The 165k and 100k event started at the same time and shared the same course for about 47km. These 47k were relativly easy as the bunch stayed together and while there was effort getting up to the lead pack initially, once you were tucked inside it was relatively plain sailing. We headed east for Youghal and north through Clashmore, Villierstown and Cappoquin.
I was in the lead group (sounds impressive but the pace was relatively easy) when the 165k and 100k courses diverged and as I turned left the rest of the group went straight ahead leaving me at the front of the 100k event for about half a mile following the lead car (this would never happen if I were running). It didn't last long though as I got swallowed up and eventually dropped by a group, including Connie & Pete - triathlon buddies from last year (somehow I feel the tables will turn this year) ). I was in a chasing group about 30 or 40 seconds down heading through Cappoquin for Lismore (where there would be a pit stop for refreshments - about the 64 k mark). Coming out of Cappoquin Derek O'Keeffe of Eagle AC pulled alongside me and I tucked in behind him to see if we could catch the lead group and while we (well Derek really) gave it everything (I had nothing left to give) we could not close the gap. Derek pulled ahead coming into Lismore and we both missed the pit stop (didn't see it) so we forged ahead for Tallow, Dungourney and back to Midleton - those last 36k were solo as Derek had pulled well ahead. The toughest section was the 4 mile climb out of Tallow that appeared to go on for ever but the gradient was on the easy side so it was manageable.
By the time I finished my quads were fairly shot and there was a slight niggle in my right hamstring - nothing to worry my running though. All in all a good morning out.
My running mileage continues to be fairly low since Connemara with about 28 in total last week and 21 so far this week (a medium long run tomorrow should see this rise above 30). My main focus is on recovering some of the speed I had earlier in the year with 2 sessions at the track this week -
3 x 1k at a faster 3:38 pace (3:45 in lane 3) on Tuesday and
8 x 400m in 80 seconds (83 in lane 3) on Thursday.
Both went to schedule so my plan appears to be working - although I can feel that I am on the edge of my ability so I won't push the paces higher until the intervals begin to feel easier first.