Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Post Tralee

I was quite surprised when I read a fair amount of criticism of Sunday's Tralee marathon. I really enjoyed the race but others have found quite a few things they did not agree with. To be honest, most of them I noticed but none of them bothered me in the slightest, so maybe it's just a case of having a different set of priorities/expectations.
  • the Expo was a joke with 2 stands (I have yet to see a small marathon with a decent sized Expo)
  • no goody bag (I could not possibly care less)
  • no timer at the end (I noticed that, but I have my own watch. Apparently the timer guy forgot to bring a clock!)
  • lack of support on the route (it's a rural marathon, people! And not really something I would blame the organisers for - mind in previous years there used to be a DJ in Fenit which was great and I did miss him on Sunday)
  • no sports drink or gels on the course (I have been running for long enough to regard this as normal. I still think of sports drink from an aid station as an unexpected bonus. Maybe I'm just showing my age here)
  • mile markers were out (I did not really notice but I know it's a pain for pacers when that happens)
That's a fair amount of criticism and the organisers would do well to take it on-board. Numbers were down this year, especially in the half marathon, but I think that was more down to the fact that it coincided with Mother's Day this year (it very nearly stopped me from running) than anything the organisers did or didn't do. But if the public feels the organisers are starting to cut corners and worsening the marathon experience as a result, the race will be in trouble.

However, I can't help but compare it to last year's Waterford marathon. They had gotten all the little details right but forgot to provide the single most important thing, namely an accurate course. In Tralee a fair few minor things are open to improvement but the course was the best one yet. I do prefer the Tralee way, but I also do hope the race will listen to feedback.

Anyway, one other minor change was that I got bumped up in the results from 20th to 19th because one runner had run the half marathon with a full marathon chip and slightly messed up the results, but no harm done and hardly a big deal.

Recovery has been going well. I know I sound like a broken record (again, showing my age here, Do people even remember what a broken record is?) but my tried-and-tested recovery strategy is to run 5 miles easy until the legs feel better. I felt surprisingly good even on Monday, so it seemed perfectly reasonable to run twice on Tuesday and Wednesday as long as I kept the effort easy and the distance short. However, I did a double-take at the watch at the end of Wednesday's evening run. The effort had felt much easier that 7:33 pace. Recovery must be going well.
16 Mar
5 miles, 43:11, 8:38 pace, HR 136
17 Mar
am: 5 miles, 40:54, 8:11 pace, HR 137
pm: 5 miles, 39:13, 7:51 pace, HR 146
18 Mar
am: 5 miles, 40:30, 8:06 pace, HR 137
pm: 5 miles, 37:51, 7:33 pace, HR 140

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