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Your worst ever race?

  • 07-04-2020 11:45am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,367 ✭✭✭diego_b

    Stealing Murph_D's great idea, how about for the flip side of things and post about your worst ever race here.
    Make sure to read and add something to the excellent Your best ever race? thread first or maybe afterwards to cheer yourself up.

    This will bring together your utter disasters and disappointments on road, track, trail, mountains, ultra, cross country - any surface or distance at all. The only requirement is that it was a disaster that stands apart for you from all others, and don’t be afraid to tell us why



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Great idea. I’ll certainly be contributing when I’ve given some thought to the many candidates!

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 16,051 Mod ✭✭✭✭adrian522

    Yeah, something with XC in the title for sure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 53,794 ✭✭✭✭walshb

    A Waterford 5k in 2014.....

    Was going for a PB...Uphill courses should be banned.......

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,965 ✭✭✭aquinn

    adrian522 wrote: »
    Yeah, something with XC in the title for sure.

    Absolutely. That savage Novice race. Still not right after about 5 years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,502 ✭✭✭Damo 2k9

    Frank Duffy 10 Mile 2019
    My first race with a decent build up since hopping on board with a coach. Felt great all week, clothes laid out with gear bag etc on Fri night. None of this is exaggerated in any way. 2 nightmares during the night, one that there was a cycling race on at the same time in the park and I ran off course for ten minutes, couldnt get back to the course because of the bike race, woke up screaming :pac: Another one where I went on a warm up into town (why???) and the missus had my 'race runners' and when it was time to go to the start line, she was nowhere to be seen and wouldnt answer the phone, again woke up roaring haha.

    Race morning I had the sh*ts (sorry if TMI), went to PP and warmed up, HR near 180 and another emergency pitstop. Disaster at the start line, gantry was too narrow, I was too far back, tried too hard to get bang on pace for the first 2 miles weaving in/out of people and knew it was over from there. Walk/run for the rest and came home in 1:15.

    Nothing to do with time, just a poorly executed race and it was my own fault for overthinking it, thinking I had to put up a good result because I Was being coached, people seen the training on strava etc. Truth be told - no one really gives a crap like you think they do, and since I realised that I have raced much better.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭shotgunmcos

    Ooh this one is easy for me, even above coming 2nd last in a Mountain Marathon or a DNF on my first sub 3 attempt... - A DCM 2014 report from a previous log

    How to do Marathon like a Muppet!

    Why bother? It just makes you tired, you get skinny and sure the Marathon itself is a few weeks worth of the minimal weekly amount of exercise for an adult anyway right? The odd run here and there is good and a long run every 4 months is loads. Plus wise people have written books on how we are born to run so it will just come naturally to you on the day.

    Instead of the same ole same ole starchy meals the day before, opt for something unusual you have never tried before and have 2 plates of it! Lettuce and Feta cheese quiche with orange chocolate and honeycomb cake for afters, anyone? On race morning have your porridge over 4 hours before the race so you are slightly peckish. It will encourage you to run faster to the first food station and get there before the masses.

    Forget about the shoes you are using all the time. Save your Marathon shoes after you buy them for, the Marathon. You get that new shoe feel on the morning and who doesn't love the smell of new shoes? Also never mind the Vaseline if you are wearing short shorts and the forecast is for rain. Won't the rain naturally lubricate the sensitive areas? There is no way it can get sunny and warm enough in late October in Dublin to worry about salty sweaty friction right? Getting back to the born to run philosophy, if you tie your shoe laces so tight that you cannot feel your toes, it might encourage you to remove your shoes and run barefoot like we are supposed to.

    A long sleepy drive to the big smoke on race morning may not kick start the relevant adrenaline you will need to run hard to that first food station. Cut it fine enough so you need to do a mile tempo to drop off your bag and you can hear the starter go when you are still a block away from the starting pen! You will be angry enough at yourself for being late for the start that the sudden adrenaline will break you into a good enough sprint to get your heart rate up quickly.

    The Race:
    Start 3 pace bands back from your target pace band so you can build your confidence passing thousands of people in the first 10 miles. Since you will be constantly side stepping and will need to use both flanks of the road quite often its best to plan running 11 miles in the first 10 miles. Finally negative splitting a Marathon is too stressful. Best to run the first half an hour faster than the second half to be safe that you don't put that stress on yourself in the final 2 miles.

    The Actual Result:
    10km 46 mins
    21km 1:38
    42.2km 4:18

    Late for the start! Seriously Took an hour of Marathon lunacy to catch the 3:20 bus where I finally settled and ran with a couple of boardsie buddies for a few miles. Left calf tightened at mile 12 and locked up just after half way. The quads joined the party within minutes. I stopped and stretched enough times to ensure no lasting injury but 13 straight miles with both calves and both quads cramping constantly = new very painful PB

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 873 ✭✭✭Casey78

    diego_b wrote: »
    Stealing Murph_D's great idea, how about for the flip side of things and post about your worst ever race here.
    Make sure to read and add something to the excellent Your best ever race? thread first or maybe afterwards to cheer yourself up.

    This will bring together your utter disasters and disappointments on road, track, trail, mountains, ultra, cross country - any surface or distance at all. The only requirement is that it was a disaster that stands apart for you from all others, and don’t be afraid to tell us why

    Maybe I'm sadistic but I think this is a far more interesting idea for a thread!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭SuspectZero

    haha, where to start.

    I've had my fair share of Dnf's, most of them have faded off into the background as I feel they were the right call but probably the most soul destroying race I've ever run was the Dublin Marathon in 2014 for a myriad of reasons. I was in really really good shape going into it even though as usual I had done something stupid during marathon training, ran 30k at 2:57 pace at the human race 30k 3 weeks out, didn't kill me and gave me loads of confidence heading into Dublin but had an effect I think. Goal was sub-3 and everything pointed to me been super close to that shape but still borderline at best, went in with the attitude of I'm going to go for it, whats the worst that could happen.

    Alot around here will remember that day as absolute carnage for everyone because of the unseasonably high humidity, that was just one of the issues I had. I went off with the pace group and felt a little flat fairly early but not too bad until we got to Chesterfield Avenue where early alarm bells started to go off in my head as the pace group started moving away from me and the effort just to keep on felt way too high as my watch pinged a 6:37 for an uphill mile, It was my third marathon and second Dublin but I was still super niave about pacing and how to run that course especially so my mind was just going cling on the pace group at all costs, I'll post my splits through those early km's below just to illustrate how stupid I was(the GAP paces really shows the absurdity of it along with the humidity).

    I started to really struggle around Mile 10 and slowing which then wasn't helped by mate not been there with my carb drink which I'd opted for over gels which only added more to the amount of problems swirling around in my head, I was completely gone off the back of the pace group at this stage and passed through halfway in 1:30:1x and absolutely blowing a gasket.

    At 14 miles, I ended up pulling up onto the footpath, gave a quick stretch for a minute or two and jumped back in, I met Yaboya1 here which helped me get into a rythm over the next few miles with him although at below goal pace, I was able to maintain it decently well but had to change my form to to take the pressure off parts that were hurting. Around 19 miles, that started to cause issues and the inside of my knee started to cease badly and forced me to pull up again just after the peak of Roebuck, the next mile or so was walk/shuffle just to get to the physio tent at the UCD flyover where the 3:10 pacers passed me. They done some quick work on the knee but lying on the table had made everything else completely lock up. I tried to join back in again when of my clubmates passed on 3:30pace but I could only last about 400m before having to stop again before just pulling my singlet off so people would stop telling me to run and get going again and just sat down on the kerb hands in head for 10 minutes. I don't remember why exactly but I decided to get up and finish the bloody thing, probably because it was the quickest way back to town with 4 miles to go and I just wanted it all to be over and ended up walk/hobbling it home in 3:55:xx. The torture doesn't end at the finishline as you have to face everyone after it who all mean well just remind you even more. So yeah, my worst ever race isn't even one of my dnf's

    depressing right? That race taught me so so much about running

    1. the marathon isn't just a race against the clock, it's a measured effort against the terrain, weather, clock and a million other things. be flexible and don't just target a time because its your arbitary goal time set weeks or months in advance.

    2. Don't be a mindless slave to pace groups, they are only a guide but your effort levels and pace are much more important, be wary of running the hills too fast just because the pace group does or to hit perfect even splits.

    3. Don't trust anyone else with essentials like drinks or gels to meet you on course and if you do, have a backup plan or source of fuel on you.

    4. Respect the marathon, it's a brutal mistress

    heres my early splits

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭andrew1977

    The 3/4 marathon in Longwood before my first marathon in 2016.
    Inexperience, over confidence and thinking I would coast it no bother.

    Took off like a bullet, thought this was easy as hell, then bang, the wheels came off , mentally and physically, hobbled over the line in agony and had to pull over in the car on the way home to get sick !

    Lesson learned that day I tell ya !

    It still gives me the horrors thinking about it.

    Thankfully I got a good sickening that day to learn my lesson and I havnt repeated such race tactics since !

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,792 ✭✭✭✭average_runner

    Dublin Marathon 2011

    Aim was for sub 3:40.

    Training had gone really well. Walked up to the marathon line feeling good and confident. After 4 miles the wheels came off. I couldn't hit 9 min miles even. Couldn't understand why and struggle to half way and drop out in tears. What had happen?

    Other half said I could run a marathon in Cork in a few weeks, but the hunger was gone.

    Hindsight is a great thing but in the build up to the last month I was up and down to home, my mum had gone into the hospital. Mentally it must of drained me and all the driving must of sap me. A few weeks after it she died and I didn't run again till Jan. Puts everything in reality. Year later I tackled Dublin again, just to put the ghost to bed, not to break 3:40. Got to half way and was thrilled, came home in 3:41, last time I ran Dublin.

    One more for the books

    New York Marathon 2013 Sub 3:30
    This was to be my last marathon. Prep was really good, did Athlone 3/4, second half at race pace and coasted home. Week before the marathon and I picked up a bad cough. Nasty cough I couldn't shift and didn't go to the doctor.
    A few days before the flight it seem to ease, I was going anyhow. Kids went to their grandmothers. Friday night in Dublin the youngest had a bad cough and emergency doctor was called. Doctor said it was bad, any idea where he got it from ? Mother inlaw said the father. Doc said the father will need to be examined, where is he. Oh in New York to run the marathon:eek:

    Sure I ignored this and still went to run the race. Fell a small bit off the pace early on but was ok with that. At half way I was working hard but still didn't take stock of it. Got to the bridge before Manhattan and I started to cough alot. Definitely lost a lung there. Continue on with a walking plan, got in at 4:07.
    Wasn't too upset this time, I knew what had happened.

    So haven't ran a marathon since, not sure I will.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,763 ✭✭✭Fenster

    The 2019 Dublin half marathon in Phoenix park. Inadequate (maybe one-third many as needed) toilets at the start. Zero toilets along the running route. Running route does not loop back near the toilets. I spent twenty minutes queuing at the start for a toilet before I gave up and found a bush before the race began. At the 12k mark I had a horrible attack of IBS and had to go diving for bushes. Horrible experience, it ruined the day for me. I'll never register for that race again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,788 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3

    First marathon and hoping for 3:35-3:40, and every reason to expect it after really putting it in during the previous few months.

    Felt something go wrong at 10km. It kicked in at the halfway stage. Staggered over the line at 4:53. Heartbroken.

    Had the flu the weekend before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,694 ✭✭✭Chivito550

    Oooh let me have a look into the archives and I'll come back on this one.

  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 26,928 Mod ✭✭✭✭rainbow kirby

    Objectively, my 2019 Dublin Marathon looks like my blatant worst performance ever. My longest long run was a half in 2:29 2 weeks before it (Manchester half) and I'd had a horrendous training period, having changed mental health meds over the summer and that had flattened me along with a LOT of other life stuff. Still got on the plane from Manchester though and headed home for it, toed the start line and did it. I ran 16 miles, ran-walked to about 19, mostly walked to 25 (I could only run on downhills because of how my hamstrings were seizing up!) and jogged the last mile to come in at 5:28. I will never describe it as my worst race ever though as it was a time where I had so much other stuff going on that it is literally a miracle that I both started and finished.

    Probably my worst actual performance was The Bay 10k in 2011, I had moved from my family home to a nice little Dublin 8 flat over the weekend and hadn't taken into account how tiring that was, race was the bank holiday Monday. I had also started my period that morning and felt like I'd been kicked in the kidneys and stomach. I dropped out after around 2km after I couldn't even hold 6 min/km pace.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,832 ✭✭✭OOnegative

    Barcelona Marathon 2017

    I put in a very decent block of training during a brutal winter, wearing the tar of the paths in parts of Summerhill. Ran a decent 10 mile PB at the Trim 10 mile and was on top of the world heading to Barcelona.

    Wee bit to much walking the day before with herself but I was confident heading to bed the night before and it’s the one night I slept well before a marathon. Woke and had breakfast and walked the 1km or so to the start, it was warm, warmer than normal for Barcelona that time of year I was told after!!! I got into pace handy enough and fell into line with a fellow runner from Ashford AC.

    We stuck to the shaded part of the roads where we could but when there was none the heat was intense. I had given herself a time to meet me at halfway with a drink, but I was a few minutes off and she clocked it, said I was ok but things were starting to go sideways already. My buddy from Ashford had fallen off earlier but I was in hurt city at this stage, pace kept dropping with each mile.

    I had religiously taken water at every stop but I was sweating salt at this stage, came to an out an back section before hitting the beach. Admiring the runners a mile or so ahead, hit the u-turn just after 19 miles and that’s all she wrote, woke to ambulance crew peeling me off the road and placing me in a wheelchair. Number ripped off in case I done a bunk on them, given oxygen and all essentials checked before I was asked if I had someone with me. I pointed to a lady up the road as my wife but she wasn’t, the ambulance crew tentatively let me go seeing my ‘wife’ was a few yards up the road!!

    I turned right as soon as I could, and somehow figured my way back onto the marathon route. Cue a few miles of walking till I met the missus at our next designated meeting point, a good bit late and I seen from a distance she was distraught as to where I was. She eventually seen me & cue a load of tears from us both!! Still to this day I’m gutted over what happened, Spain owes me a good marathon in the future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,204 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Oh, this is more difficult.
    I've so many.

    Can I wallow in self pity?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,163 ✭✭✭and still ricky villa

    Malta Marathon 2008

    We stayed on the far side of the island. First bus was 8am. Race started at 9am. Loads of time.
    Alarm set for 7am.
    7am Dublin time.
    Woke to the sound of buses outside the hotel.
    Mad scramble to get ready and into a taxi at 8:30.
    I arrived at the start still rubbing vasoline in my gentleman's area to be told I was early for the half. I explained I was doing the full.
    After p!ssing laughing at me the two boyos at the start told me to run till I caught the ambulance. It was 9:15.
    I eventually caught the tail end of the race and settled down.
    The 2nd half was all downhill so my quads locked up. Walked like Herman Munster for a mile or two until the cramps passed.
    I had my phone with me so text my wife a couple of miles before the end begging her to find a toilet near the finish as I'd no time to do any business that morning.
    Raced straight through the finish, grabbed my medal and straight into a shopping centre toilet.
    It made the bog in Trainspotting look like a palace.
    Closed the door. No lights.
    Things went from bad to worse and I had to walk back across the finish to wash off in the sea.

    Malta is nice though

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

    It doesn't get much worse than a DNF on a track. No place to hide.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,642 ✭✭✭✭event

    Dublin Marathon 2014

    So in the other thread I talked about how DCM 13 was my best. The next year was a kick in the arse.
    I thought this marathon lark would be easy, had run 2 in 2013 so knew all about it. I didnt do as much training as I should and I also had a bit of an injury.

    Knew I wasnt in same form as previous year but still, thought I would get close to the PB (03:51). Started out ok, had done a negative split so thought I would do the same. At mile 13, I just fell apart. For the next 5 miles, all were over 10 min miles. Mile 18 to 21 I picked up a bit but then from 21 to finish, again I slowed down. We were close to 11 min miles. Finished in 04:25. Disgusted with myself. I threw the runners in the bin, didnt talk to anyone for about 2 days.

    By next year I had come around again and joined Team Carrie (Im from Dunleer) and in 2015 I was able to run my current PB - 03:43:22.
    2014 stood to me though, made me realise that marathons arent easy and doesnt matter how many ye have run.

  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭KSU

    Another one from the vault from back when I was 18(ish) (so like 2 years ago :P)

    **Disclaimer - All my coached athletes turn away now :P **

    Back in the day when track and cross reigned supreme and I had not become a full fledged road runner the seasons where quite distinctive with XC finishing before Christmas and track not truly kicking in till April/May the months in between were a little ill disciplined (and me in general)

    I met myself at an impasse with a race and social commitment colliding with an 18th Birthday the Saturday night followed by Raheny 5 mile on the Sunday. As it was one of the first 18th's of the School group as well as it being a house party it was not to be missed so said to myself have one or two and stop early :rolleyes:

    Couple of WKD's later (not actually WKD but sure for dramatic effect to the story) found my decision making slightly impaired with a number of bad decisions including calling out one of my female friends on her weight lifting prowess after overhearing exaggerated claims on figures which closely matched my matched my bodyweight so I figured a simple experiment would solve things once and for all.
    To be fair to her she was able to lift me however what I did not realize was she had been in pub half the day before she arrived so was not exactly steady on her feet. Rather than dropping me she held form as we came down like a tone of bricks,me with my shoulder and hip taking the brunt of the fall and her coming down on top of me.

    Woke up the next day and made my way home with my training partner and his dad (one of the club coaches) getting into the car to head to the race. This is a true walk of shame to a runner. Quick shower grabbed the gear and got a lift out to the race.

    1st two miles and wasn't feeling too bad and actually hitting solid 5.40s. It was at this point I sobered up enough to feel how much pain both the hangover and the damage from the fall as the paces for the next few miles started climbing to ridiculous levels. I think I just about scrapped under 30 minutes (around 29.51/52) vowing to never drink again (and never running again with how bad I was feeling)

    While I did not stick to them I did make a rule of not drinking on a race week, something which I have largely followed the past 13 years since.

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

    KSU wrote:
    **Disclaimer - All my coached athletes turn away now **

    "All of my coached athletes turn away now because the story im about to tell will show you that even at my worst, with a hangover, and a crippled body, I can still run a five miler faster than you..."


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

    Oh, this is so easy. DCM 2016, my second marathon. I over-trained myself into injury a few weeks out, and then on the day ran as if nothing had happened. Also, I had picked up a cold in the days before, which wasn't "maranoia" but an actual cold. On the day itself I was delighted to be running pain free, but after 10 miles or so things went rapidly downhill, and I walked off the course at the half-way mark. The walk back to town from Crumlin was utterly miserable. Afterwards when I looked at my heart rate, it was through the roof and way higher than at the Dublin Half Marathon a month prior when I had run a lot faster. It turns out you can't outrun a cold and downtime from running.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭shotgunmcos

    Malta Marathon 2008

    We stayed on the far side of the island. First bus was 8am. Race started at 9am. Loads of time.
    Alarm set for 7am.
    7am Dublin time.
    Woke to the sound of buses outside the hotel.
    Mad scramble to get ready and into a taxi at 8:30.
    I arrived at the start still rubbing vasoline in my gentleman's area to be told I was early for the half. I explained I was doing the full.
    After p!ssing laughing at me the two boyos at the start told me to run till I caught the ambulance. It was 9:15.
    I eventually caught the tail end of the race and settled down.
    The 2nd half was all downhill so my quads locked up. Walked like Herman Munster for a mile or two until the cramps passed.
    I had my phone with me so text my wife a couple of miles before the end begging her to find a toilet near the finish as I'd no time to do any business that morning.
    Raced straight through the finish, grabbed my medal and straight into a shopping centre toilet.
    It made the bog in Trainspotting look like a palace.
    Closed the door. No lights.
    Things went from bad to worse and I had to walk back across the finish to wash off in the sea.

    Malta is nice though


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,428 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Oh Jesus this is easy! 100% Jingle bells 5k 2019 was my worst race EVER!!!

    As someone relatively new to racing after doing well in my 1st marathon & enjoying it, I naively thought the natural procession would be that i would PB my other distances!

    I trained really well for my marathon, very dedicated then took a little break & went into another plan, again very dedicated!
    Jingle Bells was known to me as a fast course where PB's just happen! I thought because I enjoy speed this would be a good one for me mid plan to boost my confidence - how wrong i was...

    Off we went and being completely honest i felt tired! My legs felt tired, already i wondered how i was gonna reach my target paces A lot of weaving in & out of people before i settled. 1st km clocked at 4:18, i really needed to be slightly below this & knew I just didn't have it in me to push faster than what i was doing!

    It never got any better, i really wanted to stop, i had never felt like this before & it was horrible! I can usually talk myself out of these kind of thoughts but not this time. It was more than just thoughts it was physical - simply put i could not run the required pace to get my PB! For the 1st time ever i thought about stopping, why i didn't i honestly don't know. I finished in a time of 21:48. That didn't matter to me now, i just wanted to go home! I met D & S after my race & i know i hide absolutely nothing on my face, so it was quite obvious to both that i was very disappointed - almost sulky like! This is something i have tried to work on since & hope i am improving on, again i think this comes down to experience something i will gain with each race i run!

    What this race taught me is that nothing is a given, each race depends on the conditions & how you are both physically & mentally that day. It also taught me to try sulk less if a race doesn't go my way :p

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Actually, this has proven harder than I thought. I've had lots of mediocre races, but not a lot that were really bad in the classic sense (relatively speaking - maybe they're all bad!)

    I chose my best race based on the cold metrics of VDOT, but it's harder to use this stat for poor races, because you improve so much early on. By the VDOT measure, the worst was my first ever race, the Docklands 5k (when it was not a Crusaders race), but in reality that was the gateway drug that got me into the sport - a fabulous experience, despite the somewhat ramshackle organisation. In other poor performances, Donadea 2020 was up there - or rather down there - but if you're not a regular ultra runner it's probably not fair to single out a race of this distance.

    Ultimately, and it pains me to admit it, because it is such a great event, Boston marathon 2016 was the nadir, in terms of actual versus expected result. I'd trained well all winter with the P&D method, and going into the race I had a PB streak of 10 dating back to the Fingal 10k the previous summer. I'd had a great race in Ballycotton six weeks out - a PB that felt easy, barring that awful climb at the end. I was in great shape, if a little underweight, going to the race.

    The weather for Boston is impossible to prepare for. Some years they have sleet and snow, some years they have a 26.2 mile headwind. In 2016 we had an unexpectedly warm day - blisteringly so after the winter training, and like OONegative in Barcelona, I simply wilted. From the pre-race hours in the Hopkinton marquees, nervously watching the sun rise higher and the blue sky get bluer, the temperature just kept rising. People were slathering on the sun cream on the walk to the start line, and though the first few kms felt OK - great in fact, it's such an iconic experience - by 10k I was huffing and puffing, by halfway I was four minutes off the 3:20 target, by 30k I'd given up, and in the end I limped home 24+ mins late. I wasn't the only one who had a bad day, of course, but it was an awful land after three or four years of continuous improvement, and for me marked the end of that delicious upward curve most of us experience over the first few years of running.

    While the target was ambitious (still haven't made it after several attempts), this was the most spectacular fail. I was in good company but it still hurts!

    Would I do the race again? Of course. ;)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    As per D above (and others!) I've had quite a few, shall we say, underwhelming race performances. While many of them just turned out to be "a bit rubbish really", one or two still stand out.

    The 2013 Fat Turkey Run has been right up there for many years, perhaps more for the fact that I should never have started it in the first place. Coughing fits before and during, and a tough opening mostly uphill 5k didn't help. I remember sitting on the wall beside Sutton strand at the finish feeling like death. I haven't run it since - in 2018 I had entered, and drove across, but after a bout of coughing while sitting in the car, on that occasion I made the sensible decision to turn around and go home.

    But it's the St Cocas 5k of 2019 that gets the nod. I decided to run this on the basis of a return to form of sorts (20:20, PB 19:43) in the Docklands 5k, which took place eight days before. On a more favourable course, surely I was in PB shape? Whatever about physically, mentally I was not. I remember the very fast downhill first k with Damo, Lazare and others, even at that stage hanging on. Before 2k my PB attempt had gone up in smoke - a phantom injury "forcing" me to step over to the side of the road and start walking back to the start. Eventually I turned and finished it out - passing people at a ridiculous rate, but who cared, I was miles behind. I remember seeing our now captain and one of the coaches, and hoping they wouldn't spot me on my way to a stinking 22 minute plus "effort". I was absolutely bulling. Talk about not wanting to work for a PB. Hopefully I will get a chance to redeem myself on the course, but realistically it looks like I'll have to wait at least another year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,409 ✭✭✭Ceepo

    Like many others, so so many to choose from. And for some many different reasons, unexplained sh1te day, injury, weather or illness, or just expecting to much.

    The one that take's to nod for me was the European Masters 10k road race.
    A good few years ago now.
    Flew into Aarhus Denmark the evening before the race, as accommodation was hard to get I had booked into the only place available which to be a hostel. Got there approx 10pm, after a bit of a wait to get my room sorted out, I eventually got to the room about 45 minutes later, Key in the door and opened it, put in my hand and turned on the light and to my surprise there were 3 others already asleep. Lets just say that, that Spanish lad was lucky he wasn't smothered, so I didn't get a great sleep (if any) I wouldn't recommended that again.

    My race was at some stupid time like 4pm. Was up early enough, had the breakfast and headed to the venue to get registered etc. The course was a flat 2,5k loop x 4 and there were other races on as well so picked a nice spot and watched them, grabbed a bit of lunch around 12.30 so all good and felt very relaxed, temperature was in the low 20's which certainly was not great coming from 15/16 here, and I normally dont cope well in the heat.

    I had been running well here and was confident enough with my race plan and fitness. Done my usual warm up and a few strides and got into cool and calm mind frame. Jog up to the start and waited for the off. The race went out very hard, but I was expecting it to, stuck to my race plan and left them off over the 1st few 100m. Went trough the 1st km in 3,21 which was spot on, I was starting to pick off a few of the faster starters, all going well trough 2k another 3,21k, I was starting to get into the "groove" now. on to 3k in 3,20 everything going to plan, or there about as i normally finish stronger And then just coming to a 180 turn i started to get a stitch, slowed a bit as I was going around the turn, took the next 100m easy and pushed on again, but as soon as I did, BANG stitch again. To cut a long story short this was the pattern for the rest of the race, push on, stitch, ease off try get rid of it rinse and repeat many times until I got to the finish line. I had on occasion got a stitch before usually when I was running down a steep hill or if I drank water but the frustrating part, I didn't have any reason I could think of.

    I've had many many good races and probably far more bad ones but this was really pi$$ me off more that the rest.

    Honorable mentions also to 2015 Ironman Copenhagen where my inability to cope with hot weather wasn't helped by the 28c on the day, and if that wasnt bad enough 2012 Ironman Austria in 38c :eek: was probably the longest walks Ill every do. I wouldn't recommend running a marathon in 38c :p

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,231 ✭✭✭coogy

    I thought this would be an easy one for me but when I really thought about it, I had more races to choose from than I thought I would.

    First one that came to mind, was my first ever race back in 2013, The Great Ireland Run. I was oblivious to what sort of training was required, I understood nothing about running paces on any level and was about as unprepared any any person could be. Even though I crossed the finish line in a HEAP, finishing in under 50 minutes was a triumph of sorts so that rules that one out. That said, it would be another 5 years before I would run again.

    I guess from a tactical perspective, as opposed to a race just not going my way, the obvious one has to be 2019's Docklands 5k.
    I had bigged up my chances in my head a little too much and setting out with the 19 minute pacers (with absolutely nothing to suggest this was achievable) was to be my undoing.
    With not much more than a kilometre under my belt, I knew that I had completely misjudged not just the race, but the distance also. A noticeable gap between me and the pacers was growing by the second and half way down the North Quays, the leading pack sailed past us effortlessly.
    At the turn, I was already feeling like the jig was up - not helped by the humidity levels - and the long and desperate trek back up the North Quays was an experience to forget. At the final turn back onto the South Quays, the finish line was still 1km away and by now I was hurting real bad, compounded by being overtaken by the 20 minute pacer.
    At that moment, throwing in the towel seemed like a very good idea but I pushed on, no longer caring about a sub-20 or sub-anything.
    Crossed the finish line in 20:07, not a particularly bad finish time but this was an out and out s**t show, no doubt about it.

    The splits tell you all you need to know:
    Mile 1 - 6:01
    Mile 2 - 6:21
    Mile 2 - 6:50

    Lesson well and truly learned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,014 ✭✭✭Ray Donovan

    Ah the May Bank Holiday of 2018 shall live long in my memory bank.

    Training had gone really well for the Limerick HM and was hoping to break my PB of 1:37 and was pretty confident. The only obstacle was going to be the predicted very warm weather.

    Thankfully the evening before our Junior Hurlers had 1st round of championship and I was coach and selector so it was a great distraction to take my mind off the race....

    Following a great performance we won by 8 points and I said I'd go with the lads to the local for a lucozade as we had trained pretty hard and it was a nice evening. So straight away a lad had a pint bottle of cider in front of me so I said I'd sip that for an hour and go home.

    So four hours later and 9 pint bottles in, I headed for the bed around midnight. I live around 75 minutes from Limericy City Centre so I got up around 7.45 and was on the road for 8.15. I genuinely felt like a truck had hit me flat in the forehead. So around 10am the reality of what was in front of me started to dawn on me as the heat began to rise (Jesus, it was roasting) but the eternal optimist in me said I'm sticking with the 1:40 pacer and we'll take it from there. By 1 mile in the pacer was already a long way out of sight and I was in a heap but in fairness the one thing I am is stubborn so no way was I going to be a DNF. However the ultimate embarrassment was when the 1:45 pacer and group passed me at the Gaelic Grounds.

    I staggered up O'Connell St and finished over 1:46 and went straight to a burger stall for a 1/4 pounder and a bottle of coke. I was in an absolute heap.

    I was supposed to stay in Limerick as had been arranged for weeks in advance but I just headed home to bed for a few hours and then out for 6 pints to get me through the night!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 53,794 ✭✭✭✭walshb

    coogy wrote: »
    The splits tell you all you need to know:
    Mile 1 - 6:01
    Mile 2 - 6:21
    Mile 2 - 6:50


    Nothing at all wrong with winding down!!!