Donadea 50k approaches. It’s coming. Nothing can stop it. Well, actually, now that I write that, I realise that any number of things could actually derail it, so perhaps I had best not tempt fate. It’s due to kick off on Saturday, February 12th in Donadea Park at 9am.
I recall the first time this race loomed into view. It was when I was training for marathons without too much success, and the thought of running 5k loops ten times filled me with equal parts dread and awe. Since then, I have come to realise that if you are pig-headed enough (and do some training too; pig-headedness alone won’t get you to the finish), you can drag the old body around some remarkably long distances.
I did this once before. Race report here: https://unironedman.com/2017/02/12/the-5050/
And it is indeed a race. As the race director is fond of telling us, this is a National Championship Race, and a qualifier for bigger things, so there are some serious runners here, whispering past you, and lapping you after just thirty to forty minutes in. In it to win it, as they say. I’m in it to hopefully finish.
S and I took the dogs out today for a spin around the course. It was a wet and windy old afternoon, but there’s plenty of shelter at Donadea. The main entrance was closed for some reason, so getting in proved a bit of a head-scratcher. And the café inside the park near the pond was closed too. Indeed, I have never seen the place so deserted. But we had a nice stroll and I got the chance to give my PTSD from nearly five years ago a little nudge when we set off on the route.
Once you pass the Pond and the 9/11 Memorial, you head off around the perimeter of the woods. The loop is about 5k all told, and loops back to the café. Along the way, it looks a lot like the image below (snapped while walking the dogs).
It’s a pleasant enough track to run on, but after 7 or 8 loops, you do begin to tire of it. And truth be told, I am not looking forward to the experience. My last two marathons have ended with rather uncomfortable results, and there is precious little time to recover for Donadea. And for ‘precious’ you can read ‘definitely not enough’.
So I am going to go ahead with it anyway, and use the inevitable pain and suffering as psy-ops training for the 115k ultra in Summer. Though I will have ten sobering reminders (assuming I finish) each time I pass the 9/11 Memorial that pain and suffering are very much relative.
Once the walk was complete, we retired, damp and a little cold, to a local café near the entrance. Of course, it was run by a Dublin man, and within minutes, S and the owner discovered they were near neighbours and knew dozens of people in common, so they spent ages yakking about the old times while I supped my hot chocolate. Ireland is a small place. 🙂