Sunday, 6 April 2008

UCC Carmel Lynch Memorial10k - Unbelievable

A fine Sunny morning with a cold northerly wind greeted us this morning as we lined up for the annual UCC Carmel Lynch Memorial 10k Road Race. The wind shouldn't be too much of a problem though as the course was essentially 3 miles west along the Lee valley in the lee of a hill to the north, 0.2 miles south crossing the river at the "Anglers Rest" pub and 3 miles back into Cork east along the very familiar "straight road" - although I saw it in a different light this morning (nothing like a bit of pain and a never ending straight to wreck havoc with the mind).
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I signed up with my neighbour, Pat, about 30 minutes before the start (me aiming for sub-40 and Pat sub-43). I warmed up with a jog to the nearest shop to buy a sports drink (I wasn't the best with race preparation this morning) back to the start area and a few 50m strides before the 11:00 start. I met Diarmaid (better known as "Miley"), a friend of my younger brother, just before the start. He had recently returned to Cork to work and had started back into running during the last year. As he came in about 15 seconds ahead of me in the ESB 5k in February (18:50) I was expecting a strong race from him(perhaps sub-39).
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We all lined up and the gun went off. The first 200m is a good downhill where it was easy to pick up the pace and get into a comfortably fast stride. I felt the pace a bit fast over the first mile and Miley passed me looking very strong before the 1 mile mark. Approaching the mark I could hear a timekeeper calling out five fifty six, seven, eight......pressed the lap button at 05:59.8.
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"This is a bit fast for me, better ease up a little - after all target average pace is 06:25 or so - although it felt good to have some "spare time" in the bag. A 100 yards down the road the mile "autolap" beeped on my watch showing 00:45.2 "shit I forgot to turn off the autolap function (the faster I go the more it under records pace) which means it will be more difficult to assess pace at each mile marker as the mile times will be a combination of manual and auto laps (some addition on the run required).
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I must have eased up along this section as I was passed by 5 or 6 runners who formed a group in front of me and appeared to be pulling away. Just before the 2nd mile marker the road rises up for the only hill on the course lasting about half a mile or so. Along this section I gradually reeled in the runners in front and had passed them by the time I came to the crest. In the meantime I had clocked 05:45.7 at the second mile mark and when added to the 45 seconds on the previous "Autolap" gave be 06:30 for mile 2. "Ok 06:15 average, that's not too bad given the hill".
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Approaching the crest of the hill (about mile 2.4) I was pulled along by 2 other runners but passed them out (temporarily as it turned out for one of them) as I attacked the steep downhill towards the river. I could see Miley ahead running alongside a girl (about 20 second gap) still looking strong.
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Passed the 3 mile mark and pressed the lap button - 05:20.8 - meaningless as I had missed the previous "autolap". I knew I was at a good pace though as Miley was not too far in front and one of the guys I passed at the top of the hill had faster finishing times than me in recent races. Over the humped back bridge, left passed the Anglers Rest and left again at the traffic lights onto the "Straight Road". 1 guy passed me along this section at a strong pace and further on he passed Miley and his running companion. The ground between Miley and I was closing very slowly.
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Passed the 4 mile mark - 2.2 miles of straight level road between me and the finish. The even hard effort I had maintained over the previous 4 miles was beginning to wear me down. All I could think of was what a waste it would be to ease up now and negate all the hard work put in. The sight of the County Hall (near finish) in the distance which appeared to be getting no closer was not helping the mental fatigue.
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Approaching the 5 mile mark I finally came alongside Miley and Co. I greeted him - "Diarmaid" I managed to get out between heavy breadths. "Hi ya Grellan" he responded and shortly after that he was gone out in front. 5, 10 and then 15 yards. I could not respond but maintained pace with the girl he had been running alongside. "Well done" a steward said "you're 3rd" - addressed to the girl obviously.
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The guy I had passed coming down the hill towards the 3 mile mark was now on my shoulder and passing me out. No response from me, although I had pulled away from the 3rd Female and appeared to be reeling in Miley. Methinks he made his move too soon and could not maintain the pace - I moved in front of him for the first time in our brief joint running careers (2 races). Approaching the 6 mile mark my original running partner, Adrian, and his Son Rory, were sitting on the wall cheering me on - the perfect spot for the flagging spirit - thanks Adrian.
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I had started counting strides for the last half mile to distract my brain from shutting off motor function to my legs - certainly I had never experienced prolonged effort like this before but kept pushing and eventually could see the finishing line in sight - although without my glasses the time did not come into focus for another 50 yards I could see :05 on the right but it took another few seconds to see 38: to the left of it. "Holy shit" is all I could think - "no wonder I'm fu#*ed". I endured the last few yards and stopped the watch at 38:15. Wow that was unbelievable.
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I was fairly sure I would achieve my sub-40 goal. If racing very well I might have expected a few seconds below 39 minutes (39:50 is what Mcmillan had predicted for me after the Ballycotton 10 - although I appeared, up to now, to have been stronger over the middle distance races of 10 to 15 miles). But I never expected to get anywhere near 38:15. Although I was completely and utterly knackered crossing the line. I still managed a few miles cooldown at a reasonable pace with no apparent niggles. Miley came in a few seconds later but he got "chicked" (to borrow an expression) at the post by his female running partner. Pat came in in 41:14 or so - a very good run and well below his target.
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Post run the splits look like this
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Mile, Cum Time, Pace (avg HR)
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1 - 06:00 - 06:00 (157)
2 - 12:31 - 06:31 (164)
3 - 18:41 - 06:10 (168)
4 - 24:54 - 06:13 (170) - 4 mile PB by 25 seconds @sub 25 mins.
5 - 30:59 - 06:05 (171) - 5 mile PB by 67 seconds @ sub 32 & 31 mins.
6 - 36:58 - 05:59 (174)
6.2 - 38:15 05;58 (177) HR says it all I was reaching the end of what was possible.
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How am I going to top that - thank god there is a year before the next 10k.
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The early results are here. I came 48th out of 336 (10th M40). Last year my time would have got me 27th out of 295 and 3rd M40 (must be a better field this year)
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Using the 4.8 multiplier from my last post gives me a marathon target of 03:03:34 - I should have kept my mouth shut.
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McMillan on the other hand puts me at 02:59:30 - so adding 10 minutes give me a 03:10 minimum target - better.
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Daniel's Running Formula and Fitzgerald's Brain Training (my current training programme) put me at about 02:57 - forget it.
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I'll wait and see how I do in the half marathon at the end of the next 4 week cycle.
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Sat 5th April
2.1 Miles in 17:37 (08:23 pace @ 118 HR)
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Sun 6th April
10 Miles approx with 6.214 in 38:15 (06:09 pace @ 168 HR)
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Marathon Training Week 16/24 - 50 Miles.

9 comments:

  1. I searched the BHAA spreadsheet for your name at the 39.XX people but couldn't find you. Once I scrolled up the spreadsheet I spotted you! well done. If you don't crack 3.00hr for the marathon I'll never talk to you again!!!

    R

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  2. Holy cow Grellan! You really popped a great race today! It must help to be running scared and not be too sure about your times and splits. How do you remember all the to'ing and fro'ing during the race? Nice job!

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  3. CONGRATULATIONS, WELL DONE!

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  4. Well, I thought you'd go sub-39, but not 38:15! Well done mate - great racing.

    When Thomas reads this he'll be calling for a re-measure of the course ;)

    At least you're close enough to a 3hr marathon to attempt it if you want. Definitely a 3:05 there though.

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  5. I'm going through the same toying with my marathon goal based on my 10k. At first I get excited, then I think those calculators are out of their minds ;)

    Great job on the 10k!

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  6. Hi Grellan

    Congratulations my friend.. what an amazing race! There is nothing like that feeling of speed and still being able to maintain it over a 6 mile+ distance.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do in the marathon.

    Best of luck.

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  7. Hi Grellan

    I know that when you look at the paces on my training runs and then look at my 10k and 20k PR you must think.. What?? It is an interesting thing, but I have only been seriously training for about 2and a half years. When I did those times, I was a 3:20 marathoner and have gotten a little bit better since then. I am going to try and do a 20k, 10k and a 5k this summer to see what I can really do at these distances. I honestly think I can go sub 78 minutes for the 20k, but am not sure about the others... I guess I will find out.

    Congrats again on your great 10k and the new sub 40 PR.

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  8. Holy crap, that's awesome, Grellan. I knew you would have no trouble breaking 40, and 39 seemed definitely doable, but that is fantastic! I'm glad at least one of us had a good race at the weekend.

    Even better, it gives me yet another excuse why I won't be able to keep up with you in Bantry.

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