The Dublin City Marathon – i didn’t run it this year – not that that makes me unique – about 99.65% of the Irish population didn’t. In fact, about 15% of those who entered didn’t finish – most of those didn’t start. Getting to the start line almost, almost but not quite, guarantees that you’ll finish.
I had entered though – a couple of days after i dragged my untrained body around for DCM 17 – full of the enthusiasm and determination to actually run all the way around in 2018 on what was to be my third attempt.
well I’ll get over it.
Achilles tendinitis injuries which manifested themselves during the Connemara Half Marathon at the end of April put a stop to my gallop – literally. I had actually been training and doing exercises – overdid it perhaps though not that you’d be able to measure it.
The road back was long and slow with a couple of setbacks. But i learnt a lot.
How to be patient,
How to be disciplined,
How to say no to the DCM.
I actually set out a training programme and more or less followed it. Trained more, not that means a lot, than i did the last two years. Even ran the Irish 3/4 Marathon a few weeks earlier – having completed the Dublin Half Marathon in an average time, for me of about 2:20. The 3/4 though, i struggled with. It was grand up until 25km but after that – pure torture.
You can just make me out in the crowd on the right – starting off.
Straight away I decided not to run the DCM, two days later I changed my mind again but wisdom finally kicked in and i kept myself occupied on Friday so that i wouldn’t accidentally find myself at the Expo, just collecting my number, just in case. I didn’t and i ran my first Marlay Parkrun of 2018 on the Saturday morning – my 80th so that was a little, very little consolation.
Tried to stay off social media on Sunday – couldn’t face going out and supporting all those brave and wonderful runners – just couldn’t. But i could hear the cheers. Caved in on Sunday evening and consumed all those running stories.
There exists a spectrum of runners of marathons, the two ends occupied by those who are prepared and those who aren’t. Some are prepared to walk the 26.2 miles, some to walk/run it, some to race it, some to run it comfortably – so being prepared doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to finish in sub 4 hours, or 3 but that you are ready and trained to do it at the pace you intend.
Then there are the unprepared, quite a few in fact who for one reason or another, mainly life’s not so gentle interruptions, are not prepared. It is a testament to the awesomeness of humanity that so many of these people do it anyway – that they go to the start line and keep going until they make it to the end line – irrespective.
Its also a testament to their foolishness, wonderful, mad, funny, crazy foolishness, but foolishness nonetheless.
That was me the last two years.
This year I cried stop. If I’m not trained then i’m not running. If i’m injured – I rehabilitate.
Is that wisdom or just old age – time may tell.
It feels like wisdom.
It also feels like a challenge – to train properly, consistently and carefully.
I’ll be 60 in 2019 and the DCM will be 40 – sounds like a marriage made in heaven. But i didn’t sign up – yet.
I’ll wait a couple of months and see if I’m training properly and then……………
I did sign up for next years Irish 3/4 Marathon already though – yes i know i should have waited but this patience thing is not unlimited.
50% to 80% of runners get injured every year – hardly a surprising statistic once you get to know a few runners. I want to be in the 20%, to run and live my best.
Here’s to 2019 my friends ……
and a couple of little half marathons i have up my sleeve this year yet.