Steady Aleksey

It’s fairly fascinating to look at people’s segment paces from the adidas Dublin Marathon 2007, but race winner Aleksey Sokolov certainly shows how it’s done:

  • From start to 10k: 03:05/km
  • From 10k to halfway: 03:03/km
  • From halfway to 30k: 03:01/km
  • From 30k to finish: 03:04/km

Now there’s consistency for ya!


15 Siblings

Ruth O’Donoghue (or is it still Scully?), a cousin of Catherine persuaded her husband and his fourteen brothers and sisters to run this years Dublin Marathon together in order to get themselves into Guinness Book of Records and raise money for Down Syndrome Ireland. It’s brilliant to see that they all finished successfully. Well done! 🙂

(If you want to see how they got on, go to the results page and search using “1574-1591” in the race number field)

Dublin Marathon 2007

Well, I finished it. Not in the 4 hours I hoped for, but rather 04:24:18. I’m delighted I finished at all, though.

The split times tell the story (the figure in brackets is the segment pace):

  • 10km – 00:58:20 (05:50/km)
  • Half way – 02:00:23 (05:35/km)
  • 30km – 02:55:55 (06:14/km)
  • Finish – 04:24:18 (07:14/km)

Basically, the first 10km was nice and relaxed as I allowed myself get into it (even had a loo stop :-), I picked it up a bit in the next section and was on track for a 4 hour finish, then flagged somewhat after passing half way but at around 30km it all quickly fell apart …

You read about “hitting the wall” and think you understand it, but somewhere not long after 18 miles I slowed to a walk and I was convinced I was done … it didn’t make any sense to me that I could possibly get going again for another 8 miles. I managed to keep myself going, ran a bit, walked a bit, ran a bit, walked a bit and by about 21 miles it stared to dawn on my that I was going to be able to keep that up until the finish.

Coming around College Green, along Nassau St. and onto Merrion Square was some experience … such a huge support from the crowd. In fact, the whole thing was a brilliant experience – so many people involved in organising it, so much support along the way (love the people handing out the jaffa cakes and fun size chocolate bars :-)) and such a feeling of all the runners being in it together …

Happy Finisher

Strangely enough, it’s my hips that were totally done in by the end. Last year I would have been worried about my knees, at the start I was worried about my shins, and so it’s a bit strange when a body part you hadn’t been worried about starts letting you down. Thankfully I had a lovely wife to pick me up at the end, get me into the car and home, cook me dinner and limit the number of trips I had to do up and down the stairs 🙂

(Update: turns out my pace calculations were wrong … the geek that I am, I hacked up some python code to do it right)

Mountain Meitheal

At the MCI lecture the other night there was a brief mention of Mountain Meitheal, a volunteer group who give up their time to help maintain some of the mountain and forest tracks (currently only in Wicklow, it seems).

Building the new bridge at Carrwaystick

They definitely seem like a group worthwhile volunteering for if you spend time in the mountains. I really like their “for every seven days in the mountain, how about you give a day back?” approach.

MCI Winter Lectures :: Tim Orr

Catherine and I went along to the first of MCI’s Winter Lectures series last night to see Robbie Fenlon talk about trekking in the Himalayas, but instead we had Tim Orr step in and give a talk that ran the whole gamut of mountaineering.

As two people just getting into mountaineering, Tim’s talk was really interesting. He covered everything from walking in Kerry, to mountain skills courses, to climbing in Dalkey quarry, to trekking in the Himalayas, to winter mountaineering in Scotland, to climbing the Eiger and Mont Blanc, to scrambling, bouldering, rock climbing and more.

The videos Tim had put together on his climb of Mont Blanc with some friends was especially helpful in my quest to convince Catherine that we should book a Mont Blanc ascent for this summer 🙂

Dinghy Sailing

Over Saturday and Sunday this weekend I did the Irish Sailing Associations “basic skills” course at Sutton Dinghy Club and this morning I’m shattered, battered and knackered. I’m stiff all over, I’ve got matching lumps on either side of my head from the boom, my hands are red raw from the ropes and my knees are truly knobbled from scrambling around on the plastic deck of the pico.

Brilliant fun, though. Definitely the highlight was finishing up yesterday by heading out to sea – tacking upwind – into the waves that were breaking over the sand banks at the end of Bull Island. Incredible feeling to be keeping the boat close hauled, leaning out over the side, straining against the force 5 wind with your last bit of energy while waves come crashing over your back and the boat’s deck.

From talking to people, it sounds like the next step would be to buy a secondhand Laser, join a club and start racing. These boats don’t come cheap though, so we’ll see! 🙂

Marathon Training

Last night I set off to do a 32k run, the longest I’d yet attempted. I ended up packing it in at 29k and getting a lift home, but I don’t feel to bad about it.

At around 10k  I was moving along nicely but thinking to myself “don’t get cocky, you’ve still another two hours or so to go” when suddenly … SMACK … I was laid out flat, face down on tarmac. Ouch. Not really sure what happened, but I think I stood on a ring of metal which popped up and snagged the other foot. As soon as I felt the pain in my left knee and right calf I was sure I was going straight home, but a few seconds later I was back running.

So, I musn’t be quite the softie I thought – I can be happy about that, at least. And the big lump on my knee looks cool too 🙂

I just registered for the marathon. It never occurred to me that it’d cost so much. €88 … wow!

3.5 weeks left.