Dublin Half-Marathon

So, today was the adidas half-marathon in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

I’m pretty happy how it went. I treated this as a trial run for the full marathon in 5 weeks and, as such, didn’t care so much about my time. I just wanted to get a feel for running in a crowd, race preparation, registration, baggage drops, water stations etc.

I set off determined to work my way into it with a slow, steady pace and that I did, but after 11 miles I got chatting to a couple up from Waterford for that day and found out from them that I was actually going at quite a decent pace. So I put the foot down a bit and finished very strongly at around 1hr 55mins. Quite surprised at that really, I would have guessed that I was running around 2hr 10mins pace. Looking forward to seeing the official time.

I’m especially happy about how my preparation paid off today. I got plenty of carbs in over the last few days, had a good breakfast early this morning, made sure I was well hydrated before the start, drank plenty as I ran, had some energy gel along the way and made sure to get food and water into me as soon as I finished. No crash like after the run last week and I was even happy wandering the 5k to the other side of the park to get the Luas and DART home.

Roll on the October 29th.


Marathon Training

Last night I ran my longest route so far in preparation for Dublin Marathon in 6 weeks time. It was a 26k route mainly along the seafront in north Dublin, based on a 20k route I’ve done quite a few times but with a 6k loop tacked on early on.

I felt fairly fine, and didn’t struggle too much, but I completely crashed when I got home. For some reason I hit the shower as soon as I got in the door and then collapsed on the bed and fell asleep for 45 minutes. When I woke up, I was totally dehydrated and had no energy at all. I scared myself a bit the way I floundered about the kitchen trying to make myself something to eat and get some fluids into me. Even though I’d prepared for the run by getting a lot of carbs in, and I drank a decent enough bit of water along the way, I obviously wasn’t prepared enough.

Now I have to learn from that and figure out how to prepare better. Should I be eating heaps more before a long run? Should I be taking those energy gel sachets? Should I be drinking more? Should I be drinking a sports drink rather than just water? Should I have food ready to eat when I finish?

It’s strange to be putting so much thought into this side of it and not feel to worried about my actual running … but I guess it’s all par for the course. I’m definitely starting to feel nervous about doing the marathon now, though.

I’ve just signed up for the half-marathon next weekend in the Phoenix Park. Looking forward to it. Should be good preparation.

Valerie and Neil’s TMB Photos

Valerie and Neil just sent on their excellent photos of our Tour du Mont Blanc holiday.

They did a much better job of capturing what the walking itself was like.

Dinghy Sailing

I’ve just finished the Irish Sailing Association’s “start sailing” course for dinghy sailing at Sutton Dinghy Club just down the road from me. It was all pretty basic stuff – rigging the boat, tacking, reaching, gybing – all in single-handed, plastic, laser picos. A brilliant introduction, though. I’m really looking forward to doing the second level next month.

Hugh Gill

Hugh Gill demonstrating a gybe

I can really see why people love dinghy sailing. They might look like puny little boats, but the feeling of speed when you’re tacking into a strong wind, waves splashing over the bow, hanging out the side and varying the boat and the sail’s angle to wind … excellent fun. I can imagine how exciting racing must be …