The rocky road to Dublin

I’m officially in training for the Dublin marathon!

Given my schedule over the next few months I decided a little while ago that it would be sensible for me to have a coach on board, partly to keep me on the straight and narrow but also to guide me through my plethora of half marathons with the ultimate aim of getting me ready for this years ‘A’ race, the Dublin City Marathon at the end of October.

After doing my research one name kept cropping up over and over again, Clean Coach Katie. People I respect and follow have, for want of a better word, endorsed her, and I have been impressed with how she conducts herself and her methods.

So, following discussions over the past couple of weeks, I took the plunge and asked Katie to work with me to get me to the start line in Dublin. It’ll be hard work, I am under no illusions about that, but I’m really excited to be getting started.

I need the discipline and I need the encouragement, and I go into this full of confidence that Katie is exactly the sort of person I need in my corner.

My plan began today with an ‘easy’ run to coincide with my normal Monday night club session.

As usual, I ran the mile from my front door to the leisure centre, managing to keep my heart rate firmly within zone 3, recording a time of 12:31. It was nice little warm-up, even if the cold rain didn’t make it a comfortable run.

Recently I have been going out with the 30-minute group  because the run there and back would bring me up to an hour anyway but, tonight, I opted to step it up a bit and go with the 45s, partly because the run up was gentle and partly because I simply hadn’t gone with that group for a while. A change is as good as a rest and all that.

It was definitely a change! We started off towards going through the town centre heading for the Ballymoney Road, clocking 10:52 for that first mile from the Leisure Centre to the back entrance of the Peoples’ Park.

Local readers will know that it’s around this point that the Ballymoney Road kicks on and up. We kept going at that pace, onwards and upwards, and up a bit more.

It was quick, but what was pleasing that it was manageable. Yes, I was maybe huffing and puffing a bit by the time we reached the top but that was due to the ascent more than the speed.

After that we crossed the roundabout to come back down the Carniny Road, uncharted territory for me despite living in the town all my adult life!

And down was the operative word here. It dropped as much as the Ballymoney Road rose but, the strange thing is, we took it slower but only just. Most likely this was because everyone had really applied themselves on the climb and treated the descent as a chance to recover a little.

The Carniny Road wasn’t entirely downhill, there were a few little short, sharp rises on it which were good to maintain my focus. I could see them laid out in front of me so, I guess, I saved myself for them.

That done, it was up Princes Street the back way, a part of the route I do on a regular basis now, and then along past the Fire Station, through the retail park and back to base. This last mile saw us pick up the pace a little again which was really good.

Indeed, for that three mile segment I was on 5k personal best time and matching the target pace that Katie has set for me for the Vitality 10000 next Monday. That is really encouraging considering the route tonight was more challenging than it’ll be in London.

So whilst tonight’s run was as fast a club session as I have done for quite some time I successfully came through it. My legs felt good, and never did I feel that I couldn’t cope.

All things considered not a bad old start to my training.

Relive my run

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