Thursday, 23 October 2008

Amsterdam, the aftermath.

My mile splits from Amsterdam read as follows:-
1 - 08:05 - 147HR (tight enough start and difficult to pass)
2 - 07:25 - 158HR (getting there)
3 - 07:16 - 159HR (still getting there - wanted sub 07:10)
4 - 07:20 - 161HR (still not there)
5 - 07:11 - 165HR (that's more like it)
6 - 07:09 - 166HR (feels like this is the best i'll do, but can I keep it)
7 - 07:24 - 164HR (not likely)
8 - 07:06 - 167HR (back on track - feeling better)
9 - 07:17 - 168HR (feeling the effort - this should feel easier)
10- 07:32 - 169HR (the rest of the run to mile 18 was based on keeping my HR at 170 or below)
11 - 07:20 - 169HR
12 - 07:23 - 169HR
13 - 07:32 - 168HR (half way at 01:37:37)
14 - 07:27 - 169HR
15 - 07:40 - 170HR (ouch - feeling tired)
16 - 07:31 - 171HR
17 - 07:56 - 172HR (nothing I can do - can't even keep HR down)
18 - 08:10 - 170HR (pulled up towards end of mile as sudden pain in calf)
19 - 16:03 - 127HR (HR under control - pace disastrous, can't have everything!)
20 - 14:44 - 120HR
21 - 11:25 - 138HR (resumed with a slow shuffle)
22 - 11:13 - 147HR (continue with slow shuffle)
23 - 08:53 - 160HR (tag onto faster runner and calf holds out - body resists at the start)
24 -08:14 - 169Hr (tag onto 03:45 pacer - effort, while no longer comfortable, is manageable)
25 - 08:31 - 169 HR (momentary lapse)
26 - 08:13 - 175HR ( I think i'm cruising - it' all relative)
26.42 - 07:33 pace 180HR (I'm smoking down the home straight - it's only afterwards, upon
reflection that I realise my finishing pace is less than my average PB pace.
I was never heading for a PB, the way I was slowing down before mile 18 - so the injury was the perfect excuse I needed to take it easy. Enough said.
Adrian, my running partner, was well on his way to his first sub-4 hour (01:54 half) when he got clipped by another runner and suffered a similar injury to mine, but he gritted it out to come in uder the 04:30 mark.
We left the marathon behind us on Sunday night as we met up for a few beers with the rest of the Cork contigent who were running the half. Austin & Siobhan and Tadhg & Rhona. Austin missed his 01:20 target by just 44 seconds and Rhona was 9th woman overall in a time of 01:25:33. The few beers turned into a few more and a taxi back to the hotel for 3 a.m. on Monday.
The rest of monday was a cultural day spent in the Van Gogh and Rijks Museums looking at the likes of these:-
They're far better than any marathon photos.
The evening was spent looking at the other sights Amsterdam has to offer.
There are five words that epotomise Amsterdam:-
Bicycles :- Everywhere - everybody cycles as there are no hills. Even the ladies in the fur coats
and high heels.
Trams:- Great for getting around (€10 unlimited 3-day travel on trams, metro & buses)
Canals:- 1250 bridges.
Coffee Houses:- A big tourist attraction.
The red-light district:- The other attraction. I had to avert my eyes, sensitive Irish soul that I am.
We flew home on Tuesday morning, but there was no rest for me as I had to head up the country for two further (work related) days away from home, getting back this evening. Needless to say I have not run, although my legs are fine and I cannot feel my injury. I think i'll use to next few weeks to get back into the swimming and cycling and lay off the running.
Best of luck to all those running the Dublin Marathon this weekend. (John & Thomas come to mind, although not in that particular order) Should see some sub-3 hour guys here.


  1. If you take miles 19-22 out of the equation, it doesn't look so bad. Way to pull it together and get things going again after that. Not easy to do.

    I love Van Gogh's work. Awesome about the museum.

  2. Yes, when looking at the numbers, it does look like the PB was only touch and go. I wonder why? You were running so well a month or so back.

    You had to avert your eyes? Come on! How about some of the photos you took (carefully censored of course), rather than boring old paintings.

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  4. THe mile splits and pulse rate make interesting reading, big drop off in performance since the 15 mile race, was the calf muscle affecting you from the start and making you take shorter strides!

  5. Grellan,

    How would you describe the 20 mile hill in Dublin? Is it anything like the model farm road in cork or the lead into cobh or are we talking mile 5 - 7 in the Blarney half? I'm starting to get pre-race anxiety.

  6. Richard. I've ran it twice and it's a bastard. To be honest it shouldn't be that bad - perhaps the Blarney half wouldn't be far off the mark - long gradual rise out Clonskeagh and left onto the Roebuck Road with a short steeper section to the left turn onto Fosters Avenue. (not as steep or as long as Blarney) Downhill and level from there on.

    Other places to be careful (besides the start) are the long downhill out of the Pheonix Park to mile 8 (don't over do it - keep your own pace) and the Crumlin Road miles 10 to 12 (generally against a headwind - a bit of drafting wouldn't go amiss)

    Have a great race and go for that sub 3:30.

    Ewen/Rick, certainly a big drop off in endurance fitness on the day, a momentary blip or a longer term thing - I don't know. I can't say my calf was affectring me from the start (certainly it wasn't the ideal start, given the crowd) but I certainly felt fatigued far earlier in the race than I should have but I don't think it was lack of fuel. having said that I stopped at every water station from the 15km mark (every 5k - I'd love to run in the states where I hear stations are spaced every mile)

  7. Thanks for that....I am now officially getting nervous - which is a good thing as I was sleepwalking through this taper with no motivation and a terrible feeling of lethargy.

    I would advise splashing out on the Lore of Running by tim Noakes if you don't already have it. At 1000 pages and crammed with science you'll get a good year of reading and re-reading out of it - good section on overdoing the training as well - it is good as well at the positive feedback cycle and association with the activity which I find very important in staying motivated for longer runs and races (2hrs+)

  8. Grellan-
    Wow, the numbers surely tell the story there! It was interesting to have your commentary included also. I quit wearing my HOUR monitor a while ago...perhaps there's some helpful info in it.
    Enjoy the bike and the water...I know I will after tomorrow. I may not run the rest of the year :)

  9. what were you smoking on the home straight!!!! :)

  10. Dublin: 3:20:08, Very happy although at mile 20 it was a 3:16 so the hill at 20 and a bad fade over the last 2 miles took their toll. I was aiming for 7:45s for a 3:23 to allow for a big bonk and still come in under 3:30.

    The hill at 20 wasn't bad but as i was doing 7:30s so the tank wasn't really full; as a result the miles from 23 to 26 were a real slog. Just in case you're wondering, the 8 seconds is bugging me, even though they shouldn't.

  11. Hi Grellan

    I'm sorry the race in Amsterdam didn't go the way you wanted, but the marathon is quite the unforgiving brute. I certainly hope this doesn't deflate your enthusiasm one bit because you have become a fine runner. Like Ewen, I agree that you were running so well a few weeks before the race that it is a shame you got injured and didn't get the result you deserved. I predict you will be back stronger than ever.

    Best of luck with everything and I loved the Van Gogh/s

  12. Grizzly bear has a blog!

    Trawling the net last week to find good running articles I was surprised to find your blog.Very interesting - fair play..

    I hope to run in some longer races in 2009 and have been quietly upping my training runs as last year the longest race I ran was 10k.

    (I ran 13.1 miles in 1hr 40 last Sat morning - new territory for me)

    I hope to run a few 10 mile races and maybe a half - marathon next year- so we should have a few more battles.
    I may see you at the track next week as I reckon speed sessions are important - though I do have a good turn of foot I need to train to maintain a fast pace so I don`t get caught by a "dour stayer " or a "relentless galloper " like yourself !!