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.
The mental side of this day was tough and a slog. Upon deciding that more than 21kms needs to be run at this stage, an additional 12kms was squeezed in before the race. There were 2 decisions to make. Arrive for the start of the race with no time to spare or leave in plenty of time so as not to encourage a rush to the start line. In the end, the wrong decision was made and you’ll find out why. I chose to give myself plenty of time so then 12kms was complete at 9:25, giving 35 minutes to let the body cool down before winding it up again for 21kms. This was a rookie mistake and it was felt very early on in the race.
This was also an opportunity to test a new approach to fuelling so a couple of energy bars were disposed of before starting. I don’t think they helped. They seemed to do absolutely nothing but make things quite heavy and sluggish. However 2 gels were packed for the journey also. These were consumed at about the 6 and 9 mile marks. Again, not much of an impact was had.
Early on this whole ordeal was going to be a complete battle with the brain. There was still a good bit left in the body after 5 miles but a lot more to go. As we approached the Farmleigh House and Tower road area of the park things were becoming very tired and the heat was overwhelming to say the least. Coming back into the park and up Ordinance Survey Road the thought that we had the entirety of Chesterfield Avenue to conquer and then all the way back up to the finish on Furze Road was gutting. This really tested the willpower and under no circumstances is one to stop at this point for a break. All the experience that has been built up was put to good use here.
As you can see form the splits below (which is in kilometres) things were slowing the high 5 minute kilometres. That hill just went on and on. I stopped at one stage but said immediately that there would still be another 9km to go in a marathon and trudged along again. Finishing off along Upper Glen Road the calves were in a lot of pain and reserves were all but gone. It was essential to warm down after that thanks to Bootcamp Ireland. They have done great work with the warm ups and cool downs in this race series. It enables a tonne less pain in the days following a big run. Next up is the big day and I’m praying that once and for all I’ll be able to break 4 hours.