Sunday, May 10, 2009


If you're driving towards Dingle you'll find that some vandals keep deleting the English version of that town from road sign, leaving only the Gaelic “An Daingean” and some helpful souls keep re-adding it in bright big letters. What might surprise you is that it's the Government that keeps deleting the sign, but only if you don't know much about politics on our strange little island. In any case, if you know that Dingle and An Daingean are the same place, you're ok.

Twice last year I drove from Dingle to Ballydavid. To get there, you can either take the scenic route via Slea Head, or cross a fairly big mountain. I thought that running that mountain would be six tough miles, but fun. Incidentally, if you do the entire loop via Slea Head and then cross the mountain on the way back, you'll be doing about 26 miles. No points for guessing where the marathon will be held.

One look at the elevation profile will tell you that I won't be breaking 3 hours. I guess that's one reason why I'm drawn to it. I won't feel under pressure to perform. That, and the fact that it's basically my home marathon. I think the organisers tried to out-do Connemara. In one way they have certainly achieved that. Their “big final hill” is higher, meaner and steeper.

I had the most exhausting weekend in a long time. Apart from doing 6 loads of laundry, I put up a set of swings for the kids (a late birthday present for the twins), picked them off the swings about a dozen times following various fights, and mowed enough grass to feed a herd of cows. Oh, and I ran.

Yesterday I finally felt great again. It was only a six-mile run, and I probably would have been better off slowing down a bit, but it was great to let the legs work and feel the miles melt away.

Today, in contrast, I was rather sore; more from the gardening work than from yesterday's run, I'm sure, but sore nevertheless. I kept the pace close to 8-minute miles for most of it, but with 1.5 miles to go I ran out of patience, so to speak, and raced it home. I've got too much energy left at the end of my runs. It's time to increase the mileage again.
8 May
8.2 miles, 1:03:00, 7:40 pace, HR 158
9 May
6 miles, 45:06, 7:31 pace, HR 160
10 May
10 miles, 1:17:12, 7:43 pace, HR 155

Weekly Mileage: 46+


    Looks like that hill [mountain] at 22 will have everyone hitting the wall! reminds me of the Anglesey marathon i ran last year!

  2. Thomas,are you still planning to run Longford as well this year?

  3. If you make it comfortably to mile 23 it's a nice run down to the finish.

  4. Thanks for the information on Dingle - I think I'm good to go!

  5. Character building, I like it!

  6. Anonymous: no, Longford is shelved for this year. I was wavering between Longford and Dingle, and Dingle it is. I'll do Longford one year for sure, when I fancy a more reasonable elevation profile.

  7. The name "Dingle" is reason enough to want to run it. Looks like a fun course. Long live the hills!

  8. Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for your comment.

    At 15 km I was thinking I got 6 k to go, i can hold on for just a bit more right? Oh how in two km everything can turn from holding on to looking for a potty :P.

    Have a good day!

  9. last year I had a thought about going down to Dingle and running the full Slea head. 33 miles Dingle to Dingle the long way via Ballydavid. I thought that it would be a nice training run (mad idea I know). Good for a wekend away too!! Maybe sometime over the summer. Unfortunately the marathon is too close the the Great North Run for me this year. Maybe next year. :(

  10. Much tougher than Boston, but not as tough as 6' ;) A good 23 mile long run with a 3.2 mile cool down :)