Dublin Marathon 2013 Review – A Personal Best In My 5th Marathon
In case you can’t be bothered reading this report and hearing about all of that inane/insane shit that goes through my head when I’m running, then I finished my 5th marathon in a personal best of 4:23.
Now that I’ve ruined the surprise, you can read the rest.
As per usual, I turned up at the race start in a bit of a hurry and resigned myself to starting from the back of the pack.
This was really frustrating as it meant I had to weave through so many walkers, many of whom were forming impassable lines across the course.
I become one of those bastards we all hate, who vault up onto the pavement, run like hell for a minute and then slow right back down once they’ve passed who they need to pass and slow right down in front of another poor sod.
I’m sorry. I didn’t know what to do. It was my fault for not showing up at 7am, but I was in my bedroom downing 2litres of Monster Khaos and shitting like Hitler after his last breakfast in Berlin.
Finding my rhythm
After the first 3 miles I settled into something of a rhythm and had a feeling that the race would go well. I kept to my game plan and ran at a 9:50 min/mile for the first 10 miles steadily.
The only mile where I slowed was the 5th at Phoenix Park. I had to stop for what turned out to be a fantastic piss.
I’m normally shy as hell when it comes to pissing at the urinal in the mens, but for some reason I wanted to make conversation with the men beside me by that wall in sunny west Dublin.
“Nice day for it, isn’t it pal? I saw you coming out at a fair pace from the start!”
Mid marathon doubts arise.
At mile 13 I experienced the first pangs of doubt in my mind about my ability to finish. We were running through Crumlin into the wind and I lost my rhythm altogether.
I couldn’t breathe well which meant I stopped taking my gels. I also stopped drinking water too. Alarm bells were going off in my head.
I had a sickening feeling at the pit of my stomach that I was gonna crash again. My mind was telling me that I was never gonna be able to run a marathon without stopping.
I started checking my watch too often and noticed my pace was slowing.
When I’ve fallen into that pattern in the past, I’ve become frustrated, negative and eventually ‘hit the wall’. When I see that I’m struggling with my tempo, I assume that something is wrong with my body and I let it destroy me mentally.
I honestly couldn’t see how I’d get to the 16 mile point, let alone 26.2 at this stage.
Wind at my back
Then I hit a critical turning point. We started running eastward and the wind was behind my us for a good 8-9 miles. I stopped caring about my pace and concentrated on moving forward.
I let the wind lift me.
I remained calm and kept to my plan of taking a gel every 2 miles, bringing the water bottle with me from the stations and drinking from it steadily.
Breaking through the wall
By the time I hit 20 miles I knew that I was gonna get a personal best, so instead of playing senseless number games in my head, I concentrated on running at a pace where I could breathe easily.
This is where the Dublin crowds really helped.
Every time a negative thought would grow in force in my head, the noise from the people on the roadside drowned out the inner negativity.
I couldn’t hear myself think and that was perfect as my thoughts during that race started and ended with “if you don’t go sub 4:30 in this fucking race, we’re dying our pubes ginger and running every race from now on in a tutu”.
I got to mile 21 and I was overcome with adrenaline.
Very loud thoughts spawned in my head. I wanted to dry hump Dublin as a city. That very thought made me burst out laughing. Mania descended. I wanted to race all of the bastards and show them the true force of my pale fat legs.
“Keep fucking calm, you mad bastard!”
All thought stopped.
I just kept chugging along.
Every time I wanted to stop I reminded myself of the Titanic Quarter 50k and how miserable I felt having to walk about 10 miles after only stopping once.
I didn’t want to go back to that mindset again. It didn’t have to be that way.
Mile 22, 23, 24 and 25 slipped by in a blur. No thought at all. I just kept moving forward.
I soldiered on and finished in 4:23, a personal best by 14 minutes and a time I’m very happy with.
But what pleases me most is that I finally defeated the wall. For many of those 26 miles, my mind was trying to con me into stopping. I didn’t give in. I distracted myself and broke the race down into smaller sections.
I can’t thank the people of Dublin enough for their kind support, I’ve never seen the like of it in my life. Without them I’d have given in to the bullshit in my head at 20 or probably earlier.
Now for something even more uplifting.
A progress report.
How I’ve Progressed As A Marathon Runner And As A Man
They say that a picture paints a 1,000 words.
In this case each picture below paints the words “Need to stop fucking running” x 200
|Dublin Marathon October 2013 4:23 – Pained gormless expression||Paris Marathon April 2013 4:52 – Pained gormless expression|
|Great Birmingham Run 2:07 2012 – Pained gormless expression and bleeding right nip. Ouch mother!|