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Just Do It



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    you were like a whack a mole as I spotted you at another spot in the park too 😄

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

    Textbook. Well done. Perfectly executed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,235 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Thats a brilliant report - capturing an extremley well run race.

    You 'managed' the race really well - I'm convinced the conservative 1st 3 miles is a Godsent - and running the difficult stretches (Crumlin/Clonskeagh) as you did - rather than try to hold pace, worked really well for you.

    Regarding the cramps - what do you think helped here? (or was it all of the above that you mentioned!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Thanks and was sorry to read that you were unable to make the start line.

    You could be right about those particular drags. Clonskeagh in particular as it takes such concentration there as people are dropping out or beginning to walk. There was also a blinding sun breaking through clouds as I went up that road. If I tried to keep pace there, Ive no doubt I would have paid for that. The issue is - can you get back on pace afterwards especially at the latter stages.

    I think it all helped but it could be just as simple as this for me. I'm pretty sure I got myself into 2.50/51 shape but I targeted 2.54. If I attacked the 2.51, it may well have happened again considering i did get a reminder at one stage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,389 ✭✭✭Dubh Geannain

    That's what it looks like alright to my rookie eyes.

    Absolutely smashing stuff. Well done!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭py

    Fantastic run D. Congrats on the PB. The internal monologue can sometimes go places you don't want, having that external support throughout sounds like it paid off in spades.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,679 ✭✭✭Mr. Guappa

    That's just class. A great performance. Well done D.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Forgive me father as it's been over 3 months since I updated this log

    I looked back on 2022 and was ultimately very happy with the running year after a disaster 2021. The year had its hiccups with Limerick marathon been the biggest culprit, but I feel i righted that in DCM and had quite a few PB's across various distances which was very welcome as I was putting the work in.

    December was a disaster as I was in good shape to have a crack at Jingle Bells but only dawned on me later on, that I was actually away for that race so Tom Brennan on 1st of Jan was going to be a new target race to break 17. 

    Unfortunately, I rolled an ankle on the Tuesday session just after Jingle Bells weekend. I was trying to avoid a big puddle and stepped onto wet grass to do so but slipped while doing a faster rep - (grrrr, I will pick the wet socks option next time). I have gone over and done ligaments on my ankle before but always on the external side previously. This was on the inside of the ankle which initially gave me a bit of fright over next few days as it felt like the Plantar Fasciitis had returned. After a few visits to the physio, he was fairly sure this wasn't the case, and it was just the trauma of the ankle putting extra pressure on the fascia. He was confident that when the ankle fully healed my pain on the fascia would clear too. To my relief, he was 100% right.

    In some ways it's not the worst time of year to be injured with it been Christmas party season etc. In other ways, it makes the comeback to running a hell of a lot harder after all the extra padding that December entails. I slowly got back doing a few jogs around Christmas Day and was signed up to Dublin Masters XC in early Jan. I knew I wasn't in shape for that race but didn't want to let the team down either so I rocked up thinking "its only 6k, you can bluff your way through this" It turns out there are no hiding places in St Annes park 😉 I almost pulled out after each lap and could not wait until this ordeal was over. 24.27 was the time and although that in itself wasn't a bad time as such, the whole experience was terrible. I looked at a few photos later on in the day and gave me the push to check out the weighing scales. I was approx a stone heavier than I was back at DCM after eventually prising my fingers away from my eyes to look at the figure staring back at me 😬. It was actually a good kick in the backside I needed to tidy things up.

    I had 4 weeks to Trim which was the target race at this stage and 3 weeks to Raheny to get things right. It wasn't quite Ricky Hatton levels of shifting weight and getting fit between fights but wasn't a million miles away from it either. I cleaned up the diet and continuously upped the levels of training. When I wasn't running, I was cycling and generally been smarter about things.. The few days leading up to Raheny, I was feeling good and was intrigued to see what that meant in terms of racing.

    Raheny 5

    I made a balls of positioning myself in the pen. I should known better after previously running this race a couple of times. I was too far back - 22 seconds after the gun to be exact. I ran too far off the racing line in that first mile and had quite a few stop/ start moments in the first 800. I figured I was in sub 30 shape but genuinely wasn't going to know until I was a couple of miles into this race. First mile clicked on my watch at 5.57 which i was pleasantly surprised at but I knew I was approx 3 seconds slower than that too. At one stage in the argy bargy in the first 400 another runner bumped off my watch and somehow hit the pause button on it. It took another second or 2 to realise it was my watch that beeped 🙃

    I found my rhythm then and no better way to increase confidence by passing people on a regular basis. I felt like I was motoring on sybill road but knew the park was still to come so don't empty the tank too much yet. 

    Mile 2 - 5.46 

    Mile 3 - 5.36

    I was beginning to countdown and becoming ever more conscious that I may blow up at this pace. The first section of the park came and went without too much incident but climbing up towards the hair pin, I was beginning to tire. I tucked myself in behind a group for shelter on that section and took the 180 turn wide to avoid any collisions. 

    Mile 4 - 5.34

    It was hard to get the legs going again initially after the 180 but inner thoughts were positive -" It's only a mile that starts with a downhill before the crowd will get you over the last hard 700". Don't get me wrong, I couldn't wait until it finished now but I now knew a good honest effort will bring me a PB. As I was coming towards the exit of the park, I was starting to tie up and was defo reaching my limit. I needed to be smart here with the drag to come. I dialled off a little bit because it was necessary and hoping it allowed for fast last 200. I wasn't passing people anymore but I was holding my position. When I heard Dick Hooper on the mic approaching the last corner, it gave me a spur on. To my surprise, I was able to kick for the last 150 and went as fast as my legs let me go

    Mile 5 - 5.33 - I was shocked my last mile was my fastest as it certainly didn't feel that way. I was chuffed to get an official time of 28.35 for a PB. ... Maybe Ricky Hatton had the right idea after all 😁

    Between Raheny and Trim, I kept the miles ticking over mainly easy. I had one small session midweek. The trusted mona fartlek was the choice of session as I find it a nice short snappy session between close races like this.

    Trim 10

    I missed sub 60 minutes in this race last year by 2 seconds. I was actually 7 seconds under it on my watch but ran too wide at start then too and didn't hug the race line that day. The last 400 also had a gale force headwind that slowly terrorised me back then too as i watched the clock tick past 60. The wind was barely noticeable this time and I positioned myself very close to the front to avoid previous mistakes. Raheny had given me the confidence to attack this race and snatch that sub 60.

    The usual first mile gallop when the terrain is to you advantage, I found myself going a little too hot in the first 800 so dialled it back and found a comfortable pace around 5.50ish. I noticed a few familiar looking heads and gaits ahead that finished close enough to me at Dublin half and Dunshaughlin to know i was in the right area anyway. My club mate was close by too just off my shoulder.

    Mile 1 - 5.51

    I find the next 3 miles fair and a nice part of the countryside I was conscious to keep the pace consistent as there were harder sections to come. At a couple of stages I worked a little bit to get with groups but was generally comfortable running my own race sticking to the racing line as best as possible. 

    Mile 2 - 5.54

    Mile 3 - 5.44

    Mile 4 - 5.47

    I wasn't intentionally trying to bank time as its not generally how I like to race. I'd always prefer the negative split way. In this instance though, I couldn't help but think I've approx. 40 seconds in the bank on the sub 60 when I took account of the markers as opposed to my watch beeping on the mile. Around this stage, at the beginning of mile 5 i found myself organically in a group of about 10 or so folk. There was no better time as suddenly there were more drags and that previous non-existent wind suddenly was a bit of a factor too. I checked my shoulder at one stage and my club mate was also in this group. Mob rule took over as we rallied over the next few miles through the different drags and turns. We caught up with some folk who some were able to join the group while others may have fallen off the back.

    Mile 5 - 5.54

    Mile 6 - 5.46

    Mile 7 - 5.58

    I was still looking at the time banked each mile and knew that sub 60 should be safe but you just never know when the legs may give up. I was also conscious despite how good it was to run with this group, it was congested at times(especially when a couple of cars went by in middle of a closed road - WTF) and any clip of heels is a potential disaster. The wind is no longer a headwind for the last 3 miles and the profile is kinder although there are a few tricky drags and hills still to negotiate. I was feeling good but maybe a bit too brave for my own good. I went to the front of group and found myself putting a few yards on the rest. It wasn't necessarily my intention as was still running my own race as such..I think it was Evan Scully that went with me here eventually and was running off my shoulder for a bit. I was kind of getting darker thoughts here thinking why did i just do that "Billy Big Balls". "I will probably get spat out the back of this group in a few minutes". I needn't have been too worried though as Evan then kindly took over from me at the front. I'm fairly sure some of the guys in the group were athletes he trains. We switched the workload a bit over the next mile and as we approached the 9 mile marker, I took a sneaky look over my shoulder and the group had halved. My clubmate was still sitting pretty there.

    Mile 8 - 5.54

    Mile 9 - 5.48

    There were now about 5 or 6 in the stretched-out group. I dialled it up a little more from the last mile marker as there is a downhill section before the last turn into the industrial estate finishing straight. I don't think I ever been in this situation before, but I was in a full-on race now with these guys. The friendly group alliance was now over - last man standing etc. I got to the corner first and had a few metres on the next person and he had a few metres on the next etc. I'm not sure how long that last part is - maybe 400, 500 but it feels a lot longer. I wasn't looking back anymore as I gritted my teeth and ran as fast as I could. There were about 200/250 metres left and for the first time i heard silence behind me - no galloping steps. "Am I clear? shush keep running" . The only person I feared passing me here now was my clubmate as from racing and training with him on a regular basis, he has an outrageous final kick. Oh crap, there's those footsteps AGAIN as It must be nearly 150 metres left. Yep, It was him and he absolutely tore pass me at a rate of noughts and put in a further 5 seconds on me from there to finish. I actually hadn't slowed down looking at stats later which shows how strong his finish was. I let a roar as him as I finished " did you get a bee sting or something?" to a few moderate laughs around the finish line.

    Mile 10 - 5.42 

    official time 58.19 - overall 39th

    To say I was delighted with that result is an understatement. That was my most enjoyable race to date.

    Nice to see Dubh Geannain at the end - missed a few others

    Apols for long winded post if you are still reading!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,679 ✭✭✭Mr. Guappa

    Couple of cracking results there D, fair play. I've only found myself in that type of head to head race to the finish on one occasion - it was about 5 years ago when I was very much back of the pack but ended up duking out the last km of a 8km race shoulder to shoulder with a similarly-paced good friend of mine. The time was extremely modest but the thrill of that finish is still one of favourite running memories.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,381 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    It's pretty amazing how quickly you went from that disastrous December back to run that perfect progressive Raheny and then that kind of result in Trim. Just goes to show that the opposite of the old saying is also true: you don't become a bad runner overnight. That Trim perfomance result is just fabulous. Thanks for putting the reports together, really great stuff.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Great read D, glad the injury wasn't too bad but Jesus fair play to you smashing both races after being laid off!

    Amazing run in Raheny, that feeling that you ran your last mile your fastest mile feels so bloody good😊

    What a gripping read for Trim, seems like we both came away beaming😁you are in a great place, absolutely delighted for you!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,389 ✭✭✭Dubh Geannain

    Epic stuff. Many congrats on bouncing back. That was a great read.

    I hadn't reflected on my own starting location too much until I read your post. Now I realise I definitely started way too far back. I wasn't overtaken the whole race after the first half mile 😀 The groups certainly can make a big difference as AMK mentioned in his report. I'd a bit of fun playing with the flyby feature on Strava yesterday. Had to enable it in the privacy settings first. It was pretty cool reliving the race. I used Evan Scully myself as the front runner.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Great to pop on here and see those 2 race reports D. Savage stuff. Apologies, I haven't gone back too far on your log yet, are you running a Spring marathon?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,431 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    2 reports in 1, lovely. Haha at the Ricky Hatton bit!

    As D said that's an unbelievable turn around in short space of time, looking forward to seeing how much you smash it in 2023.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭Bluesquare

    Great read . Well done on both races!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Thanks, good to see you back on the horse and building! Nah, giving the spring marathon a break this year which gives me a few more options. More than likely will get in a couple of half's in next few months.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭py

    Couple of great PBs, well done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    I only seem to be coming on here at minute to provide race reports. On a couple of occasions recently, I started to draft about weekly training etc but I just wasn't bothered in the end, as it was boring myself. 

    I do want to be able to look back and track races and how I was feeling at particular stages in races which bring me to Bohermeen Half.

    I am signed up to Madrid Rock n Roll half next month and the Street of Portlaoise 5k on Paddys day. 

    As I mentioned briefly to Laineyfrecks the other day, this was kind of a free hit for me. All my eggs were not in this basket, so to speak. That took any real pressure off this race for me. Having said that, I did still get quite nervous in the hours leading up to race and i think this is the reason why. My plan was to go at at my recent 10 mile pace in Trim and see if I could hang on for the last 5k at said pace. I wasn't going to be too bothered(well, not sure about that) if I blew up as I would have learned from it. I really wanted to test my body though, to see where my limit was.

    I rocked up to the community centre well in advance to allow me to go for a bit of walk to the start line to refamiliarise myself with the area. Got changed did about four laps of the track with a few exercises as a warmup and made my way down to start.

    I positioned myself about 7 or 8 rows back. There seemed to be some gallop on the first section which is downhill. I was checking my watch a couple of times thinking "this is nuts" I stepped off a little bit and found myself already in a bit of a group towards the end of the first mile 


    The 2nd and 3rd mile consist of a few drags and quite a significant hill that brings you over the motorway. I ensured i kept tucked in here with the group of about 6 as the wind could be felt here too. I was already thinking, this is going to be hard 2nd time around. We had just gone through a couple of weeks of really low temperatures so most of my easy runs lately consisted of me of increasing the pace on a ad hoc basis. The significant increase in the temperature on Sunday from zero degrees and snow on the Friday to about 11 or 12 was very welcome but I did notice i was sweating up quite a lot at this early stage. 

    5.56, 6.00

    I found myself already thinking about the countdown to the end. I needed to try and knock those thoughts to one side. The terrain around this section is advantageous so I began running slightly faster, albeit controlled. There was a Dunboyne runner at the front of the group so I joined him and shared the workload a bit. Suddenly, we had created a gap to the rest of the group including my clubmate who had finished ahead of me in my previous 3 races this year. This move could be a mistake and may come back to bite me . It seemed early to be breaking off, but I remembered the race plan and let's see what's in the tank 

    5.50, 5.48, 5.53

    It was a nice break to the monotonous pounding of shoes to hear and see the crowds cheering at the halfway mark as we passed the Community Centre. I took a gel and sipped a bit of water around here. My Dunboyne colleague started to fall off the pace a little here which initially concerned me as had been running shoulder to shoulder with him for the previous 20 mins.. Noone to be seen for about 60 metres in front meant I was going to be going through the hardest part of this race solo. The legs were getting heavier, the wind seemed to be picking up and now I had no distractions to take me out of my own head. 5 Miles solo at sub 6 min miles was going to be a real challenge now. I kept the head down going up and over the hill. Before I knew it, I had closed right up on an athlete. I thought of running with him, but I was afraid now if I dropped pace , I wouldn't have the ability to pick it up again, so I drove on past him. 


    Mile 10 and 11 were a real battle for me. Again, I was solo for most of this, occasionally picking off someone who had been dropped in front. I knew the last 2 miles would be flat and probably wind assisted so really tried to keep the thoughts positive here. I just needed to hang on somehow through this section. I actually felt like just slowing down or stopping and putting it down as a good training run. Every step I took seemed to be getting heavier. It was like I was wearing space boots and my whole surroundings seemed to be going in slow motion. It was a lonely existence. Someone appeared in front of me again at the 11-mile marker which helped me break free from my trance.


    Its amazing what difference 2 minutes can make in a race. The wind and terrain were suddenly in my favour and just like that I was feeling somewhat ok again. The space boots had been temporarily removed and I was moving slicker. I now knew I was finishing this race and also realised I was finishing this on my terms too. I was still hurting and working hard but gaining positions in those last 2 miles gave me huge confidence. Tricking yourself into believing that you are grand seems to be half the battle. Mile 12 came in at 5.50 which I half worked out in my head should mean I could go sub 1.18 here. I kept putting one foot in front of the other and I passed maybe 2 more runners late on. As I took the last turn up towards the community centre, I just gritted the teeth and pushed myself. the crowd were great here. As I took the left onto the track with 100m left, I saw the clock was ticking on 1.16.45. I was thinking WTF, I can go sub 77 here so extended the stride and went full out sprint for the last 70 metres to get under 77 on the race clock. 5.50 for mile 12 and 5.48 for mile 13, 5.09 pace for the last bit.. 

    Official time was 1.16.53 for a 2.5 min PB that I set back in Sept. I couldn't believe it. I have read reports on here before how people end up heaving or getting sick after a hard race. I had never previously properly experienced this until now. I was down on my hunkers for a good 3 or 4 minutes coughing up a lung. I had completely emptied the tank here.

    A few very soft easy days now before having a crack at the 5k on Friday.

    Post edited by Lambay island on

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,403 ✭✭✭Lazare

    Cracking report D, and such a superbly executed race. Battling demons is I've come to learn part and parcel of a good performance. We can't ask for more from ourselves than feeling like we left absolutely nothing out there.

    Fantastic PB, fantastic athlete. Well done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭Bluesquare

    Great report and smashing race congrats . Taking on the wind on those inclines solo must have been a lot of extra effort ! are you with test running club that had the same name as your user name ? I’ve never seen them before !

    Post edited by Bluesquare on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Thanks, It was an experience navigating large parts of that alone. No, my username is completely random and not associated with Lambay athletics

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,482 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Brilliant report D & jaysus what a time!! You are a brilliant runner & consistently getting better which is brilliant to see😊

    Very best of luck in the 5k!

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,282 ✭✭✭ariana`

    2.5mins in 6 months in incredible! Super race & report.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭py

    Well done D, congrats again on the PB. Can't wait to see what Friday holds for you now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

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

    That's a great run and PB there D. Not much time to celebrate with just a 5 day turnaround !

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭healy1835

    Savage racing pal. I had a friend racing it and had a goo on Facebook during the morning. There were some photos of the halfway mark I think, and when I saw a couple of guys you were in a group with I figured you were having a great day! In bonus territory now, easy couple of days, little shakeout and give the 5k a good rattle. Congrats again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,431 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Brilliant stuff D. Phenomenal (scary!) pace from start to finish. Just the start of a big year for you i feel. Someone more technically minded than myself ought to link that report for an early performance of the year contender.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,679 ✭✭✭Mr. Guappa

    Super stuff D. You put in the hard work week in, week out and it's great to see it paying off in spades. The paces you run at might be hard for me to comprehend but the racing thoughts, hurt and bargaining seem to be the same wherever you are in the field. I admire how you never settled, kept kicking on and aggressively pushed yourself in that race. Brilliant.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,003 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Streets of Portlaoise 5k

    I had the few easy days and took off the Thursday. Legs felt okay by Friday morning.

    The journey down was interesting. When leaving Dublin the sun was shining. About 10 kms outside of portlaoise, we were nearly at the stage of pulling the car in,the rain was so heavy that visibility was poor.

    It never really cleared up fully, but the rain eased prior to the race. On the warm-up, l did the 4th km of the route. There is a tasty climb there and it demanded respect.

    The speed of the top end at the start of the race was something to behold. Its a downhill start approaching the town and I had to hover over the handbrake about 500 metres in.

    1st km - 3.20

    This section was relatively flat with more downhill than drags. There were a few sharp enough turns, one in particular that took my a while to get back on pace after poorly negotiating it. I was finding myself getting a ahead of the mini group I was in, but not been able to make any ground on the folk ahead.

    2nd km - 3.21

    Vague memories of this part. I did close the gap little on a few ahead as I kept a consistent pace. The A target for this race was 16.40-45 . I would accept B target of sub 17 with just 5 days after the half.

    3rd km - 3.20

    "Welcome to the 4th km and we bring you some rain and head wind added to the craic of the climb" . This section of a 5k race is always the hardest even on an flat surface. I worked really hard but I was struggling. I caught the women's DCM 2022 national champ here and worked in tandem up that hill with her. I looked around at others and could see I certainly wasn't the only one struggling here. I clipped heels with her here,(completely my fault) and she actually apologised. I was too fecked to say anything. It seemed to happen again a few seconds later to my embarrassment, not sure who's fault it was this time,but I said sorry. We were nearly at crest of hill so I thought, I need to get away here before I clothesline her accidently, so I pushed off a bit.

    4th km 3.31

    It felt like I haemorrhaged time but only really was 10 seconds slower on the KM. The problem now was trying to get back on pace once we had flat ground. I don't know if it was tired legs, tired mind or what, but I just couldn't seem to empty the tank on that 5th km. There is an art to running a 5k and I still haven't properly learned it. As we approached 500 metres to go, I did raise the pace a bit and thought B goal was safe. It wasn't until 5k beeped on my watch at 16.50 ish and I still couldn't see the finish line, I thought ah balls... it turns out there is a little blind bend before the line and then had to really sprint the last 50 metres to get under the clock at 16.59. The chip was 16.58 with a last km of 3.23.

    I was happy but couldn't help but feel, I left time out there as I wasn't banjaxed at the end like the half.

    The club had a good day with an individual 2nd place In womens race and overall team winner on the day.

    Post edited by Lambay island on