Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Dublin marathon 2014

Well you would have thought that on the 12th attempt, I'd know how to race this distance. This was my 6th time running the marathon distance or further this year and this was the one I was hoping to peak for.

I had done my 'Carb Loading' well, click here!

During the weeks leading up to the race I was feeling quite good. I was managing to stay completely injury free, I was running quite well and I was hitting all my training sessions. I had however, ran a lot more distance this year and I hadn't raced all that much but I was feeling confident that a PB (sub 3:14:59) was a very realistic goal.

As the race began I set off with the 3:10 pacers. We ran in a bunch of about 100 cramped  behind three setters. I felt good. 
Slightly after the half way point I need to pee and I set off at an elevated pace on a downhill section. The plan was to gain 45-60 seconds which would be enough time to empty the bladder. It all worked out very well and I fell back in and felt comfortable. 
A couple of kilometers later I noticed my energy had plummeted, I knew instantly that I couldn't hold this pace for the remainder of the race. I decided to ease off but keep running and was still confident I'd run a PB. 

As the 3:10 pacers carried on up the road I felt relieved I'd let them go. I chomped down a Nakd bar and emptied a bottle of water handed to me by some eager volunteer. My energy was low and I noticed that with every step my left foot was feeling more and more uncomfortable. It felt like I had a blister between my toes and around my mid foot. I kept going. I started eating anything that was offered to me, jelly beans, bananas and I even downed a half bottle of lucozade sport! What was I doing?

Just keep running and you'll get a PB!

Easier said than done, I started walking just after the 20mile mark. I'd walk about 4-5 steps before realising I was throwing away a chance to run a PB. I'd start running again but my foot was in agony. Just keep running, slow down the strides but just keep going! 
I ran as much as I could and found energy knowing my wife, my dad and my two kids would be around 23-24mile mark. It was almost 25miles when I saw them and I got a great energy surge. I turned and saw the 3:20 pacers were closing on me. I put the hammer down and ran all out, my left foot was in excruciating pain but it felt good now. I kept running, determined not to get caught. The last mile seemed to go on forever. I finished!

My official time was 3:18:52, I was delighted to be finished. I didn't care about not achieving a PB, I had prepared and I was very close but my foot hurt too much to go any harder than I had. Some days something's just don't work out. I'll live to fight another day and not for the first time in my life, I feel I have unfinished business on the streets of Dublin marathon. 

Run far, run fast but most of all RunSensible! 

Neil