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My marathon report will be brief as so too was my race. I started training in February for Cork with sub 3 in mind. I put in 6 weeks of seventy miles, four of eighty, one of eighty five, 3 new PBs for 13mile, 10mile&10km, hours of stretching and reading but unfortunately only about two hours of training in soaring temperatures and those happened to be in my Cork marathon.

I ran Dublin in October and came out of that race positive and focussed on Cork, I did everything as one should for Cork, got my bloods checked every 7-8 weeks, took extra iron, did tempo runs at faster than marathon pace, all the stuff you read but all I can say is it was out of my control.

I knew the Bank Holiday was going to be a hot one, I avoided unnecessary sun exposure (which is tough when you are usually a sun-worshipper), hydrated to the point of liquidising myself and tapered like the experts recommend. I was sure it was going to be a good day. I woke Monday to bright skies, my legs felt light and I was buzzing. The temperature at 8am was 14 degrees , rising to 18 by 9am and 22 by 10am and onwards to what I believe was recorded 27 degrees at the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork at 10.30am( BBC 5 day forecast readings).

I ran my first five and a half miles at 6min 50 pace and was well on target, but between 5 and 8 all of a sudden my legs decided today was not the day. I was sweating profusely, my times were slowing and this was not how I had imagined it. Even in the worst case scenario this was due to happen about mile 18 not 8!! I decided at mile eight coming out of the Jack Lynch Tunnel that my race was over, sub 3 was well and truly gone and at this stage sub 3hr 30 min was becoming more likely or even a challenge...who knew! I know there are those of you reading this saying ‘why did you not go for the sub 3hr 30min’ but all I can say is when you have put in the miles, set the goals and things explode in your face there is only a few minutes to make decisions. I decided I did not want to run on risk blowing up a few miles down the line (which inevitably was going to happen), risk injury and undo all my training to date. It broke my heart to stop and those few miles jogging/walking back into the City were hell. If it was not for Mick Rice keeping me company I don’t know what I would have done.

Phew...!!

Phew...!!

It is amazing the support among fellow athletes, a lot of people struggled on Monday, some more than others but those cheers I got and hugs made all the difference. I just want to say a massive thank you to all of those who text and wished me well, I promise next time I’ll do the Athenry singlet proud. To Maurice congrats on an amazing achievement, and to the relay team Alan, Johnny, Gary, Brian and Mick... you were brilliant.

To Brian and Mick for those painful training sessions we put in together, hopefully all is not lost and I’ll be back sooner rather than later to kick some ass, but perhaps not on the hottest day of the year.

Jane C

15 years ago

It looked bloomin' boiling in Cork! Who would have thought. There are some photos on http://picasaweb.google.com/padraicbirmingham taken before the race, mile 1, 3 and half way. There are a few nice photos of the Athenry troups.

Michelle

15 years ago

Hard luck on the day Jane Ann - you'll have loads of (less hot) days this summer & beyond to kick plenty of ass!

Pat

15 years ago

Absolutely no shame in pulling up when the day is against you - it is all about achieving your own goals. It is a much harder decision to stop than to struggle on but there was no point in getting injuried or dehyrated. Nothing in training could prepare you for yesterday... it will drive you on for that elusive sub-three. I did the first 3 legs of the relay yesterday and it was a great relief to hand over at 13.9 miles.

Anonymous

15 years ago

tough luck especially when u trained so hard. great report and well written.
rem you still have a lot of fitness in you and im sure you'll gobble up a few pbs along the way soon.

Paul McNamara

15 years ago

Congrats - you're now in the best shape of your life after an ideal build-up where you planned meticulously and applied yourself professionally to the task at hand. Have fun over the shorter distances for the next while and capitalise on your fitness levels with a bunch of new pb's before starting your next focused marathon phase.

You did everything right in the build-up and you made the right decision on the day in the face of factors beyond your control. Had you kept going you might have dug a hole for yourself which could take months to get out of and which may have stunted any future progress.

Onwards and upwards.

Regina Casey

15 years ago

Jane Anne- A well written report that took a lot of courage a day after your run. You have put in so much work and you definately made the right decision.Besides, I need you back to drag me around some long runs and a half marathon or two!!

pmagnier

15 years ago

Just the thought of running a marathon on a hot day like that brings me out in a sweat; even in Ireland a June marathon can be bad timing. Jane Ann, you were a great example and encouragement to others in your rigorous training, your time will come and I have a feeling it won't be that far away!

Barry O Sullivan

15 years ago

Welldone Jane Ann. To arrive in a condition where a target time of that order is a possibility is in itself a serious achievement. You did the right thing on Monday. Persisting when your goal appeared unlikely would only have meant you would have had to have taken weeks off before you could start again whereas now you can carry on and build on what you have done over the last few months. Clearly it's deeply disappointing but who knows, it might be blessing in disguise. You might go on do something you may never even have considered had you broken the three hours. Furthermore, having done Cork twice I can guarantee you that even with ideal weather conditions, whatever time you may have achieved could possibly have been several minutes better on a flatter course. It's a tough course and the times reflect that. Considering your form and commitment perhaps you should give serious thought to specifically selecting a fast course set up for serious PB's like Berlin or Valencia. Again, well done.

Paul Fallon

15 years ago

The first marathon I ran was Boston '93. I had trained hard through the notoriously snowy and bitterly cold Boston winter, only for race day conditions to be similar to Cork. I bombed at about 9-10mls and was eventually reduced to a walk at 13mls and hobbled home in 3:24, after aiming for sub 3. I was in bits physcially for a while afterwards.
I broke that 3 hr mark in my next marathon.

Last Ocotober I ran Dublin and was coasting along ok until about 15mls and then I felt something not right in my quad so in the space of about a mile I made the decision to call it a day. It was the right decision and while dissapointed afterwards, I was not wrecked and was back training in a few weeks with no scars so to speak.

I firmly beleive you did the right thing and that all your hard training will stand to you this summer where you can take in a few shorted races and enjoy the results.

Well done.

Maurice

15 years ago

Jane Ann, you did the singlet proud on Monday. You were smar, and all that training will stand to you towards the next one.

Lyall

15 years ago

Though I'm many, many miles away from a 3hr marathon I can imagine that EVERYTHING needs to go right on the day to realise such a target. To decide as you did, having put in that much training effort, takes immense mental strength, and I applaud you for that!

It was a tough day for running - there were lots of people stopped in the second half of the course, clearly dehydrated, with medical folk helping them. I jogged it just inside 4hrs and despite consuming at least one bottle at each of the 13 water stations was still reeling from dehydration afterwards.

Well done also to Maurice and the relay team, a 3:07 and 5th in the relay are great results!

Francis K.

15 years ago

You were dead right. Your goal had 'evaporated' and there was little point in being a 3:30 'martyr'.

Well done.

jameslundon

15 years ago

...why people pull out of races if they aren't going well.

Before I started running myself I never understood why people would drop out of races but reports like JA's give me real understanding why athletes at the higher end of the scale *have* to drop out of races like Monday's etc.

There will be other days!

James.

markdav

15 years ago

Just saw this quote on a message board:

'The only times you should ever finish a marathon are if it's your first one, if you are on for a PB or if you are likely to win (the race or your age category). If none of these are on the cards, stop as soon as you realise this is the case' - Bob Glover

It might be controversial but I totally agree with the guy on this one. If you ever break 3 it'll be because you used your head in Cork.

aileen mc

15 years ago

Hard luck Janeanne,
I've no doubt that Cork will become a distant memory and that sub 3 will come sooner than planned. Brave decision and heart touching report. Well done.