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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Yorkshire Marathon 2015 (Week 2 of 12)

Week 2

Mon 27/7: (am) 4.0 miles @ 9:28/mile
Mon 27/7: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 9:15/mile
Tues 28/7: (am) 4.0 miles @ 9:29/mile
Tues 28/7: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 9:24/mile
Weds 29/7: (am) 4.0 miles @ 9:11/mile
Weds 29/7: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 9:26/mile
Thurs 30/7: (am) 4.0 miles @ 9:08/mile
Thurs 30/7: (pm) 4.0 miles @ 8:49/mile
Fri 31/7: 4.0 miles @ 8:32/mile
Sat 1/8: (am) 4.0 miles (incl Falls parkrun (1st) 18:22 (3.1 miles @ 5:54/mile) [Hannah (1st) 18:39]
Sat 1/8: (pm) 4.0 miles (incl Running Blind, Stormont (1st) 21:04 (3.1 miles @ 6:47/mile) [Hannah (1st) 21:04]
Sat 1/8: (eve) 7.0 miles (incl Rathfriland 10k 39:09 (6.21 miles @ 6:18/mile) [Hannah (1st) 37:22]
Sun 2/8: 16.0 miles (incl. Dublin Rock N Roll HM 1:25:57 (13.1 miles @ 6:34/mile) [Hannah (6th) 1:23:40]

Total Mileage - 67.0 Miles

After the 100k each at Thunder Run last weekend and a tough series of hilly events this weekend a series of slow 4 mile runs during the week fitted the bill perfectly.

And then it was over to Belfast on Saturday morning for 4 varied events in not much more than 24 hours.

Sat 1/8 - (9:30am) Falls parkrun 18:22 

We have run around Falls Park a couple of times before but this was the first attempt at the actual parkrun. 

Our hosts for the weekend, the ever enthusiastic Janine and Mark Ramsey, had all the logistics under control. We would be back at this same venue the following evening for a Human League/Marc Almond concert but not before taking in trips to Stormont, Rathfriland and Dublin in the meantime.

Not an easy course but an enjoyable setting and it was good to bump into a few familiar faces, Eileen and Dan Jack as well as ED Stuart Kennedy.

Mark Ramsey (in yellow) running a course PB at Falls:

Sat 1/8 (1pm) - Running Blind 5K, Stormont

This was the brainchild of Colm Fearon aka Bootsie in conjunction with The Pathfinder Guide Dogs charity.

The idea was to gain some appreciation of both running without sight and also what it takes to guide a blind or partially sighted runner.

It was going to be fascinating to take part but also a little scary. One runner was blindfolded for the first lap, which took in the main driveway at Stormont and then across the top road in front of the Parliament buildings and then back down the driveway to the start before roles were switched for a second lap.

We were all covering up our trepidation in this pre-event pic:

111 pairs of runners lined up to take on the challenge.

These were the nervous early stages on lap 1 as we approached the hill for the first time:

Still upright with no mishaps so far:

Exactly 1 lap later at the same point but now with roles reversed:

A very relieved bunch of runners after completing the challenge - Myself, Hannah, Bootsie aka Colm Fearon, Jennifer McAteer, Karen McElroy:

If you want to see how everyone coped take a look at Bootsie's excellent video of the event:

Bootsie getting a taste of his own medicine as Hannah relieves him of his camera and films his finishing stages:

So what was learnt?

From the description of the event beforehand we didn't expect to be able to go much quicker than walking pace without risking cuts and bruises.

However, as can be seen from the results, we actually got round pretty well without any injuries being sustained BUT, and it is a big BUT, it quickly became apparent that the venue was absoloutely perfect for this kind of thing. As can be seen from the photos the driveways are smooth with no cambers, no potholes, no speed bumps or any of the other numerous obstacles you could expect to ordinarily encounter.

It actually felt safe enough to run relatively freely once over the initial nervousness. A couple of things to note though:

1. Running uphill while blindfolded is tough - without the visual feedback of steepness and length of hill there is no way of judging effort level.

2. The role of the guide is critical but instead of the guide constantly trying to describe what is going on, we moved more towards waiting for the blind runner to ask questions. In that way the information was exactly geared to what info was wanted. Obviously the guide runner is still describing obstacles and steering as well.

So, although we coped far better than we expected to it still makes you realise just how difficult this must be on open roads with uneven surfaces and unexpected hazards. It was noticably more mentally tiring being the blind runner.

It was an enlightening experience so should the opportunity arise to take part in something like this, give it a go.

Great idea, Bootsie, thanks for the opportunity! 

What a great setting:

Sat 1/8 (7pm) - Rathfriland 10k 39:09 (7th) [Hannah 37:22 (1st) ]

A few hours, and a few Guinness, later it was time for a trip down from Belfast to a village called Rathfriland near Newry.

This place was hilly and the race itself had probably the craziest downhill start that I can remember in a race.

Being the 3rd event of the day on a hilly course it came as no surprise that it started feeling quite tough as halfway was approached. In 6th place at this point I was soon demoted to 7th by Hannah, who looked to be sauntering along.

She proceeded up through the field to firstly take the lead in the ladies race and then worked through to as high as 2nd overall before just losing that position by 9 seconds at the end. 37:22 on a tough course as the 3rd event of the day!

The start:

A low key finish from the shy and retiring Mark Ramsey:

A bunch of smiley people at the finish - Janine Ramsey, Hannah, Myself, Jennifer McAteer :

It may be August but we were very grateful that the Rathfriland pub had a roaring log fire on the go:

Sun 2/8 - Dublin Rock N Roll Half Marathon 1:25:57  [Hannah 1:23:40 6th]

It was a very early start to get down from Belfast to Dublin for an 8:30am start on Sunday.

Several thousand people lined up alongside the River Liffey as we did the best we could to loosen the legs up from the previous day's efforts.

There certainly wasn't going to be any looking for sub 80s on this day but it was still going to be interesting to see just how well things would hold together.

After settling down the pace seemed to be hovering around 6:30/mile, 1:25 overall would be a pretty good outcome if this was maintained to the end .... but there was a long way to go yet.

After about 3 miles, there was a bit of deja vu from a race 12 hours earlier as Hannah popped up alongside and then eased away into the distance and eventually out of sight. 

Her recovery between races was certainly going well as she went on to finish 6th in 1:23:40.

Over 2 minutes behind, my 1:25:57 was pleasing enough as it showed that very tired legs could still maintain a decent pace without falling apart unduly. All good signs.

Phew - so that was an action packed 24 hrs (24hrs 25 minutes to be precise) expertly coordinated by this dynamic duo. Thanks Janine and Mark :)

Next Week:

Next week will certainly be quieter.

Marathon Building Blocks:

15th Feb: 18.6 miles @ 6:16/mile
22nd Feb: 10.0 miles @ 6:04/mile
28th Feb: 3.1 miles @ 5:48/mile
28th Feb: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
1st March: 13.1 miles @ 6:24/mile
8th March: 26.21 miles @ 6:23/mile
14th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:46/mile
14th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:36/mile
15th March: 20.0 miles @ 6:25/mile
21st March: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
22nd March: 9.65 miles @ 6:18/mile
28th March: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
29th March:  11.2 miles @ 6:08/mile)
4th April: 3.1 miles @ 6:00/mile
12th April: 26.21 miles @ 6:35/mile
18th April: 3.1 miles @ 5:40/mile
19th April: 5.8 miles @ 6:04/mile
26th April: 26.21 miles @ 6:32/mile
4th May: 26.21 miles @ 6:40/mile
6th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:36/mile
10th May: 13.1 miles @ 6:15/mile
13th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:36/mile
16th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
17th May: 13.1 miles @ 6:03/mile
20th May: 3.1 miles @ 5:37/mile
23rd May: 3.1 miles @ 5:45/mile
24th May: 1.0 mile @ 5:07/mile
30th May: 26.21 miles @ 6:37/mile
6th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:58/mile
7th Jun: 13.1 miles @ 6:05/mile
10th Jun: 10.0 miles @ 6:20/mile
13th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
14th Jun: 13.1 miles @ 6:02/mile
20th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:54/mile
20th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:40/mile
21st Jun: 6.21 miles @ 6:31/mile
25th Jun: 10.0 miles @ 5:57/mile
26th Jun: 13.1 miles @ 6:11/mile
27th Jun: 3.1 miles @ 5:57/mile
27th Jun: 6.21 miles @ 6:15/mile
28th Jun: 6.21 miles @ 6:42/mile
1st Jul: 1.0 miles @ 5:11/mile
5th Jul: 26.21 miles @ 6:35/mile
9th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
11th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:54/mile
12th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:50/mile
18th Jul: 3.1 miles @ 5:57/mile
18th Jul: 6.21 miles @ 5:43/mile
19th Jul: 13.1 miles @ 6:15/mile
22nd Jul: 2.75 miles @ 5:50/mile
25th/26th Jul: 62.1 miles @ 8:00/mile
1st Aug: 3.1 miles @ 5:54/mile
1st Aug: 3.1 miles @ 6:47/mile
1st Aug: 6.21 miles @ 6:24/mile
2nd Aug: 13.1 miles @ 6:34/mile

Recent Marathon Record

2009 April - Blackpool Marathon 3:24:17 (Age 42)
2009 September - Fleetwood Marathon DNF (Age 43)
2010 October - Amsterdam Marathon 3:04:27 (Age 44)
2010 November - Milton Keynes Track Marathon DNF (Age 44)
2011 April - London Marathon 3:18:30 (Age 44)
2012 April - London Marathon 2:57:04 (Age 45)
2012 October - Chester 2:55:36 (Age 46)
2013 April - London Marathon 3:11:29 (Age 46)
2013 June - Cork Marathon 3:06:19 (Age 47)
2013 October - Budapest Marathon 2:58:53 (Age 47)
2013 December - Lancaster Marathon 2:54:17 (Age 47) (1st)
2013 December - Pisa Marathon 2:54:09 (Age 47)
2014 April - Manchester Marathon 2:51:52 (Age 47)
2014 April - London Marathon 2:57:52 (Age 47)
2014 June - Rhyl Marathon 2:58:24 (Age 48)
2014 October - Yorkshire Marathon 2:47:34 (Age 48)
2014 October - Dublin Marathon 2:58:53 (Age 48)
2014 November - Town Moor Marathon 2:54:56 (Age 48) (1st)
2015 March - Wrexham Marathon 2:48:12 (Age 48) (5th)
2015 April - Canberra ACT Marathon 2:52:10 (Age 48) (15th)
2015 April - London Marathon 2:50:55 (Age 48)
2015 May - Belfast City Marathon 2:54:54 (Age 48) 
2015 May - Kent Roadrunner Marathon 2:53:34 (Age 49) (4th)
2015 July - Potteries Marathon 2:52:40 (Age 49) (6th)

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