Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Dublin Marathon

Dublin: My first marathon outside England and after the disappointment of London I was determined to make amens. Training hadn't been too intense - mainly working on my speed and running 'barefoot' seems to have helped this a lot too. So anyway - Dublin yes, I arrived on the Sunday and after finding my hotel went straight to the Expo.. I walked all the way there (about 5 km) and when I arrived finally got hold of my number and race day instructions..

Expo was nice and not really different than any other so I sat down and had my pasta as you do and joined in the fun.. after a while thought - better be off and get a proper dinner! So I walked back - a longer route taking in Lansdowne Road and its impressive stadium.. took in a bit of Dublin and ate pasta like tomorrow didn't exsist! In the evening I did yet more walking as I wanted to take my camera out and view this place - I must admit I was worried I might tire my legs out! In all I reckon I walked about 15km (8 miles or so) by the time I went back to the hotel to rest...

I got nothing more than broken sleep that night - again I got up worried this might effect my performance. As if that was not enough the temperature outside was about 3-4C! Brrrr! I had my usual breakfast and prep before leaving the hotel very wrapped up and insulated.

As you can see by the above image I wore my beanie the whole race - I also wore gloves for most of it only taking them off (just before this shot) at about mile 23. It was very cold and I didn't take any clothing off till my body had adjusted to the temperature.. Even then I kept on an old T Shirt to keep in a bit of warmth as i walked up to the start line,.

The race itself: The gun went off just after the hour of 9am (slightly late) and we all rushed off.. around 13,000 people with a goal in their mind. I was ahead of the 3:15 pacemakers and that was the plan I intended to keep.

The Plan: To run a marathon in under 3:15 (3 hours 15 mins) you have to run each KM in under 4.40. (4 minutes 40 seconds) So my plan was to run each KM at about 4.30 and after getting into my groove I resisted the feeling to dart off and kept to my plan..

1 00:04:27 1.00 04:27
2 00:04:16 1.00 04:16
3 00:04:22 1.00 04:22
4 00:04:28 1.00 04:28
5 00:04:25 1.00 04:25
6 00:04:21 1.00 04:21
7 00:04:22 1.00 04:22
8 00:04:23 1.00 04:23
9 00:04:28 1.00 04:28
10 00:04:25 1.00 04:25

My official time at 10km = 44:42

11 00:04:20 1.00 04:20
12 00:04:19 1.00 04:19
13 00:04:17 1.00 04:17
14 00:04:15 1.00 04:15

Now there are 42 Kilometres in a marathon but I find easier to adjust my pace rather than going by miles... which there are 26.2. The first section - although cold - was my favourite and went through Phoenix Park where we saw some deer on the frosty grass.

At around 15km we hit our first hill so I slowed my pace and took long breathes as I plodded up it - it was fairly steep but pretty short.

15 00:04:36 1.00 04:36

The next few Km I really got into my stride - I knew there would be one section this would happen and as it was around this stage I just went with it.

16 00:04:22 1.00 04:22
17 00:04:20 1.00 04:20
18 00:04:20 1.00 04:20
19 00:04:26 1.00 04:26

After my faster section I was approaching the halfway marker - I responsibly took myself down a peg or too and starter to slow down. There were a few slower hilly sections at this point too - nothing serious but enough to tire you if you didn't respect them.

20 00:04:36 1.00 04:36
21 00:04:27 1.00 04:27

At 21km you are helfway.. my official time at this point 01:34:06 - 2 minutes under my schedule! I was happy but knew the second half would be tough.. (my PB for a half marathon is 1:29:54)

The aim for the next few Km was to keep my pace under 4.40 and as close to 4.30 as possible to give myself more breathing space...

22 00:04:35 1.00 04:35
23 00:04:35 1.00 04:35
24 00:04:34 1.00 04:34
25 00:04:33 1.00 04:33
26 00:04:36 1.00 04:36
27 00:04:33 1.00 04:33
28 00:04:33 1.00 04:33
29 00:04:33 1.00 04:33

job done! But at 30km (around 18 miles) my left knee started to hurt - I thought oh know - its London all over again!.. but kept pressing on as my nutrition felt good at this point and i wasn't tired at all. Official time at this point 02:15:08.

30 00:04:40 1.00 04:40
31 00:04:40 1.00 04:40
32 00:04:50 1.00 04:50
33 00:04:47 1.00 04:47
34 00:04:50 1.00 04:50
35 00:04:45 1.00 04:45

As you can see my times started to fall behind here and although the knee pain had gone my left ankle now started to grumble... ugh! My pace started to slow and I kept looking at my watch - everytime I saw it go over 5 minutes I had to shout at myself thinking how annoying it would be if i let myself down after all this way.

36 00:04:52 1.00 04:52
37 00:04:48 1.00 04:48
38 00:04:54 1.00 04:54
39 00:04:55 1.00 04:55

With the end in sight all pains went away but exhaustion started to kick in.. Physically I was done for but I kept saying - only 2 miles to go - you can do it.. just 2 miles miles... I was able to JUST keep the pace over 5 minutes but I was in auto pilot - I could here people shouting my name (from my shirt) but I couldn't respond any more. Everything was concentrated on keeping my legs going.. At so many stages I thought I'd miss out but the 3:15 pace man had not passed me yet... YET!

40 00:04:59 1.00 04:59
41 00:04:51 1.00 04:51
42 00:04:53 1.00 04:53

The final Km was painful.. we rounded Trinity College and the 3:15 paceman caught me - HELP!.. That was it - I found something from somewhere as he shouted LET'S GO to everyone around him - and off I went! LOL.. I picked everything up and flew to the line picking my pace right up to 4.29 for that final sprint... YES!!! Under 3:15!! Quite emotional I can tell you.x

43 00:02:36 0.58 04:29

POST: Have a plan - stick to it... If you know know what you are capable of then don't let yourself down by wimping out.. Stick to the plan - pleasure will overcome the pain in the end.

Course: The Dublin Marathon has a great course with a few hills with quite a few long a lonely (no support) sections - but coming back into the city centre and seeing the crowds 3 or 4 deep is very impressive... a great time of year to run a marathon too.. we were lucky with the weather however. Thanks to everyone for their support - i'm over the moon to get this time which for me gives me 'best for age' entry into a few marathons including London.

Garmin report:

Video : (look for 545)

Charity :

Official details:

Overall place : 859
Cat. Plce : 88
Runners : 13,200
10km : 00:44:42
Half marathon : 01:34:06
30km : 02:15:08
Gun time : 03:14:45
Chip time : 03:14:29

Ray x