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Sub 3:30 Marathon Race Report Thread

  • 25-03-2020 10:51am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,181 ✭✭✭

    As we find ourselves with no races on the horizon for the foreseeable future & taking a retrospective look at sporting events seems to be en vogue right now, I thought it would be a nice opportunity to take a look at some of the many race reports that have graced these pages over the years.

    I'm going to start a Sub 3, Sub 3:30 & Sub 4 hr marathon thread, but if folks think of other times/distances then fire away with a thread for those too

    I think that, if possible, we'll keep the thread for reports only and save any comments for that posters log (where applicable of course).

    Also, I know that I've read a raft of race reports on various logs and threads from posters who are on a sabbatical, so if people want to hunt down some reports from yesteryear and throw them in, I'm sure it would make for good reading.


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

    Healy 1835: DCM October 2016

    Pre Race:
    3 power outages during the night resulted in 2 scared little men in the Healy house and their Daddy awake since 3 am. But I'd gotten about 6 hours decent sleep before that so I was happy enough. Big bowl of porridge and off I set. Got dropped around Baggot St about 7:30. I wanted a bit more time to get ready this year as I got there a lot later last and was a little frantic. No such worries this year. Positioned myself near enough the 3:20 pacers and tried to keep calm, when in reality I was bouncing off the walls with nerves and excitement after doing most of my training on my own I was actually running with a mate who turned up about 30 seconds from the off....he's run lots of marathons including 10 in 10 days last year so he was a great partner to have

    Km 1-10 (46:56)
    Nothing too crazy apart from that motorbike!! The dude was trying to wheel it back by the time we got to him. How the hell did that happen?? Pacers threw in a 4:31 3rd km which was a little worrying but that was it for the race and they really were fantastic. The British guy who was interviewed in the Irish Runner last issue was very vocal and really encouraging. Pace felt really easy, took some water on at the first stop, figuring it was gonna be a day to get fluids in early. Up into the park and down Chesterfield Ave. Mate on the course had gel and high5 drink ready and 10k and the pace still felt easy at this stage.

    Km 11-20 (46:31)
    Castleknock was brilliant and I found myself feeding off the crowd, cheesy I know but I was really feeling it at this stage . I had an early concern that I might need to take a toilet break but that had subsided at this stage and I felt no niggles at all. Feeling strong still and even though the pace group was definitely starting to thin out as we approached halfway, it was still big enough to make me feel like I was almost drafting at stages.

    Km 21-30 (47:07)
    Went through halfway in 1:39:26, I'm feeling really strong at this stage. My mate who I was running with went through a bit of a dodgy patch here and he was able to tuck in behind me and get out of it. Whilst I was feeling great I was still paranoid about not finishing strong so any thoughts of banging ahead were quickly put out of my head. The plan was coming together and there was no point in jeopardising it at this stage. A lot of people were dropping off the pace from about 30k on, it seemed worse than last year but then again, I was one of those people last year so maybe I just noticed it more this time around.

    Km 31-40 (47:12)
    Still right with the pacers at 20 mile mark. My wife and eldest fella were at Milltown so it was a great buzz to see them and still be in good shape. My two slowest km's were drag up into Milltown and Roebuck Rd, but they were 4:52 each, which I'd be happy with. Chipped in my fastest km no.40 a 4:29 when in the km before I'd had my first little doubts set in, calves were becoming a little tired and legs a little heavy. At this stage my mate really come up trumps for me and kicked us on, said the right things at the right times. I don't know where I got that 4:29 km from, the pacers had maybe put about 30m on me up Roebuck and down the bypass, but they were coming back to me now. I knew we'd banked nearly 45 seconds and I just needed to keep the wheels on to get under 3:20.

    Km 41-42.2 (4;40, 4:37 & 2:00 @ 4:30/km)
    Last couple of km and I'm seriously buzzing. Body is hurting now but there's no way I'm not finishing this strong. Noise during the last couple of km was just amazing. Figured that a really fast last 400m might get me in under 3:19 but strange and uncomforatble things were starting to occur inside my calves, so I backed off slightly and finished a happy happy man.

    Result: 3:19:07

    So A goal achieved and more importantly I finished a marathon strong. I needed that. I was cruising for about 37km. The last 5km asked me some serious questions about myself but I was able to answer them thank god! I knew going in I had the training done. I'm very lucky to have a friend who devised my training. When you're safe in the knowledge that what you're doing in training is tailored for you by a brilliant runner it's a huge confidence booster. I've come a long way since I starated training last June (2015). I'm not gonna let this fitness slip a little like I did last year either. Raheny 5m, Dungravan 10m, and definitely sub 20 5k ( I've never raced one before) and sub 40 10k are the immediate goal. I'm in the Berlin ballot, and if it get that I'll obviously be giving Dublin a miss next year, but that decision can wait for a little while yet. Reading logs on here has been brilliant too, from the people who are quite close to my own level, to the slower and faster logs, it's great to compare and contrast and gain more knowledge. So....onwards and upwards from here. Will indulge a little this week and then I'll start again......thanks to everyone for the well wishes and encouragement.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,386 ✭✭✭career move

    Great Limerick Run 3013

    I think the HM in Waterford was my springboard for 2013. It really cemented the work I had put in for DCM 2012 and gave me a heap of confidence. My plan was to do Limerick as a training run for the 50k in Portumna and I can’t really remember when or why that changed and Limerick became my goal race. Shortly before Christmas I started trying to put a plan together but it was not as easy as I anticipated. While most of the people on the graduate thread were keen to follow P&D I had taken a quick look at the plan and decided that I hated it. So I asked Meno to help and he did up my own plan for me. It was basically a session on a Wed, a lsr at the w/e and whatever I liked for the rest of the week to make up the mileage and I loved it. I really enjoyed the training and I think that took a lot of the pressure off when I was aiming for a time. I could see myself improving every week and I even managed to look forward to the Wed sessions!!!

    Training weeks: 18
    Total miles = 763
    Max weekly miles = 62
    Av weekly miles = 42.4
    Long runs = 22 x 3, 20 x 1, 18 x 2
    MP runs = 75m in 12 runs
    HMP runs = 12m in 2 runs
    5 runs with strides included
    4 runs with hill sprints
    1 interval session at 10m pace

    - Tom Brennan 5k: 20:52
    - Dungarvan 10m : 1:17:32
    - Bohermeen HM: 1:36:34
    - Kclub 10k: 42:54

    Missed days:
    I was sick twice
    – the first time before Dungarvan I missed 5 running days completely
    - the second time wasn’t as bad but I had to swop all the runs for easy runs, forgo a session and shorten the lsr

    So all in all I was pretty delighted with the training. My RHR was down to 43 and my weight was 9st 3lb (compared to 54 and 9st 10lbs for DCM)


    Drove down to Limerick early on Saturday. The expo was a bit of a non event but at least I was able to get my car parked in the hotel car park. And I had an afternoon power nap. Saturday evening I met up with Dilbert, Gavlor and his buddy, Runchick and family, Killian and family and runwithme and we had a lovely dinner at an Italian. I was in bed early enough although with the fireworks and the general city noise it was hard enough to sleep.

    I woke up several times and at half 6 I decided I might as well get up. I don’t normally eat before I run in the mornings so I decided to go with what I had in Dublin for breakfast – coffee,cheerios and a banana. When I got up and I looked out the window it was misty and cloudy but as the morning went on it looked like it might get sunny. I lashed on factor 50 suncream just to be sure grabbed half a mars bar and headed to the start. It was 8:10 when I got there and they were only just putting up the start at that stage. It was so relaxed compared to Dublin. And everyone was so friendly. I even got to talk to a leprachaun who was cycling his bike round the marathon. I do admit to thinking "he better not get in my way"

    I made a beeline for the pacers as soon as I saw them. John and Grellan were pacing 3:30 so I introduced myself and we had a good chat about how I was going to run my race. Can’t say they were overly impressed when I told them it was my 2nd marathon and that my pb was 3:57. In fact John was giving me a few concerned looks and I think it was a bit of a relief to him when I told him I did the Meath HM in 1:36. He warned me though to keep it handy early on and to stay with them till at least mile 20!

    The Race:

    Mile 1 – 5:

    Lined up shadowing John and Grellan and pretty much stayed on their heels for the first few miles. Big cheer from Meno and Blockic round the corner from the start and again on O’ Connell St. Happy that my breathing was nice and controlled. I had brought half a bottle of water with me and was sipping it for the first few miles just to keep my mouth from getting too dry. Didn’t bother with water from the first station at Mile 3 and I took a gel around mile 4. It made my stomach feel a bit queasy but it passed after a few minutes. Had a few words with Dilbert around mile 4 but we weren’t talking much. In fact our group was quiet enough....all very business-like
    Splits: 7:56, 7:51, 7:45, 7:55, 7:50

    Mile 6- 10:

    Crossed over the 10k mat in 49:17 (Position 231) and then we had to go over this horrible bridge. I didn’t like it at all and I was hoping we didn’t have to go over it a second time. It's called the living bridge and its awful to run over because you’re legs go all wobbly. Didn’t see much of Dilbert in UL. He had gone on ahead of the group and I was still shadowing J and G but we caught up to him again going down the dual carriageway.

    I took my second gel around the 60 min mark. It was cool seeing the guys ahead of us between mile 7 and 8. The two lead guys looked to be cruising as did Angela Mc Cann, the winning lady. Think I saw Gavlor with the 3 hr group but it was hard to pick him out in the group On the way back up around mile 10 I spotted Killian going well with the 4:15’s and I gave him a shout. Few slower splits here because we had a good bit of time banked. I was hardly looking at my watch at all but J and G were calling out how much time we had banked at every mile. I was good and comfortable and I even felt a bit Marthastew-ish running along with a big smile on my face
    Splits: 8:13, 8:13, 7:53, 7:47, 8:03

    Mile 10- 15:

    Passed halfway in 1:44:07 (Position 217). Still feeling strong and breathing was well under control. About this time the marshals started shouting at me that I was the 8th female.....happy days. Another girl in a purple top joined our little band of pacees here. She had run Dublin in 3:33 and I was getting a bit competitive thinking she is not finishing in front of me.

    Took a 3rd gel sometime around the halfway mark. They were going down well now and I was sipping water at all the stations. Our group was sound passing around water and getting each other water from the stations. It was like a big happy family run. Now and again when the sun broke through the clouds it was quite hot and I was glad I had the sun cream on.
    Splits: 7:47, 8:02, 8:15, 8:08, 8:03

    Mile 16 – 20:

    I was telling myself at 16 miles ok just 10m to go. Same as the race in Dungarvan and you’re in better shape now. You can do it! Dropped the girl in the purple top around mile 17 and one of the girls further up must have slowed too because I was now in 7th position. Took my last gel with caffeine in it after the 2 hour mark.

    30k split 2:28:02 (Position 184). Running up O Connell street was great with the support and I was thinking I’m going well. Someone yelled ‘Its all downhill from here’ lying bastid

    Splits: 8:09, 7:57, 7:43, 7:40, 7:55

    Mile 21 – Finish:

    Got a tiny bit carried away here with the downhill and the crowds and opened up a small gap ahead of the pacers. I was telling myself you’ve still 5 miles to go nice and easy now, don’t go too fast and I think I was only ever a small bit in front of the lads. I was having a little race with a guy in a grey shirt and we were swopping the lead a good bit.

    I grabbed some lucozade sport and some water from the station at mile 22. I was squirting the water over my head and down the back of my neck and it was helping a bit to keep me focused. The hills around Thomond Park were a killer. They were only small but it was one after another after another. Around mile 23 I was in a good bit of pain. Legs were heavy and it was a big effort to keep the pace up. All I could focus on were the constant inclines.

    Guy in the grey shirt opened up a 10m gap on me and then I heard the dreaded “3:30 pacers coming through” Fcuk how did that happen. John and Grellan were brilliant with the encouragement though. When they said step by step you can do it, I was thinking of the inch by inch clip of Al Pacino that Guinang had mentioned on my log

    I stayed with the pace group in a good position until a little hill around mile 24 knocked me back about 30m off them. I could still hear J and G shouting at me. Come on Kate, Pick it up Kate. Where are you Kate but I was fighting really hard to hang on and not slow down. Central governor was saying ya, ya on you go lads about your business I’m grand here and racer Kate was like come on faster, faster, keep with them.

    It was at a stalemate and I was just able to maintain my position when I heard the lads at the top of a little incline going “Casualty. She’s down. Kate you’re up a position”. It didn’t register with me though. My mind was fuzzy and so I was still thinking I was in 7th place

    When I got to the top of the incline the lads were roaring at me Kate there’s a woman in front of you down there. Hunt her down Kate. You can take her. It’s funny the effect it had on me. It was like someone had switched on a light in my brain I got a burst of adrenaline and my legs got a new lease of life. Imagine a cat fast asleep and then in the corner of its eye it spots a mouse and its like every muscle and nerve is immediately on high alert. That’s what it felt like.

    That last two miles was the best ever. I caught up with the pace group and the lads were still on with this hunt her down Kate which nearly made me burst out laughing. Then Grellan went beyond the pacer call of duty when he told me to follow him. So we’re going down this little hill and there’s two women about 100m and 200m in front of me and Grellan is like right we have to burst past them now Kate. So the first one is easy. She’s under pressure and I pass her out no bother and then to add insult to injury I cut in front of her and take her racing line Also pass the guy in the grey shirt

    The next lady is stronger and she has a companion encouraging her. She’s still 50m in front of me and I can see this blue thing that looks like the finish but Grellan tells me no you have to go through that then over the bridge and up O’ Connell street about 50m to the finish. So I move to the outside of Grellan and we overtake her before the blue thing and then Grellan is like “Go Kate Put it all in now. If you have to collapse over the finish line so be it” ......... and then I’m round the corner, over the bridge and when I see the finish I give it everything I’ve got. I cross the line and the first emotion that hits me is pure relief. Yes I can stop now. My legs are like jelly. The last mile is my fastest and the fourth lady is 13 sec behind me

    Splits: 7:47, 8:15, 8:30, 8:15, 7:46, 7:34 (1:36)

    Chip time: 3:28:43

    Garmin: 3:28:48 26.22 miles Pace: 7:58/mi

    Gender Position: 4 The 3rd lady finished in 3:14 though so a bit of work to do yet!!

    Overall Position: 123

    Didn’t get any prize.....but who needs a prize when you have the glory and honour

    I got a lovely massage after. It was heaven and then I headed back to the hotel for a shower. I didn’t bother bringing a bag because our hotel was very near the finish. I was going so slowly though and a lovely ambulance man saw the goosebumps on my arms and brought me one of those foil blanket things. That was nice I had a shower and a little rest and then I walked up to the Clarion to meet the others. I was still walking like a geriatric but I had improved a good bit. Was gutted to meet Mr. Runchick on the way to the hotel and hear the bad news and I didn't find out about Dilbert till I saw it on boards Life can be very cruel but they'll both be back to fight another marathon!

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

    Jake1970: DCM 2015 3:18:30

    Training went very well, i think it was the Thursday before DCM when i felt that everything was falling into place and this led to a surge in confidence. The target time was sub 3:20 and the plan was to stick with the pacers. On Sunday evening i printed off a 3:18 pace band, my thinking for this was that if i was feeling good around mile 20 i would push on and with the pace band i would have a time to aim for. The pacers were planning on coming in 30 secs under target time so it surely couldn't be to hard to make up 1.5 mins.
    I slept well Sunday night and got up at 6 on the road to Dublin at 6:30. I brought my usual pre race brekki of bagel and jam and a banana with me to eat on the way. I parked the car on Mespil road at 7:20 way to early. I chilled out in the car till 7:50 and then i headed down to the start, dropped off my bag, queued for the toilet and done a short warm up. On the way down to the start line i met singer, after a brief chat we wished each other the best of luck and i headed off to join the 3:20 pacers. Up to now there were no nerves at all but lining up just before the off i started to have doubts. Was i able for this? A lot of serious looking runners around me, do i belong here? next thing i know and we are counting down to the off. No more time for negative thoughts it was time to run.

    The Race

    Miles 1-6. 7:39, 7:14, 7:29, 7:24, 7:40, 7:26
    And we were off. My initial thoughts were how congested it was and the heat. For whatever reason, maybe it was the shelter of the buildings and the close proximity of the other runners I found the first 3 miles very warm. I grabbed a bottle of water at the first water station had a sip and i poured some over my head and down my back just to cool myself down. I took a bottle of water at every station for the rest of the run. Running wise the body felt good for the first 6 miles, i would do regular checks, legs ok, breathing ok all was good. I took my 1st gel at 5.5 miles.

    Miles 7-12. 7:41, 7:29, 7:22, 7:26, 7:55, 7:26
    Around mile 7 and i think we were in castleknock(i dont know Dublin at all so forgive if i get a few locations wrong) and the support here is brilliant it definitely gives you a lift. Back into the Phoenix Park and im still feeling good. Im at the front of the pacing group now along side the leading pacer. I knew that Beepbeep was pacing our group but i didnt know what he looked like, i was guessing that this lead pacer was he and i was about to introduce myself when he announced that he had to make a pit stop and with that he disappeared into the trees. Over the next mile my pace increased and the following mile was also a bit on the quick side i was going just a little too quick so i slowed down a bit over the next mile and the lead pacer reappeared, i introduced myself straight away and to my relief it was Beepbeep, we chatted for a bit and then he went to concentrating on his pacing duties. I had taken my 2nd gel at mile 11, i was still doing regular checks and all was fine. 12 miles done and so far so good.

    Miles 13-18. 7:31 7:33, 7:32, 7:33, 7:32, 7:31
    I went through halfway in 1:39:27 (official time) it was around about now i noticed a pain in my left foot, it wasn't any thing to worry about. These 6 miles were my most consistent pace wise but the effort to maintain pace had increased quiet a bit but the legs were ticking along nicely.I took my 3rd gel at mile 16.

    Miles 19-24. 7:28, 7:14, 7:26, 7:54, 7:31, 7:27
    By now my legs were really hitting a nice rhythm and i was feeling good, i still had the pain in my foot but it wasn't affecting my running. Around mile 19 i decided to push on from the pacers, i was feeling strong and sure if it didnt work out i could always rejoin the pacers. mile 20 was one of my fastest but i think there was an incline along here.I took my last gel around mile 21. I was ticking along nicely, my legs were feeling tired but they were moving ok. I knew Dubgal would be some where along here with her sign so i was on the look out for her, i spotted her and gave her a big shout but i think i caught her by surprise, i thought that yaboya was with her but i wasn't 100% sure it was him. Next up was heartbreak hill, i got up the hill ok but when i reached the top and went to push on i felt my quads get a bit tight, there was a down hill section along here i think and the quads did not like it one bit, i was staring to struggle. I thought this was it now, its all about to fall apart I had blown it, should of stayed with the pacers. Then i heard some one in the crowd say here come the 3:20 pacers and that was the shock to the system that i needed because i knew that if the pace group passed me at this stage i would probably be left behind. So i had quick check of the body, foot still sore but it hasn't affected my running, quads tight but im still running, so maybe its my head that is the problem. Up the pace a little(cant let the pace group catch me) that feels ok,then up it a another bit, now maintain that pace.

    Miles 24-26.42. 7:30, 7:30(7:34)
    2 and a bit miles to go and i was back on track, sort of. I was ahead of the pace group and the legs were moving at a nice consistent pace but it was taking a huge effort. The crowds were fantastic all day but they were really special that last mile. Into the last mile and i knew it was nearly over. Mrs jake and the kids were somewhere in the crowd and i was looking out for them, heard Mrs jake shout out to me but couldnt see her in the crowd. I crossed the line a very tired but extremely happy man and just a little bit emotional.
    Chip time 3:18:30

    Post Race
    Collected my medal, tshirt and goodie bag.
    Met the family and we chatted for a bit before heading to Mcgrattans.
    It was great to meet so many boardies(Marathoners).

    I got very little sleep Monday night, i thought i would of slept well. I got up yesterday morning and my legs were in bits from my toes to my hips. Luckily i took 2 days off work. Mrs jake was heading out for her daily walk and i decided to join her, i threw on an old pair of running shoes and off we headed. We did 3k and i have to say the legs felt a lot looser after, the quads were still very tender though. Today we did 5k, i might go for a short run tomorrow or Friday.
    Thanks to everyone who contributed their expert knowledge to this thread and to Dubgal a very special thank you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,703 ✭✭✭MisterDrak

    Old stuff Now But anyway ...

    DCM13- Race Report


    Waking up on Sunday morning I felt that the weather had removed all possibility of a PB. Thankfully as the day wore on the weather improved. Monday morning was a fantastic sunny morning, if slightly cold at around 8c at 7:00am, with minor wind. Had a greats night’s sleep for the last few days, having banished myself to the solitude of the front room. Had the customary porridge with raisins and honey and a bagel with Jam with Coffee, before leaving the house and heading into the office just off the Green for 7:30am.

    My runners of choice were the trusty Asics DS Trainer17’s that have well over 1000m in them at this stage. I had purchased a pair of kayano 19 back in July,but they have not proved light or comfy on the couple of longer runs / Temposiv used them on. In a panic 2 weeks ago I got another pair of DS trainers(bright red version), I used these on our last MLR and again have not proved to be as snug as the older ones. The race plan was pretty simple, to run an even split race, just ahead of the 3:10 pacers until the end. Maintain effort levels on the hills, and hold back on the down slopes. I had 2 gels tucked into the shorts, first one for mile 12 and second around 18.

    The Race-

    Got into town around 7:30 and headed out and down to the Shelbourne where the rest of the club lads were meeting up. Walked down to the start line with the rest of the crew, got in a few 100’s M warm-up, then joined in the sub 3:30 pen just as Amhrán na bhFiann was on the speakers. Caught sight of FJ (the coach) and Maria. We were lined up about 3 rows on front of the 3:10 pacers, and a group of pretty serious lads. Also noticed The_Wolf over to the right. I had the customary “old running top” to keep me warm, but decided to hold on to it, fora few miles until the temps raised a bit.Got a signal on the Garmin just before the off, and settled into a steady if crowded pace / place initially. Lost sight of FJ and M almost immediately.Not an issue as JF was looking for a far faster time that me. There did seem to be less “bluffers” 00 up front that in previous years.

    First mile in an easy 7:05, got a shout out from MrsDrak who was strategically located at the Shelbourne bar,steps, and full expected to see her with a glass of wine in hand. Delighted to see a first fast mile (down Kildare St), as I expected that the slow start would add 30+ seconds, and I would be playing catch-up for the next few miles as a result. Second mile in 7:01, moving very easily and running controlled,but got passed at speed by a clown (guy dressed as a clown obviously). A few friends gave the first serious call of support at mile 3 on the north circular road. Then a slight downhill to the gates at the park (Mile 3,4 – 7:03, 7:03).Moving on to Chesterfield road and a slight incline. Again a surprising amount of support around all along the roads here. Possibly down to the better surface on chesterfield or that I run here a lot, got in mile 5 in 6:59. God please keep the sub 7min coming I said to myself…

    Went through the 10K mark in 44:24,and feeling strong (Mile 6 7:04). Up ahead I spotted Alan, one of the lads I did most of my summer training with. Pulled alongside and we exchanged a few words, he would have a similar target time to myself, so decided to run with him until one of us fell off the pace. Down Glen road is always worth a few seconds, sure enough another sub 7 in 6:58.

    Out of the park and in to Chapelizod village. Fantastic support, and music all around. The hill out of the village is a bast*rd, (mile 8 - 9 7:01, 6:54) so the hill didn’t seem to effect the pace,thankfully. Still running well at this point, no pain, cramp, or otherwise. I have a split time for 10 miles of 1:11:20, which was duly hit just ahead of schedule.

    The first shock of the race came around Crumlin hospital (Mile 12). At this point we (still running with Alan),thought we were a comfortable 1-2 minutes ahead of the 3:10 pacers. However the first pacer moved smoothly past us, and opened up a 10-15 meter gap. Mild panic overtook me, how could this be possible, I was pushing hard at this point, 12 miles gone, and 14 to go, and already the race plan was in jeopardy. I moved up to the pacer and checked the pace, what was 6:33 at that point. I dutifully pushed on a got past him as we made the turn on to Drimnagh road. The halfway point came at 1:33:54. Miles 12,13 (7:15, 7:07).

    The next few miles were uneventful.We didn’t see the “fast” 3:10 pacer again, thankfully. I ditched my old running top, in a nearby bin, as the temperatures were creeping up. With just the club signet on the shouts and cheers were even louder, given that Al had on the club colours also. Miles 14, 15 (7:02, 6:54). The previous Sunday we had run thel ast 11 miles of the marathon course, starting from bushy park. I had a mental picture that when I got to the turn at bushy park that I was on “easy street”,and the race would be “virtually over”. Given that we have only run this route a week earlier, landmarks, traffic lights, even speed bumps, became familiar again. Moving well for this part of the race, miles 16,17,18, 19 (7:00, 6:57,6:57, 7:02).

    The first reality check came around mile 20, where the pace dropped to 7:12, I guess this was to be expected, given that we were running away from the finished line and the Clonskeagh / Roebuck road has a slight upward drag. Held back on Fosters Ave, for fear of the right hamstring, that did cause problems on the Howth training runs. For the last 15 miles I / we (Alan was still running with me), were holding the same position relative to the other runners around us. I could pick out the same 5-10 faces /tops / running styles for the last hour. However by the time we got to Nutley lane, we were beginning to pass people relatively easily. I rechecked the last mile splits 22,23 (7:02, 7:02), so we were staying on pace, however everyone around us seem to be falling off.

    Again the support from the RDS was fantastic, a couple of the club coaches were positioned on the turn on to Shelbourne road, and roared on their support. I looked around and noticed I had dropped Alan (at this point I had been running with him for 17 miles).

    I noticed the 3:00 hour pacer just ahead at Ballsbridge Motors, Jesus, I knew I was running well, but to catch up to the 3:00. I later discovered he had blown, and finished in around 3:12?. From here on the roads were mostly a blur or cheering, “come on Raheny”, and “Go David”…Mile 24,25, 26 (7:06, 7:03, 7:04).

    The moment of the race came as I rounded Collage Green, before the turn on to Nassau street. The crash barriers were in place, the crowds, 10 deep, the sun was shining clearly in an arc down Grafton street, and I was totally on my own, no runners ahead or behind me. At this point I knew I have the PB I the bag, I lifted up the arms and screamed something that I can’t now remember... Jesus Running does not get better than this !!!

    Gave Nassau Street the last bit(6:49), and finished in a new PB of 3:07:24 for 7:03 avg, having run 26.61 miles!

    The after’s-

    Weakly crossed the finish line. Was met immediately by JF who had run 3:00:30, Alan 3:07:5X. Walked around and exited and was met my Mrs Drak, with some warm clothes. Back to the Shelbourne for a shower a burger and a pint.

    Fu*king Great Great Day. Probably my best ever race. Satisfied that I could have not run harder, left nothing behind and got a new PB by 6m:50s.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,411 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    The Shelbourne! Well deserved. :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭OOnegative

    My first marathon under my previous guise!!

    Rotterdam Marathon 2016 - 3hrs 24mins 44secs(Unofficial)

    To begin with I want to save a huge thanks for all the well wishes, PMs and congratulations the past week folks, as I said on the Rotterdam thread this is what makes Boards so special to me, I may have only met some off yet but I know the comments are genuine and meant.


    My training had gone well into this and I was confident heading for Rotterdam that there was a good race in the legs if I played it smart and done nothing stupid on race day. Flew out of Dublin Saturday afternoon with the missus who was Chief cheerleader for the weekend. Got into Schiphol and got the train handy enough down to Rotterdam Blaak that was suppose to be right outside our hotel door. Cue 20 mins of minor panic and cursing Google maps till a row ensued which resulted me walking away bullheaded to stumble across the hotel entrance up an alleyway.

    Panic averted and we checked in hassle free and headed for the Expo to collect numbers, bumped in YoungAnne and her husband as we crossed the street who kindly directed us to the Expo so as to there was no repeat falling out trying to find that. Registration was hassle free voted number and t-shirt and a quick look around, my first time being at one of these and not much to see really. Got some grub in Jamie Oliver's restaurant on our way back to the hotel, pasta and garlic bread was on the menu for me and went down a treat. Had been taking plenty of water all day so as to be well hydrated as done good bit of walking. Back to the hotel and watched some of the Masters and hit the nest for 11pm, fell asleep quick enough but woke at 3am and was awake on and off from then on.


    Up at half 7 and headed for breakfast, sat and chatted with Anne and her husband and talked race tactics, had whatever was available in the hotel as I'm not strict on what I eat prior to racing, had scrambled eggs, bacon, croissant and cup of coffee topped off with a banana and 3 glasses of water. We noticed it was quiet sunny this early and that it could be warm later in the day, back to the room to shower and get into race gear, was tempted to ring the Lemon to come over and help put the Vaseline on for me!!!

    Walked down towards race start at 9am and the place was hopping, the 10k started at the hotel door practically and there was loads about for this. Walked down towards the Coolsingel and its was buzzing, music on loudspeakers and runners flying about the place, sipped on water as I made my way down to keep hydrated. Walked to what I thought was my startwave and lifted my t-shirt to show my number, the kind official said you can start here if you like but wave one is up there, Ooops!!! Was in place by 9.25am, gave the missus a kiss and told her I'd see her at about 25k, no congestion to worry about in the start pens, was 25-30 rows back from the front and happy with my positioning.

    Nerves were kicking in now, took my first gel ten mins from off and finished my water, cue a Dutch man being hoisted in a cherrypicker to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" and every Dutch man near me singing in unison, I wasn't letting that get to me being a Real Red!!! More or less after he finished a load cannon went and we were off, into my running no problem and again congestion wasn't an issue, up the Coolsingel towards the Erasmusburg taking it all in, it was sunny but not overly warm at this stage, up and over the Erasmusburg and we made our way out of the city towards Stadion Feijenoord and the 5k checkpoint, I was wearing the AGS singlet and any Irish runner that passed me stopped to say hello and wish me well and I did likewise. First 3 mile splits were:

    7.38 7.38 7.36

    At 3.5 miles in snailsong passed me, had a brief chat with him and commented on the sun and how it was getting warmer, let him off and get I to his running and he glided away in the distance. The support was constant the whole way along till this point and the people of Rotterdam are a credit to there city. Still feeling good as I should and concentrating on the task ahead, more Irish runners passing all wishing the best and continuing on to run there race, got to 10k buzzing, enjoying every step so far, mile splits from 4-6 were:

    7.33 7.33 7.40

    Took water at every aid station, it was quirky but a good system and made drinking from the cups very simple. We made our way along a canal section for about 2 miles here and support was sparse, thankfully it wasn't in a section I needed it, feeling good still and taking it all in, done quick system check along here and all felt good, just a long run left I said to myself you've done plenty of these in training. One thing I noticed from here on in was the am out of runners pulling in and dropping cracks to relieve themselves, even in well crowded areas, was thankful I wasn't in that state. Got to 15k and took another gel, my third of the race and fourth of the day. Over the 15k check and everyone here popped into my thoughts, there's another update for ye lads, mile splits from 7-9 were:

    7.37 7.34 7.35

    On I continued taking it all in, in awe of the Dutch people and the support they were giving, I switched off here and remember little of the race as I was concentrating on the job in hand, the sun was heating up now and I normally sweat buckets in Artic weather, sweat was pissing out of me and running down my legs into my runners, it was around here that I first noticed my feet felt like they were burning!! Mile splits from 10-12:

    7.31 7.39 7.33

    Over the 20k check and Boards popped to the mind again, more water on board just after, two cups at this aid station and towards half way, I distinctly remember looking at the watch at half way and it showing 1.39.47, a minute up on my real target time. Still in great shape and enjoying it, thought to myself I have more done now than I have left bring it home, bit early I know. Next bit of the course around Masshaven was very lonely, factories and industrial units with next to no support, was counting down seeing the missus at this stage as I knew this would giveaway huge lift, mile 13-16 splits were:

    7.40 7.32 7.38 7.41

    I had a bit of a wobble here, the sun was baking my bald head I thought and I just wanted to see the missus, over the 25k check and I didn't see her, looked up the road and there she was on the left, perked up big time again, the legend that she is she had the best, most coolest bottle of water I ever tasted in my life waiting for me, quick kiss (easy C) and I bounced away. I knew I was heading for the Erasmusburg again at this stage. Climbed up the bridge and down the otherside, and into a cauldron of support. I never experienced anything like it before, there was a DJ here spinning dance music and the song that he was playing brought me back to my youth and increased the humour ten fold. I got a shout of here that I'm convinced was RQ, I never looked to see but had it in my mind it was her? Shouts of go on the Garda came from the crowd to, miles 17-19 were:

    7.34 7.33 7.37

    Down underneath an underpass and heading back towards our hotel, I was being carried by the crowd, it was amazing and I fed off it as much as I could. Past by our hotel and there was a DJ here again spinning tunes, he was playing a song my 13 month old daughter loves, she's like her Dad loves her dance music, I started to cry!! I write my kids names on my hand before every race I do so as there with me and when the going gets tough I look at my hand for inspiration from them, it certainly worked here. We headed out towards the Kralingse Plas here and we ran along the elites as they made there way for home, spotted ultrapercy and gave him a shout, few minutes later seen dublin runner bounding down the road towards me gave him a shout and applause and continued on my own race. Miles 20 - 22 were:

    7.39 7.36 7.50

    The hurt begins, my hips just started to give in after mile 22, I got to here I said to myself don't give in and walk, strap on a pair and tough it out. FBOT came into my thoughts and what he shouted at me at the Trim 10 mile and my log title, Can you give more? Fook me Barry you can, dig in and bring it home, you've enjoyed every bit till now.........

    I have to go board my flight now, to be continued if we're not Fed up already!!!

    Scratch that, flight delayed!!

    My feet felt like they were on fire at this stage, my left baby toe was killing me, my hips were in a jock and I was conscious that I didn't want them to lock up. It was one foot in front of the other at this point, I kept wanting to see the exit from the Kraslingse Pas as I knew it was just 3k to go from there. Feet burning, hips aching death march on. The rest of me felt fine, body felt super so I don't think I hit the infamous wall, just the legs started to protest and give up, dug in again, through the last aid station and slowed to take 4 cups of water on board, I was a sweating mess at this stage, miles 23 - 25 were:

    8.03 9.08 8.33

    Turned left back up towards our hotel and I knew I was nearly done, missus gave me a huge shout out with just over a km to go, lifted the spirit again no end. Rounded the corner and onto the Coolsingel, thought of a great runner who once graced these Boards, blockic, and how his marathon came to an end here, don't do a blockic I kept saying. I don't know from where but I mustered up a sprint of some kind along the Coolsingel. The crowd was 4-5 deep here and played a part, mile 26 and 0.37 were:

    8.40 2.37

    Over the line in 3.24.44 per my watch, slumped over the barriers and cried my bald head off for few mins. I had done it, I ran a marathon and ran every step of it. Elation was to mild a term to express my feelings at that point. I done it and genuinely enjoyed every single step, I gave every ounce of what I had and could have given no more today, proud as punch!!!


    Will wait, flight defo boarding this time.

    Well what can I say, a dream marathon debut, back to Paddy Murphys and we swapped tales. mbarr, YoungAnne, snailsong, martyboy48, dublin runner, ultrapercy all had tales of joy and woe to tell, mostly joy if I remember correctly!!! RQ came in later and the place instantly lit up, she was on a high just having witnessed the event. Slipped away about half 7 cause it could have gotten memo like from London a few years back if I had more!!

    What now?? Enjoy the moment of completing and finishing a marathon. Again I want to say huge thanks to Myles Splitz, your a legend forever more in my eyes L, thank you very much once more. To the other L, the Boss, only for her understanding, kindness and encouragement this past 3-4 months and giving me the time to train I wouldn't have gotten through this. To FD for being a great friend, FBOT for dragging me to a PB in Trim, TbL for being a bo!!ix and for each and everyone of you who read my log, huge thanks once more.

    Next race, wipe the floor with some Lemon juice next month at the Bob Heffernan 5k. Thanks for reading.

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

    DCM 2018 report....

    I won't go into any details about runs during the week as they were just typical taper fare. I was still dithering over paces until late in the week. The Ratoath half had thrown a fly in the ointment and I didn't want DCM to turn into the same walk/jog finish. After weighing up different theories like 2x half & 10/15 or 20 minutes I decided to split the difference and try to turn my 1:33:xx into a 3:21:08. I also thought this would be nice and symmetrical as it would mean exactly a one minute per mile improvement on last year So off I went to findmymarathon paceband site and printed out a band for 3:22. As with last year I based it on a negative split and very conservative start. I hoped that a bit of a kick near the end would get me down into the 21's.

    Between the jigs and the reels I asked someone whose opinion I value greatly as to what he thought of my target time. He suggested it was at the softer end of what I could do and to set out at 7:30/7:40 pace and see how it felt. It was a bit scary but I decided to go for it. Scissors was taken from the drawer and paceband cut into tiny pieces Strangely enough it removed all the worrying that goes with these course specific pacebands. Will I really be able to do 7:11 at mile 23? Will I be able to slow down enough to do 8:17 in mile 3? All of this gone in one fell swoop!! Run by how I feel and trust my training...such a novel idea

    Dublin City Marathon

    Miles 1 and 2: I settled right at the back of Wave 1...and tipped away at 7:30/7:40 as planned. Unfortunately there was a big difference between the mile markers and the watch on these miles so both actually clocked in at 8 minutes as I passed the markers where the watch gave me 7:37 and 7:43. The watch said 2.2 miles as I passed mile marker 2.

    Mile 3: Had a bit of a chat with myself here. I was already working out numbers in my head. What if every mile was like those? I'd be losing time hand over fist by running to 7:40 pace on the watch. I made a promise to myself that from there on I would only look at the watch at each mile.

    Miles 4-7: From a running point of view this was brilliant...I only looked at the watch 4 times and each time I saw 7:35 looking back at me. Happy days, 4 even paced miles. On a non running point the crowds in Castleknock were once again amazing. The music, the cheering....absolutely brilliant.

    Miles 8-10: The downhill bits. Didn't push too hard on these. Too early in the day for heroics. 7:19, 7:23, 7:18. Met Andy on the Glen Road and had a little chat on the way down to the Chapelizod Gates. As we exited the gates I turned my attention to see if I could spot Scotindublin at the Donore water station. I didn't! Unfortunately I didn't get to bid adieu to Andy as I lost him here.

    Miles 11-14: Nice and steady up Laurence's Road and then a bit of a pick up as I spotted J a hundred yards ahead. She had done her usual fast start! I caught her in Kilmainham, had a quick chat and moved on. Delighted for her in getting an 11 minute PB in the end, 3:34. Quickened a bit through Dolphins Barn probably because of the crowd and then eased off all the way up the Crumlin Road. Half way was passed in 1:39:50 and I realised I would have to beat 3:20 in order not to be found out by the Novices as someone who preached (ad nauseam) about negative splits but couldn't carry it out!! 7:39, 7:15, 7:26, 7:39

    Miles 15-22: Fortfield Road was where the first signs of things changing began. Without the pace changing the effort levels were rising. An easy run was turning into a moderate run but I felt I was managing things OK. When we turned onto the Templeogue Road I could see the 3:20 pacers at the far end of the road getting close to Terenure village. They then became my focus for the next 6 miles. I eased them in slowly while trying to resist the urge to really chase them down. By the turn onto Roebuck Road they were probably 200 metres ahead. This gap didn't close on the hill as I eased the pace back to prepare for a chase on the downhill to follow 7:28, 7:26, 7:29, 7:22, 7:20, 7:19, 7:14, 7:30.

    Miles 23-25: The next couple of miles were hard, proper hard! Legs were really feeling dead and heavy but thankfully it was downhill and the 3:20 group were getting ever closer. I caught them at the turn onto Nutley Lane and by Jaysus it was a blessed relief. I just settled into their pace and decided to just sit in with them to the finish. The encouragement they were shouting was amazing, if colourful at times Absolutely cracking job they do. I'd love to give it a bash sometime. 7:21, 7:06, 7:27

    The End: I found myself drifting off the front of the group along by the RDS but just went with it even though the legs were like lead weights. I was better able to both take in and enjoy the atmosphere than I was last year. It was amazing and gave me the energy to pick up speed from what felt like stopped to nearly stopped! Onto the mat and over the line. 3:16:37. I was thrilled to bits, still am to be honest. 7:22, 6:45 (.3)

    To be honest I didn't think I had that in me. I loved it all. The weather, the crowds, running by feel...everything. It just couldn't have been better One year ago after my first marathon I'd never have believed I could come back and do one half an hour faster. A big thanks to the Grads thread and plan for helping me focus.

    I headed back to McGrattans and had a great afternoon and evening meeting Boardsies old and novice graduates alike. I won't list names as I'm bound to leave some out. Unfortunately from reading other reports I also missed quite a few others who were downstairs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Happy to now be a sub 3:30 marathon runner.

    Apologies in advance for how long this is...

    Manchester Marathon chip time 3:29:07

    1976 of 32784 overall

    143 of 8814 women

    As most of you know this marathon was booked as a back up plan for Dublin not going ahead. I had spoken to my dad about it at the time around my worries of travel, covid etc & he told me to just go for it & see how things were at the time of the marathon. Dublin was always my 1st choice but as it was not happening I committed to Manchester & so my training began. My plan A goal all going well was 3:22 with 3:25 as my plan B. Unfortunately with my dad's passing & no matter how much I tried to pretend it wasn't affecting my training, it was, of course it was! I was thick in the middle of grief & this meant that I couldn't give the maximum effort to my training that I needed to obtain my goal A time. The 4 weeks after my dad died were the 4 crucial weeks that needed me to be 100% , & it was clear I just couldn't give that but I did continue to train & it did really help me, I really wanted to complete my 2nd marathon & see what the experience was like compared to the 1st time.

    After a tough few days leading up to the marathon I knew I needed to re - evaluate my goal for this. What was the slowest time I'd be happy with? I had made Antrim all about my dad & my grief, it was the stage I was at in the process of grieving where I thought about him all the time & constantly wanted to do things that would make him happy (not that I don't know but along with the guilt I was feeling it was very intense). Unfortunately for me it just didn't help, although I felt pure joy after Antrim for a while the come down was just not worth it, the dark place I went to on the Monday wasn't helpful at all for me dealing with this thing called grief so I really wanted to do all I could to avoid that happening again. I decided that week that this marathon was 100% about me & no one else! Obviously I wanted people to be proud of me but really I wanted to finish with a smile on my face thinking YES I've done it! I didn't think for 1 min that I wouldn't think about my dad or feel emotional but I just didn't want to allow it to dictate my race. I had worked pretty damn hard for this, I put in a solid block of training, never missing a day, it was all down to me being committed & disciplined about my training so I felt I deserved to reap the rewards & PB on the day. After a chat with S we discussed a strategy & I had a better idea of where I was.

    Set off to Dublin airport for the 1st time in so long. We got there early enough thankfully as the security queues were quite long, Friday evening peak time obviously. Once through we relaxed & I had an ice cold pint of Orchard Thieves, really enjoyed this! Flight was grand & we grabbed a taxi straight away, the hotel was in Manchester Central & I actually didn't realise how close I was to the convention centre to pick up my number so i was really pleased with this. Saturday I picked up my number, very fast & efficient, felt so a buzz again which was great. We did a few bits in the town, had Nando's then I made my way back to the hotel to chill!

    I had a decent enough sleep & actually slept right up to my alarm. I felt quite rested & calm, maybe it was because I was away? Not really sure but it fet good not to be stressed! Got up at 7 & made my porridge pot that I had brought with me, hoped back into bed & put the tv on while I ate mainly to drown out my youngest daughter snoring in the bed beside me (oh the glamorous life of a runner). I got up a short while later, showered & got into my gear feeling proper excited. We all met downstairs to head off but my 2nd eldest daughter had such a good night that she was absolutely dying, she looked grey & still very drunk so we sent her back to bed & told her to follow down in time for my finish. The tram stop was full of runners, the chatter was great, such a buzz about the place. Crammed like sardines on the tram we got off at Old Trafford stop & made our way. I gave my gear to my other 2 daughters & headed off into the athletes village. Everything was set up quite well, toilet queues moved quickly enough thankfully. I had left a long sleeve top on me to wear till I started but realistically I didn't need it, it was getting quite warm. I made my around to the start & moved into the Red A area. It was fairly packed but again a lovely atmosphere of excited runners anticipating that today was going to be their day...well I know that's what I was thinking!

    We were delayed a bit & then the crowd started moving, yes we are off. I tried to weave in & out of people at this stage to get a rhythm going. Looking back it was a quick enough downhill start. The GPS was hoping as we came to a lot of tall buildings. I felt good but now realise I was going faster than I should have been, I had planned for a more conservative start, my 10k splits do not reflect this! It was getting warmer although it didn't really seem to affect me unless the sun was directly in my eyes. The miles seemed to pass by so quickly, so many thoughts going on in my head but mainly positive ones feeling thankful to be here & enjoying it. The support was brilliant, the crowds cheering & calling you by your name really lifted my spirits, I felt like I was grinning constantly, ran by a DJ playing songs & he said into the mic, Elaine where did you get that smile? Priceless! I laughed, but again little things like this around the course made it so enjoyable. There were stretches of the road that were a bit more lonely & a bit of a slog but in general the supporters were great.

    Came to a couple of drags & uphills towards Mile 14 I think it was & god they were tough, just looking at all the crowds ahead of your gradually going uphill is so bloody draining mentally. This was over a road on a bridge I think, then this lead to mile 17 going through Altrincham, Jaysus this was so steep, I thought I was going to cry, almost walked it, my legs felt so zapped after it. Then this brought us back across the road on the bridge. I looked to my right to see a runner on the ground rolling around, at 1st I thought he was having a fit but then he got up started screaming like someone possessed & tried to grab a cyclist who was watching. An army man & a paramedic ran & tried to hold him but he broke free & tried to jump over a railing, they grabbed his leg but he was still screaming. It was quite traumatic watching it, there was something really wrong with him. Anyway it shook me up for a bit but I just tried to get back to my own focus for the race. I had taken on a couple of gels at this stage & popped electrolyte tablets into a couple of my bottles of water by this stage but my tummy was feeling a bit sick, so I decided to just use one more gel but kept the bottle of water to sip on. For the next few miles I just kept telling myself, just get to mile 20 then you only have 10k left. So with each mile that passed I was happy knowing I was on the countdown. After mile 20 I knew it was about getting sub 3:30 & I was happy with that. The next few miles went by, people shouting well done Elaine, great running Elaine, Almost there Elaine. The energy was amazing but I knew I was slowing, I wasn't suffering really badly but didn't feel I had it in me to push on. As I ran around the corner heading towards my finish my gang let out a huge scream & they all had tshirts on with Go Momma E, I was beaming, so bloody proud to have them all there supporting me. I checked my watch & knew I had to push on for the sub 3:30, so that's exactly what I did. The photographer was just a bit down from the finish line, so I gave him my biggest smile & put my arms in the air because I knew I had achieved my goal!!! I crossed the line at 3:29:07, absolutely thrilled with this. I was quite wobbly & broke down crying so one of the girls with the medals came over to me with water. It was so emotional but just like my 1st marathon I enjoyed this. At no stage of the marathon did I suffer so bad mentally or physically that made me want to stop & I am so grateful for that!

    I meet up with my girls & their boyfriends & we got a few pics then went for food & a celebratory drink. After showers etc we went out for a game of bowling & arcade games that conveniently had a bar for lots more drinks. Monday was followed up with a prison escape room, mini golf & some darts. Overall the whole weekend was brilliant & very well needed by me!I met Healy in the airport on the way home & had a little chat, felt bad for him but he will pick himself back up & decide whats next & whats best for him(sorry if you thought I was some weirdo just staring at you!!) Nice to finally meet you.

    If this had been before I would have been gutted I didn't get my A goal but I genuinely am so proud of myself & happy with how it went on the day.

    I would just like to say a huge thank you to S who has really been supportive & well just so patient with me through all this...couldn't ask for a better mentor.

    I did it dad & as your favorite song goes... In my life I love you more❤️