I’ve neglected my running section of this blog for the last few weeks so figured it was about time to update it a little. I might have been a bit too focussed on having a good time with food and drink. No harm in that I suppose.
My last post was a review of how I got on competing in the Venice Marathon. A thoroughly enjoyable, exhausting and rewarding experience all in one. After that I slowed down a bit and stuck to a few short 5k runs around where I live. I also took a bit of time out to focus on some exams I was doing (all passed). To kick start me back into a proper running routine again I signed myself up for the Wexford half marathon on Sunday April 27th 2014.
I was fairly focussed on my training for it. I find if I have a goal in mind I will put more effort into preparing for it. Wexford was my second half marathon to date. I decided to head down on my own for it so booked a hotel and a train ticket and headed down the day before.
The first half marathon I completed was the Rock ‘n’ Roll one in Dublin in 2013. My finishing time for this was 2.07 which I was delighted with. When the Wexford one came around, being quite competititve I had it in my mind that I wanted to beat my previous time and aim for a 2 hour half marathon. I figured this was very achievable.
The day I arrived in Wexford it was literally pissing down. It was cold, wet and very windy. I looked out my hotel window and declared to myself that there was no way in hell I was going to run the next day if it was like that. Baby Jesus obviously heard me because when I woke the next day the sun was shining and it was bone dry out. Perfect for running.
So I lined up with the rest of the olympians stuck on my iPod and away I went. The course was a single loop of Wexford town and its surrounds including a very scenic run through Johnstown Castle. The course was actually quite enjoyable. It had an elevation of +75m over a 4k distance and then a nice downhill section.
As with all races I’ve taken part in to date the sense of camaraderie on the day was very evidant. A lovely older lady gave me some jelly beans along the way and told me they would keep me going. She must have been about 70 but was running past me at the time.
In the picture below I’m either camera shy or had taken to running with my eyes closed for some bizarre reason.
As mentioned my aim was to try and complete the course in 2 hours. I was fairly close to the start of the pack when we started the race so when I came around the corner towards the finish line and spotted the clock I was fairly certain the time showing was an accurate account of how I was getting on. The numbers loomed large and green and told me I was at 1.55.
I was a head of what I wanted to achieve and not only that I was within spitting distance of both the finish line and hitting the 1.56 time that my buddy Mincer had achieved in his first half marathon. A time, which at any given opportunity is thrown out as a little reminder that he had run faster than me in his half marathon. If that wasn’t the thing that was going to make me dig deep and leg it to the finish line then nothing was. No way in hell I would get that close and not match his time.
I’m delighted to say that I did pass the finish line at 1.56 which meant I beat my first half marathon time by about 11 minutes, beat my target of finishing in 2 hours and also matched my buddy’s time. A successful day all round I have to say.