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Race report thread

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  • Leinster Masters 6 km road race Gowran 05/05/2014 - Finishing time: 22:45

    Well That was a bit of a eye opener! I decided to have a go at the "masters" Leinster road race. I had no idea what to expect but was looking forward to it and I wasn't disappointed. The race was 6 km which was a distance I'd never raced before. It consisted of four laps of a nice little loop in Gowran village. There are a few little climbs on the loop which made for an interesting race as far as strategy was concerned. From the off I settled into a good rhythm. I'd seen lads go mad at the start of the novices race before ours and go backwards through the field as the race progressed so I didn't want to fall into that trap. Still it was hard to look at the majority of the field disappear into the distance ahead of me! For the first two laps the positions around me didn't change too much but near the end of the third lap a group of three runners from Tullamore passed me as we went under the timing gantry. I got a bit miffed with them for ganging up on me and even though they seemed to be a bit stronger than me at that stage I upped the effort a bit and managed to hang on to them. I had decided beforehand that if I had anything left in the last lap I would try and attack on a section with a few little rolling undulations in the last 800m or so. This is how it turned out and I think I made up about seven or so places before the finish. It was satisfying to have made up a bit of a plan before the start and to have it work out in practice! My finishing place was 47th from 76.

    I'm so naive when it comes to this running lark! I come from GAA background and played hurling all my life. I would have considered myself to have had good pace and good stamina as a hurler so when that all ended and I began the running I had notions of being quite competitive! I wasn't long finding out I'm not within an asses roar of the top end of the field! There are so many people out there who have much more speed and many of them are much older than me too! The over 60 winner yesterday had a time of 21:54, 51 seconds ahead of me (I'm 39)! I know that they may have concentrated on running all their lives but still they are very impressive to watch and something to aspire to. Still I also wasn't long finding out that the enjoyment is got from getting out there and testing yourself. It's the clock that's the real competitor. It's the marathon that I target really and I think I'm a bit higher up the field than I would be in the shorter speedy races. Still I have no delusions of grandeur!




  • Berlin Marathon 2014 report here




  • This probably doesnt deserve a report but I haven't written one in a year so might aswell..........

    This year I really took it handy training and racing wise. I did the sportsworld 5 miler, dunboyne 4 miler and dunshaughlin 10k and that was it. Just got distracted with life outside of running, which was a good thing for me as a person, but as an athlete, not so good. The only upside to the lack of sessions and races was that I was injury free and felt fresh going into the marathon. What I also noticed was that the race came really quickly, where as had I put in the work, like in previous years, the last few weeks would be agony, as they just dragged on and on. So before I knew it the marathon had arrived..........

    Decided to cycle in and the wind concerned me, it was pretty strong. It was also very warm, even at that hour of the morning. Got to the start area at about 8:30am, got my gear together and chatted to a few people. In the background I could hear the Garda band knocking out the tunes(I want you back by the jackson 5 was a highlight........in an unintentionally funny way).
    Then before I knew it we were being called to the start. I always make a conscious effort on the startline to stand still, not get caught up in the nervous shuffling and just breath. It relaxes me and puts me in the right frame of mind to go off easy and be calm.
    And then we were off......First mile was handy, 6:20 ish, felt really comfortable. Lots of people streaming by me like lunatics and I knew I'd be seeing them again soon enough. Everything going grand for the first 3 miles, was running alongside Paddy and we were chatting away getting ready for what we knew would be a tough drag in the park.........And then just like that we were into the park. Somehow me and paddy got caught in no mans land so we accelerated to catch up a large group ahead. The wind was crazy, it was head on one minute and then sweeping in from left to right the next And sometimes it came head on and from the side. This drag seemed to go on forever but then Finally we were out of the park, but just outside the castleknock gate was another drag, so we stayed tucked into the middle of the group. Passed over the 10k mat at 39 mins which was grand, felt good and hadnt killed myself in the park. Took a left in the village and faced another slight drag before hitting a downhill. This was weird, by rights the wind shouldve been at our backs and it shouldve been fast but the wind seemed to be in our faces on this part aswell?
    Last week I had to go in for dental surgery and as a result the dentist put me on antibiotics. I wasnt happy about this knowing the marathon was coming up but I had no choice. Anyway coming down that hill I felt something in my stomach and I said to paddy that I was gonna have to make a stop.
    Got back into the park and it was fairly urgent(God damn antibiotics) now so I darted off into the woods and let paddy go. I was quick enough, but by the time I had got back out on the course he was out of sight. Dublin runner happened by at this exact moment and I tucked in just behind him trying to regain my composure. Coming down the hill to the chapleizod gate I felt great and thought not much damage had been done by the stop. The crowd in the village was awesome and it was at this stage that I caught up with Eddie Newman from Mullingar Harriers. It was unreal, this is my hometown race and I got a lot of support out on the streets but it was nothing compared to Eddie. The whole of chapleizod, for whatever reason, knew him. It was just this mass chorus of, C'mon Eddie Newman!! It was like running alongside Jesus Christ himself, everybody loves the guy.
    So we hit the hill at st lawerences road and it dawned on me that we had done 10 miles. How the hell did that happen? It was flying by. 63minutes, so that was grand, all was well. I really slowed on the hill and let everybody go, including eddie. My mate Andy(aka Misty floyd aka Parnoid Mandroid)and a few others were on the hill and offered me a gel but no need at that stage so I pushed on. Once things flattened out I took the pace up a notch and caught back up with eddie, but there was another hill soon enough, and I dropped back again. I caught back up with Eddie and a few others I had passed several times at this stage by the time we got to the SCR. This is a very strange section, the support is very minimal, its kind of like a Ghost town, but Up ahead you can hear the rumble from the dolphins barn crowd.

    So we hit the turn onto dolphins barn and that crowd was awesome. I got a good few shouts.........or at least I think I did. They loved Eddie in the 'Barn aswell. Now this was a tough part. I pulled away from the group I was in naturally, but I was in no mans land and the wind was an absolute mother****er. I caught up with two lads ahead and decided to tuck in for a bit but they were going a bit too slow so I went to the front to do some pace making. They of course slotted in behind me. After about a mile I dropped back behind them and decided to let one of the other lads do his share at the front. But again he was going too slow and I had to take over. I didnt know if they were playing games and just letting me do all the work or that they were just fooked.........turns out they were just fooked because when we got to the coombe one lad died and fell off and by the time we got to the walkinstown roundabout the other lad fell back aswell. Forgot to mention that we crossed the halfway point in just over 83mins, which I was pretty happy about given the conditions and the fact that I felt strong and knew I could step it up in the second half.

    Massive crowd at the roundabout and as soon as I made the turn I started to motor. Passed a lot of people here and already there was carnage. Fortfield road was tough but mercifully brief and I just couldnt wait for the turn onto the terenure road at 17 miles. Big crowds again at bushy park and finally I felt like I could cut loose. Couldnt believe it was 17 miles gone already. This was a good stretch and I was feeling pretty strong but just as I turned onto the orwell road I felt something in my stomach again. I couldnt believe it, but I was gonna have to stop for a second time. I tried to ignore the pain in my gut but it wouldnt go away so grudgingly I stopped again. This time took a lot longer and by the time I got back onto the course a lot of people who I had left behind earlier were passed me and a good bit up the road.
    I was pretty disgusted at how things had gone but I tried to suck it up and just get going again.......
    So now it was about 19miles gone, I was feeling good despite the stops and was determined to get the best time I could under the circumstances. But coming out of miltown I felt my left calve start to tighten. I didnt think much about it, thought it was just one of those racing things and it'd be ok in a few minutes. But as I went on it got tighter and tighter.
    I hit the hill at clonskeagh and caught up with alish malone for about what seemed like the 10th time that day. I passed her and felt good on the hill. Turned left at roebuck and just kept plugging away. Calve was starting to worry me though so I was in this kind of frantic race to the finish before it went. Got up Roebuck hill and turned left at forsters ave. 22 miles and now it was time to rock.........I barrelled down the hill feeling ready to give the last 4 miles a good whack and come out with a respectable time. But just as I got to the bottom of the hill and turn left on to the stilogan dual carrigeway, my calve gave me a big jolt. I thought I was gonna have to stop right there but I got myself together and shuffled for a bit to see if it was ok. It was very tight now and I had slowed a lot. It was still 3 miles and some change to the finish and I was thinking I might not make it. I just decided to keep going until it got to the point where I literally couldnt run on it.
    Amazingly I wasn't being passed, I think a lot of people were having a bad day and it was like night of the living dead in places. I actually overtook a guy just after the ucd flyover and it took like 10minutes to complete the pass, had to have been the slowest overtake in marathon history. He was cooked though, he didnt give a fcuk who passed him at that stage. So I was running as fast as I could, which wasnt very fast and now I didnt care about the time I just wanted to make it to the finish before my calve went kaput. That stretch up merrion road and by the rds was pretty soul destroying, I really felt like the clave would go at any moment. I see TRR at this stage and he was screaming at me to haul ass but I tried to tell him that this was it, my calve was fecked, but he was in a frenzy and he didnt hear me and just kept roaring at me to go. It was kind of funny.
    Anyway, passed the 25 mile point and onto shelbourne road. Just one mile to go but man it felt like an eternity. The crowds were immense at this stage and giving me lots of encouragement.........I felt so embarrassed. I was getting all this great support and I was this lame, limping carcass dragging myself to the finish. It was just wrong, I wanted the ground to swallow me up, this was not meant to be the way it ended. It was meant to be me flying through to the finish, Head up, shoulders back, chest pumped out, working hard, but feeling good and in control........It was pathetic, I didnt want anybody who knew me to see me this way. But of course I turn onto northumberland road and there was Andy and Graham again shouting encouragement at me. I gave them a shrug of the shoulders, thats all I have lads, Im sorry.
    I could see the finish line at this stage and man that was one long long straight. 3 lads passed me but I couldnt put up any kind of fight, the calve felt very close to total failure and if I had tried to sprint it wouldve gone, so I had to passively let them go. That for me was hard to take, I ****ing hate surrendering a place without a fight. And that was it, I crossed the line and stopped my watch. I hadnt even looked at it from the time the calve tightened and I knew it was game over, but I was surprised to see I had gotten across the line in 2:49, I thought it was gonna be way worse.

    Met paddy and JB in the finishing area, both looked at bit shell shocked. They gave all they could on a bad day, so they were happy enough.

    When you have a good race everything is great and the world is a beautiful place. But when you have a horror show like that everything sucks and theres no joy to be had from anything. Im annoyed at myself for letting things fall the way they did. The dental surgery.......I shouldve insisted we do it after the marathon but I didnt think Id be on antibiotics so it came as news to me when they were prescribed for me. The calve, that was my fault aswell. It was down to a lack of racing and sessions. I wanted to take a less is more approach to marathon running, but I went too far with it. Ive no doubt the calve wouldve been fine had I conditioned it with a few races and sessions. The conditions on the day were bad, to be fair. The wind was horrible in places, especially crumlin, but having said that I cant blame the condtions completely. The heat doesnt affect me really and I never felt oppressed by it or even dehydrated at any stage. So I gotta take responsibility and accept that a lot of this was under my control.

    Anyway I had made the decision earlier in the year that this was gonna be my last marathon, my last race in fact. I felt like to do this properly, run good times, its all consuming and thats to the detriment of a balanced life. I remember the day of last years marathon, going back to the start area to collect my bike, I saw a well known runner whos about 15 years older than me, jump into a skip and rummage through old clothes. It was hilarious at first, but then I thought it was kind of sad. I just thought, this is something thats not gonna happen to me. Im not gonna be some guy whos whole life is running and who ends up rummaging through a skip. But it was more about feeling like there was so many other things I needed to try and experience in life, that I was selling myself short focusing on just one thing. One thing that could end with me, with dodgy knees, hips and rummaging through a skip.......But having said that, I cant let that be how I leave things. Im better than 2:49, a lot better so I'll go again until I know I did myself justice, and then I'll happily walk away and move onto something else.

    Finish time: 2:49:29
    Position: 88th




  • Love your reports Tunguska, always so refreshingly honest. I agree, you're better than 2.49, about 20 minutes better at least IMO. It would be a shame not to live up to your potential at least once more.




  • pconn062 wrote: »
    Love your reports Tunguska, always so refreshingly honest. I agree, you're better than 2.49, about 20 minutes better at least IMO. It would be a shame not to live up to your potential at least once more.

    Cheers pconn. I think though that will be my last DCM, being fair to myself and the work I would put in, it'd be better to take a swing at a flat marathon like Berlin.


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  • Was surprised when Paddy passed me without you by his side. It's hard to tell what time people are running at the pointy end of the field (pacers help spectators see what sort of time people are running) but could tell when yourself and JB passed that you weren't where you should be.

    I do think that is the 'worst' weather I've seen since I've been on the DCM scene (2007) - usually we are really lucky with the weather. Yesterday was less than ideal.

    How did Paddy do?




  • Definitely my favourite reports by a distance. You've got a great quality to your writing. When you do knock out the marathon that you're capable of, you'll have to switch and write a modern day epic set in Tallaght.





  • I do think that is the 'worst' weather I've seen since I've been on the DCM scene (2007) - usually we are really lucky with the weather. Yesterday was less than ideal.

    How did Paddy do?

    The conditions were bad. What I was trying to say was that the heat didnt affect me to any significant degree. At least not to the point were I could claim it damaged my race. The wind was brutal in places, especially crumlin road.
    Paddy did 2:47. He was happy enough and gave everything he had on the day. We both agreed though that next time we're doing a flat marathon.




  • Definitely my favourite reports by a distance. You've got a great quality to your writing. When you do knock out the marathon that you're capable of, you'll have to switch and write a modern day epic set in Tallaght.

    Ah thanks KU that's a cool thing to say. Although if I do write that epic it won't be set in Tallaght.....or dublin......or Ireland
    Maybe Honolulu, I've always had a thing for Hawaii and the Honolulu marathon.




  • What a wonderful honest report. Really great reading. Sorry it didn't go to plan, but agree with PConn. Hate to see you go out like this. Would love to see you run the time that your half marathon PB deserves (and better), but if it meant crossing that life/balance boundary line once again, would you do it?


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  • What a wonderful honest report. Really great reading. Sorry it didn't go to plan, but agree with PConn. Hate to see you go out like this. Would love to see you run the time that your half marathon PB deserves (and better), but if it meant crossing that life/balance boundary line once again, would you do it?

    Thanks KC. I think I would cross the life/balance boundary one more time for a big one. I definitely wanna take a proper swing at it so that there are no regrets.
    Well done in Frankfurt. I was meant to do it myself but laziness and indifference won out in the end. Big mistake that, should've gone over and made the effort. Although I was talking to Paul and he's not a fan(maybe for obvious reasons). I'd be very interested to get your take on it.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Thanks KC. I think I would cross the life/balance boundary one more time for a big one. I definitely wanna take a proper swing at it so that there are no regrets.
    Well done in Frankfurt. I was meant to do it myself but laziness and indifference won out in the end. Big mistake that, should've gone over and made the effort. Although I was talking to Paul and he's not a fan(maybe for obvious reasons). I'd be very interested to get your take on it.
    Will start writing up the report soon (still enjoying a break from thinking about it!), but I have to say it's now firmly one of my favourite marathons (probably for the same reasons that it likely makes it one of Paul's least favourite). The reason I went to Frankfurt is because T-runner suggested that it was statistically, probably one of the best marathons to aim for in the 2:30-2:40 range and to be honest, he was spot on. It's very, very flat (only two hills worth mentioning (and they're hardly worth mentioning)), you can have your own drinks placed at two of the elite water stations (obviously not as relevant in Dublin when you can sort out friends and family), but most important, there are proportionally lots of runners targeting those times. It's cheap to get there, to stay there and to eat there, and almost entirely hassle free rocking up to the start line. The finish line - didn't get to enjoy it as much as I should have, as I was trying to chase a time over the last kilometer, but when I went back in later (as a spectator).... Wow!!!

    Downsides: water is in cups. The course is annoyingly twisty over the first few kilometers and the last few kilometers. You run up a cobbled street twice - the first time (around 5kms into the race) it's not a problem. The second time (around 40kms) it hurts like hell. With around 8kms to go, you arrive back into the city and run past the finish line. This is pretty soul destroying! Finally, it's difficult to buy beer at the finish line. :)

    Worth bearing in mind though, that while we ad absolutely perfect conditions at the weekend, last year Frankfurt was very windy.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    I think I would cross the life/balance boundary one more time for a big one.

    Enjoyed your report. Found the dumpster comment a bit OTT though. I don't know any specifics about your training, but does the life balance boundary necessarily have to be broken to run the time you are capable of? Look at Sinead Diver for example. She's a mother, and I think (though not 100%) she holds down a job also, and ran 2:34 in the Melbourne Marathon recently at the age of 37. I'm sure you can find a way to train well, still enjoy it, and yet have a life outside of running also.




  • Chivito550 wrote: »
    Enjoyed your report. Found the dumpster comment a bit OTT though. I don't know any specifics about your training, but does the life balance boundary necessarily have to be broken to run the time you are capable of? Look at Sinead Diver for example. She's a mother, and I think (though not 100%) she holds down a job also, and ran 2:34 in the Melbourne Marathon recently at the age of 37. I'm sure you can find a way to train well, still enjoy it, and yet have a life outside of running also.
    How many miles a week does she run? When you work 40-55 hours per week, run another 12-15 hours per week and do supplementary training (to hold everything together), then something has to give, and typically, it comes at the cost of life balance. You have to give up a lot of things in order to invest those kind of hours in work and training. For some (like me and I suspect Tunguska also), the running becomes a bit of an obsession the closer you get to your goal race. Eventually, you get to a point where you just need to clear a bit of room/make a bit of head space and take a break from the single-minded purpose and vision.




  • How many miles a week does she run? When you work 40-55 hours per week, run another 12-15 hours per week and do supplementary training (to hold everything together), then something has to give, and typically, it comes at the cost of life balance. You have to give up a lot of things in order to invest those kind of hours in work and training. For some (like me and I suspect Tunguska also), the running becomes a bit of an obsession the closer you get to your goal race. Eventually, you get to a point where you just need to clear a bit of room/make a bit of head space and take a break from the single-minded purpose and vision.

    I'm not sure tbh. There's an interview on the way soon, which should give more detail on her story, which is remarkable seen as she only took up running 4 years ago.

    What you are saying makes a lot of sense. I guess it boils down to how much enjoyment one gets from the running. If it is no longer fun in any way then perhaps that's a sign to call it a day. A club mate of mine from Melbourne went through the same thing. He went back to college which allowed him the time to train to his absolute max. He's around 34 now. He ran 2:26 in Melbourne after years of hard graft, followed by a 2:27 in Lake Biwa. He then called it a day because it was getting in the way of life. He still runs, and races for the club regularly over track, cross country, and on the roads, just not at the same intensity now.

    I posted a link up about his story awhile back. I'll see if I can find it.

    Tunguska, just wondering (not a criticism at all) is the marathon really your distance? I recall you have run some very good times for 10k which don't translate into your marathon times. If the marathon training isn't doing it for you anymore, and you aren't enjoying it, is a bit less mileage, and a focus on faster work something which might keep you interested, while freeing up a bit more time?

    I could be talking b0llox for all I know though.

    EDIT: Found the link: http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=89498301




  • Will start writing up the report soon (still enjoying a break from thinking about it!), but I have to say it's now firmly one of my favourite marathons (probably for the same reasons that it likely makes it one of Paul's least favourite).

    Thanks for that, yeah it does look good and I think Paul could be slightly biased. I mean when you have a good run in a place you tend to think fondly of that race and vice versa. Berlin will be my first choice but I think I may have already missed the boat for that one, Im not sure?? But if its not berlin it'll be frankfurt.
    How many miles a week does she run? When you work 40-55 hours per week, run another 12-15 hours per week and do supplementary training (to hold everything together), then something has to give, and typically, it comes at the cost of life balance. You have to give up a lot of things in order to invest those kind of hours in work and training. For some (like me and I suspect Tunguska also), the running becomes a bit of an obsession the closer you get to your goal race. Eventually, you get to a point where you just need to clear a bit of room/make a bit of head space and take a break from the single-minded purpose and vision.

    This is it exactly, you can turn into a bit of a robot which is good for the athlete in you but not so good for the person.




  • Chivito550 wrote: »
    Tunguska, just wondering (not a criticism at all) is the marathon really your distance? I recall you have run some very good times for 10k which don't translate into your marathon times. If the marathon training isn't doing it for you anymore, and you aren't enjoying it, is a bit less mileage, and a focus on faster work something which might keep you interested, while freeing up a bit more time?

    Nah I think you are what you train for, I dont but the, Im not cut out for marathons, mentality. You should read "Think and grow rich" By Napoleon hill. Written in the 1930s but still very relevant to having a successful mindframe.




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Nah I think you are what you train for, I dont but the, Im not cut out for marathons, mentality. You should read "Think and grow rich" By Napoleon hill. Written in the 1930s but still very relevant to having a successful mindframe.

    Agree to an extent. I do think though that most people have a distance that suits the most. Mo Farah's marathon attempt would be an example of that. Same with Tadesse.




  • Chivito550 wrote: »
    Agree to an extent. I do think though that most people have a distance that suits the most. Mo Farah's marathon attempt would be an example of that. Same with Tadesse.

    I'd love to know more about Tadese's training. One of the great marathon engima's. Reminds me of the problems that Haile reported when initially training for the marathon and how he had to adapt his training. I have wondered if Tadese just wasn't suited to the marathon or whether he failed to make the changes to his training that he needed to make. I kind of suspect the latter but I've no evidence for it.

    I think that it's a bit too early to draw any conclusions about Mo's ability to run a marathon. I doubt that he'll ever set a world record given that he's unlikely to focus on it for more than 2-3 years but I expect that if he does focus on it he'll drop his P.B. by at least 2-3 minutes.

    As for Tunguska. I don't know anything about you other than what you post here. I expect that you can run a lot faster and I sympathise with the work/running/life balance. I certainly don't find myself able to focus on running to the extent that I would like. I had the time 20 years ago but not the knowledge. Now I suspect that I have the knowledge but not the time. Such is life and we all make decisions in the knowledge that there are no perfect ones.




  • Clearlier wrote: »
    As for Tunguska. I don't know anything about you other than what you post here. I expect that you can run a lot faster and I sympathise with the work/running/life balance. I certainly don't find myself able to focus on running to the extent that I would like. I had the time 20 years ago but not the knowledge. Now I suspect that I have the knowledge but not the time. Such is life and we all make decisions in the knowledge that there are no perfect ones.

    Thanks Clearlier, this is very true.
    I noticed your location as Bournemouth, do you know Steve way by any chance?


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  • tunguska wrote: »
    Thanks Clearlier, this is very true.
    I noticed your location as Bournemouth, do you know Steve way by any chance?

    I do. Happened to join the same club as him when I came over nearly 6 years ago. Shortly after I arrived he ran 2:25 at London and we all know what he has done since then. His life decisions are much simpler than most though with no children and an incredibly supportive wife who also acts as his crew at the ultra events. I'm a bit concerned that he may have dug a hole for himself trying to get ready world 100k championships but if there's anybody I know who I'd back to dig themselves back out it's him. He has a phenomenal ability to peak that I'm going to pick his brains about some time. Have to get myself back running first though!




  • Clearlier wrote: »
    I'm a bit concerned that he may have dug a hole for himself trying to get ready world 100k championships but if there's anybody I know who I'd back to dig themselves back out it's him.

    Why do you think he's dug himself a hole, taking too much on?




  • tunguska wrote: »
    Why do you think he's dug himself a hole, taking too much on?

    I'm probably wrong. He's just had a couple of races which haven't gone to plan and he's had a fair bit of change in his life recently including taking redundancy and I think that his performance at the Commonwealth games means that a lot more people want a piece of him than did before. I thought that he was well known before the Commonwealth games but they brought him on to a whole new level. Thing is, even if he has dug himself a hole which he may well not have I can't think of anyone better able to dig themselves out.




  • My race report is here. Race number 61 for pics etc.




  • pconn062 wrote: »
    Love your reports Tunguska, always so refreshingly honest. I agree, you're better than 2.49, about 20 minutes better at least IMO. It would be a shame not to live up to your potential at least once more.
    What a wonderful honest report. Really great reading. Sorry it didn't go to plan, but agree with PConn. Hate to see you go out like this. Would love to see you run the time that your half marathon PB deserves (and better), but if it meant crossing that life/balance boundary line once again, would you do it?

    Yes, we all definitely appreciate your straight talking as much as we respect your running ability.
    tunguska wrote: »
    ...You should read "Think and grow rich" By Napoleon hill. Written in the 1930s but still very relevant to having a successful mindframe.

    I agree - in fact there's great crossover between business and sports these days in their approach to maximizing performance.

    I didn't know what to say to you after the race - to be honest I was a bit wrapped up in my own disappointment. Since I reached a very advanced age on race day I hope you'll cut me a little slack if the following words are in any way offensive. (BTW I've previously quoted Oscar Wilde on the topic : The best thing to do with good advice is to pass it on to someone else, it is seldom of any use to one's self).

    You strike me as an all or nothing sort of guy. I definitely have the same tendency, but I've found out to my cost that if you push the all-or-nothing trick to it's logical limit, most of the time you end up with nothing. In one particular case (non-running) I destroyed my own enjoyment of the 95% of my dream that I had achieved by focusing on the 5% that was missing.

    Here's a question: based on the course, the conditions, the obstacles (antibiotics, calf problems) that you encountered on the day, did you perform as well as you could reasonably expect? Really, that's all you can do on any given day. I think you're actually in a good position, and once you get over the disappointment you'll realise that you know what went wrong and even more importantly you know how to fix it.

    We'll all be looking forward to your next marathon report.




  • aero2k wrote: »

    You strike me as an all or nothing sort of guy. I definitely have the same tendency, but I've found out to my cost that if you push the all-or-nothing trick to it's logical limit, most of the time you end up with nothing. In one particular case (non-running) I destroyed my own enjoyment of the 95% of my dream that I had achieved by focusing on the 5% that was missing.

    Here's a question: based on the course, the conditions, the obstacles (antibiotics, calf problems) that you encountered on the day, did you perform as well as you could reasonably expect? Really, that's all you can do on any given day. I think you're actually in a good position, and once you get over the disappointment you'll realise that you know what went wrong and even more importantly you know how to fix it.

    We'll all be looking forward to your next marathon report.

    Cheers Sean
    In some situations in life I am definitely all or nothing. I'm not into consolation prizes and sometimes I would rather walk away with nothing.
    But when it comes to running Im not all or nothing, or at least Im not as bad as I used to be. I mean if I was in a race and I knew the A goal was gone I would never just give up and quit, I'd definitely try to salvage something from it. But I would feel disappointed at the end, intially anyway. Im not totally gutted over what happened on monday, in retrospect I did as well as I could have on the day, its just that I did let myself down with the preparation, it was sub standard and I have to take responsibility for that and not just take a Pollyanna type view on things. Theres no sense in beating yourself up, that does no good at all, but I think you do have to have the courage to look at yourself in the cold light of day and call it like it really is.

    I really enjoyed your race report aswell. I think between yours and Krusty's there'll be split decision on the race report of the year award. Although I keep waiting for Village Runner to knock out his latest Opus, in which case we'll all be blown out of the water.
    I dont know why you were disappointed with your race though, it seemed to me that it went really well. I suppose from the outside looking in its easy to say you should be happy with something. It was good to see you back though, the last time I spoke to you, you were struggling with what seemed like a fairly serious injury. I honestly thought you were done with it, so Im glad to hear you say youre gonna go again.




  • @Tunguska
    Great to hear you're in more positive form.
    tunguska wrote: »
    I dont know why you were disappointed with your race though, it seemed to me that it went really well.
    Ah, that was just in the immediate aftermath. The race had gone really well and I was looking forward to really giving it a lash after the N11 flyover. Since I had no excessive fatigue, no cramps etc. and I had honestly felt in the best form of my life going into the race, I was actually shocked at the sudden time loss over the last few miles. Once I figured out what had happened I was grand, I should be able to sort that out for next time.
    tunguska wrote: »
    It was good to see you back though, the last time I spoke to you, you were struggling with what seemed like a fairly serious injury. I honestly thought you were done with it, so I'm glad to hear you say you're gonna go again.
    It's great to be back. I don't want to overstate the injury problem, and in fact there's no improvement in it, but I've found a way to work around it (Mods - I have taken loads of medical advice). Old age/general decrepitude is more of an obstacle now.




  • Valenica Marathon

    A bit of background I didn't do much training for this marathon so wasn't expecting great things. I had a few little niggles two months before the race which put my training back a few times. With this in mind I didn't have a target time although i wanted to stay with the 3.15 pacer group and see how things went was the only pre marathon plan I had.

    I flew over on the Saturday morning stayed in a hotel about a 30 minute walk from the start/finish line. Very cheap and nice four star hotel where loads of other runners stayed too.

    I went down straight to the expo which didn’t seem too organised as I and fair few others turned up to the desk to pick up our bibs to be told to go back outside upstairs to pick up an envelope with your number and go back downstairs to get your goodybag and race tshirt. Didn’t see any signs indicating this but no worries I liked walking around the science museum buildings. The Expo in general was packed as I attended at 1pm on the Saturday. The race tshirt is probably the best out of the races I’ve got, so top marks there.

    I got up three hours before the race to eat breakfast and all went to plan. Thankfully no last minute hitches. I left the hotel just after 8 for a 9am start and got a bus to close to the start line for about 8.30. Immediately I went to the baggage area which was in an underground car park, the place was absolutely manic and after being there for close to 10 minutes I thought screw this and threw my bag which only contained an old jumper in the bin as I had only 20mins till the start of the race.

    After coming out of the baggage area the start area seemed to have one entry at the bottom of the field so I made my way down and seen some fella hold a sign for 5 hours and thought jeez better get out of this zone. I pushed right up and gradually seen signs for 4.30 and then 4.00 however it was 8.50 at this point and I wanted to be with the 3.15 group who were right up at the very front beside the 3.00 lot. In that sense it wasn’t very organised as with pervious marathons I’ve done (Copenhagen & Paris) it was obvious which pen you had to enter, here it was a bit of a free for all. I asked one steward where I should go for the 3.15 group and she didn’t know! Eventually I battled my way to the top shoving past people and aplogising at the same time. In the end I started the race right beside Raul the 3.15 pacer!

    The first few miles were uneventful apart from to say it was extremely congested and a lot of people nearly tripped over each other in the opening two miles. After that point I decided to sit 50 metres directly in front of the group as I had support out on the course and didn’t want to get lost in the bunch.

    For some reason in the week leading up and on the day I had a few minor stomach cramps which got me thinking after 3 miles that I might need a toilet break but thankfully that passed after a few miles. I was also thinking that I had made a decision (mainly from reading a comment from that chap RayCun) to drink a couple small amounts at every water station on top of the four gels I would take at 5.5, 11, 16.5 and 21. I felt in previous marathons I didn’t drink enough and really think especially in the heat it was of benefit.

    What struck me from the off was the tremendous home support. Admittedly it was a great day for spectating with temperatures reaching 22 degrees but the sheer amount of people out on the streets really surprised me. The course really suited friends and family who came to watch, I had the same people followed me at 11k, 17k, 26k and 40k. All these parts were relatively close together.

    Water stops were every 5k and had lots of water and powerade; they gave out gels at 20k & 30k, with no shortage of anything. The course was flat as a pancake and fast. I must admit at this point I did little training for this marathon so I was hoping for the best on the day. I stayed with the 3.15 group till about 33k until I started to drop off a little. At around that point I started to feel my head get really heavy in the direct sunlight and I started to struggle. At the 35k water station I started to walk for about 8 seconds, the first time I’ve done so in my 3 marathons, so was annoyed but said what the hell and started back running, I walked a further time at 37k for again about 8 seconds and picked it back up by saying the quicker I run this bloody thing the quicker I’m out for a few pints after! The weather started off fine but after about 2 or 2.5 hours it started to get hot. I’ve been running in 12-16 degrees mainly so if it’s 22 degrees after 23 miles that’s surely going to have an effect. I’m probably painting a bad picture of my attempt as nothing up until this point went wrong and I went out in 1.36, my half pb is 1.27 so it was well within myself over the longer distance.

    The last 3k were amazing it was like a scene from the Tour de France when spectators close in on the road and only allow runners to pass in single file. It was a bit of an issue for me as I built up some energy from god knows where and was trying to pass as many as I could which was tricky. The finish area is proper postcard material.

    After the two stops I suddenly picked up pace and ended up running the last 4k the quickest of the marathon. I had given up on my time after the first time I walked so didn’t bother looking at my overall time until I started running towards the science museums at 41.5K and realised if I picked up my pace I could actually get a pb. Can’t say I took in much of the wonderful finish line which is probably the best marathon finishing line in the world as I was on a massive sprint finish and went over for a new pb in 3.16.

    The Valencia marathon was hands down better than both my two previous marathons in Paris and Copenhagen. Paris was dead in places but I never really felt that with Valenica. The city is awesome with the Old Town, the beach, the five impressive buildings by the science museum, food in general was pretty cheap and the weather was amazing for the middle of November.

    Was pretty happy afterwards with my lack of training and although I promised myself that Valencia was going to be my last marathon I’ve got it in my head to try just one more which will probably be Hamburg at the end of April. There’s just something about the marathon distance that makes it so intriguing and this time I hope I actually take training seriously and come in at 3.10 or so.

    To end I can’t recommend the Valencia marathon high enough, great course, super supporters and lovely city to boot.




  • C&P'd from the Waterford AC Half marathon Thread:

    I'm no Krusty_Clown or tunguska when it comes to race reporting but I really enjoyed this race today so I figured I'd give it my best shot.

    To give a very brief history, this was my third HM having run a 1:45:15 on my first attempt and 1:45:47 on my second (Waterford Viking 13 and Wexford 14 respectively). Up until about four weeks ago my 'training' consisted of running lots and not really giving a dam about pace, intervals, quality sessions etc. I recently started trying a few proper sessions to see if I'd enjoy it and if it would really make a difference.

    1-3: So the start was a bit mental, and much further away from the dressing rooms than I first realised. Queueing for the toilets with 10 mins to go I figured I was fine. Made it on time but ended up a little further back than I would have liked. No problems though as a slower start would suit me anyway. Managed to get in between the 1:50 and 1:40 pacers just before the end of the first mile, which was where I wanted to be. Settled into a nice rhythm here for a bit and oddly enjoyed the industrial park bit!
    Splits: 8:11 8:09 7:28:

    4-7: Having run a faster than planned mile 3 I was both delighted and worried! I just figured I had a few spare seconds in the bank and carried on. The section through ballybeg here was nice and fast again without feeling difficult. I got a little confused why there was two water stations so close together (less than a mile apart) but realised later that one was really for the way back! Probably went a little fast up the drag on the Lacken Road but didn't pay too much for it. I don't know why but I do enjoy running on fly-overs!
    Splits: 7:54 7:32 7:28 7:56

    8-11: I don't think I've ever enjoyed a section of a race as much as I did on the downhill just after the fly-over, though i doubt I did my quads any favours. The Green Road section was tricky with the busted up road surface. At the roundabout after that I met a Mullingar Harriers runner and started chatting for the next mile and a half or thereabouts. He was recovering from a stitch so for a while our paces matched. Once he came around though the pace got a little too much for me so I had to leave him go. Shame in one way as its amazing how much quicker the miles go when you have someone to chat to. I imagine I would have been flagging at this point if it weren't for that guy so cheers stitch suffering Mullingar Harriers dude!!!
    Splits: 7:22 7:41 7:31 7:34

    12-13.1 My A goal was 1:43xx and B goal was to PB so I knew at this stage I had goal A in the bag unless something went horribly wrong. I slowed it down just a little for mile 12 just in case but couldn't help upping the pace a little for the last mile. I did my best to sprint to the finish but the legs had nothing left. I took that as a sign that I gave it everything I had, so very happy with that.
    Splits: 7:41 7:16 (wohoo!) :40 (for the .1)

    Gun Time: 1:41:33 Chip Time:1:40:40 Position 509

    Looking back on today's race now I realised I've learned two very important things. Firstly having a plan and knowing your pace can really help. I ran all my previous races with no plan or watch, just run until it's time to stop. I haven't gone gps just yet but a stopwatch with a splits button really helped me today. Secondly, I really love chocolate milk!!!!! Seriously, why have I not realised this before.


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  • Trim 10 Mile 2015

    Background:

    Trim has lots of sporting memories for me. As a currently resting competitive cyclist (I can't say retired as it never really leaves the blood) I spent many hours either racing or training in and around the Trim road, and though I often suffered over the little drags compared to bigger, stronger riders, and took a few painful tumbles, I always looked forward to the next time. In '99, after (quite) a few years break, I decided to ride the National 25 mile time trial championship, on an out and back course starting near Batterstown, with the halfway turn at the roundabout just outside Trim. Despite a near-death encounter with a truck I had a satisfying ride, of which more later. When I missed out on the closing date for Dungarvan - again - I was delighted when AMK told me about the new race in Trim.

    The day:

    I got a bit distracted in the morning and ended up arriving about 45 min later than planned. I picked up the number, got my gear sorted and then joined the queue for the portaloos. My warm-up consisted of a few short strides - didn't want to lose my place - and a bit of jumping up and down, though that was probably essential to survival as the wind was bitterly cold, and I'm not too well insulated.

    The race:

    After a quick sit-down I just had time to run to the start, remove my outer layer, and line up. Pauline Curley sneaked in beside me and, not having had time to formulate a plan other than definitely targeting sub 60, I decided that following her might be a good strategy. The start itself was quick but civilised, with none of the usual sprinters and would-be MMA combatants, and I survived the left turn. This stretch was a bit fast, but it felt downhill and wind assisted, so I tried not to panic when I saw 5:24 on the Garmin. I use 0.5 mile splits, and I was relieved when the next split was a much more sensible 5:45.

    The 1 mile marker appeared bang on with the Garmin, and I was now running fairly well at around 5:50 per mile. I moved a bit ahead of Pauline Curley, and tried to pick off a few other runners without doing too much damage to my legs. Again the second mile was bang on, and Pauline had reappeared and we were pretty much running together. There was a group up ahead with about four Celbridge lads and I began to wonder if we could catch them. Mile 3 was reached around 17:30 - that would be a good 5k pace for me, and I was feeling the pressure now between the wind and the little drags. I managed to hang on though, and we got to halfway around 29:45.

    We picked up one runner from the group in front and I thought we were narrowing the gap on the rest of them - this would have been just before and after 6 miles. Around then I heard a voice in my left ear describing the next few miles and encouraging us to dig in. He sounded so comfortable I assumed he was on a bike - I had to do a double take when I glanced behind to see it was the sub 60 pacer, complete with huge balloon. While I hate running behind a balloon carrier on a windy day, his course notes were spot on and really helpful.

    Sometime after the 6 mile mark I must have lost concentration for a bit, and I was annoyed to notice Pauline had moved a few metres ahead. We were on a longish drag, and it would have really hurt me to close the gap. I knew I just needed to average 6 min/mile from there to the finish to get the sub 60, and not knowing the course and not being fully confident in my condition (I'm training for a marathon, not a 10 miler), I decided just to keep going at the fastest pace I could manage.

    Subsequent mile marks showed me with a few seconds in hand at each one, and though I was tiring, the course and the wind were benign at that stage of the race. I felt slightly warm in my long sleeved top but I was definitely glad I had it for the first half. The only thing of note around now was a Donore runner who had been shadowing me for a long while steadily moving by, and the race becoming increasingly fragmented up ahead. I managed to maintain a steady pace albeit somewhat slower than the first half. There was a sting in the tail though with a 90 degree right turn back into the industrial estate just after 800m to go - we were straight into a fierce headwind and my legs were buckling. I managed to get my self back into some sort of a rhythm, but these were anxious moments as I couldn't see the clock and even when it came into view my vision was a bit blurred (watery eyes on cold days is normal for me) so I just had to go flat out and hope for the best. I crossed the line in 59:47, very pleased with a 56 sec PB but with the feeling that there might be a bit more to come off that.

    I recovered fairly fast and caught up with a few work colleagues. I passed near the winner Martin Fagan - instinctively I stuck out a hand and he shook it. Seems like a nice guy. I headed back to Race HQ where they were pinning up the results sheets - 3rd M50 for me - and bumped into Yaboya, Tom Joad, and chinguetti. I did have to excuse myself from the chat to get a cup of coffee (great choice of race sponsor!) and find a chair to sit on, but I felt much better when I had finished the drink and plenty of delicious cake.

    I almost forgot to refer back to my '99 bike TT effort. That was pre chip timing and texts with your official time. Later that evening I rang one of the race officials (since sadly deceased at a very young age) to find that I had finished in 59:47. Must be something about Trim!

    I can't recommend this race highly enough.

    Pros:
    Great course
    Great feed at race HQ
    Plenty of parking if you know the town.

    Cons:
    Having to wait a year to try it again.


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