Saturday, March 08, 2008

Race Preview

I’m flabbergasted, but tomorrow will really be my first race in over 5 months! I don’t know how I managed to leave such a gap. Well, I do know, actually. You can’t run a race if you’re suffering from pneumonia. This had ended my chances of participation in the Mallow 10 miler, and last week’s 10k in Adare had to be sacrificed for Mother’s Day. Well, it’s been a very long wait, and I’m all the more anticipating my return.

Yesterday was yet another easy 10 mile recovery effort. It was very windy, and I chose two loops of the Ard-na-Sidhe road rather than face the elements head-on on the exposed side of Caragh Lake. There’s nothing to report. The legs felt heavy, which isn’t newsworthy the day after a 20 miler.

Today, on the other hand, provided quite some contrast. For the first time since Monday’s pair of tempo runs the legs felt good. My one training compromise for tomorrow’s race was that I constrained myself to 5 miles today. I ran nice and easy again, expecting something like 8:30 pace, but was rather surprised at the turnaround point, when I looked at my Garmin and I was doing 8:00 pace. I didn’t complain, take the good days when they come along, as long as I don’t have to pay for it tomorrow. On the way home I added three accelerations to my supposed race pace (6:30), but got it a bit wrong and ended up doing around 6:00 instead. I’m sure I won’t repeat that tomorrow. In any case, that was the easiest 7:46 pace I’ve run in a very long time.

According to Mike and Ewen tomorrow will be the long-anticipated face off between Grellan and myself. In fact, it will be the first meeting of a three-race series, with the half marathon in Bantry and the Cork City marathon to follow. Since Bantry will be just 4 weeks after my ultra, Grellan will be the overwhelming favourite for that one. Which means I’ll have to beat him tomorrow, or it will be all over even before we get to the start line in Cork. Of course he’s bluffing in his blog, pretending to be slower than me. Who does he think he’s fooling? Actually, slightly more serious, the best outcome for tomorrow would be for us both to drag each other to a time that neither of us would be able to accomplish on our own. I’ll settle for that, no matter who crosses the line first.

It will be a PR of some sorts in any case, because I’ve never run a 10 mile race before. My best effort had come in last year’s Half marathon in Blarney, when I ran the first 10 miles in about 67:45. I sure hope to beat that time tomorrow. 65 minutes would be my A goal. We’ll see.
7 Mar
10 miles, 1:25:50, 8:35 pace, HR 142
8 Mar
5 miles, 38:54, 7:46 pace, HR 146


  1. 5 months?! good luck!! congrats on the PR we already know you'll get :)

  2. You're right Thomas i'm a bad bluffer but i'm aiming to get better.

    Of course tomorrow will be the third race we have run together (well started together)

    The first was the Bantry half marathon in May last year where you posted 01:29:57 to my 01:32:29

    and then there was the Cork half marathon last September where you finished in 01:27:52 to my 01:35:52

    you're close to the hat trick.

    Whatever the result i'm looking forward to the race. See you in the morning

  3. Good luck tomorrow to both of you. Look forward to the report on your new 10 mile pr.

  4. My money (Guinness) is on Thomas despite his recent bad spell. If he loses, I'll be drinking a Keith's Red Amber instead. Have fun guys!

  5. Good luck to both of you! Have fun and run hard.

  6. Best of luck on Sunday. The bout of pneumonia really kicked you in the head, but you've recovered nicely. I'm sure you'll have a great race.

  7. Thomas have a great race I know you will kick butt!!