara ran 3 x 2 hours in the relay and was flying it around. It really is just as much mental as physical and it's amazing how far you can run if you just tweak back the pace a bit!
    See yez there so!:D




  • My first race that I finished in one piece, in nearly a year.........reckon that deserves a race report.

    The year from Hell
    .
    It goes all the way back to the national half marathon last year. Things had been going well up to that point but I got a chest infection the week of the national half(big thanks to a friend for that)and I probably should've knocked it on the head but I was determined to race. And so I did. It went well but a few days later my body just shut itself down. I had nothing in the tank even though I tried to flog it in sessions. Ran the rathfarnham 5k in a state of overcooked-ness and ended up tearing my achilles(and puking all over the shop at the finsh line). It was bad enough to to make running very difficult and painful. Couldnt run for weeks before the marathon and as a result of everything my DCM was pretty poor, with my achilles worse than ever to boot. Didnt really shake it off and come january was on the track with a friend when coming around a bend my calve just went like somebody had just shot me. I tried to race enniscorthy a few weeks later and calve went again, in the exact same spot. Then a few weeks after that I tried to race ballycotton but calve went after 4 miles. That was it, I had to stop running and get this sorted. So off to The SSC for an MRI.
    Achilles tendonopothy at the insertion point, a torn achilles and a grade II tear of the calve. That was march and so I basically had to stop running for a few months. Made an attempt to come back at the end of may in the sportsworld race but my calve tore again. Another 2 months rehab and no running for the most part. It was frustrating to say the least. To maintain my fitness I used the spinning bikes in the gym. Theyre really good and I got in some savage sessions over the months I wasnt able to run.
    Anyway gradually things started to very slowly get better. I attempted a run here and there. It was literally do a run, then take a week off, run again, take a week off. Sometimes I had to take 2 weeks off after every run. Eventually I got myself to the point where I could run 3 days a week, which is the point Im at now........


    The race
    I really wanted to run the national half. The calve/achilles felt stronger, more stable than it had in over a year so I knwe it'd be ok to give this a shot. Still though, I'd need to wear heavy shoes and take it handy enough. I signed up at the last minute, costing me 49bills, went to the expo on saturday and picked up my number and 2 T-shirts, which were decent enough.
    Got up on race day at 7am, just had half a cereal bar and that was it. I've been training on empty for a fair while now and pretty much every session I did on the spin bike was in a fasted state, its what my body is used to so I decided to stick with what Id been doing. Plus a few extra hrs in bed is always a good thing, talking to a few people afterwards and they'd been up since 5:30am just to eat breakfast, which was insane and something I would never do.
    Anyway met up with paddy, had a chat but then looked down and realised I hadnt put on my heavy shoes, I was wearing my racing flats. I cycled in wearing them and had the heavier shoes in my bag........crap this was gonna be hairy. The gun went and I took off at a stroll. I let everybody go by me. I was very apprehensive about the shoes and my calve/achilles. For the first 800m this is what was going on in my head(Sh1t, Fcuk, crap, balls sh1t, bollox, fcuk, sh1t, fcuk, calve please dont tear, calve please dont tear.........). Jogged up the hill at patrick's street and then was literally walking down the hill at christ church. Streams of people went by me, must've been about 500. When I got to the base of the hill I felt a twinge in the calve(fcuk, sh1t, bollox, please dont tear, please dont tear.....). Thought the gig was up at that point and I slowed again, cue even more people passing me. I positioned myself at the centre of the road so as to avoid the camber and ran very delicately. Got to parkgate st and the road started to incline. Felt another slight twinge and backed off just a bit again. But when we entered the park things seemed to settle down and I was able to wind it up a bit. I passed hundreds of people. It was amazing how fast some people had gone off and already they were blowing up all over the shop, it was carnage and it we hadnt even hit 3 miles gone.
    Chesterfield ave was a tough stretch. I knew it would be, I mean if I had been on the rothar going in the opposite direction I would've been free wheeling and still bombing it. Passed the 5k mark in 19:10 or there abouts and I felt really good. Calve/achilles was always on my mind but it seemed to be ok. I wound it up just a little bit more......Passed a band playing on the right side of the road, it was a bit surreal and I honestly dont know what to make of it. I felt kind of sorry for the muscians because they were giving it socks but nobody was paying any notice to them. Everybody was just focusing on their race and that was it. It was the same for the rest of the race distance and everytime I passed a band I'd cringe because it was like they were playing to an empty venue........

    My 5th mile was the first mile I felt I could open up and relax a bit, it was the first mile that I ran under 6mins(5:49) for the race so far, which is a lot of time lost to the lads ahead. I still had to be very careful on the downhills though which was a bit frustrating not being able to make hay when I had the opportunity to do so. But My primary goal was to get through the race in one piece, everything else was a bonus. So I just focused on the patch of ground immediately in front of me and that was it. Went through 10k in 37:05(I think???) and hit the S-bends. Its always good to be going down military hill as opposed to going up it so I really enjoyed that but I knew there was a hill waiting not so far up the road.
    Came out of the park onto chapelizod road and bloody hell this was soul destroying. I was going at such a pace as to be passing the various groups and individuals I encountered but nobody was able to go with me, which meant I was basically on my own and that stretch just went on and on. Plus there were literally no people out supporting the race on this road for whatever reasons. The only people I saw were one marshall and 2 Gardai at the entrance to the boat club who looked like they were on a break, they didnt say a word as I went by they just eyeballed me which was a bit unsettling. So all the while I was passing people, I was really happy with the pace which was hovering between 5:40 and 5:45. Hit the hill and I consciously took it handy. I know this hill from the marathon and if you whore up it you'll suffer thereafter. Took my one and only drink from a cup at the waterstation at the top of this hill and then it was game on. I knew it was time to wind it up a bit more. Went through 10miles in about 59:15 or so and at about 11 miles I caught up with paddy and niall from my club.
    Was feeling really good at this stage and was fairly relaxed in terms of worrying about the calve/achilles so it was at this point that I finally decided to go racing and claim as many postions as I could.
    The lads ahead seemed to be going at a good clip but I was still catching them. It was fairly spread out aswell so I'd pass somebody then it'd be about 100m to the next lad and so on. At about 12 miles gone I passed a Raheny lad who seemed to have a lot of support. I could tell he was fairly surprised and pissed off to be passed at such a late stage and so he tried to hang onto to me. I dug in and wound it up just a enough to shake him off. Then at 12.5miles I passed another guy who again tried to go with me but I pulled away from him. Hit the 13mile point and the finish was in sight. There was one lad left in front of me and so I kicked to go by him. He tried to race me but he was cooked and had nothing left in his legs, I got a good few yards on him by the time I crossed the finishing line.

    So that was it. My first race back were my calve/achilles held up, I was so happy. The time isnt great but strangely enough Im really proud of it. I mean the first 4 miles I was very cautious and as a result lost a fair bit of time. To put it in context, my halfway split in the marathon last year was about the same as the time I did yesterday, so Im way off were I should be. But that doesnt matter so much because like I said the main goal was to get though the race in one piece, which I did and even today the calve/achilles feels fine. I felt really stong during the whole thing and I know theres a few more gears I can move up when Im back to full fitness.
    I really enjoyed the whole thing though, Jesus I love racing. Theres literally nothing Id rather do. The hunger stayed with me throughout the whole time I was injured and thats something Im really happy about, my desire to race never waivered and after yesterday its stronger than ever.

    Im still only runinng 3 days a week and not doing any speedwork. The plan is to get myself to the point where Im running 7 days a week again but Its gonna be a while before Im at that point I reckon. Im gonna do the Dublin marathon but its not gonna be great. I'll do what I can, but the main goal now will have to be the national 10k next april. But in between now and the end of october I'll do what I can and see what kind of marathon I can pull out of the bag.

    Time: 77:19

    Splits:

    6:18
    6:13
    6:09
    6:00
    5:49
    5:40
    5:48
    5:46
    5:54
    6:00
    5:40
    5:36
    5:33
    5:10




  • Great to see you back out




  • RayCun wrote: »
    Great to see you back out

    Cheers Ray. I passed your brother at about 5 miles and he seemed to be struggling a bit, which I was surprised at. He's normally around 74/75 for the half. Has he been injured?




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Cheers Ray. I passed your brother at about 5 miles and he seemed to be struggling a bit, which I was surprised at. He's normally around 74/75 for the half. Has he been injured?

    His training has been very interrupted this year, a lot of work trips abroad, but yeah, that's a slow time for him. I haven't seen him since the race, don't know what happened yet.
    Maybe I should just find out what his next race is, could be my best chance to beat him :)


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  • Was up in Mancunian land for the weekend had a bash at the City of Salford 10km. Was a lovely sunny and still day for it and the course is about as flat as you could hope for as it is around the quays so the only hills are the foot bridges. It is a very twisty and turny course in a few spots and after having a quick look around the first couple of km or the route before the race started was a bit concerned about getting taken out by various bits of street furniture on sections where the route narrows or takes some very tight turns around benches on the quay side and across a narrow bridge at the start. Was glad I knew where those early obstacles were though.

    The start mat was put across the road a couple of minutes before the due start time, but there was no area marked out for people to line up behind the line so that appeared to just be a random mass of people assembled behind the line. Just about due to go and a short old bloke in his running kit makes his way through the first couple of row of us saying "excuse me lads, I'm starting the race". One of the officials says "Ah, there you are Ron (Hill)" and hands him the megaphone. Ron says something about having a good run and starts the countdown ...3...2.. NO, STOP!!! as another bloke who has been stood in the middle of the road chatting on the phone comes running over.

    Apparently, the Metrolink trams are refusing to stop them running and as the course crosses the lines a couple of times in the first 2 km this is a bit of a problem. The next 20 minutes are then spent with the officials on the phone to someone, some Metrolink staff hanging around wondering why the trams haven't stopped and us runners stood at the line surprisingly patiently.

    There is eventually a sudden movement as the tram staff go running off into the distance to stand in the middle of the tram lines in the hope that their collleagues driving the trams wont run them over, and Ron Hill comes bank on the megaphone and does a very short and sweet 3..2..1..GO and we are off.
    I try and keep myself from going off too nuts at the start and it is OK where I am to be able to avoid the obstacles as we run through the BBC Media City complex and through some narrow tight turns and along the other side of the quay. After about 3km we eventually get back onto some open road, but it is just then running around some industrial complexes and no support or anything interesting to look at really.

    I do spot a Rathfarnham vest beside me along the way and attempt some kind of hello as I go past. Not really many people running alongside me to form into any kind of bunch but that means we can all take the shortest route around each corner without having too many people to dodge around. The roads are all closed and the only other people to see are marshals on each junction and a couple of blokes at a water station who are already getting a bit stressed with trying to hand out bottles by the time I go through, think they will have just given up once the masses got to them as they just had a couple of pallets of unopened 500ml bottles stacked up beside them they were trying to hand out and they couldn't keep up with the speed people were coming at them with hands out when the field was still quite spread out.

    Round a few more industrial complexes and then we pop back out onto the same road that the 5km is now running down, thankfully they are dispersed enough that we don't get in each others way as the two races then follow the same route to the finish. Unfortnately, the route to the finish is back along more of the tight twisty turny narrow paths again. I had lost too much time in the middle of the course that I wasn't close to my PB or getting the sub 36 that I've got my eye on. But happy enough with getting a 36:25, and also the 17:26 in the parkrun the day before as well. I should maybe look at not doing two races in the same weekend?

    I did beat a former winner of the Boston Marathon and former 10mile record holder though, so by my reckoning that makes me the current holder of those titles? :D




  • Kerry Way Ultra Marathon 2013 (DNF) race report here:
    That Weekend in Kerry

    Bertie




  • DUBLIN CITY MARATHON 2013

    Background:
    I’m in my early 30s, running for nearly 2 years, from a baseline of virtually nothing. Aimed for the Connemara Half 2012, which I completed to my delight in 2.10, followed a month later by the Ballina Half in 2.05. I half planned to do the marathon last year, but got scuppered by a bad bout of anaemia that left me pretty helpless.
    I’d a good winter, gradually building the running back up again, and did the Half in Bohermeen in 1:57. But during this race, my right knee started to play up, and I couldn’t run further than 2-3 miles for the next two and a half months. Gradually started to build mileage cautiously in May and June, but a new job in July floored me – working 70 hours/week with lots of extra responsibility. But in August, decided I had to get my sh*t together, and started runmuting to work.
    August and September I averaged 30-40 mile weeks (with one blip week of 11 miles), and got 2 15 milers, 17.5, 18, 19 and 20 miles done – I did most of these on trails around the Phoneix Park to mind the not yet right knee.
    The ¾ Athlone marathon, was prob the best thing I could have done, as it made me reevaluate my goals realistically – got some advice here aswell which I mostly heeded – thanks CM! So my revised goal was 4:30. This however was my only goal. I had no goal B, or C – I HAD to hit this. Hmmmm.

    Morning:
    Up early, and managed to just get out of the house before our electricity went off! Got the Luas in, along with Spiderman(!), and wandered up to McDs for a pre race coffee. Went up to the toilets, and for a minute couldn’t figure out why there was such a massive queue outside the mens – never ever seen that before – but then the penny dropped!
    Made my way to the blue pen, and shivered for a while as my hands went white, and then all of a sudden we were off!
    For some reason that I can’t quite understand myself, I decided to place myself a few rows ahead of the 4.30 pacers – and thought I could drop back to them if I needed extra supports/chats – I was about 2 miles in before I realised that was NOT how chip timing worked,!

    The Race:
    Pressed the button on my stopwatch as I crossed the line – thanks to Statts I think for the Argos tip – and we were off. I was being super cautious, but still hit the first mile marker in 9.47. Slow M, slow. I passed the girl doing the race on crutches accompanied by her father – serious respect due. It took me about 3 miles to feel comfortable, but that’s the way with a lot of my runs, and support from the beginning was amazing. Took some water at the first water station and sipped away. I loved the Phoenix park – the furry rhino outside the zoo, the real live deer cantering away (do deer canter?) from us, the sun beating down (who’d have thought it?!) and the mostly downhill sloping run. Lots of high fiving, lots of smiling! Gel 1 taken at five miles.
    10k in 1:02:46 Av Pace 10.07/mile

    Came out of the park to the amazing support from Donore Harriers and another water station – took the opportunity to take a speedy toilet break. This was my neck of the woods, and it was great to run it as part of the marathon. Got chatting to a lovely girl from Sligo running for the Jack and Jill, but lost her coming up the SCR, was looking out for my sister who was perfectly placed to give me a couple of gels, and unexpectedly, but usefully, a couple of painkillers! Kept the high fiving up, but as we approached ten miles my right knee started to bother me, eek. Gel 2 around 10 miles. Started the long drag up through Crumlin towards Walkinstown – for the first time the wind started to get a little annoying. Was just beginning to find things a little tough, but kept plodding along. I was about 5 minutes up on goal pace, and was feeling reasonably comfortable.
    13.1 miles in 2:11:15 – Av Pace 9.57

    Gel 3 a little early at 14.5 miles. Really liked the run down towards Terenure – great great support, though my responses were gradually diminishing. But as I ran by Bushy Park I ran to give a little girl a high five and WHAM my left knee suddenly started to hurt like bejasus. Like someone was squeezing the marrow out if it – did a run limp and evaluated my options.
    1. Stop – embarrassment factor too high
    2. Walk for a while – 11 miles from the finish, too long a walk, I hate walking
    3. Keep going and see what would happen.
    I picked option 3, and kept going, and after about a mile it started to feel a bit better.
    Although at this point, EVERYTHING was hurting. I felt ok, but my legs just ached like mad with every single step. Each mile felt literally (I know, I’m using literally for dramatic effect) longer than the last. I passed 2 women after the short slope in Milltown, who said – ‘That’s it, the big hill they were all talking about, no bother now’ – I didn’t bother disillusioning them!
    I missed the 18 mile marker, so mile 19 was a very pleasant surprise! Gel 4 taken here.
    Then the hill – tbh it didn’t make too much difference to me, it was just more incredible discomfort in a world of incredible discomfort!
    20 miles in 3.20:46 – Av Pace 10.05

    Found out around here that Sean Hehir had won! That gave me a little boost. But this whole period was pretty awful. Carnage all around with people walking, stretching on the side of the road. I felt nauseous, and kept thinking Never Ever Ever Again. But at the RTE corner, my friend and her sister were unexpectedly there and that gave me such a boost!! She took a photo of me –and it bears absolutely no resemblance to how I felt in reality! I felt horrendous, but looked relaxed and happy – the camera certainly does lie! The next 4 miles were a mental battle more than anything, trying lots of positive thoughts, and as we came up for the last couple of miles. I passed martypk in his boards shirt and gave him a shout – it may have been more of a moan than a shout at this point though. Tried to speed up a little but the legs literally couldn’t move any faster – tried a little Tony from Marathon Talk mantra – ‘Foost your legs’ (or insert another appropriate word apart from Foost!) but nothing was happening.
    My sister was on Nassau st, as was another friend unexpectedly which was fab! Felt a bit tearful running along Nassau St, then got really breathless, so had to stop myself crying! Crossed the finish line and allowed myself a tear.
    26.2 miles in 4:27:12 – Av Pace 10.12

    Had a lovely chat with an American man who’d just finished his 20th marathon. Told me he thought I was 25 – as if my day could get any better! He thought it was the friendliest marathon he’d ever done!
    Picked up the gorgeous medal, and t shirt. I staggered up to McGrattans – but wasn’t sure which of the many groups to approach – so headed back down to meet sis and friend for a slap up meal. As walked back up to get a taxi I couldn’t believe the amount of ‘well dones’ and congratulations’!
    Now ensconced on couch, trying to get up the courage to have an ice bath. Deep Heat is at the ready!

    Thanks to everyone on the forum over the past year and a half – been a major stalker and sometime contributor. Thanks so much to career move too, I’ve learned so much, and just need to apply it now to get a bit of improvement! And thanks to everyone who’s offered kind words and encouragement.
    Hope to actually meet a few more of you in person at races over the next year or so – several hours after saying never again, I’m thinking, where next?!




  • DUBLIN CITY MARATHON 2013

    Tried to speed up a little but the legs literally couldn’t move any faster

    Felt a bit tearful running along Nassau St, then got really breathless, so had to stop myself crying! Crossed the finish line and allowed myself a tear.

    26.2 miles in 4:27:12 – Av Pace 10.12

    As walked back up to get a taxi I couldn’t believe the amount of ‘well dones’ and congratulations’!
    Now ensconced on couch, trying to get up the courage to have an ice bath. Deep Heat is at the ready!

    several hours after saying never again, I’m thinking, where next?!

    Great report and well done. You had an incredibly tough day and gave it everything, with noting held back, and you achieved your goal!! Bask in the deserved glory!




  • Walkedit wrote: »
    Great report and well done. You had an incredibly tough day and gave it everything, with noting held back, and you achieved your goal!! Bask in the deserved glory!

    Thanks Walkedit, that put yet another tear in my eye!




  • I had a big piece written up about my injury from early in the year but reading back over it honestly it was boring so to make a long story short, I got injured at the start of the year, was out for 4 months, got back running a bit in july, but wasnt able to string together consecutive days running until the end up august. Decided to do the marathon because I just really wanted to. Not the best reason to be honest and if it was someone else I would've told them for sure that it was a silly decision. But at the same time my plan was to not flog myself in training and get to the start line feeling really fresh and carrying no niggles. Which is exactly what I did. It came at the cost of training sessions though.
    For this marathon I was seriously under trained, I did one session of 4T + 10easy + 4T, I did the athlone half marathon, the eco run(20miles) and athone 3/4 marathon, and 2 sessions on the treadmill. And that was it. Everything else was just easy running and training on the spin bikes in the gym. Mileage was pretty low, the lowest I did since my first marathon(where it was ridiculously low, 30miles a week). So I knew going into this marathon that I needed to run a negative split, I just didnt have the work done to go at it any other way. I continued training as I'd been doing right up until 2 weeks to go, where I back it off a fair bit. I was a bit wary of doing this as my mileage was already relatively low. But I said feck it, I had promised myself that I;d get to the startline feeling really fresh and niggle free even if that meant not doing any sessions and reducing mileage to a crawl.

    The Race:

    Had been keeping an eye on the weather situation in the days leading up to the race. It was looking hairy and I was prepared to knock it on the head and run Florence in a few weeks time. I know I hadnt put in the training that most others had but I wouldn't waste even 2 weeks of training racing against storm force winds. But thankfully we dodged a bullet and things looked ok.
    Got to the warm up area but did very little in the way of a warm up, just sat down had a laugh with the lads and relaxed while watching everybody else run up and down nervously. I treid to go to the jacks twice but nothing was happening so I just figured all was well. ALthough I was thinking to myself that this may come back to haunt me during the race. And then all of a sudden we got the call to head to the startline. The bulid up to these races is so long and drawn out but I find that on the morning of the race itself things move along very swiflty and before you know it the start gun has fired. I walked to the startline and it was an awesome sight, this big mass of bodies that stretched back as far as I could see. I line up alongside a friend and then we were off. My plan was to go off easy and thats what I did. 6:33 for the first mile. Im always amazed at how fast some people tear off in a marathon. Its nuts, you can just tell by the look of them that they're not in any shape to be running so fast at the start of such a long race. But they still shoot off like its a 5k and then very quickly die a death.
    Mile 2 was 6:28, mile 3 was 6:15 and things were starting to settle down in terms of people and pacing. The stretch up chesterfield ave wasnt easy, even though we avoided the storm that lashed the UK the wind was still pretty strong and on this part of the course it was fairly tough to hold pace. I backed it off a touch and crossed the 10k point at 39:02. We had made the turn at this stage and so the next mile or so was thankfully not into a headwind, mile 7 was 5:35. It was at this stage that I caught up with Paddy and Simon from the club. The two lads seemed to be very comfortable and the 3 of us exited the park near the Donore clubhouse. Massive crowds here but I was conscious not to get caught up in the moment and start flogging the pace. I knew there was a significant hill coming up which would put the hurt on me big time if I tried to get cheeky. So I backed things off again and let the two lads go off ahead. I literally tapped up this hill, I didnt expend any effort at all but I did feel a cramp in my stomach. I was thinking to myself, fcuk off, no way. Once I'd gotten to the top of the hill there was flat for a bit but then I knew there was another incline just around the corner, so I slowed it again and took it very handy until I was on flat land again. I caught up with the lads again but then I remembered there was yet another incline just up ahead. Its a pretty short hill but enough to hurt if you attack it aggressively, so the lads went off again and I hung back again. I was like a human YO-YO. So now we were heading towards dolphins barn and the turn onto the crumlin road. There was a monster crowd at dolphins barn but worryingly my stomach cramps were getting worse and I knew I'd have to stop in the not too distant future, which was very frustrating because things were going to plan big time. That stretch up the crumlin road was soul destroying. I've run that marathon 4 times before and it was never anything close to being this bad. We got to crumlin shopping centre and I had to stop urgently. I legged into a portaloo and it was well over a minute before I was back on the road again. I felt panic trying to take me over but I stayed calm and worked my way up through the odd runner I came accross sporadically came across. Got to the childrens hospital and the wind was so strong here for whatever reasons. I felt like I wasnt getting anywhere and expending a whole lot of effort in the process. I passed the halfway mark in 82:06 which, had it not been for the jacks break, was spot on.
    Once I turned at the walkinstown roundabout the wind was out of my face and I instantly felt great. I caught up with the lads at just after the 14mile mark and got a big shout from Orla (who I almost missed because I was yappin' away with the two boys). I had planned to leave it until the turn at bushy park before I made my move but for some reason my legs decided the time was now, and that was it. Game on. I started running at 5:50 pace at first, made the turn at bushy park which is a quick section and clocked a 5:33 mile. I was feeling pretty fcuking awesome and I knew the next couple of miles were flat and quick so I tore into it knocking out consecutive miles in the 5:30s (For some bizarre reason the opening scene from "They shoot horses dont they?" started playing in my head). Got to milltown where I knew there was a hill. Nothing major in terms of length but its sharp and can fcuk you up if you mess with it, so I backed the pace of until I got to the top then started flogging it again.
    Man I felt so good, it was 19 miles in and I've never felt so good at that stage in a marathon, usually my achiles or calve would be acting the bollox but nothing. But then........out of nowhere I was coming down a slight decline when my calve gave me a bit of a jolt. I couldnt believe it, I slowed right down and was in a state of shock. One second Im ripping it up the next my race is over. I really thought I was gonna have to pull off to the side of the road. A movie was playing in my head where I walked off the course and hobbled my way to the next aid station whilst being passed by masses of runners. But I kept going. I was on the hill at clonskeagh and I was very careful not to tear up it even though I felt very strong. The hill flattened out and my calve was fine again. Jesus that was scary, I really thought I was a goner but then the opening scene and music from They shoot horses dont they kicked in again and off I went. I got to the hill at Roebuck which is about 21 miles gone and as I very gently made the climb I realised that the race was nearly over. How the hell did that happen? It had flown by. I knew the last couple of miles were flat so as soon as I made the turn onto fosters ave I absolutely tore into it. Crossed over the UCD flyover and the wind hit me again but only briefly before I turned onto nutley lane were a friend was waiting with a gel. Up the road about 400m I could see Maria mc cambridge and Gary Crossan. That was all the carrott I needed and I upped the pace to try to reel them in. As I got closer to Maria I saw that there was a fairly big motorcade just ahead of her, and in the middle of all the comotion was a leevale singlet belonging to claire Gibbons. Maria seemed to be struggling a bit while claire looked strong and fluid in her movement. I dont ever say anything to anybody if I pass them in a race, personally if it was the other way around and someone was passing me I'd prefer them to just go by and say nothing, I find it very irritating and not at all motivating. But I broke my rule here, I really like Maria, shes a genuine and really nice person and it killed me to not see her in the lead, so as I came alongside her I told her that she could still catch claire and that she should jump in behind me. I didnt look around again so I cant say for sure that she was directly behind me but she was thereabouts for sure because when I passed the claire gibbons motorcade the shouts went from "c'mon Claire" to "c'mon Maria" They were having an epic battle and talking to hardworker a the finish line he said it had been going on for the entire race. This was aorund the RDS area and the place was going nuts. Theres nothing like being in the middle of a championship race like this with both girls having lots of support on the sidelines. I definitely felt like an "also starring" but that was fine by me. I cant remember exactly where it was (it was after 24miles anyway) but I got to one point where the crowds were fairly thick on both sides of the road and there was only a small sliver for the runners to get through. It was like L'alp Dhuez in the tour de france, it was amazing and right on cue a there was a friend of mine just like one of those lunatics you see running alongside a cyclist screaming and gesticulating. Big red face on him shaking his fist at me and screaming for me to come on. Brilliant.
    25 and some miles gone and it only dawned on me that there was less than a mile to go. Heading down to towards pearse st I caught up with 3 lads who werent letting me go by them without a fight. Pearse st was a battle. The wind was full whack in our faces. I thought with the racing and all that I mustve been doing 5:20 pace easily but I looked at the watch and it was only 5:55. We were now on nassau st. One lad in an orange jersey had about 10 meters on me, the other two boys were just off my shoulder. Part of me wanted to just coast into the finish. The usual excuses of, you've done enough already forget racing, running through my head. But I knew that if I let it slip now I'd be disgusted with myself later on. So I dug in. We had the corner with about 250m to go, one of the lads from the club was there, he screamed at me to finish it off and that was it, I kicked like crazy and blew off the the two boys. With about 50m to go I caught the lad in the orange shirt but he wasnt giving it up easily. I went ahead of him but then he drew level again, but then I kicked once more and got ahead of him, dipping on the line just to be sure.
    I was so happy. Maria mc came in about 10 secs behind me and I was delighted to see she'd gotten the win. That was some run from her, I mean when I passed her she looked cooked but she dug deep and came back and thats what its all about. I watched for a while for lads I knew at the finish but I was freezing so I headed to get my gear. I was amazed at how my legs felt, for the first time after a marathon my legs felt fine, no injuries.

    All in all in delighted with the way I ran. I just didnt have the work done to try and run even splits so the big negative worked brilliantly. I felt so good in the second half of that race and I have to put a lot of that down to training on empty. Even while I was injured Id do the bike sessions on empty, even the hard sessions. And when I got back running I kept that up. So I know its a controversial subject and Im not advising or recommending it for anybody else, but for me training in a fasted state works.
    My legs feel good today, bit of DOMS but no injuries. I think I've finally broken the marathon-injury cycle I'd be locked into for the last 3 years. Im gonna take a few weeks off and get fat then start into the 10k plan with the goal of hitting 30mins in april, 31 at the very least. Then I'll see what happens. I might do back to back 10k plans and forget about a marathon completely next year, I'll see what happens.
    I still cant figure out the "They shoot horses dont they?" thing. Freud & Jung would have a field day with that one. Im sure the significance of it will come to me at some stage. A friend said to me a while ago that I was always searching for the perfect race, well man, this was damn near perfect.....

    Time: 2:38:41
    Place:42*

    *I checked the results and the guy I out kicked at the end was given the place ahead of me. Im gonna e-mail dublin marathon and get that sorted.

    I'll post up my splits tomorrow at some stage but it was 82 first half and 76 second half





  • Just to save anyone googling 'they shoot horses don't they?'




  • Looking good with a mile and a half to go!




  • Splits:

    6:33
    6:28
    6:13
    6:07
    6:13
    6:04
    5:51
    5:36
    5:56
    6:12
    6:04
    6:59
    6:19
    5:51
    5:46
    5:51
    5:36
    5:35
    5:43
    6:08
    5:55
    5:36
    5:48
    5:50
    5:50
    5:55
    5:20.......(0.43)

    26.43 miles in 2:38:41




  • @tunguska

    Eoin,

    Congratulations on a terrific performance - that time would be impressive even without your restricted training.

    I saw you just before the 10k mark and I thought you looked strong, though perhaps a minute or two off the pace I'd expect - obviously I wasn't aware of your cunning plan!
    tunguska wrote: »
    But at the same time my plan was to not flog myself in training and get to the start line feeling really fresh and carrying no niggles. Which is exactly what I did. It came at the cost of training sessions though.
    For this marathon I was seriously under trained.....
    Knowing your background and usual no-compromise approach to training, I'm wondering if you plan to do anything different for future marathons?


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  • Tunguska, whats your pb?

    The only training I witnessed from you was you sitting in the jacuzzi in Wespark! :P




  • aero2k wrote: »
    @tunguska

    Eoin,

    Congratulations on a terrific performance - that time would be impressive even without your restricted training.

    I saw you just before the 10k mark and I thought you looked strong, though perhaps a minute or two off the pace I'd expect - obviously I wasn't aware of your cunning plan!


    Knowing your background and usual no-compromise approach to training, I'm wondering if you plan to do anything different for future marathons?

    Hi Sean good to hear from you again, I was asking Andy if he'd seen you lately just the other day.
    For future marathons Im gonna use the same philosophy, i.e. less is more and get myself to the start line feeling fresh. Obviously I'll be able to do more training sessions now that Im not carrying any injuries but having said that Im not gonna be flogging myself. I read an article on letsrun.com a while ago(I think it was written by one of the founders of letsrun) and he talked about the difference between training hard and training fast. What he said had a big impact on me so from now on I'll be training fast as opposed to hard and any marathons I do I most definitely wont be killing myself for.
    Tunguska, whats your pb?

    The only training I witnessed from you was you sitting in the jacuzzi in Wespark! :P

    Thats my PB now. Not by much, just a few seconds and if you looked at the the two times you'd think that I hadnt improved much over the year. But the difference between the runs is the difference between night and day and next year will be the first year I get to go into training not carrying a knock so Im pretty sure I'll take lumps out of that PB.
    Yeah that jacuzzi is like my spiritual home at this stage, I had a funny encounter with 5 Bikini clad Brazilian chicks recently though......




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Yeah that jacuzzi is like my spiritual home at this stage, I had a funny encounter with 5 Bikini clad Brazilian chicks recently though......

    Please tell me this is another 'stomach cramp, had to go' story :o

    Well done man, great run, well deserved.
    Andy




  • Please tell me this is another 'stomach cramp, had to go' story redface.png

    Well done man, great run, well deserved.
    Andy

    No nothing gross or anything like that, its pretty funny, you of all people will crack up when you hear the story.

    tunguska wrote: »
    A friend said to me a while ago that I was always searching for the perfect race, well man, this was damn near perfect.....

    By the way you probably dont remember saying it, but that was you man.




  • At last(!) I've just finished my reports on Marine Corps Marathon and Chicago Marathon for anyone that's suffering Monday morning boredom...although this may not be a great help!!

    And now with added DCM report!




  • Background.
    Had being looking for an alternative to Dublin, which I've ran for the last 3 years. Settled on frankfurt after seeing there was flights from Kerry airport, which is a half an hour down the road. Good old ryanair added the airport journey time at the other side. We payed 91 euro entry as we were late to sign up. Had a PB of 3.19 from portumna this year and headed over in good form and a target time of 3.15.Frankfurt Hahn is 1.5 hours bus to the city, Frankfurt main airport about 20 mins. Bus stop was frankfurt central train station, a place we were to become very familiar with over the next few days. It had everything a runner could need pre marathon (pasta bars) and post(burger king & starbucks, pharmacy). Our hotel was the Monopol, which I'd highly recommend. Free wireless, tea & cake in the lobby til 6, free minibar and free ironing of 2 items of clothing per night :confused:. Great selection for breakfast and it was open from 4am onward for the marathon. Rooms were a small bit dated but overall the place was very clean.

    On saturday myself and the girlfriend headed up to the expo. It was a decent sized expo, with the usual high prices you get at those things. After collecting our race packs we used the coupons attached to the race numbers to avail of the free pasta and minerals, although declined the free beer.Took a quick look at the indoor finishing straight which would be a first and looked forward to seeing it the following day when the crowds were there. Headed off home and did the usual meal and sleep thing.

    Race day arrived and I took advantage of the early breakfast, I was down there at 5 and probably ate a bit more than normal. Usual I don't eat a big pre race breakfast, but the 10.30am start gave me that option this time. Back to bed for a while then, although no sleep. We headed up towards the start line about half 9 and got the toliet duties out of the way. Saw the elites warming up, group of about 10 or more which was pretty cool, only a second seperated 1st and 2nd at the end of the day. Queues weren't too bad, had time for a decent warm up and then headed for the asics corral for runners from elite to 3.15. It was easy enough get into the corrals with 10 mins to go so no need to be standing around if ya didn't want to. The weather was good, about 15 degrees although a little breezy at times.

    We're off. Things got off pretty smoothly down the first straight which was wide and about 1k long. Had it in my head to start very conservatively and stuck to my guns, although the garmin was playing ball. After the frist straight things very narrow and twisty for a while amongst the sky scrapers. Pace for mile 1, 7.45, mile 2 5.58...What the f**k? First time I've used a garmin in a race so it took me a while to figure out what was going on. In fact the first 8k is tight enough although if wouldn't really be a problem for the front runners. Planned to get to 10k in 44.30, got there in 47mins. Regrouped at that stage, had figured out what went wrong and made the decision to try regain the time 10 seconds per mile to mile 20 and just settled into that rhythm. The course had started to open up now and I settled in with a group of similar paced runners. I was finding the new pace comfortable enough and feel good. Water stops were on both sides in the first 10k which saved a lot of hassle and limited the near misses that usual happen. Things were warming up and my race pack sponge was to be my best buddy for the rest of the day.The run from here to half way was on good flat road and pretty straight. I was impressed with the support as well, especially in the city.Before I knew it we were at 30k, miles were just flying by. What wind that was there now, was behind us and the straight road 30-35k was great. Picked off a lot of people here and I was reaping the benefit of my slow start. Its a great feeling to be passing people and a real confidence booster at that stage, instead of just hanging in. I had to stop myself a few times from dipping under 7.15 pace in the excitement, didn't want to risk blowing up. We were now back into the last 7k and it mirrored the twisty turny nature of the first 7k. I didn't mind this as it kept your attention, looking for the shortest route. Winds got very gusty back in amongst the skyscrapers, bad enough to bring you to a near stand still at times. Found my pace slowing slightly here but no serious leakage. We turned back onto the finishing/start straight and saw the Festhalle in the distance. You followed the road until past the start/finish and then vere off to the left for the last 400 metres before entering the arena to pumping music, disco lights and cheerleaders on the home straight. If ever there was a time to pull up with cramp that was it :). Crossed the line in 3.17.02 and knew I had a new pb, just a matter of by how much. I had reset the watch at half way as it was putting me off when the distances were so far out at the start. Meet the girlfriend as soon as I crossed over the line. She had ran a PB of 3.02 off the back of 8 weeks training. She was over the moon. Checked my result back at the hotel later, 3.14.46 Job done...




  • Plumber, we need the gf's report lad. And her training plan.




  • Didn't half set myself up for that one :( expect an edited version..




  • Clontarf Half Marathon November 23 2013

    Pre Race
    I ran this race in 1:47 in July, my first HM. However, since running the Frank Duffy 10 mile in August, I had been inactive for 2 months, between getting married, and then getting injured playing GAA in the week I came back from my honeymoon. Not an ideal build up to say the least, but trots around St Anne's Parkrun and the Remembrance Run helped to ease me back in to running activity. A 14.5 mile run around the Phoenix Park the week before Clontarf was very slowly paced, and to be honest I thought I would struggle to cover the distance, let alone crack 2 hours.
    Weather was fine on the day, little or no wind, a bit cold on exiting the car, but a relatively fast warmup soon put that to bed. I lined up towards the front of the third group with the aim of staying with the 2:00 balloon at first, and then seeing if I could pick up the pace on the turn.

    Outbound
    There looked to be a massive crowd with the 2:00 pacer, so instead I positioned myself roughly half way between it and the 1:50 group, maybe slightly closer to 1:50. A lot of people were going ahead of me early on, but I was confident that many of them weren't pacing it out properly, so continued with my conservative (?) strategy. Having run the summer race, I was ready for the soft sand and handled it very well. A few runners started to come back to me as we turned back along the coast towards Sutton, not that I was breaking any land speed records - certainly there was a serious difference in speed between me and the serious athletes on the other side. 53:31 for 10k, not sure what I was at half way but probably between 56:15-56:30. Either way I was feeling good at this point, and confident I could do better in the second half.

    Inbound
    Away in the distance I could see the 1:50 balloon, and decided to see could I catch it on the way back. I picked off a number of runners fairly quickly after the turn, and increasing my speed managed to catch the pacer (and many others) shortly before we came back onto the beach. My knee started acting up at this point, but I decided I'd battle through it, even though it was getting harder and harder to catch people. The wind seemed to pick up a little on the way back down the promenade, but there was now a group of about five or six of us, who basically helped each other to the end, just managing to beat the fast finishing 1:50 pacer. A chip time of 1:49:54 was far better than I expected beforehand, and more confirmation that a sub 4 marathon is a realistic goal for me. An added bonus was my first ever negative split. Either way, it seems that my current PB for the distance is more than beatable with better preparation. Time will tell!!


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