Boom, 4 hours broken and by a good bit! Had a tough aul day round Dublin but absolutely delighted to get home in 3.15.31. I suppose there’s no such thing as an easy day when doing a marathon:) The crowds were amazing and great support all the way round, it helped so much, especially over the last 6 miles when the legs start to complain.
The weather was good, nice and cool and no wind really. I went up early with some of the folks from Slaney Olympic and we had our breakfast when we arrived in Dublin. It was good to relax and soak up the atmosphere rather than screeching to the line like last year.
This year I was running on my own, there was no one I knew running at the same pace but I didn’t mind. I had a plan and wanted to stick to it. Unfortunately I dropped a gel at the start but I had eaten so much porridge, I didn’t feel I needed it at mile 5 or 6. The first 4 miles flew by and before I knew it we were in Phoneix Park where the monkeys cheered us on from their home in the zoo.
I followed the 3.15 pacers for the first few miles, they were flying along much faster than the 7.24 pace I expected, they were probably taking the future hills into consideration. I did take a toilet break and prob lost about 20 seconds there, never saw the pacers again after that! I just felt really heavy out there, prob a mixture of nerves and eating too much breakfast, also a bath the night before didn’t help the legs. Even at mile 13 I was wondering if I could maintain my pace to the end and crossed the half at 1.38.11, 11 seconds behind my plan.
This was confusing at the time as my Garmin watch had me bang on time, after the race I realised the Garmin distance was off, by about 300 meters in the end. I know now the best reading is using your race time and the on-course markers. The difference in the distance reading was probably due to me deviating from the exact racing line. I really didn’t know if I could maintain my distance at around mile 14 but then at mile 15, a friends welcome support boosted my spirits and I started feeling good all the way round to mile 20.
I got to this point 20 seconds earlier than planned which was great and this was when the race really started. Even though I was going downhill at Fosters Avenue it didn’t feel like it, I pushed the next couple of miles and really start to hurt, in fact below is a picture of me trying to smile at that stage!
It felt like I was running really hard at mile 23 and 24 but my pace was still 7.27. There was a constant battle with myself at this stage, part of my screamed to slow down and take a rest but another part of me actually did scream as I roared at myself to “come on!” I reminded myself that I had worked too hard to rest now and that pain is temporary, suck it up and get on with doing your best. I thought I was still on to break 3.15 at this stage due to the mis read on my watch and I was bit confused when I got to the home stretch. I didn’t mind really as I was happy that I pushed hard all the way round. I had one little spurt as I went to the line, the energy from the crowd is fantastic and over the line.
Almost instantly my legs started cramping but after a little sit down it was off to the pub to catch up with everyone else. It was just one of those good days, nearly everyone in the club achieved a pb and the weather and atmosphere was terrific. My younger brother did a sub 3 hour marathon which is amazing and as I write there’s still a buzz running through me. I feel great, the body is tired alright but I’m delighted having come back after last years race and improved so much. I’ll join the dots later on how exactly that happed but right now I’m just going to enjoy the moment!!
For any techies, my Garmin details are HERE