Sunday, 29 August 2010

From 41 to 182

In the end I made 41 out of the top 50 of the Ballycotton Summer Series with a margin of 2:19 over the number 50 spot. However my 31:19 result was hard earned with a tough battle especially during the 2nd and 3rd miles. While the 4th and 5th didn't feel as rough that was primarily because they were slower than I'm capable of. I was 3 seconds slower on this course last year (my PB coming into this year) but I had a much better finish over the last 2 miles with split comparing as follows:- Mile.2009...2010 1...6:20....5:57 (net downhill) 2...6:27....6:17 3...6:33....6:31 (net uphill) 4..6:05....6:15 (up and down) 5....5:57....6:19 (up and down) ...31:22..31:19
I'd much prefer the 2009 race strategy of finishing strong - the last 2 miles were 32 seconds faster than this year. Still I did what I had to do - the only reason I crept up 6 places is that 6 people in the top 46 didn't show up on the night.
Since the race I have reverted to the more enjoyable endurance end of the spectrum - heading to Kenmare on Friday evening with Adrian for one more jaunt around the 49 mile hilly bike route of the Lost Sheep Tri, this time in glorious sunshine and spectacular views. While the bike leg of middle distance triathlons is typically 56 miles (90k) I think the reduced distance in the Lost Sheep is there to compensate for the hills. While I was pleased with my overall time of 2:50, conditions were ideal and I did stop at the top of each climb to take in the views (The garmin was set to auto pause when stopped) - While my Plan A & B targets are 5:15 and 5:30 I almost harboured a notion of getting under 5 hours (It's great what a sunny day will do for your confidence).

I followed up the cycle with a fast 2 mile run on the half marathon course - I don't think the 6:40 pace will be replicated on race day though, more like 7:10/15 if i'm feeling good (i.e. 1:35 for the half). With a swim target of 35 minutes and 2:50 for the cycle (again on a good day) that leaves 5 hours on the dot - now if I could squeeze in a few minutes more i'd have enough for the transitions. At least it puts the race in perspective and makes my plan A target of 5:15 appear realistic.

Less that 13 hours later I was out the door on the Club long run over a 12 mile hilly route west of the City and boy did it feel tough, especially over the first few miles. Downhills were grand but I was left standing on the uphills. Still I managed to hang on with a few others to extend my run on the grass of UCC farm to 18.5 miles in all (about 7:54 pace).

I though I might get a sleep in on Sunday morning but an invitation to join Martin Leahy for a swim around Sandycove Island at 8 was too tempting, as my swimming has been non-existent over the last week. It was also an opportunity to test the impact of the tear in the back of my wetsuit. The water was beautifully calm in the morning sunshine and the swim went by without a hitch, although an attempt to put a gap between myself and Martin over the latter half of the 1.8k route was unsuccessful. I was out of the water a few minutes before him in Bo Peep and so thought it should not be a problem. Maybe I need to be in a race to swim faster. After the swim we headed on the bikes along the coast to Timoleague and Courtmacsherry and back covering 37 miles. I thought my lack of rest since the Ballycotton 5 would make for an uncomfortable ride but I felt surprisingly good.

Monday was a well earned rest day with a trip to Joe for a well overdue rub down.While there were the inevitable tight spots (I'm not the best at doing the ancillary stuff like stretching/foam rolling etc.) there was nothing to worry about.

Looks like Tuesday will be a rest day also as I will be in Dublin taking Keevsa and Safan to see Blink 182 at the O2 Arena. They'll be with their buddies up front while i'll hang at the back so as not to cramp their style. It sounded like a good idea when booking the tickets a few months ago (I had heard them quite often on my longs runs over the last few years when borrowing their iPods) but somehow I think I'll be the oldest fan at the gig. Here's a taste of what's in store ... at least it's running related.


  1. You achieved your objective so well done!
    still think you can break 30 mins for 4 miles and sub 3 for 26.2 if you get the right training in!
    Music Festivals;
    You should have gone to the Beatles festive in Liverpool this weekend like I did, then even at my age i felt young compared to some of the people around :]

  2. Now why couldn't Katy Perry have done a video clip like that (minus the pixelation)?

    Congrats on the top-50. Interesting to compare splits from last year - to me it shows some value in getting out fast for short races. Perhaps not for a HIM though! Sub-5 would be a fantastic time. Enjoy the gig.

  3. Jeez, that was quite some finish last year. Matching that would always have been ambitious. You did well to beat your time from then - and of course you comfortably collected your t-shirt. Congratulations!