Sunday, October 25, 2009

T Minus One

It’s past 4 o’clock in the afternoon and in less than 17 hours we’re off. Finally, on the last day, I’m starting to get nervous. I have been waiting for this, and to be honest my total lack of nerves was starting to worry me. I’ll never be a nervous wreck again like I was before my first ever marathon, but marathons are races that always demand respect or else they cut you back to size in no time.

This will be my 11th marathon, or the 13th if you include the ultras, which makes me a relatively old hand, I suppose.

I’m back from the number pick-up and the Expo, where I managed to keep the wallet in my pocket. Once you’ve seen the Boston Expo the Dublin one isn’t much to get excited about (you also get a lot fewer freebies, sadly). One person I bumped into was John Walshe from Ballycotton. I knew he was a formidable runner, but I had no idea that he is one of the select few who have run every single Dublin City marathon, with number 30 on the cards tomorrow. Way to go, John. All the best!

If things go to plan, I’ll meet up with Grellan at the start tomorrow, running the first 2 miles at about 7:15 pace, dropping down to 7:00 pace and taking things from there.

I know I have said that I never really recovered from Dingle, but the real problem was that cold that caught me 2 weeks ago and which is still affecting me. I’m perfectly fine sitting in an office chair, but running 26 miles at race pace is an entirely different matter. I have been keeping a very close eye on my resting HR over the last two weeks. It hovered around 45 recently, only to drop down to 42 for the first time this very morning, though the fact that I didn’t have 4 kids climbing all over me for a change might have had some influence, too.

I have not been running for 3 entire days and my combined mileage since Monday is a not exactly awe inspiring 8. Since things have been so messed up I decided to use tomorrow's race to experiment with nutrition. It breaks the golden rule of never doing anything in a marathon that you haven’t done in training, but I have broken that rule in one form or another in nearly every one of my big races. After last year’s Dublin marathon I got a fuel belt for a freebie. Yesterday I took it out of its wrapper for the first time. It can carry 6 gels, plus 2 in my shorts and 2 from the race course makes 10 gels. Let’s see how many I can take, and how that feels like. Stupid? Maybe. But there’s only one way to find out.

The weather has been pretty wild at times yesterday, and a few icy cold rain showers have followed on today. In contrast, tomorrow’s forecast is nigh on perfect for a marathon, cold and dry. We’ll be freezing at the start, but once we get going we’ll have dream conditions. Maybe it will inspire me.

Time to get relaxing again. My bib number is 1201, and tomorrow me and 12500 close friends are going for a run.


  1. I'm sure once again your family will be very proud of their Dad!

  2. I got nervous reading your post. I bought a fuel belt today at the expo as I coundn't find my tri race belt at home (it only had 3 gel slots anyway compared to the 6 I now have. I'm planning a similar fueling philosophy to you so it's an experiment of two. See you in the morning - remember 30('/m) back from the front on the right. All the best.

    and plan on using your philosophy

  3. The hour is nearly at hand. Run smart, run hard and have fun!

  4. Have a good race! I had thought it was today but it's Monday instead!