Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Race report Dublin marathon 2013!

Clock watching, hoping it would end!
It's taken me a while to write this post because my marathon didn't really go to plan and I had another bad day on the road. The last bad day I had was at the half marathon when I felt a bit ill and really tired, I dug deep that day and finished in a respectable 1hr32mins. That wasn't the case for this race report.

The overall training for Dublin hadn't been ideal, right around when I should have been planning a training schedule I was moving country. I was running every day at that time and feeling really good. However the weeks and months that followed didn't quite go to plan. My life was changing day to day. I was developing myself as an osteopath and working in different clinics across the city. Any training regime I had was impossible to keep because work demands were my top priority. I did a lot of running but there was no structure, I don't think I did any specific speed or interval sessions.
I ran every day for 72 days covering almost 700km during May-August and this gave me a great fitness base. Without any real prep I ran a PB in the Dublin Rock n' Roll half marathon. This gave me a confidence (perhaps a cockiness) that I had become a better runner, that after all was why I did the run streak.

Tildy and her twin sister!
Brotherly hug for a birthday boy!
I took over an osteopathy clinic the week before the marathon. We celebrated my sons 2nd birthday on the Friday afternoon of that week by having family and friends over, I stayed up late. The next day my sister got married, I had a super busy morning followed by the ceremony and a fantastic night of celebrating, I stayed up very late and drank more than 1 glass of wine. We stayed the night in the hotel had breakfast with my family the next day and drove 2hrs to race registration, registered and picked up my swag bag. We drove home, I dropped my wife off and immediately drove to the airport to collect some friends from London that had come to stay with us for a few days.That night I had 2 social beers and reminisced about London life with good friends.The next morning was race day. And I felt good!

I felt good at the beginning of the race and confident that I'd run under 3hrs20min. I thought a sub 3hr10min was unrealistic after partying at the wedding 2 nights before so I ran with the 3hr20pacers. The pace felt easy and from about 3-4km I was tempted to take off and run at a more comfortable albeit faster pace. I didn't because I knew my pre race preparation had been below par. Plus I needed to PEE really bad, which is strange for me.
I upped my pace to gain some ground with the notion of slipping back in after a PEE stop. I did and my plan worked. I settled back in and once again the pace seemed a bit slow. I needed to PEE,,, AGAIN!!!
I upped the pace again and implemented the same plan which worked, when I settled back in the pace still seemed a bit slow and I was feeling really cold all of a sudden even though I was sweating. I began to run a more comfortable pace and slowly made my way up the road away from the 3hr20min pacers. I was still feeling slightly cold and I needed to PEE,,, yes, again. I stopped and relieved myself for a third time having never need to do so before in a race. Overall I was still feeling good and the miles clicked away until the 20 mile point. I passed the banner for 20 miles and then just stopped.....

I'm not sure why, at the time it seemed like a good idea! I don't remember feeling that bad before I stopped. I had been fuelling with raisins and sweet potatoes and I wasn't hungry or bonking. I think I was exhausted, I think on a subconscious level I knew before the race even stated that I wast going to make it and now just after 20 miles I had stopped and I didn't want to continue. I needed to PEE again and I was feeling really cold, I was hoping I could find my friend who I knew was watching somewhere around 21 miles. I was out, I decided after seeing another competitor receiving medical attention that I'd DNF. I just wanted to go home.
I walked for about a mile and thought about life, family and friends. I envied my sister and her husband, they were just about to set off for a cruise around the Caribbean while I was cold and lonely while surrounded by thousands of people, the crowd were great and the encouragement got me going.
I did a few maths calculations and decided to stick it out. I was past the place my friend said he'd be and I didn't see him. So if I ran slowly I could still post my third fastest marathon time, which would mean making it back before 3hrs45mins. I thought of the 10,000 or so competitors that would be delighted with that time. I stuck it out but it was tough, I was cold, shivering and I needed to PEE. 6 times in total I stopped to PEE during that race and when I got home I discovered I had a bladder infection, which probably added to the pre race exhaustion, the shivers and the decision to stop.

I finished in 3hrs40mins. I collected my medal and made my way home. I was happy I finished and felt ok once I showered and put on some extra layers. The next day my body felt good, this, was the clear indication that I hadn't hit the wall at the 20 mile mark. Not all decisions to stop are due to physiological walls that people run into! I had been on a plant based diet for the 2 weeks leading up to this race and I attribute this to lack of pain the day after the race.

Run fast, run long but most of all RunSensible.

Neil