Congratulations to all on their Dublin runs! Especially Jim and the London GFA!! Will remain my 'A' goal for next season!
Thanks for the kind comments about my own performance but I'm struggling, even with 24 hours reflection, to find too many positives in it. Tried to go out conservatively, stayed behind the 3:30 pace group for first 5K and then went ahead of them as the road broadened out entering Phoenix Park. Reached halfway in 01:41:34 which is the slowest Half I've run in 3 previous Full-distance attempts and was bang-on the 01:41-01:42 I'd planned. In hindsight, should have stayed behind the 03:30 pace group for longer ... and maybe been strong enough to stay with them/get just ahead of them before the Finish. Then again, given how quickly my battery drained short of two-thirds distance, it may not have made a big difference to the hellish final 8 miles I endured yesterday! 4 weeks between Berlin & Dublin and the chest infection that refused to budge inbetween times proved too much for me. On the plus side, legs stiff & sore today but not as bad as post-Berlin and ironically chest feels absolutely clear for first time in a month!!
Kenny, I thought the LUAS-work enforced changes were overall a good thing. Yes, the first couple of miles were even more congested as the course twisted & turned down narrower streets but I liked the changes in Phoenix Park, running right through the Park up the main avenue and then looping back around - with a nice downhill bit - before re-entering the Park for a really nice stretch. For most people it was probably psychologically beneficial to then be hitting familiar landmarks a mile closer to the Finish than previously (though I was going through my personal hell and beyond such minor feel-good encouragements!). The main benefit, I thought,then came with the Finish, where turning left off Shelbourne Rd and then right with a 800m straight run into the Finish line was better than running parallel to and away from the Finish before looping back round Trinity - having said that I was pretty delirious at that point!
Despite my negative experiences on the day, the support around the course was again brilliant. A few more stretches of sparser support than I'd experienced in Berlin but still lots and lots of very loud 'cheering sections' and when I say loud, I mean LOUD! Kept me putting one foot in front of the other when I could easily have sat down on the kerbside and taken the trainers off.
Ok, one positive thought, that's 3 Dublins in a row for me and (apart from the fact that my times keep getting slower!) I love the event and hope to keep a run of consecutive appearances going for several more years to come!
Jason, Good Luck with the Berlin ballot! A brilliant city, superbly well-supported marathon and a great course. I will definitely be entering again sometime in the next few years. I believe just over 70k entrants in last year's ballot for 40k places and then you had a second chance when the ballot-winners didn't pay-up within the deadline. I see they've changed the rules this time so that you have to submit bank details at registration and if you're drawn, you're in - ie. they take your payment! Should mean less ballot entries and a higher chance of success for you hopefully!
The Skyline race in the Mournes seems to have "impressed" the top-notch overseas entrants with the combination of terrain and challenging weather! Reading the leading lady, Stevie Kremer, describe it as the "hardest race I have ever done!" speaks volumes!! Check out the amazing photo taken by TalkUltra's Ian Corless of her that accompanies the race report on nirunning ... brutally beautiful, I'd describe it as!
My Dublin prep continues to be frustrated by the lingering effects of my chest infection. Ran 2 x 5k yesterday (with 2 min recovery ) at slightly faster than my target MP ... chest still felt tight and I decided against a third and (optimistically beforehand) fourth 5k interval. Will try one more 5k at target MP this midweek and, if still not right, I'm thinking of revising my target time upwards and running with a couple of clubmates on the day.
Martin, you've been the star contributor to this forum for some time now - please keep up your high level of enthusiasm ... it's brilliant to read and inspires!
Thanks, folks, for your Get Well messages of support. My chest infection has stubbornly refused to clear my system this week. Really feel like I need to be running again over this weekend but if I thought another 3-4 days of inactivity would see me right, I would keep patient! It's a horrible feeling, ticking off the days to Dublin.
Jim, I would love to join you on a GFA hunt in Dublin but if my chest doesn't clear soon, the dilemma of whether to tag onto the 03:10 or 03:20 pace group will disappear off my horizon!
Martin, I know you've a hankering for the Tollymore challenge! There's an allure there alright but if I get through Dublin in one piece, next up I would love a tilt at lowering my 10k pb at the Seeley Cup.
John, Best Wishes for your X-Country campaign. I had promised myself I would toe the line at at least one this Winter. Fitting it all in and building in some recovery is a challenge - we are truly blessed with such a great programme of races in our wee part of the world!
Colin, you ran such a controlled race in Berlin, I can only see further improvement from you in Dublin. Hope to join you on Sunday for a longish effort ... or maybe part of it!!
Agree, Martin, enthusiasm for this forum does appear to be going through a mid-race lull at present ... fair play to trying to up the pace again!
Talking of pace, I haven't posted since Berlin, where I was disappointed to have to ease back on my target pace even before the 20k mark. It was warm and I've been in the grip of chest infection since, which was starting to work on me from the morning of the marathon. Nevertheless, I was gutted at how hard my target pace felt from early on. Big lesson is that only having an 'A' goal can be very demoralising once you realise it's an impossible dream!
Berlin is a wonderful marathon. The course, crowd support and running through layers & layers of history add up to a truly memorable experience. I will definitely be back for another tilt at it some year.
Anyway, having promised myself from the 25k marker, there was "no way I'm doing Dublin", I continued to steadfastly ignore the encouragement and jibes of my running mates (particularly 2 fellow Dromore-Berliners) and was considering a Spring '15 option until 20 minutes before Entry Deadline last Weds ... and then I grabbed the credit card and paid the premium entry fee for my third successive Dublin Marathon! Now I'm still trying to shake off this chest infection and get my head around building myself back up to another assault on a London GFA time - albeit with, at least, a 'B' goal this time around and maybe even stretch to a 'C' goal.
Well Done, Jason ... successive PBs in 10k & HM, you should be very pleased with that achievement.
Great to see Paul B and Martin yesterday.
Having originally decided that a HM-paced effort 2 weeks before Berlin was unwise, I subsequently regretted my decision to side-step yesterday ... but was too late to enter. So I set off yesterday morning at 7.30 from the Kings Hall and ran the course as far as the Ormeau Bridge, then continued along the Embankment and up the Stranmillis Rd to meet the HM course at the top of the Malone Rd. Ran at my target MP and timed it - so I thought perfectly - to be in position to cheer the field through the 1.5m marker. Obviously the unfortunate delay to the race start meant hanging around for the guts of an hour but, once the field did pass by, it was great to see so many familiar faces and give them a shout out ... though Paul B was too fast for me to spot but he saw me!
I thought the course was good and will definitely pencil-in to my race schedule next year.