Friday, December 17, 2010

Lead up to Dublin City Marathon's almost Christmas...nearly two months after the must be time for me to write a race report [rolls eyes]

My preparation for this Marathon was meticulous. I'd been planning and organising my training strategy for this for well over a year.....Then, in the last two weeks, I threw the rule book out and probably blew my chances of achieving my aim of a) a National Championship medal in the M55 category and b) a sub 3:10 time. The first of these was definitely achievable, while the second was VERY ambitious.

Anyway....the things that nearly blew my chances:
The first was running not one, but two cross-country races, in the last fortnight. I was spouting the 'tried and tested' running philosophy of not going hard in the last fortnight, as it can do harm..."you can't do to little, but you CAN do too much"

On Sunday 10th October, I ran in the Cork AAI County Masters XC Chps and, while having a good run, I finished fourth scorer on Eagle's M50 team. I was a bit disappointed but hadn't tapered properly, so wasn't overly concerned. I don't think that did much, if any, harm.

The next thing did, however I had little control over the incident. I was in Dublin for two days of training in the Irish Cancer Society's Peer to Peer mentoring scheme and stayed in a hotel close to some of the Marathon route. On my first day there I went for a 7 mile run, including part of the Marathon course. I was flying and thought that the last 6 miles of the Marathon course was 'a doddle'.

Afterwards I had a shower and then the trouble started......when I was finishing I inadvertently turned one of the dual controls the wrong way. Instead of turning off the water, as I thought, I turned the hot control to full blast!! Normally hot is around 55-60C. This was at least 80C!!! I reeled and staggered with shock, falling in the process (The shower was in a bath, rather than a walk in unit). I was screaming in pain, all the time trying to get out of the bath. I fell back four times in all. After the last time I thought to myself "If you don't get out now, you're going to die here!" It took some effort, but I got out. Two months later and I still find it inexplicable. The mind boggles at the thought of someone having a fatal accident in a hotel shower.....almost incredible as it sounds. Immediately afterwards, I stepped back into the shower, under the cold water, and stayed there for about a half hour - that probably prevented deep burns, though I was pretty sore in the areas that the shower had hit. I was also sore, due to the fall itself, all along my left hand side, including neck, shoulder, hip and thigh. I honestly thought my Marathon had run its course.

I went for a run the following morning and felt all the sore spots. I was absolutely gutted.....and my self-confidence was in trouble too! I continued to train over the next few days, but the 'bounce' was gone. Nevertheless the following Sunday, I ran in the AAI Munster Novice XC in Macroom. This was only 8 days before the Marathon and was probably the main thing that went against me in preparation. It was silly to run in this race, but I felt that, as Club Chairman, I ought to run. I didn't push it, nevertheless, coming just eight days before the Marathon, I probably would have been better off going for a training run in the morning and taking photos at the Championship race. In spite of the fall, I was probably still overconfident.

I promise to post my Marathon report over the next few days!! ......really!!