Let's get this thread up & running!
Who knows when Dublin 2013 entry opens?!
Some great stories and times on here. Glad everyones training and hard work has paid the deserved dividends. I'm now back in Scotland and a few days of partying in Dublin are sadly over. Time to go a bit further into detail on my race experience.
Preparations as you all know had gone really well so on Monday morning I was feeling really enthusiastic and confident. I had avoided caffeine for a week and then an hour before the race took a red bull shot having done a bit of research on this. Got down to the start and after a trip to the loo, took an energy gel and lined up in the first wave.
The aim had been for some time to run 3h30 and my training had been focussed around the 8 min mile pace. The plan was to run between 7:50 and 8:10 for the first few miles, getting to halfway feeling as if I hadn't expended much energy. The first mile was actually slower than intended (8:25) down to a combination of me trying to not get carried away on legs that felt really fresh and also due to it being pretty crowded and a few bottlenecks. I wasn't really concerned though as I knew there was plenty of time to make that time back. The next few miles were largely uneventful. Someone clipped my leg in Pheonix Park but it didn't knock me and it was them who stumbled slightly. That aside I just kept a really steady pace throughout.
Having started the race about 30 secs back from the 3h30 pacers I managed to kick past them about 12 miles. (although I did take one of them momentarily in the park when he stopped behind a tree for the toilet much to many of our amusement)I got to the half point a little ahead of target and feeling in great shape although aware that in a marathon things can change within a few strides. Nutrition wise I was taking on a gel every 30 mins and this seemed to be keeping the energy levels high. From mile 14 I actually started picking up the pace every so slightly and was able to continue this for the next few miles.
I kept expecting that rough patch to come but as I got through 20 miles it had still not come and I found I was in a really nice rythmn. I was enjoying running sections of the course that my mind had no recollection of from last year where I was so focussed on just putting one leh ahead of the other. The only semblance of a sticky spot came between miles 23 and 24. Mentally I knew the finish was nearby but we all know 3.2 miles of running a lot of time can be lost. I was a little bit late getting my last gel and was not going to take it but when I did I felt the benefit within 5 minutes and the last couple of miles I picked it up again.
I have to say that while the crowds are amazing and inspirational throughout, in this last couple of miles it really is astounding. I actually found myself choking up a little bit in the last mile and a half when I realised what I was about to achieve. Last year when I completed the race the feeling was more of relief and I don't think I fully appreciated what I had done. This year I was completed aware of the achievement and soaked up that last run towards the line, pumping by chest and throwing arms aloft as I crossed the line in a time of 3:25.42, a time I still find hard to comprehend!
What an amazing race, city and support. I made the most of high fiving kids on the way around. I found this a great motivator and it's the least we can do to give something back to the supporters who give so much to us. Towards the later stages I even ran a wide route round a corner to high five a little girl who had her hand optimistically place out awaiting reciprocation. I haven't decided what my plans are for running next year.Such is my rate of progression just now, my time this year was 34 mins quicker than last year, that I need to figure out where I go next. If an Autumn marathon is in
the plans then I am 99% certain it will be Dublin again.
Anyway I have probably bored you all stiff now so I will just leave you with my Garmin splits. Hope everyone is recovering well
Will.....i must have been right beside you at the start, i too was 30 secs behind the 3:30 pacers and i think i overtook them about mile 5 or 6?!?? The night before i decided against using the pacers and just using the Virtual Partner on my Garmin. I set it for 7:58 mile pace and knew that i had to stay ahead of it to beat 3hrs 30.....
Tell me Will if you are getting the same reaction..When i am telling people i did it in 3:16:00 everyone, without fail, says 'oh..is it an easy course?? ...AAAaaagghhh...not oh your training must have paid off...not, oh your fitness must have really improved??!!!!!! I must add most of these people are overweight and not runners, but it does knock you down a peg or two...LOL
Wait till they start saying to you were you trying for 3 hours! Such people generally have no idea of the level of training and commitment that it takes for the average runner to get to this level never mind what it takes for the average 40 year old, fightiing his beer belly to achieve such times.
It's your achievement don't let anyone dampen it. Bloody well done.
Wow Muzza, that's fantastic impprovement. You must feel absolutely great.
I just did my sub -4 at 15 Stone (5th Marathon) - It has me thinking that I will only significantly improve by dropping another 2 stone at least (5'10") - So at least I have a new target now
I'm not really THAT bothered about it...i know what i had done training-wise, diet-wise,etc to get that result and am still over the moon...but it was just a shock that people think that way.
At the finish in Dublin my pal,who was doing his first marathon and finished in 3:41, was delighted for me. And my wife, who saw all the dedication i had put in, was totally ecstatic as i had told her i would be around the 3:30 mark, but maybe slightly over.
Carrying on about the weight thing..i was 17 stone when i started running last year..was 13.5-14 stone when i ran my first marathon in April, then got to 12 stone for the dublin one and felt better. Now my aim is to get to 11 stone or just below for the London marathon next year...although my wife will probably moan that i look ill...??!!!
I'm sure we would have been within sight of each other at some point Dave. I was wearing a neon yellow outfit (although so were hundreds of others) Amazing effort from you to get 3.15 though. I think I could probably gone a couple of minutes quicker in retrospect as there was juice left in the tank but it leaves me with somthing to play with next time.
I've not been back to work yet so not had the "easy marathon" chat yet. Pretty sure its what I will be getting on Monday. All my mates appreciate the work I put in so they know there was nothing easy about what I did.
I plan on my first run tomorrow. It will be nice to go out with no pressure and I can just run as slowly and as short a route as I want. The quest for sub 3.15 begins now!
Interesting thoughts on weight. I am 5 9" and 12 stone although I do gym work to avoid the skinny runners look and make sure I keep a decent shape.However I agree if I got to 11 stone it would benefit my running. Just need to work out how to get that stone off as 12 stone seems to be my fighting weight!
Think I must have been running along with as well Dave, managed to come in at 3.17.48. If you heard the shouts of come on Karl, well done Karl then we were together. wasnt until i was back home I worked out which runner he was but it makes the point of how useful it can be to have your name printed on your vest for extra support!
Had a great day, have gone from the never again to looking at autumn marathons. At the moment the plan is to focus on halfs next year, hopefully go sub 1.20 then have a crack at a sub 3 in 2014
I too had a PB in dublin (albeit a good hour after you all finished!) Loved high fiving those kids too. Amazing city, amazing race.. see you there next year?
Sound advice Muzza. Who am I to argue with someone who has run 77 marathons. I will try and add that type of session into my next marathon plan.I must admit speedwork is the one part of running I hate but I fully appreciate its what I need to keep improving. I'm just delighted this year after the marathon I have been able to get straight back out and keep running. I was out for 2 months last year after the marathon. So are we all back to Dublin next year?
Will was right, I was wrong its 77, Lost count!
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