dublin marathon 2018

Marathon completed!

Wow it’s been 2 weeks since I completed my 1st marathon in Dublin. How time flies.

So after the marathon I had a week in Ireland and on return had a full week of studio bookings and plenty to catch up on which I guess is why its taken so long to complete the journey of my marathon training and blogging about it on here.

The run itself went went perfectly - I had a plan, I had trained hard, I had been careful with diet and hydration in the couple of weeks prior to the run and I got the mix of everything right on the day. The only thing I hadn’t banked on was the sudden cold front hitting Ireland Saturday meaning the start of the day was a chilly 2 degrees Celsius - so to combat this I had to start my day walking the streets of Dublin in pyjama bottoms and an old orange hoody - i looked very silly but didn’t care. I was 1 of 20,000 others who was starting the race dressed in old clothes.

The race went well. I started the race smiling and enjoyed the first few miles running through the Phoenix park and just taking in the atmosphere of thousands of feet pounding the ground. I saw my supporters at the 10 mile marker, offloading my hoody to them at that point and blowing a kiss to my wife. Really great moment and by then I was warm and just enjoying the vibe. I decided that by running close to the crowd and smiling madly at everyone I got more names shout outs and this gives a little rush of adrenaline helping boost morale for the next hill or whatever - crowd supporters really help. So big big thanks to all the people who turned out to line the street of Dublin in such cold weather.

After 13.1 miles and going past the half way banners I just felt I had got this and nothing was going to stop me finishing. As I went past the 20 mile marker I was feeling tired but not exhausted and definitely motivated even more by the crowds still. I had used 4 of my ‘Torq’ power gels by this point and decided to not take the others as I was getting stomach cramps - probably due to not taking enough water with them even tho i was carrying and drinking water pretty often - maybe just not often enough but the old brain couldn’t work this out after running for 3 hours. But because I had driven the route on Friday before the race I knew there was a nasty hill just after 22 miles so I decided to take a 5th gel just before this point and it definitely worked - i ran up the hill smiling at the crowd knowing there was nothing left to stop me completing now. At 26 mile crowd cheering area I saw the support crew again which was a nice lift to get me down the last stretch - legs were definitely hurting a lot now but I could see the end line. I finished the race with a chip time of 4 hrs 08 mins 05 secs to collect the medal.

So it was done. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of meeting up with the support crew in Sheenan’s Bar for Guinness and pics, then back to basecamp for showers and straight back into Dublin to take my parents around the Guinness factory then out for a meal before finally going into Temple Bar for celebration drinks with my brother who had run the marathon as well despite having an injured right calf muscle. Ian had been a great mentor/coach for a most of the year behind the scenes and had finished it in just under 4 hours - not bad for a 50 year old!

So that’s it for marathon blogs and I want to thank all the sponsors who helped me raise some money for the charity I chose to run for. ChildLine Ireland or the ISPCC (Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children) do an amazing job of supporting children who call them asking for help when they feel they are in danger. All charities do amazing work but charities supporting kids are amongst the most vital in my mind. With 40 sponsors in the end I went way past my original target of €750 and finished with a grand total of €1,239.44 - so chuffed with this; so a huge thanks to all those that supported the charity and me through these donations.

A few big thanks to the support crew - Mum & Dad flew over from Cornwall to stand in the cold at almost 80 years old - amazing. Richard & Janice for providing base camp in their house. Jean & Rhys who met us in the pub with Moya, Rachel & Grace afterwards for our winners pint of Guinness.

Also I want to mention Susan Ogden for the Kangen Water in the week leading up to the race, Wendi Sartain for lending me a Kangen Water machine for the week, NewGen Superfoods Plus for their amazing food supplement powder which has kept my body healthy all year really and the bloke in the shop in Leamington (Essential Sports) who did my gait analysis, sold me my Asics trainers and gave advise about all things running - great guy. Also Irish Joe for giving me the inspiration and catchphrase which I would like to pass on to anyone else considering running - just get out the door - the rest will follow! Oh and Sue Roberts of Advanced Healing Therapies who worked a minor miracle by healing my poorly left leg after running the Kenilworth half marathon.

So what next?

Well I did say I was aiming for running 1 marathon before i hit 50 and my catchphrase for all these blogs has been: ‘I run parties for kids all year and am running 1 marathon in October’ but since the leg pains have died down and I have started walking normally again theres been a new challenge open up to me. Ian has invited me to run the Cairo marathon on Friday Feb 15th - the route takes in amazing views of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx - initially I was not bothered as I had completed the mission of running a marathon before I got to 50, but I have always wanted to see the Pyramids, Ian lives just outside Cairo and it’s a great way to return the gesture of his support for me in Dublin so, I have agreed. To Cairo I shall go go. Don’t worry I won’t be writing blogs about this one!!

Finally a massive thanks to my wife Rachel for putting up with all the pain, suffering & moaning and for her support and my daughter Grace for riding her bike on countless training runs this last year.

A few pics or the day.

Best big run to date - boom!

Very happy today.

I got up at 5am for todays big run and was out by about 5.40am ready and prepared for what I hoped was to be a 32k run - that's 3/4 of a marathon and from what I've learned most people training for their first marathon would not do more than this distance in their training - and it would be about a month before the race date.

I've brought the distance forward a bit because today is a big day too.  Running parties is what I do usually for kids having birthdays who are about 8-12/13 but today is my brothers birthday and he is 50!!

Fifty - that's like a half century!!  Happy Birthday IAN.

So because my brother Ian will be running the marathon with me in October (he has run marathons before) I figured I should put max effort in today and do a serious big run to mark his birthday.
Some of the parties that have happened this month have been an inspiration too and I have asked the kids to sing Happy Birthday to Ian to celebrate his 50th - these have now all been sent to him in Cairo where he lives.  So thank you to all those kids that helped out.

So the preparation went well - good protein/carb meal last night about 9pm after getting back from the studio and early to bed to get good sleep. Up at 5am with my ever supportive wife (training for a half marathon in September) and a small breakfast, plenty of liquids and off we went.

I stayed with wifey for the first 10k then she split off to go home.  Our daughters at Brownie camp so this was a perfect time for us to do this.

After 21k (half marathon distance) I decided to have the muesli bar I had brought with me for extra energy but OMG never doing this again - I couldn't chew - it took around a half kilometer to eat the bugger and I nearly coughed on it twice.  They are not the right food for energy on the go.  I've got to get some of the gels people talk about.  So things went really tho and the heat was not a problem this time.  5am to 6/7am is a cool time of the day with all the smells of pollen and calm roads.  By 27k I was flagging tho but the need to smash 30k was enough to keep me going and smash it I did - brilliant feeling to keep going under psychological pain.  At 30.5k I was faced with the biggest hill in Kenny and out of water, so i decided to walk and not get a needless injury.  At the top of the hill was an old man doing something random in his drive and I asked him if he would mind refilling my water bottles - he gave me the hose pipe saying "its all the same stuff!" and then miraculously for like about 1 minute it rained! But I was refreshed and refuelled so kept going and ran to 32k. I was happy with that but had sort of set my goal on 34k really so I walked 1k and ran the last. 

After running for so long then walking, my calf muscles had given up i think and so maybe this wasn't the best idea - I've heard trainers saying that it's better to keep going and run really slow than stop and/or walk - now I know why. Anyway - I feel really positive now that a marathon is possible for me - 34k is only 8k away and about 80% the distance - I've got 3 months training left and visiting Belgium, Boston, New York and Spain is going to be inspiration to keep training hard.  Bring it on!

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Tiny reminder about the marathon relevance to Pop Star Party news:
In October this year I will be running the Dublin marathon so am currently training 4 days a week to build strength & passion for running - I will be running for a charity also and that charity is ChildLine Ireland.
I'm taking a food supplement for extra energy & all round organic support to diet:
If you would like a Pop Star Party then click here
Book Your Best Party Idea Ever Here

Pop Star Party supports ISPCC.png

Party in Portugal - with sardines!

Last month has been an eye opener in so many ways.  June took me abroad a second time but this time to Portugal where there are forrest's of Eucalyptus trees - or used to be.  They suffered tremendously last year in the fires but are showing superb signs of growing back - it will take a good few more years to fully recover though.  Anyone who pictures a forrest will imagine vast expanses of green - not black.  

A friend of mine has a property in Portugal that he is doing up and I offered to pop out and help in the labouring department and be a moral boost - I also got a really cheap holiday and the chance to train in a different environment - the forrest is on a mountain and everywhere is steep steep steep. Running around these roads was exhilarating and of course I was careful not to overdo anything, as with different terrains you get different sprains.  I clocked an 11k run in Coimbra district which was good enough for me.  Sleeping on a camp bed and working hard in the 38 degree heat was interesting - fortunately this area is very rural and completely the opposite to Norway - wine is mega cheap!!  

And then one night we went to the local town and watched the Sardine Festival - I never imagined I would be writing this in a zillion years - yes the town had gone sardine mad - everywhere people were grilling sardines and selling them and a procession came through with people dancing, holding giant sized sardines on sticks so big it took 2 adults to hold them - bizarreeeeee.

I think this town is very comfortably stuck in the 70's - not a care in the world.  I will be back.

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Pop Star Party Sardine Festival.jpg

It was  a great break full of hard work and intense heat, running and seeing yet another different side of life - the world's a big place - or sardine even!

Tiny reminder about the marathon relevance to Pop Star Party news:
In October this year I will be running the Dublin marathon so am currently training 4 days a week to build strength & passion for running - I will be running for a charity also and that charity is ChildLine Ireland.
I'm taking a food supplement for extra energy & all round organic support to diet:
If you would like a Pop Star Party then click here
Book Your Best Party Idea Ever Here

Pop Star Party supports ISPCC.png

Running for Child Line in Ireland

Just a very quick few words about the marathon in October which I am running and the charity I have chosen to help raise a few quid for - or Euros even.  It is not a requirement of the race to represent a charity like London is, but I have opted to since it is so relevant.  The kids who have a party with us are fortunate to be given a party and not all kids are - but they should be.

My chosen charity is ChildLine in Ireland or the Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children ISPCC. Why the Irish ChildLine you may ask? Well the race is of course in Ireland but my wife and all her family are Irish and my daughter half Irish, so that hopefully is enough.  That aside, I think that it really doesn't matter which country since the point is that if a child is being bullied or worse, it's vital they have knowledge of how to call for help and ChildLine charities in general, in any country, all need support.

So here is the link which will be built into all blogs from now (hopefully!):




My half marathon challenge(s)

So I decided when I started training this year that I would do 3 things. Follow a training plan (obviously) but also do the marathon distance every month and do a half marathon every month also - clearly the last 2 can be combined but don't have to be.

Today I completed the half marathon for Feb and the marathon distance for Feb - cos I ran 8.5k on Thursday eve, then 11.5k Saturday and 21k today on Sunday.

'So what?' you may be thinking!!

Well indeed so what, but the thing with running is there is so much too it - it's not just stamina or strength but there's the psychological side to it all as well as the physique and nutrition. And clothes - don't forget them and accessories but that's all another blog.

Whenever you run there is always the temptation to stop, after-all nobody is telling me to run - so what drives me? I guess many things do but possibly the main thing is my daughter.  

Just incase you don't know me I'm Roger, 47 years old and run a recording studio and part of the business involves running Pop Star Party. I'm married to Rachel and have 1 daughter Grace, who I spend a lot of time with and ever since she was born I have encouraged her to do things well and be successful.  She has been taught to swim by me and last year won her schools gala which I was very happy with.  Since the age of 4 she has learned to ice-skate and last year she competed nationally in an ice skating competition which was an enormous challenge.  Part of that required her to be able to do the splits and be very very supple and fit for pulling the moves on the ice and I spent a year helping her (encouraging her cough cough) to do all the exercises and stuff to be able to do the splits - none of us enjoyed this! But she got there and I think her determination impressed me enough to think I should do something to really challenge myself - which is where running fitted in nicely.

A lot of my family run too - there's heaps of runners in my family and we all have our reasons to run.  The things that go through your head when running are hilarious but whenever I'm feeling like I'm knackered I remind myself of how I push my daughter to 'try harder' or 'do it differently' and so I change the pace a bit or do whatever - but I don't stop!

At the moment it seems to work - I think I'm enjoying the psychology of running more than the physicality of running - maybe this will change as I get to be doing harder distances but right now it's all good.

This Thursday I travel to Ireland for my brother-in-laws' wedding and we are staying in Dublin.  I'm intending on trial running the section of the Dublin marathon which goes through Phoenix Park - this is about 4 miles or something along a straight path on a fairly constant incline so I figure is going to be quite dull.  Knowing how long that section takes will be a good help when I do it for real in October.

As soon as that's done I shall no doubt be indulging in all the usual wedding fun and looking forward to meeting up again with all the guys who were on the stag do in Portugal.  Maybe the next blog post will be on that!!

Phoenix Park Pop Star Party.jpeg