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Berlin Q or Bust: Road to sub 2:45



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    All the best J. You have given yourself a great chance to achieve your goal. Enjoy!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,757 ✭✭✭ReeReeG

    Best of luck, you deserve a good run on Sunday!

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,622 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon

    Park in the Radisson hotel and stroll over?

    ive been through the airport and it can be hit and miss at security. I’ve breezed through and also taken up to 45 mins. Spend the tenner on fast track if you want peace of mind.

    all the best Krusty2


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,771 ✭✭✭jebuz

    All the best this weekend, go and revel in the experience of a big city marathon. Fully expect and acknowledge the hardship in the latter stages but trust your strength and fitness will shine through.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    All the best J. You've trained like a bloody demon this year, now make sure and race like one!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Thanks again for the above 😁 just to point to anyone keeping an eye on things, that proceedings get on the way at the positively relaxed time of 10:30am Sunday ⌚👍

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,600 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Very best of luck J. Training is deserving of a good result. Let it rip!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,807 ✭✭✭skyblue46

    All the best J, a controlled tear up incoming!

  • Registered Users Posts: 488 ✭✭ClashCityRocker

    Best of luck on Sunday J, your training has been nothing short of fantastic and everything is pointing to a brilliant time. Above all enjoy the day!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭Treviso

    Best of luck tomorrow J. Some unbelievable training put in by you for what seems like an age, delighted you finally get to toe the marathon line. Hope everything goes to plan. As AMK said, don't forget to charge the watch but also put an extra loop on the shoe laces

  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto

    Best of luck tomorrow. I think you will have a brilliant experience tomorrow. If you can keep it sensible for the first 20 miles, you'll fly it home and obliterate the target.

    No matter the result, enjoy the day. That is the most important thing. All the best :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 467 ✭✭browne_rob5

    Best of luck tomorrow J. You are in unbelievable shape. So much great work put in and you kept great focus in all the uncertainty. Hope it all goes to plan for you!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,415 ✭✭✭Singer

    Not much left to be said about your training by now, but it also doesn’t really matter. Of the 3,000 things that can go wrong in a marathon I hope only 20 of them happen to you and you deal with them well. Looking forward to following the tracker tomorrow, no pressure!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Sorry to disappoint, but a DNF after 15/16 miles. Not sure how far exactly. Zero energy, don't know what happened. Soul destroying stuff. Thanks for all the support.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,415 ✭✭✭Singer

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,669 ✭✭✭DeepBlue

    Sorry to hear. The marathon can be a cruel mistress.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,968 ✭✭✭aquinn

    You must be reeling. I know I am. Hard to believe after all the training. Really gutted for you.

    Was debating whether to post this or not as it may be too soon or it may be the best thing ever to try again asap. I'm not sure but just wanted to let you know as they were hoping to close entries so just in case. Very local.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,292 ✭✭✭ariana`

    Really bummed to read this news. Not expected and certainly not deserved. No doubt you'll be back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭MY BAD

    Really sorry to hear this. I don't know what to say just that I'm gutted for you.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Sorry to see this, J. Maybe the cold wasn't taper madness after all? Got to be something behind it, but that's for another day. Sympathies!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    I'm just putting in out there - if you want a hand doing up a melancholic update about a Marathon that didn't go well, ...............I know a guy.

    Just sayin'

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,622 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon

    I’ve a collection of “tales of woe” templates to choose from…

    unlucky J you’ve been here before and’ll bounce back


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Went about writing a report but you know what, I don't really fancy raking those coals as of yet. Thanks for all the messages on here and elsewhere.

    Might give the log a rest for a while until the head clears. Body is fine, no lasting injuries or anything like that. I definitley won't be running it back anywhere else in the next few weeks. I know I've done it before, but I'm just not in that place this time round.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,500 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Lovely to meet you in the airport. All the best with what you decide to do.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Jesus, that reads a bit dramatic doesn't it!? I put it down to the tired, funky spot I found myself in yesterday. Anyway, will stick up report later and move on. Might even run later too, although might just leave it another day. Anyway, I'm not quite in the glass cage if emotion that the previous post suggested I was 🤣

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Haha it did read that way but honestly who'd blame you if you were.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,397 ✭✭✭Dubh Geannain

    Good to hear. As SB said you'd be right to have felt like that. You've been super consistent and flying along and completely didn't deserve that at the weekend. You've put yourself in great shape though and haven't got a full marathon race in your legs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭MrMacPhisto

    Phew 😅

    I was going to light a candle!😁

    Honestly, this race will stand to you more than any PB in the many races to come. The glorious runs are soon forgotten while the bad days alway stick in the mind and provide a useful reminder of how hard racing can be. You will learn huge amounts when it's less raw and you have time to digest it all. I am looking forward to your report.

    Enjoy the recovery.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Manchester Marathon: DNF

    D...N...F the three worst letters that one can put together. In starting this report I actually don’t know what I’m going to recall from the race as I haven’t really drilled down into it too much, but I'll open the Strava file and have a goo I suppose...apologies for what is going to follow. It's probably going to be a tough enough read.

    Pre Race:

    Early flight for this one had me leaving the house at 4:30 am. Whatever transpires the next time I go overseas for a marathon, I’m not flying early on Saturday. I’ll either stay Friday night or pay the premium for the later flight on Saturday. 

    Luckily enough, any worries that we’d be hanging around during the day until a 3pm check in were unfounded, as the hotel let us into the room when we got there at 9am. Delighted with this, we dumped the bags and got a tram into the City Centre for a painless number collection in the cavernous convention center. Back to the hotel, via a Tesco visit for supplies, and it was time to put the feet up.

    I was pretty tired after the early start, so I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep from around 2pm to 4pm and was glad of them. Myself and my two clubmates had booked an Italian in Salford for 5pm so we got an Uber out and back to that. Was pretty stuffed after it, too stuffed probably. I ate a few different breads and then had calzone as my main. Possibly left it a bit late to eat too, but how and ever.

    Back in the hotel, I was out for the count before half time in the England game. Had a decent sleep, couple of trips to the toilet notwithstanding. But I was awake by 5am and there was no getting back to sleep. Listened to Fury Wilder on the radio and just tried to zone out. Went down for breakfast at 7:30. Porridge and some toast and jam. Was still pretty full from the night before so I didn’t overdo it.

    Without falling into the trap of basing my analysis of the day off the end result of the day, I have to say that I was not exactly bouncing off the walls. I was really apprehensive all morning and wasn’t buzzing at all. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be apprehensive enough the morning of a marathon, but this feeling would usually be jousting with some pre race adrenaline, which was conspicuous by its absence here.

    Changed into race gear, packed bag and headed the mile or so to the athletes village at the Old Trafford cricket ground. I did get a buzz when walking past the Theater of Dreams (tm) and this got the juices flowing a bit. However, the start was still 90 mins away at this stage, so it was short lived!

    At this juncture I have to say what a really well organised marathon it was. Bag Drop was painless and very well organised. Everything worked really, and apart from a little delay at the start line, I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone looking to run a marathon in the UK.

    The Race

    The entire wave was walked down to the start pen. Got a short little run to check my laces were done properly (they were ;) ) and then into the pen for about 10:10am to get a decent spot. Sun was beating down at this point and I was slightly worried about this, but I just brushed it off. Clock ticks to 10:30, everyone hushes while some dude with a very weak megaphone tells us that…there’s a delay of some ilk and the course isn’t clear (or something, not 100% sure as the groans around me drowned out what came next). We’re on a dual carriageway type road here, so I hopped the barrier and sat down on the verge in the middle. A couple of minutes later though and we had gotten the nod that things could get going. Wheelchair and Elites set off and then it was time to get going.

    As a few of you found out, the tracker was non-existent on Sunday so I’ll give you the watch splits which were fairly accurate apart from a section around Deansgate in the city which is home to most of Manchester’s high rise skyscrapers.

    Miles 1-3 (6:11, 6:17,6:15)

    The start was quick, and I found myself trying to rein things in, whilst also navigating my way past a lot of runners who really should have considered their positions in the starting pen. Managed to not come a cropper and headed into the city without too much drama. Garmin told me my condition was ‘+7’ after 3 miles. ‘That’s great, pity I don’t really feel it!’ I mused to myself. 

    Miles 4-6 (6:15, 6:17, 6:07)

    First water station was just after 5k in. Popped half an electrolyte tablet in a bottle and let it dissolve. Go to drink it and nearly puke the contents back up. I’d never taken this particular flavour during a hard run before, and it did not sit well at all in the stomach. Oh well, only a small issue, I wasn’t too perturbed by it. Bit of a drag in the city around 5 miles in and the 6th mile was in amongst the skyscrapers, so that accounts for the slower and faster mile splits. Crowds were great and noisy here and it did feel like a proper city marathon in this section. 

    Both Murph and Jebuz mentioned about enjoying the experience of running a big event again, and at this early stage with the crowds and buzz around I should really have been in great form. I wasn’t though. I wasn’t struggling or anything, the pace felt fine as it should at that point of the race, but I wasn’t enjoying or appreciating the experience at all. This doesn’t mean a whole lot in the greater scheme of things, but it’s worth observing.

    Miles 7-9 (6:15, 6:16, 6:15)

    Heading back out of the city, long straight stretches here, all of which were fairly anonymous until we get to Old Trafford and run past the stadium and surrounds. My thinking here is that I’m not feeling great but the pace is consistent. I wasn’t expecting to feel great the whole time so I was prepared for it. I just found myself hoping that I’d go through a good patch soon and we hadn’t even made 10 miles yet. The experience just felt long. Maybe that’s the wrong description, but it just felt like I’d been out the road a long time. Is this sustainable I kept asking myself? 

    Miles 10-12 (6:19, 6:18, 6:23)

    Have mentioned nothing so far about other runners. I was in or around a couple of groups throughout. Some runners came and went and came back again. Fell in with the odd runner but there was no real pace group that I was part of. Things started to get a little worrying around the 10 mile mark. Legs started to feel heavy all of a sudden. ‘WHAT THE ACTUAL F^%*!!??’ Ten miles in and this is happening. Try not to panic as some of the aforementioned runners who were in and around me start to move away slowly but surely. Through 10 Miles at 62:27 on watch, probably a few seconds more in reality, but pretty much bang on target. However the thoughts of delivering 16+ more miles of this are suddenly very worrisome. Okay Johnny, dig in here and ride out these couple of miles and we’ll reevaluate at halfway if necessary. Peaks and troughs and all of that, I knew I’d have to grind out a couple of tough patches and this was just one of them. 11 and 12 splits confirm that I’m slowing. I’m still running at a decent clip here, but this sense of foreboding has set in. My legs are not responding the way I want them too. They feel like I’m at mile 22 rather than 12. Man oh man…

    Miles 13-15 (6:27, 6:40, 6:47)

    Go through halfway on the course at 1:22:40. But it means nothing to me. I can feel this thing is only going in one direction. Okay, can we stem the bleeding to 6:30’s for a couple of miles? Maybe get a second wind or something...At this point I can’t remember much about the course. I’m slowing. Badly. A little railway bridge during mile 14 almost slows me to a walk. These miles are filled with a load of negative thoughts. You could guess what they were... The amount of training I’ve put in, only to perform like this. The sacrifices that people around me make to facilitate my running. Disappointing so many people who were following me and waiting to hear the result. The pressure and expectations that I’d put on myself. Running has become a massive part of my identity in recent years and this is what I go and produce. 

    Mile 16-17 (7:04, then almost 8min mile pace for the bit)

    At least hold on for sub 3 pace and not make a complete disgrace of yourself Johnny...Nope, not happening either. And then, just like someone turned off a switch, I stumble from my then 5:30/km pace onto the kerb and sit down. Head in hands. Devastated. 

    26.92km: 1:47:47 @4:00/km

    A spectator comes over after a while and asks if I need anything. She was sufficiently worried by my semi coherent response to go and get a steward. Said steward ended up being a very kind lady, who paid for a tram ticket to get me back to Old Trafford (by a stroke of ‘luck’ I’d managed to come to a halt across the road from a Metrolink station). That 25 minute tram journey was the lowest experience I’ve had in my time running. It’s hard to think about it, even now.

    Back to the athletes village to get the bag. Finishers are streaming in with their hard earned medals and t-shirts. All the usual post marathon buzz. It’s a difficult place to present in. Sit a wall, make a couple of emotional phone calls and wait for two clubmates to come in. They both finish well below expectations, but they’ve finished. Shuffle back to hotel and get there about 3pm. Field a couple of phone calls off some running friends back home and then sit at hotel bar and have a rake of pints. 

    In slightly better form the day after. Pick up a few bits in the United megastore, go to see James Bond and then have a nice few pints and Currywurst in a German bar in the city centre. Bumped into the inspirational Elaine in the airport before getting home.

    So………...yeah. There you go.