Friday, 29 August 2008

Nothing to Report

.....I was hoping to report a 5 mile PB.
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I thought it was in the bag, just turn up and put one leg in front of the other at a rate that would get my heart thumping comfortably hard. After all it should be relatively easy to beat 32:06 - the first 5 miles of my 10k PB were clocked in 30:59. Thomas walked me around an 8k last Sunday in 31:17 - what's the problem..........
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The Ballycotton 5 was the problem
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- although I can't really blame the course. Hilly and all as it was in parts it was no worse than last Sunday at Liscarroll.
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I could blame tiredness from last Sundays race and the mixed intervals on Tuesday - but I did not feel tired and my legs felt fresh - at the start at least.
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I could blame the lack of Mr Garmin (not charged) in giving accurate realtime pace (replaced by a stopwatch) but I did get mile splits. In any event my best race to-date was run without any idea of how fast I was going.
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I could blame the unseasonably warm evening (Ireland got it's summer on Thursday 28th August - gone by 29th) but I didn't feel unseasonably warm.
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...and so what did happen?
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...........bang! goes the gun and we're off. All around me charge off as if we are doing a 400m dash or the bull run at Pamplona. The first mile was primarily downhill - there was a commentary car at the front of the pack giving a blow by blow account of the leaders over a loudspeaker. "No one taking out the pace"..."course record won't be broken"........."first mile in five twenty something" - I could see the leaders around the corner.
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"christ they're well ahead, it'll take me at least a minute to get there"
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and sure enough it does
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"06:24" the timekeeper at Mile 1 says.
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I don't push the pace but keep it steady knowing that the effort has to be sustained for quite a bit yet. The road levels out and takes a left turn, slight downhill. My steady pace is enough to continually reel in one or two runners a minute, leaving me in no-mans-land for a while until I catch onto the coattails of the next bunch.
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Mile 2 in 06:32.
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"christ this isn't getting any easier and it's been largely downhill so far - could it remain downhill for much longer"
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My mind tries to rationalise an all downhill loop course and the "never-ending staircase" appears.
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"isn't that all uphill though - depends which way you're going - it's an illusion man get a grip"
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No need to imagine anymore, halfway through mile 3 the road begins a gradual rise that culminates in a short steep "stairway to heven" that would test the resolve of the most hardened runners. Still I held my own and even gained a place or two.
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Mile 3 at the top of the hill - 06:44. Not pretty but to be expected given the rise.
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Mile 4 is undulating but I appear to do reasonably well, especially on the uphill sections passing about 6 during this mile. One guy, all in black, with long loping strides did pass me out before the 4 mile mark though.
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"twenty six minutes" the time keeper at Mile 4 said (my watch put the mile at 06:22 - 26:02 in total)
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"that's 06:30 pace, which will give me 32:30 - at least i'll get 32:xx.
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While the course did rise and fall a bit over the last mile I ran steady putting in the extra effort to stay on pace, all the while passing one or two who appeared to be suffering in front of me. I recognised Nollaig Hunter about 100 yards ahead and though it would be nice to catch her before the finish, although I made no conscious effort to realise that daydream. I could see the lap split on my watch and knew reasonably accurately how many minutes of pain were left, which I found comforting.
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While I find it difficult to push myself to pass runners in front, once I have passed someone I feel compelled to stay ahead, particularly near the end of a race. This, in the end, is what drove me to a sprint finish to the line with about 200m to go. One guy I passed was coming back at me so I upped the pace and felt comfortable, knowing I had less than a minute to go and the pace kept increasing until I was passed the next guy and hurtling past Nollaig and sprinting for the line. My first sight of the clock 50 yards out revealed "32:06". I didn't realise I was that close. I stopped my watch at 32:12. 6:10 for the last mile.
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Given that the sprint finish felt so comfortable I concluded that I did not push myself enough during the race, particularly in the early stages, If I had upped the pace maybe I would have been able to sustain it for the 5 miles - although that hill at mile 3 might have been a showstopper.
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The official results put me at 32:14, 79th out of 379. Anyway I'll live to fight another day.
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I met a few runners after the race who are doing the half marathon in Amsterdam on October 19th. We agreed to meet up and have a few beers after the races. As the marathon is starting at 1030 and the half a 1400hrs they promised to have a few beers for me on the finishing line - very thoughtful. I'd want to make sure and finish well before 1400hrs to give them a chance to warmup though.
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Thur 28th Aug
About 9 miles with 5 miles in 32:14 (06:26 pace)
Legs: 7/10
Sleep: 8 hrs 9/10
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Fri 28th Aug
8.12 recovery Miles in the park at about 08:24 pace
Legs: 7/10
Sleep: 7 hrs 7/10
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Have a nice weekend.

4 comments:

  1. You were pretty close! Good to see you practising the sprint finish - you may need to use that in the next race against Thomas ;)

    Yes, running a 'strong middle' is probably a better way for a fast time. Isn't that what Wanjiru did? As well as a strong start and finish!

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  2. Still very solid. Great job. That's some very good speed.

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  3. A beer waiting for you at the finish line should be all the incentive you need for a fast time!

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  4. Sweet And Low

    (1)

    Sweet and low, sweet and low,

    Wind of the western sea, ,

    Low, low, breathe and blow,

    Wind of the western sea!

    Over the rolling waters go,

    Come from the dying moon, and blow,

    Blow him again to me;

    While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

    (2)

    Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

    Father will come to thee soon;

    Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

    Father will come to his babe in the nest,

    Silver sails all out of the west

    Under the silver moon;

    Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

    -----by age of conan


     

    ReplyDelete