Latest posts by Badbark

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Sub 3h15

Posted: 28/10/2014 at 07:03

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

Sub 3h15

Posted: 21/10/2014 at 11:50

Great chart marrows and my performances would be something similar since I was diagnosed. I've went from 19:15 to 20 minute Parkrun's every week but now back down to mid 18's since increasing my iron.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 21/10/2014 at 08:58

BikeIt- Great report and well done for finishing.

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! 

Sub 3h15

Posted: 13/09/2014 at 15:39

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!

Sub 3h15

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 13:56

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

Sub 3h15

Posted: 23/06/2014 at 11:56
Lorenzo wrote (see)

Badbark - how are things with you at the moment? I trust you're taking it easy. I showed your report to Mrs L and she was reading it with interest until all the gory details appeared!


Yes thanks, I took it easy last week with only 27 slow miles and 3 days complete rest. Just another 6 easy this morning but plan on a few HMP intervals on grass tomorrow.  I’ve a hilly Half Marathon on Friday night and have just booked a 50k Ultra Marathon in 11 weeks time so I’m mentally back in the game!

I just have to wait to see a specialist about my ‘problem’ and won’t be attempting to run further than 50k until it gets sorted once and for all. Sorry for the graphic posts last week. I decided the embarrassment of revelling all was less to bear than the shame of people thinking I had much choice in the DNF after 85k. It's not in my psyche to quit. 

Sorry to read about the lurgy suffering but good to read P&D starting for most people. I’ll be sticking to my own training plan for Dublin in 17 weeks which has worked well over my previous few marathons.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 20/06/2014 at 18:51

Thanks for all the kind (and very amusing) words of encouragement everyone. You guys rock and have made me feel much better about the DNF.

AR – What about covering the Garmin completely and just running to feel? Then you can look back on your performance later. You might surprise yourself.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 17/06/2014 at 15:28

Running some water through my pants and shorts when I got back to the hotel!


Sub 3h15

Posted: 17/06/2014 at 15:19

 continued - than a walnut bleeding profusely. Both he and the Red Cross said I couldn’t continue and might need a blood transfusion if I continued to lose blood.

To say I was gutted would be an understatement. I argued with everyone and still wanted to continue but with my mum and wife in tears finally relented. I went to a disabled toilet and managed to force the haemorrhoid back inside and finally arrest the bleeding. My face was as white as a sheet.

I had already been to the Doctors last Wednesday due to the bleeding and I am waiting to see a specialist. I don’t like to make excuses but wonder if the blood loss over the previous week may have affected my performance. It probably doesn’t help that I am vegan so wouldn’t have the highest iron levels to begin with.

Haemorrhoid problems aside I still made some silly mistakes and didn’t take the 100k distance serious enough. My pace was too fast over the first half going through 26.2 miles in 3:18. I got greedy and let the podium predictions go to my head and thought all my hard training would see me through. I should have run about 8 minute mile pace and stop and/or walk much earlier. I was in ‘marathon mode’ throughout and hardly paused until I was forced to.

I was in 4th place early on then went into 3rd by half way and wanted to stay there so I wouldn’t let the forum down! Funnily enough the final top three were all behind me until I fell apart after 60k. The three ahead of me at 25k finished 4th, 14th and DNF. I’ve learnt a huge lesson about ultra pacing and running my own race. It really is a different discipline compared to marathons and 50k’s.

I haven’t run at all for three days now but plan 4 miles on the treadmill or grass tomorrow. Thankfully I still have the buzz but won’t be running too far until I have my haemorrhoid problem sorted.

Sub 3h15

Posted: 17/06/2014 at 15:18

Well my first attempt at a 100k Ultra Marathon didn’t work out as planned but I never imagined the day would end the way it did.

The day started badly when the car park ticket wouldn’t let me out and I had to return to the hotel reception losing about 15 minutes. I sped to the race and reached the Forest Park with 2 minutes to spare before registration was due to close. I need not have worried as there was a large queue which eventually resulted in the race starting 15 minutes late.

The weather was perfect as the race started at 7:15 am with 20 x 5k laps around Portuma Forest Park ahead of me. The 50k and 100k started together. My plan was to run about 7:40 a minute mile pace until half way and then allow myself to slow down to 8:40 pace over the second half. This would see me break 8 hours 30 minutes and if I could hold 7:40 for longer I would.

I completed the first lap in 23:57 so thought that 24 minute lap targets would be easy to remember. I felt fantastic and had a lot of difficulty on holding back my pace and finished the next laps in 23:13, 23:30, 23:27, 23:29, 23:14, 23:26, 23:36, 23:46 and 24:13. This had me pass the 50k mark at around 3:55 and I still felt very strong.

I started to dream that I might be able to hold close to this pace for the rest of the race and break the 8 hour barrier. I calculated that if ran 25 minute laps I would finish around 8 hours so this became my target going into the second half. I ran the 11th lap in exactly 25 minutes but for the first time was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable.

I had run 42.5 miles in training without any problems and was surprised I was beginning to struggle despite only having run about 35 miles. The 12th lap was the real turning point where I went from having a bit of trouble to the wheels coming off completely. The lap took 26:53 with the last mile over 9 minutes. I didn’t hit the wall, the wall hit me.

I tried to push on telling myself it was only a bad patch but my legs had gone completely and I had to walk parts of the 13th lap which took 31:12. Mentally it was extremely difficult to push on knowing that I had still a marathon to complete. I changed my plan to run about 400m and walk about 100m and maintained about 11 minute mile pace for several miles. The next laps took 32:59 and 34:59 as I reached 75k but my walk breaks were getting longer.

All time goals were out the window now and I just became determined to finish. I was now walking and running equal distances of about 100m and finish the 16th lap in 37:50. On the 17th lap I stopped for a pee but was shocked to find my hands red with blood from my pants.

I have had problems with haemorrhoids for years and had bleed after every bowel movement for the previous week but never expected this. I had thought my pants were just wet from water I had been pouring over myself but discovered that they were soaked completely in blood. There was blood inside my thighs and down the back of my legs.

I had only started a new lap and decided to soldier on putting tissues in the base of my pants. However, it wasn’t long until the tissues were soaked and I stopped at a water station and asked some ladies if they could help me out. They raced to their cars and returned with a nappy and sanitary towel! I went for the towel but will never forget the horrified look on some of the kid’s faces as I removed the dripping tissues.

I finished the lap in 40:10 and went over to my friends and family. I showed them the soaked sanitary towel and asked for another. I wanted to continue as I only had three laps to go and at even 40 minutes a lap I would be finished in under 10 hours total. One of my friends is a Doctor and made me go to the Red Cross Ambulance for a check up. He had a look and said I had an external haemorrhoid bigger tha

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