Jools - fantastic! Stunning performance, well done!
Quick update from hotel. 2:58:30 in Dublin Marathon yesterday. No PB but happy with B target of sub 3. New tougher course and strong winds didn't help but just didn't have it in the legs from early on. I was overtaken by the 3 hour pacers at 20 and had to dig deep to get back past them over the last 10k. 249/12266 finishers. Guinness hangover
Ren - Good controlled effort in a come back marathon
PMJ - Excellent 10 miler and 80%+ WAVA
moof - Great report and well done on a sub 3 and PB
VTrun- Excellent report and Boston qualification marathon time.
Well I have some Good, Bad and Ugly news to report on. I'll start with the ugly.
I'm finally on a waiting list for an operation to get my 'walnut' problem sorted out. Google search for 'HALO Embarrassing Bodies' if you want to see the ugly operation!
The bad news is that I was diagnosed with iron deficient anaemia while being blood tested for the operation. My hemoglobin level was under 12 and it should be between 14 to 17. I had wondered why I had been running about 10 seconds a mile at all distances since my blood loss at the Portumna ultra marathon. I thought I was just fatigued due to the race and had lost a bit of pace due to ultra training. Thankfully though I have been able to fix the issue with a multi vitamin with iron tablet daily and eating more iron rich foods. I'm now back to pre Portumna fitness levels again.
The good news is two fold. Firstly my marathon training for Dublin (next Monday) has went really well and I'm now 100% fit and raring to go. Providing the wind is kind on Monday I'll be targeting a narrow PB of 2:54:07 set there last year. I'm not quite fit enough to target sub 2:50 yet but hope to make an attempt at that milestone next year.
The really good news is that while running my final hard effort training session on Saturday for Dublin I have achieved a life time goal. The session was actually the NI Trails Cross Country and I finished 10th in the 45-49 age group. Four of the runners ahead of me are not registered with NIMAA so I have squeezed into the 6 man team. I have been invited to represent Northern Ireland in the British and Irish Masters Cross Country Championships in Nottingham next month! I've to pick up my 'Norn Iron' vest up at the end of the month at the Mary Peters Track. Looking at last years times I might come last but I don't care as it will be such an honour to represent my wee country!
Sorry everyone! I had indeed copy and pasted from Word. Here's the rest -
.....I had never seen Marty in 1st from about 8 miles and had no idea how far ahead he was.
I ran about 7:20 m/m pace for the last 5 miles and eventually crossed the finish line in 3:41:21 (7:09 ave) for 2nd place. Marty had finished in 3:37 so was just over a half mile ahead. Peter finished in 3:57 and told me he fell apart over the last few miles. Simon had a DNF.
I’m over the moon with the result finishing 2nd behind such an accomplished runner. I felt strong at the end and could have run on and suffered very little DOMS the following days. I picked up no niggles and only a minor blister on one toe. This race was really only a ‘B’ race 7 weeks before my ‘A’ race of the Dublin Marathon. However my shorter distance times are about 10 seconds a mile down from last year so I don’t expect a PB at Dublin.
I’m going to only taper for 2 weeks before Dublin and follow the fat loading then carbo loading process again too. I’ll also stop taking caffeine for 10 days again but will drink a lot more alcohol after the race. I was so wired after the ultra I didn’t sleep at all and lay in bed for 6 hours before giving up and getting up a 5am. I slept great the next night though!
I’ve been in lurk mode for several months but wanted to delurk to post this race report. It’s for the Titanic Quarter 50k Ultra Marathon which I ran on Sunday.
The race was a combination of flat roads, coastal paths and over grown trails. There was also a 102k and 25k race running along the same course. The 102k started at 6 am and ran from the Titanic quarter to Ballywalter and back. The 50k I was running was one way from Ballywalter to the Titanic quarter starting at 12:30 pm. The 25k started at 2 pm covering the second half of the 50k race.
My training had gone well with a longest run of 30 miles two weeks before the race. I didn’t fully taper with a 100+ mile total three weeks out, then 60 (scheduled cut back week) and 30 miles before the Ultra. I experimented with 10 days of fat loading (65% fat diet) before carbo loading for 3 days. I also didn’t take any caffeine including my beloved dark chocolate for 10 days before the race. I then took 2 x 200mg caffeine tablets during the race and was buzzing like a mad thing!
The weather wasn’t ideal with a lot of sun and temperatures up to 20C and a 10 -15 mile head wind for the 50k point to point race. I ended up with sun burn!
I knew there were three other runners of a similar standard to me, two of which (Simon, Sean) had recently beaten me in a half marathon. At the start line in Ballywalter I saw another runner (Peter) of a similar standard and also the former 100k Irish Champion (Marty) who was a 2:37 marathon runner.
The race started and straight away Simon, Peter and Marty began pulling away with me sitting in 4th. My race plan was to run about 7 to 7:15 minute mile pace on the flat section and see what pace I could hold on the trails and paths. I expected to slow down later on but hoped to break 3:50 which was the winning time from last year.
The first three kept pulling away for the first 10 to 11 miles and I eventually lost sight of them. I averaged about 7 m/m for these and felt very comfortable and hoped that the leaders would start dropping back later on. After 11 miles we were directed onto coastal paths and trails for about 4 miles. These were hard to navigate at times and I went the wrong way twice having to double back. I lost about 1 to 2 minutes and was getting very angry! Luckily I was catching a lot of the 102k runners and knew I was going the right way.
After about 14 miles I saw Peter not far ahead and soon closed the gap. We ran close to each other for the next few miles before reaching my home town of Bangor after 15 miles. The next section was on a beach and I saw Simon not far ahead with Peter and me closing fast. Just as the beach section finished I past both, with Simon looking like he was struggling badly.
Peter stayed close behind me as we ran through Bangor but he eventually overtook me again when I stopped for a few seconds to take on food and fluids. Leaving Bangor the next 8 miles would be along a coastal path before reaching Holywood near Belfast.
At around 18 miles Peter stopped for a pee so I went back into second place again. I was still comfortably running about 7 m/m pace on the flatter sections and went through 20 miles in 2 hours 23. I was feeling strong and really enjoying myself although due to the warm weather and sun the coastal path was full of families and dog walkers.
I was passing many of the 25k runners now which was encouraging and getting lots of support. At around 24 miles my family handed me my final drink and I asked if they could see anyone close behind. About 2 miles later they shouted from the car that I was 4 minutes ahead of 3rd. Phew! I was feeling good but knew I could slow slightly and still finish in 2nd place. I had never seen Marty in 1st from about 8 miles and ha