Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Doesn't time fly? Dingle was already 4 days ago. My legs were in a fairly reasonable state following the race, there certainly was no comparison to what they felt like after Bangor. I was able to walk down the staircase in the office building on Monday without wincing, even if I wasn't entirely comfortable. Today, Wednesday, is the first day I'm not feeling stiff any more.

I have to decide how many days I will take off running. It will be at least a week, and right now I'm thinking more like 10 days, but that may well change come the weekend. It is of course entirely typical that this week would be the first week of continuous sunshine, and I can safely predict that by the time I'm back running it will be raining again.

The most important event this week was of course not Daddy's long race but Maia's first day of school, something she has been looking forward to for a long time. I'm trying to stop her older siblings from telling her how awful school will be in only a couple of weeks, but to no avail so far.

As for my race, I am still perfectly happy with how I did. Two years ago, after finishing in 7:28, I knew that I would be able to run at least 20 minutes faster. Well, I chopped 27 minutes off that time and I still think I can run at least 20 minutes faster. The difference would not be the way I race (I am perfectly happy with that) but with the preparation. I'm not going to run 6:40 unless I declare this an "A" race and train for it accordingly. Therefore a 6:40 won't happen next year, but following that, you never know.

Early during the race, when we were chatting along as we approached Conor Pass, I was thinking how much I like ultras and their relaxed pace. At the same time I wasn't sure how I would managed because my left Achilles was hurting at the time. Luckily, once the quads started hurting the Achilles was not noticeable any more, and I haven't felt any problem since.

According to the Dingle marathon facebook page, Keith Whyte's time puts him at World no.2 and European no. 1 in the latest world ranking for 50 miles. I have no idea if that is true or not, but it shows what an amazing runner he is. Over such a difficult course this is just mindboggling! Overall I'm still surprised how competitive the field was this year. Apart from Keith, who was always going to win it, there was nobody "famous" running, but times were still fantastic. I knew Ray Lanigan was going to do well, but if I had not met him in Connemara I would not have known him at all, and some of the other names might be familiar from results listings but not well known as such. Ultra running in Ireland is becoming competitive, and not just at the top level!

But it doesn't show the wind - nor the incline!
Someone commented about my shoes. I usually race in Nike Lunaracers, but when I tried them out a week before the race they hurt my Achilles, so I switched to the Brooks Green Silence instead. I knew they would be fine - I had been wearing the same pair in Bangor for the entire 126 miles and they had felt comfortable all the way through. Actually, I am not picky about my shoes at all. As long as they are lightweight and feel ok, I use them. I have no particular brand loyalty, in recent years I have used Brooks, Nike, Adidas, Mizuno, Asics and Saucony. I always buy my shoes online whenever I find a bargain - a few months ago I picked up 2 pairs of Green Silence and 1 pair of Saucony Kinvara for the combined outlay of €140. I tend to get 800-1000 miles out of a pair, so that one single order basically does me for almost a year.

Oh, and as for the raised hands when crossing the finish line - I did the same when winning in Sixmilebridge last year, so there is no need to change it for all those oh-so-numerous occasions when I walk away with the trophy. No idea why I'm doing it, though.

Once I start running again, preparation for Tralee will begin. I'm planning on using the rest of the year as base training. This will include at least 2 paced marathons, and maybe a short ultra (oxymoron or what!). The marathon-specific preparation will start around New Year.


  1. I think the real question is why Pat Quill is doing your celebration on the Conor Pass?

  2. Glad to see everything in perspective here - hope Maia's first day went well!

  3. Awesome stuff! First school day is so big! Hope she's loving school! Your recovery is always remarkable. You are a real inspiration to me.

  4. Certainly looks like a good day in that photo of Maia. Same here today after Irish-style weather yesterday.