Sunday, December 2, 2012

Waterford Half Marathon

My first race since Dublin City Marthon and I hadn't really put in the proper training for it, still I didn't want to miss the Waterford Half Marathon as its a nice route, well organised and isn't far from where I live.

Set my previous PB in Clonmel in August so the plan was to beat it by anything, luckily the Waterford Half had 1:40 pacers so the basic idea was to go out with them and see if I could stick with them.

This went well for the first 1-2 miles but then the crowd of people with the pacers started to annoy me (as usual) so I moved out in front of the pacers, all was going well until I realized they had changed the rest of the course and as such it was different from previous years...up till now I thought it was just the start/finish points had changed.   That'll teach me for not paying attention!.

The change in course meant that normally where there's a nice long down hill we now had to climb this, but on the plus side there was a few ups and downs after that allowing for the legs to recharge each time.

Spent most of the time thinking the 1:40 pacers were right behind me and it was only at the turnaround just after the 11mile mark that I saw I was a good health distance ahead of them so I had nothing to worry about.

Lost some time in the nature park just nearing the finish as it was twisty and had some small climbs that just appeared to take alot out of me but still managed to finish strong and pass a few people that had past me before the finish line.

Set a new personal best of 1:37:25 so very happy with that,

Garmin Log - Waterford Half Marathon
1:37:25, 7:25min pace

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dublin City Marathon

My second attempt at the Dublin City Marathon and I was as nervious but still looking forward to it as any other marathon I've done, I was looking to knock what I considered a sizable amount of time off with this marathon and I was pretty sure I was ready as I was ever going to be,

However, that still didn't stop me getting sick during last week and spending Sunday in bed hoping that I could reduce the affects of being sick on the actual race.

So I started off with 3:30 pacers and stayed with them pretty much without much problems right through the Phoenix Park and beyond, have to say found the first three water stations pretty chaotic as a number of runners just ran right across people without evening looking, after that they got alot less chaotic.

Although water stations are generally somewhat chaotic for big races this race seemed worse then others I've experienced,

I felt good coming up to half way point and was maybe 5-6seconds ahead of the pacers until around mile 15 at which time I settled back into the group as I was beginning the struggle.

At the mile 18mark the wheels started to come off and I was dropped by the pacers and ended up around 200-300metres behind them, after the 18mile mark there's a small hill at which time my left leg started to cramp in a big way as I headed up this hill and it was agony,  I ended up stopping and stretching sooner after to try relieve the pain somewhat.

The muscle pain basically set the remaining part of the race as I'd manage perhaps 1mile at a time and the muscle would cramp again and either I'd keep going through the pain for a little while longer or I'd stop to stretch it out again at which time I might last another mile.

Mile 23 onwards felt pretty endless and it didn't help that I didn't see the mile 24 or mile 26 markers at all, from mile 25 I gave up stopping to stretch and just ran through the pain.

Around 800metres from the end I spottred a guy dressed as a clown with two red bollons, this guy stuck in my head as I actually had passed him and spoken to him somewhere in O'Connell street earlier in the this stage I was determient as hell that I wouldn't be beaten by a clown!

So I upped the pace and finish in 3hours 41min 44seconds with average pace of 8:28 min/mi, previous personal best was 3hours 58min and 33seconds so I'm very happy with the outcome :)

Finally my Garmin log of the race.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Last of the long runs

So I'm pretty much as set as I'm ever going to be for the Dublin City Marathon on the 29th October, I've got plenty of 20mile runs in and I've seen a nice improvement in my pace over the past few weeks.

Originally my plan for DCM was to maintain a 5:20min per km pace which would bring me in around the 3:45 mark, at first this was a effort to hit on training runs but in recent weeks and more comfortably hitting the 5:10min per km mark.  Taking into account the improved pace I'm now looking at 3:40 mark but with the adrenalin on the day I should be well into the 3:3X region.

So one long run left this Saturday and then one or two short runs during the week just to keep the legs moving. This is going to be fun!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

JJ Reddy Danesfort 10K Road Race

I've not done a 10km race since back in June so decided to give it another crack and see how I'd go, so I signed up to the JJ Reddy Danesfort 10K Road Race in Co Kilkenny.

At first I thought the race would be a handy one but as i drove to the start line I realized just how hilly the route would be so I decided that perhaps my hopes of setting a new PB for a 10km distance might not be so great....

Race appeared to be somewhat disorganized at the start which was frustrating but once it got going managed to loose most of the people, straight away I could see the hills were going to be abit of a problem.

I gave it all I got anyway and found it awful hard until around the half way mark at which stage the hills were less of an issue, at around the 7km mark I passed around three people which gave me a good boost as I had them infront of me since the start.   

Around 1km from the finish a chap came along side me and I managed to keep pace with him for a good 500metres but the last hill before the finish really was hard going so I lost him, he was the only guy to pass me. 

All in all I shaved approx 1min from my PB...however I've yet to see the official chip times.  Garmin time of 44:22.

All important garmin log of the race

Monday, August 20, 2012

Boston Scientific Clonmel Half Marathon

First race since Portumna in June and happy with outcome, aimed to beat my Wexford half PB of 1hour 42min and 7sec which I set back at the end of April.

All going very well with a 4:43min/km avg pace up until around mile 10 but then the wheels started to come off abit and I couldn't keep the pace going any longer. 

Found the hills very hard going throughout, by mile three it seemed I was sweating buckets but things improved then as there was a nice bit of downhills, coming back into Clonmel and getting back onto the outer ringround though was hard with the hills though. (I need more hill work!)

Eventually avg pace increase to 4:47min/km by the time I crossed the finish line in a Garmin time of 1:41:08. (Official Time 1:41:06)

All important garmin log of the race

Sunday, June 17, 2012

So I did first Ultramarathon, 50km done!

So the big day arrived and it was a early start as i was up at 3am to get ready on the road at 5am and arrived at 7am to register and collect my number.

My wife was supposed to be working today but last min plan changes yesterday meant she wasn't so she came along to support me which meant a 4am alarm call for her (I was very glad of the support).

Felt good if not perhaps abit nervous, the 100km race had already started at 6am and could already see the 20 or so people taking part in that passing the line every 20-30min or so. So 8am arrived and off I went, initially started much faster then expected and upto around the 20km mark I was doing an average pace of 5:17min/km which was faster then I had planned but I felt pretty good so kept it up.

Photo thanks to Peter Mooney

As I approached the 35km mark however I started to feel it in the legs and although had it been a marathon I could have easily pushed on and actually very easily beaten my time for Dublin City Marathon (3:58), for this event I still had another 8km to go after the marathon distance so I didn't want to take the chance, instead I hit the marathon distance at around the 4hour mark which wasn't bad I suppose.

All in all I found the last three 5km laps hard going and this can be easily seen in my garmin log as my average pace increases from 5.30min/km - 5.40min/km mark to 6-7min/km mark from around the 35km distance.

I was determined to cross that line properly at a decent pace so about 1km out from the finish I picked up the pace which felt great and I finished strong across the line.

All in all i really enjoyed the race and whilst I wouldn't do it again next week I certainly would do it again next year, it was well organized and met some interesting people along the route and it was great to support each other. Having my wife with me was a big plus as I was very thankful of the support esp when the laps got harder, of course she thinks I'm nuts for running a 50km but hey its was worth it :)

The all important Garmin log of the race

...and finally proud owner of the 50km medal.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What have I gotten myself in for?

So I've jump in feet first and I've signed up to the Portumna 50km Forest Run on the 16th June of this year, it'll be the longest distance I've ever run but I'm reasonable certain I should get though it just fine based on my current level of fitness and the course profile.

Of course this is all just part of a much much bigger long term plan which I came up with during the Connemara Marathon on April 1st last, as the hills were making bits of me I decided I wanted to do that Connemara Ultramarathon next year one way or another.

Ok, so people may think I'm mad doing that and perhaps the hills in Connemara have made be become somewhat unhinged but I just want the challenge of it all. But thats a long time off yet and i still have to improve alot of last years Dublin Marathon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A little introduction...

So let me introduce myself, my name is Barry and I initially started running back in February 2010, when I first started I used the couchto5k plan which is popular plan amongst beginners.

It wasn't easy at the beginning as I suffered from awful painful shin splints but I kept on going and eventually they went away.

As time progressed I stopped using the couchto5k plan and just started to run non-stop instead of constant start - stopping which the plan looks for you today, as time progressed I upped to trying for a 10km run and it nearly killed the first time I did it.

However I've kept at it and competed my first half marathon in September 2010 and have since gone on to two numerous other half-marathons as well as the Cork, Dublin and Connemara Marathon.

I hope to document my progression finally in a blog instead of just using my garmin, so here goes...