Monday, 7 May 2012

2012 - Swimathon & Marathon

Since last entry I planned to do another couple of events, the April Swimathon and the Mayday Belfast Marathon.
Swimathon – April - 2012
Well bearing in mind recently before the  ultra I’d been doing a lot of running, I have not done much swimming concentrating on the morning runs pre-work.  Unfortunately even at the weekends as I was doing a long run I had rarely spent a decent half hour session to start to train for the event.

Eventually I realised I should try and do a long swim before the event to see what the endurance levels were like. Thankfully I managed 100 lengths with little difficulty with a week before the swimathon, so I thought I should be ok. On the day itself despite the last minute panic by organisers (due to 6 volunteers  pulling out the day before the event due to a big ulster rubgy match) the event went quite well.

During the swim l was fine; I was busy counting away the number of laps I had done in my head. When I got to what I thought was 150 laps I had a quick drink stop and asked the guy how many I had done to which he said ‘182’ in a startled questioning manner to me. He was clearly unsure I thought. So I decided to just do what I thought was the right amount. I continued until I got to 210 laps. The actual amount u need to do is only 200 but I calculated that a proper 5k is more like 210 laps – ok call me presice! Also  thankfully the guy didn’t encourage me to stop at what he thought was 200 (which technically is what the guy was supposed to to I think according to previous yrs when I did it). Final time after i got out was 2.15.
Belfast Marathon - May - 2012
Pre-Race Injury -
Following the Causeway run I had  week break and then the following Saturday during  a weekend break in Notingham visiting friends on the 7 April I decided to go for a run along the beautiful canal path. I had intended just to do about 6 mile, but as it was turning out really nice I ended up doing 10 miles with ease…..or so I had thought. The rest of the day we planned to do the usual tourist things and our friends Hugh and Becky were brilliant in taking us around the sites. However a strange thing happened. After a few hrs my right foot began to get a bit sore. Over the rest of rest of the day it got gradually worse resulting in by the end of the evening I was in agony basically hobbling badly back to their house. I was seriously worried. It was pretty sore and I was stressing out about the upcoming marathon. I decided to do ditch the remaining training plan and take every day as it feels. A week later after it getting a lot better with eventual no pain I went out on another run. However stupidly I was in too minds – one half of me was worried about lack of training going into marathon and the other half of me was worried about damaging my foot again. Sadly my ‘lack of training’ mindset got the better of me and I ended up doing another 10 miler, once again with ease. I was running the lagan tow path beside shaws bridge with my training partner McGregor; so I thought I would give him a good wash and shampoo after all the running he done. All was going ok until we decided to walk back to the car…….my right foot totally friggin seized up. I was in agony and with with every step it was getting sorer – a lot sorer than last time. I ended up hopping into to car.

After this, panic was all I could think of. I ended up over the next couple of days consulting GP then getting an XRay and going to get some treatment at the local Belfast Sports Injury Clinic (Noel – Big thanku) Unfortunately the student girl at xray dept said I had to wait 10 days before results – which ended up not being an easy 10 days to wait! Anyhows, I had no choice. Noel froom the clinic told me to rest, elevate and ice. It was suspected stress fracture of the forth metatarsal on right foot. After this i rested for several days.

With a week to go before the big day I was thankful that my foot was feeling very good so I decided to do a couple of 3 mile runs. These went well so the big day was on.

Marathon Day -
The day itself was fun. For a start the weather. Rain. Then after that……more rain…….non stop pretty much. This was ok as I prefer running in colder conditions as opposed to heat, so this suited me ok. The odd blusterly wind especially around the Whiteabbey Lough pathway area. That few mile was very windy. 

My pacing was almost spot on. Even by 18 miles i was only off by about 1 minute. After that i began to slow down a little and the last 5 miles was a bit tough due to GI issues. 3 gels in me with caffiene tablets ultimately led me to almost having a emergency number 2 stop towards the end. :- ()

A big hats off to the volunteers and crowds out. They did so much to help us around the way. Unsung heros.
My family as always did so much to support me. Firstly my brother Stephen ran the last few miles – despite only a few months ago breaking his leg.
Bearing in mind my lack of interaction with him and my faster pace this yr Stevo did really well. Thanku bro. Also big shoutout to sis Carol and wee Matthew and Lara who stood in the freezing cold to clap and cheer me on towards the end of the race. Also my tireless parents and poor wife Caroline who waited at the end for me.

Funnily enough poor dad missed videoing me running, but managed to get 5 minutes of guys walking out of toilet portacabins as waited for me. LOL.  After this we headed back and sis in law Sarah gave me a great feed of bacon and sausage baps and endless cups of tea to re-heat the body.
As for what my time for the marathon was, I’m awaiting the results at the moment. Last yr was 4.07 but I think I might have beat that….i might have even broke 4hrs!...i hope!
So, that’s the report on the recent events.
ps. got my medal of recent Causeway Coast 50k Ultra -

……until the next time……Half Iron in June……cant wait!

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