Saturday, 20 September 2014

Dublin City Half Marathon race report!

Its that time of year again where the races are coming thick and fast. Today I ran the Dublin. City half marathon and this would be a good predictor for the Dublin city marathon. Training had been going well and I was optimistic I'd be close to a PB.

As the race was about to begin I knew that if I ran with the 1hr30min pacer I could easily take off in the final few kilometers and post a sub 1hr30min run, my PB is 1hr27. 

It was one of those days where I wasn't in the mood to listen to reason or good advice. As the race started I went all out, "he who dares wins" I thought and I left the 1hr30 pacer for dust. I settled in to a good pace and ran slightly above pace for a 1hr27 run. I was very confident that I'd finish quicker than 1hr30 so I thought "screw it, let's see what I've got" and I went all out. 
Everything went to plan for about 18km which was 3km short of what I needed. As always happens when you don't listen to sound advice things didn't quite work out. The last 3km were tough, really tough and I managed to keep pace and finish in 1hr28, the finish line couldn't have come sooner. It was a gutsy move that didn't pay off. Had I stayed with the 1hr30 pacer I'm sure I would have been much quicker but hind sight is a wonderful thing. 

My next race is a full marathon which is two weeks before the Dublin city marathon. The plan for that day will be to run very steady and finish strong, this should be achieved by listening to the voice of reason within. You live and learn.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”  Albert Einstein

There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a mistake, so long as you learn a lesson from that mistake. Today I learned or re-learned a valuable lesson, distance running is all about finishing strong! 

Run far, run fast but most of all RunSensible!


Sunday, 14 September 2014

Portmarnock 10km Race report!

Half way around an amazing course!
This week I ran a 10km race in my home-town. The race was organised by the club I am a member of and it was the second running of the race. I have a biased point of view but I would challenge anybody to find a more scenic 10km race with a good community and family friendly atmosphere than this race.
The race is organised extremely well with road closures, plenty of marshalls, two water stations at 2km and 8km and the perfect terrain of Portmarnock beach. The local community come out to lend support and the whole atmosphere lends a real feel good vibe to the race. These type of races is what running is all about.

If I am perfectly honest, I didn't really want to run this race but since it was my club and hometown event I suppose I had to, although 10km is the distance I dislike racing the most. 
I can muster up the courage and enthusiasm to push myself to the limits over a 5km ParkRun although I do this as little as possible. But doubling that and intensifying the pain is something I don't relish, give me a marathon before a 10km any day!

The sun setting over the course!

The race is scheduled for early September which is slap bang in the middle of training for the Dublin marathon. The race was on a Wednesday eve, I'd ran a 10 mile tempo run the night before and a 22 mile run on the Sunday morning before in preparation for the Dublin marathon. Needless to say a PB in this race was something I hadn't thought of in the lead up. The plan was to use it as a tempo run and go for sub 43mins which would be respectful in my eyes.

The race is not with yourself, but against the sun!

I met my club mates shortly before the start, we did a light warm up and stretch and made our way to the start line. The race director welcome all the participants and extended a special welcome to the World backwards running champion, while warning us to look out for him running up alongside us backwards! "Weird" I thought!

Someone is going the wrong way!
The gun went off and I set out at a comfortable pace but almost immediately I saw this guy running backwards ahead of me and he was looking comfortable at a decent pace. "Oh shit" I thought! I can't be beaten by a guy running backwards even if he is a world champion. I had to change my plan, fast. I know, I know, it was juvenile of me and hugely egotistical. However, try to explain that to me during the first few hundred meters of a race.
I injected some pace, passed the guy running backwards and settled in to a more comfortable pace slightly faster than I had planned. The course was out and back and after the turn around point I was feeling good with my pace and stride. The final kilometer of this race is uphill and I usually do quite well passing people on hills but not today. I was on pace to run under 42mins and I was happy enough with that considering the mileage I had been doing in the previous week/days before this race.

I finished in 41mins28sec or thereabouts and I was pretty happy. If given the choice of root canal treatment on a wisdom tooth or racing a 10km, I think I'd opt for the dental surgery. It wasn't the greatest race I'd ever ran. I was far from my limit when I finished but I did manage to finish ahead of the world champion,,,,, backwards runner!

World champion in action! And Gaetan, another champion!

A world champion never the less!!!

Run far, run fast but most of all RunSensible!