Thursday, 24 June 2010

Eagles Eagles Everywhere

There was a sea of Eagle AC singlets all around me during the opening mile of my second speed session of the week. The plan called for 5 x 1 mile at tempo pace (6:26 minute miles for me) with 1 minute recoveries. I decided to save the recoveries until the end of the session and to make them all the more sweet I planned on pushing the pace as far as I could under 6:26 - all on the hope I would get one step closer to a free t-shirt in two months time.

My race number "89" this evening for the Shanagarry 5 miler was my position after the first (of four) race in the Ballycotton series last month, where I strolled home in 32:32. I have my work cut out for me to get under 50 overall (men) for the final race in August - rank will be based on cumulative time over the 4 races.

While the first mile was at a solid pace, I was about 10 yards behind a group of three Eagles, (John D, Micheal and Pat M) John O'C having surged ahead chasing down Kevin. I couldn't bridge the gap to the 3 in front without putting in a surge, which I didn't want to do so early in the race.

The 5:59 opening mile told me that I had gone out a bit fast and was glad that I hadn't chased down the hares in front. I was racing my race and if the lads were faster so be it. I also knew that the most challenging part of the race was yet to come with a long steady climb from about mile 2 to mile 3.5 and a shorter steeper climb 1/4 mile either side of the 4 mile mark.

Micheal had pushed 10 to 20 yards ahead of John and Pat with me 5 yards behind them churning out a steady pace, at least I wasn't losing contact, which gave me some comfort. Mile 2 in 6:12 (12:11 overall). "If I get 12:11 for the next 2 miles that makes 24:22 for 4 miles, which would set me up nicely for a sub 31 minute PB" - Don't know where that thought came from but it was pure fantasy. During the long rise to the 3 mile mark I passed John and Pat and could see Micheal ahead. I kept churning out the same effort and gradually reeled Micheal in, which I wasn't expecting. Mile 3 in 6:38 (18:49 overall) - the long drag certainly blunted my speed.

I could now see John O'C ahead and thought I might catch him. I was still 20 yards behind him at the 3.5 mile mark where we took a sharp left and a steep downhill for about 100 yards. I let off the brakes and careered down the hill reeling in a few in front and managed to pull alongside John by the time we hit the bottom and before the rise towards the 4 mile mark. Kevin G was pulled up ahead - suffering from a stitch. On the rise towards the 4 mile mark I could see Pat O'C ahead in his distinctive blue 2010 Barcelona Marathon top.

Mile 4 in 6:22 (25:11 overall). The road continued to rise and I maintained a steady pace, while wanting to leave something in the tank for the last 1/2 mile downhill to the finish. I was on Pat's shoulder with about 600m to go and didn't think I had much left to finish strong. We passed the 400m to go sign more or less together - I thought he would have put in a surge and dropped me. With about 250m to go I put in a surge and went ahead and thought the line couldn't come soon enough. With about 30 yards to go John D went flying past me with another guy on his shoulder - I had no time or energy to respond, crossing the line behind them in 31:24 (6:13 final mile).

The second time in as many weeks that I was a second outside my PB. Still I am relatively happy with my progress and have 2 more months of training before the last race in the series.

I didn't stop around to check the results after the race so I don't know where I came but hope that when I line out for Churchtown South in a months time my race number will be well under this evenings "89".



  1. You've got a competitive racing scene over there. 89 runners under 32:32! We'd only have about 20 on our Saturday races.

    The 1 second miss means you're in PB shape, so next time unleash your sprint from further out ;)

  2. looking good for a tshirt! Make sure the guys know your size.... :)

    If you keep racing this often you won't need to do any training!

  3. 60th place is quite an improvement to last time. Getting a t-shirt might depend on how many of the really fast guys run the entire series, but I think it's looking good.

    A new PB is going to happen the moment you find a flatter race course.

  4. Good running Grellan. You zoomed by me at the 3.5 mile mark and you were looking comfortable. I would think Sub 31 is on the cards soon for you.

  5. F**K the time, you kicked the crap out of runners who normally leave you behind. Great running :]