............when there is no pain (well not much pain) ... and that's exactly what I had for the Army/Navy 5 Mile road Race this evening. I took it easy (that's a relative term) because this is a cut back week and yesterday evening I had completed my scheduled 4 x 1k @ 5k pace at the track and two speed sessions back to back is not recommended. I set out this evening to run a tempo pace run in lieu of tomorrows scheduled 3.5 miles @ 10k pace. I signed up at the Haulbowline Naval Base on the south side of Cork Harbour just after 7 - the place is a rabbit warren of old nineteenth century buildings, some derelict. I hadn't much time for a warmup before the 7:30 start time. I settled in to the middle of the pack about 10 back from the start. 06:30 to 7:00 pace would do fine, closer to 06:30 if I could - listen to my body! .and we were off. I took it easy over the first mile covering it in 06:47. I knew there was a steepish hill during the 2nd mile and kept the pace even covering it in 06:57. The benefit of setting off in the middle of the pack was than I continued to pass runners in front of me. I began to aim for sub-34 minutes by counting the seconds below 7:00 for each mile. "13 + 3 = 16" "Hmm I'll have to crank up the pace a little to build the cushion to 60"
Mile 3 in 06:40. Past half way, time to crank up the pace a little. Despite this, one guy went flying past me midway through mile 4. No problem, leave him go. Mile 4 in 06:16. The effort was hard but relatively comfortable. Up the bridge back towards the Naval base - two guys in front - "these are the last guy's i'll take and i'll coast into the finish". Down the other side and pull alongside another guy "don't worry" I said "i'll run in with you, 2 minutes to go". I should have said nothing as 100 yards down the road I hear a guy coming up behind us and I take off. Looking at the Garmin tells me that I have a minute to go so I accelerate....two guys ahead.... past them and around the last bend - my best sprint finish by far as I past under the clock in 33:04. 5th mile in 06:18 with Garmin recording 6 seconds for the last 0.02 miles (i.e. measured 5.02 miles). Average pace of 06:36. Close enough to my 06:30 target and more importantly no pain at all (breathing normal after 10 seconds) - came in behind the guy who passed me in the 4th mile. The race felt no more difficult than last weeks 5.6 mile tempo run. Well why would it - that run was at 06:32 pace. Still I was only a minute down on my 32:06 PB. I know, that PB should be closer to 31 minutes. However my fellow runner "Miley" who runs similar paces to me (recent 5k of 18:35) finished in 31:50 and bust a gut trying to get 31:30. This was certainly a more comfortable and enjoyable race than i'm used to. Why don't I run all my races like this. There's only one reason I could think of........because I know I can do better and if I don't push myself i'll never know. I followed the race with a 3 mile warmdown and a shower. By the time I got to the refreshment hall (one of the reasons for coming - heard the refreshments were the best) all that was left was tea or coffee. Better eat first the next time. The most difficult session of the week was my 4 x 1k @ 5k pace at the track last night. I just didn't feel like running fast and thought about throwing in the towel after the first 2 reps. However I took a longer recovery and the 3rd rep felt a bit easier so I continued and completed the 4th. I took Saran and Ani to the track to sign them up with Belgooly Junior AC. Saran took to it like a duck to water but Ani sat it out (maybe next week). My longer recoveries were spent attending to her - thankful for an excuse. Time (Recovery) - Pace (1.04k - lane 3) 03:46 (02:56 R) - 05:49 03:47 (04:00 R) - 05:51 03:48 (03:28 R) - 05:52 03:44 - 05:46 Mon 18th Aug Day Off Tue 19th Aug a.m. 2.5 miles in 19:44 (-07:53 pace @ No HRM) treadmill at the gym. p.m. about 5 miles with 4 x 1k @ 05:46 to 05:52 pace. (no Garmin - low battery) Wed 20th Aug 8.84 Miles in 01:04:16 (07:16 pace @ no HRM) with 5 miles in 34:04 (06:36 pace) There is another 5 miler coming up in Liscarrol on Sunday that Thomas reminded me of. As my programme calls for a 10k race this weekend this would appear to be the nearest equivalent (the other options being the Ballycotton 5 Miler the following thursday or a local charity 11k on Saturday that a guy at work told me about). I'll see.