Last week a large group of us embarked upon Westport, Co. Mayo for a cycling and running race called Sea 2 Summit. We opted for the 30k route as opposed to the longer 56km and trust me this was long enough. It was to be but a lovely day and night out but never have I seen such madness and as many people needing medical attention.
Hi folks. So I decided lately to catch up on my posts seeing as it has been a while since my last one. I haven’t had a huge amount to update this year………………………UNTIL NOW. With the course coming to an end (and I get my life back), training and especially running had been at a virtual standstill until September. But the thoughts of watching the marathon were more than enough to sign up.
One thing, however that was continued all year were the strength and conditioning classes in the Dublin Sports Clinic. This greatly helped to keep the strength up and hugely contributed to a completely injury free year.
However, as I said, September hit and the miles were not put in. To try and put the mileage in and feel confident was going to be a tall order. It had to be done though.
So what happened?
Starting off with the regular half marathon outing, we got off to a bad start, barely making it home. The hill coming up Fosters’ Avenue proved particularly heartbreaking. Anyway, this was expected. A couple of midweek runs later and the confidence began to edge back. It wasn’t going to happen overnight so the key here was persistence.
By the 1st of October the 26km run to the Castleknock gate of the Phoenix Park and home again was in store. This was when I had nothing to lose so I joined a friend so as not to be stuck with my own thoughts for the entire process (enough to drive you to drink). Arriving home after about 2:30 the legs felt fantastic. BREAKTHROUGH!!!!!
8 days later it was the turn of the Athlone (or newly named “Irish”) 3/4 marathon. This was a tough day. Up to about 15kms things were ok and comfortable. Maybe it was the fact that the 26km was only the previous weekend but the legs were very sore at the end of this. This was a major setback, with a whole extra quarter to go in 3 weeks. Was this going to be a case of just get through it and enjoy? Nice bling though which is always welcome.
The next 3 weeks were spent trying to build the aerobic fitness, eating properly, drinking properly (water………………not you know what), stretching, foam rolling. All futile.
So the big day arrived and a very surprising calm came over me on Sunday morning. We were gifted a spectacular day so conditions were not going to be an excuse. Off we went and sure things were fine. First quarter…………………………alright. A little slow but sure g’wan. Up to halfway. Even slower and there’s a fair bit of pain in the legs here. Then on to my usual cheering zone in Crumlin with all my pals lined up to support. One mad friend in particular commenting, “LOOK AT YOU GO THERE! YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL. YOU’RE A BEAST”! Hilarious! I smiled. Dying inside but trying to look comfortable. Another friend decided to follow me about 100m metres down the road like someone you might see at the Tour de France trying to keep up with the cyclists (except this time it was all in good fun).
Anyway, I got sidetracked there sorry. We’re just getting to the “when things go bad” side of things. Essentially, the pain became unbearable very quickly. It continued through the quads to the back of the knee and hamstrings. The first of many many stops was made on the road up to Terenure (not even the 3/4 mark………………………feck).
From then on it was a tale of the worst pain I’ve had during a marathon so far and this includes the hills of Slea Head in Dingle and the 25 degree heat of Paris. Honestly the doubts were enormous as to whether I’d even make it to the finish. There was no way that was happening. So it did become a case just try and enjoy the atmosphere, which was electric as always. I swear the support gets better every year here in Dublin. It’s now the 4th biggest marathon in Europe behind London, Berlin and Paris.
Through Rathgar, Clonskeagh and Ballsbridge I still have no idea how I got there but I have spent the last 2 days very disappointed with it and analysing what went wrong. What did I expect? I hadn’t put in the miles. That was the key, but there is always pride at finishing.
So what was the lesson here? It seems like the most obvious one in the world but if you don’t run enough, forget it (I’ll probably do it again though 😆 😆 )
There are 5 medals in the bag now and I know what to do to improve so hopefully now there will be more time to show that there’s more to the bling. There’s a lifelong ambition here to do as many as possible. It’s not just a hobby. It’s way more important than that.
Thoughts are already concentrating on what’s next and it will be soon. Watch this space!
Hello all. I hope you’re all keeping well. I know I haven’t posted (again) in a long while but it has actually given me great ammunition for this post and it’s something which should really apply to you all. As I previously mentioned, I am currently studying for a diploma in digital marketing. Lately this has taken up absolutely ALL of my time with the impending due date of a research assignment. I won’t bore you with the details but there was one big thing standing in my way from even starting it – the inability to find a company to work with for the course. That was supposed to be the easy part. Not so, which caused amassive barrier up until February 12th when that barrier was broken. Company secured and able to start after 2 months of trying.
Well I think it’s safe to say that was a well-earned break since Dublin marathon 2015. Back at it now although the January event calendar isn’t jam packed. One look out the window is enough to layer up and fuel the demand for home heating oil. I really wish I had the time to give regular updates and maybe extend this blog to a larger audience but balancing a career change and training is proving very difficult. Although the few training runs I have been on over Christmas and this year have enabled me to keep my sanity. I do miss training regularly. Never before have I noticed how good a small run is for clearing the mind.
The day we were all anticipating so much arrived on Monday of last. It’s hard to believe it was 8 days ago already. Preparation was perfect but the day itself was very rainy and Irish. I see this as an advantage however. Less heat means less struggle (ultimately this proved to be completely untrue). I decided to concentrate on gels only for the entire race because let’s face it. Fuel is fuel. It doesn’t have to be in different forms. If anyone disagrees, by all means please leave a comment. The more the merrier.
I’ll make this short and sweet folks. There is much to come. I’m hoping to have a very different and hopefully very cool blog post soon. Hopefully it works out. Otherwise I have built up immense expectations for nothing:
The next event on the calendar was the Dublin half marathon (which is already 9 days ago. Let’s hope the timing gets a bit better before October 26th). This took place in the Phoenix Park and a scorcher of a day it was.
I realise the lateness of this post but with the marathon now 6 weeks away today I need to get my updates up to speed. The last race I completed was just over 2 weeks ago when I returned to Tullamore County Offaly, where a PB was achieved 2 years ago. This was in turn chipped away in Wexford last year but the route called for a good performance.
Bacon and eggs V’s loaf of bread. Stay with it. You’ll find out 😉
Preparation was very far from ideal for today. All week the attitude hasn’t been spot on for a PB. There have been a few of those lately but they’re not remotely concerning. That will come back. Today was again used for training purposes and to run a new route for a change of scenery. It was nice. Any change of scenery is very very welcome.