One2escape, if you like a demanding course, look no further than the Surf 'n Turf half marathon. This is held up in Benone every year now and has a long, steep climb up a hill followed by an even longer knee crunching descent. Then, to finish, a 3 mile run along the sand and through lying water. On Saturday we had the pleasure of running into a constant 25mph headwind along the strand to add to the pain. It was brutal! I could see the cars in the distance where we were to turn up into the finish, but they didn't seem to get any closer no matter how hard I tried to run. To be honest, my fitness has taken a bit of a nose dive recently and I found it hard going. My legs are still completely mashed! Still, I did it! Beautiful scenery and a good day out. So another well organised event from Born2Run and I got the bonus of meeting the larger than life Mark Ramsey.
Well done Martin & One2e. I've never found marathons to be predictable. I've trained and trained and things have seemed to be going well, but usually something has spoiled it in the end. I've run Belfast twice. The first time (2009) I got caught up by the atmosphere at the start and was like a greyhound out of the trap. So my pacing was all over the place. I had trained just for a sub 4 hour, but thought on the day with all the euphoria that I could pull off a 3.30. I was so wrong and I ended up run/walking the last 8 miles or so. I had arranged for my wife & kids to meet me at the bottom of the Mill Road, and had trained with this thought in mind, so was completely gutted when I arrived and they weren't there. One of the kids had slept in and held them all back. That was when my wheels started to come off. However, I still finished in 3.53 so got the result I deserved. I'll never forget that feeling as I crossed the line. Brilliant! The second time I did it, I tried more seriously for 3.30 using the official pacers timings but it was a hot day and I completely overcooked it with the result that my hamstrings cramped up going through Gideon's Green. So I had to walk the last 10 miles. I was passed by Jim, HMM & Mags in the 4.30 group going down the Ravenhill Road but couldn't even muster up enough energy to keep up with them to the finish line.
Yesterday, I just watched the race but still enjoyed it. To be honest, I used to think the relay runners were a bit of a nuisance myself but I've since changed my mind. The relay has brought a lot of people into running and also has raised a lot of money for charities. It also has introduced a bit more fun into the event. So I'm all for it now.
One2E, we've followed you from the start on this forum and really pleased you completed the marathon. It takes years for our bodies to adapt properly to endurance running, so you did well in such a short time. Like most people, I got into running myself to crack goals, get pbs and all that stuff. But along the way I've got to know a great bunch of other runners and really now just run for the enjoyment and the company. Running isn't just about marathons either. There are so many different types of races here and I'm now just as happy doing shorter races or running on trails. Having said that, if you liked Belfast, you would love Dublin. It is a proper marathon, the crowd support is superb and you finish next to some of the best pubs in Ireland!
One2escape, just do enough next week to prevent your legs from tightening up. It doesn't necessarily have to be running. You don't want to risk any injury now. If you fancy a bit of pain though, you may want to try a sports massage.