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from Diary of a rubbish marathoner If you’re driving towards Dingle, you’ll find that some vandals keep deleting the English version of that town from road sign, leaving only the Gaelic “An Daingean” and some helpful souls keep re-adding it in bright big letters. What might surprise you is that it’s the Government that keeps deleting the sign, but only if you don’t know much about politics on out strange little island. In any case, if you know that Dingle and An Daingean are the same place, you’re ok.

Twice last year I drove from Dingle to Ballydavid. To get there, you can either take the scenic route via Slea Head, or cross a fairly big mountain. I thought that running that mountain would be six tough miles, but fun. Incidentally, if you do the entire loop via Slea Head and then cross the mountain on the way back, you’ll be doing about 26 miles. No points for guessing where the marathon will be held.

One look at the elevation profile will tell you that I won’t be breaking 3 hours. I guess that’s one reason why I’m drawn to it. I won’t feel under pressure to perform. That, and the fact that it’s basically my home marathon. I think the organisers tried to out-do Connemara. In one way they have certainly achieved that. Their “big final hill” is higher, meaner and steeper.

I had the most exhausting weekend in a long time. Apart from doing 6 loads of laundry, I put up a set of swings for the kids (a late birthday present for the twins), picked them off the swings about a dozen times following various fights, and mowed enough grass to feed a herd of cows. Oh, and I ran.

Yesterday I finally felt great again. It was only a six-mile run, and I probably would have been better of slowing down a bit, but it was great to let the legs work and feel the miles melt away.

Today, in contrast, I was rather sore; more from the gardening work than from yesterday’s run, I’m sure, but sore nevertheless. I kept the pace close to 8-minute miles for most of it, but with 1.5 miles to go I ran out of patience, so to speak, and raced it home. I’ve got too much energy left at the end of my runs. It’s time to increase the mileage again.

8 May
8.2 miles, 1:03:00, 7:40 pace, HR 158
9 May
6 miles, 45:06, 7:31 pace, HR 160
10 May
10 miles, 1:17:12, 7:43 pace, HR 155

Weekly Mileage: 46+