The Dublin marathon was to be my third race in October. Starting with the Edinburgh 10k then the Kielder Marathon and finally this one in Dublin. Why I chose to run three in one month was completely by accident. Not particularly planned but the decision was made on a whim.
I have done the Edinburgh 10k for a few years now. Running the first one was more to do with me reaching a goal weight. And each year I enter to beat the time before. Successfully so far achieving this. So this year was no different. I applied very early and got my place. Just after completing the seven hills in June I realised I had nothing to aim for except this 10k PB. So I started looking and spied the loch ness marathon. I’d said after my first and only marathon at that time that I wouldn’t do another marathon again but I needed a challenge and I wasn’t happy with that marathon time anyway as I knew i should have been capable of a much faster time.
Anyway it turned out that loch ness was the same day as the Edinburgh 10k. Quite disappointed I looked in vain to find marathon race that I could still enter for the end of October. I came across Dublin. And swiftly entered it without a thought. Some time later I received a call from my Dad about some non related stuff and I mentioned I’d entered Dublin. He then asked if i was doing Kielder? I’d not heard of that race at that time so googled it and found it. Damn I thought. I wish I had have done this instead of Dublin. Not thinking or contemplating that I could do two in one month. After a few deliberations I decided i should go for it. What’s the harm in running two marathons in one month and attempting a PB at the 10k a week before the first!?
So that’s how the challenge started and formed by accident. I realised then in needed a plan. Roughly it was this, train for the Kielder one. Dont train specifically for a 10k but do some speed session for the marathon training. Treat Kielder as a warm up for Dublin. I knew Kielder was gonna be a rough and tough race with it being trail and with a good bit of incline. So I had resigned myself to the fact that anything under 4:45 would be a bonus as this was my PB set in Edinburgh. I felt I’d do this comfortably even on this terrain as my running had improved a lot since that marathon.
I’d then aim to get another PB around the 3:30 time in Dublin.
Training went ok but could have been better at the start. I then went on holiday and didn’t really get training properly until I got back. It was on the plane home that I worked out I needed to increase my distance by 2 miles every week to be at 22 miles by Kielder. This seemed a bit excessive but not impossible.
Now I’m done I can look back at a great Octobers running.
In Edinburgh I raced and got a sub 40 at 39:16. Kielder was tough. I finished the rainy and windy course at 3:55. Well inside my last PB to make this a PB. My sights on a 3:30 Dublin were on. Training in between the two marathons didn’t go well as I got tonsillitis and put in a total of 20km in between the two marathons. However my legs were well rested.
Dublin was fun. Lots of crowds. I ran ahead of the 3:30 pacers with the hope that I’d keep ahead of them. I was relaxed through most of the race. The half way point was good and felt ok at the 17 mile. The gels and isotonic drinks were needed to keep me going. I could feel that my pace was slowing but kept pushing. At 20 miles a woman shouted here’s the balloons. The pacers were runnin with balloons. This put a downer on me as I realised i was running too slow and the pacers were running faster than me. I don’t carry a gps or a watch so didnt track my time. I didn’t look behind either to see how far behind they were.
I dug in and kept at my own pace. The pacers finally ran past me at 21 miles though I did keep with he pack or a bit. The res of the course I kept saying only 10k to go. I can do this. I kept the pacers in sight for a while but the pain was just too much. My legs were like lead. My head was pounding with the sugar. I was running past people who had slumped on the side of the road with st johns ambulance people attending to them. I kept pushing. Running past my partner at 25 mile mark gave me a renewed push and picked the pace up. I kept saying only 1.2 miles. Less than this. Keep going. The end was finally in sight with the crowds getting deeper and the noise louder. I saw the clock in the distance. 3:37. Dammit. But then I remembered I was in a wave 5 mins after the main pack. I crossed the line on 3:32:40. Outside my goal but near enough to be happy.
I don’t know why but I got emotional at the end. Almost in tears. The bottom lip quivering. This happened at the end of my first marathon. But not at Kielder so I don’t know why. Maybe I was just glad it was over and I achieved my challenge. Two marathons in one month.
Onto the next challenge. TBC!