Firstly, you can ignore the HR reading over the first mile and a bit, that’s a false reading that happens when the contacts aren’t moist. Secondly, you can see the slow pace at the start. The first quarter had an average pace of 7:20, at least a minute per mile slower than what I would have run on an open road. And since I still had to weave around plenty of people after that point I estimate that the start cost me about 20 seconds. Not enough to get anywhere near my mallow time, but I most likely would have ended up under 64 minutes. Ah well, never mind.
But what really struck me was that HR spike at 3.5 miles. If you remember the race report you can see that I actually noticed something funny happening to my heart at that point. I had no idea this actually showed up on the HR monitor. I googled for tachycardia and hear rate spikes, and the answers are reasonably reassuring, so I don’t think I’m about to drop dead. As I’ve mentioned, this has happened before, but never during a race, and I did have a medical check-up that came up blank. I have no idea what exactly is going on, but I honestly think it’s not as serious as it sounds.
Anyway, the other bit of information I gathered from the data is that I did not run hard enough! I know the HR is not an exact replication of effort, but the average HR of 176 in Mallow was significantly higher than the 172 in Ballycotton, and I can only conclude that I could have pushed an ounce harder. My easiest mile was the fifth, for which I actually have an excuse because I was sheltering from the wind behind a group. Apart from that, most miles should have been a tad harder. I only pushed hard enough on the last 2.
There were some photos as well. I didn’t spot myself at the start, but with 2500 other runners on a narrow street that’s not very surprising. I found one with about half a mile to go, which won’t win a prize for beauty. Well, I was redlining at the time. There was also an official photographer at the finish, where you can see me with the two guys I had just outsprinted. According to the SportTracks software I was doing about 4:40 pace at the time. It looks like I have finally acquired a finishing kick; all those 30/30 workouts have gained me two places on Sunday.
Following the possibly flawed theory that running on tired legs builds your endurance I went out for 15 miles on Monday. I chickened out of doing 20, but resisted the temptation of cutting it even further. Richard had made a comment on Sunday that my bed must be really uncomfortable, otherwise I would never get up so early. Well, that night Maia had been with us since 4 o’clock, and if you have to share a pillow with a thrashing toddler then getting up at 5:30 gets a lot easier, I can assure you. I was labouring badly up the steep hills, and the wind up there was less than inviting, but at least it wasn’t raining at the time. That came at the halfway mark, and for the next 2 miles I was distinctly cold and uncomfortable. I did question what I was doing, and I wondered how many other runners of Sunday’s race were stupid enough to be out and about at this time of morning. I felt a lot better once the rain subsided and had enough willpower to speed up over the last 4 miles, but not enough muscle fibres to do better than 7:25 pace. Coming home was a massive relief, though.
I finally got my recovery run today with 8 easy miles, again ever so slightly compromised by the wind and the odd rain shower. We’ve had it easy, weather wise, in February, and now it’s payback time. According to the weather forecast the worst is already behind us, but it didn’t feel like that today. The legs are as stiff and tired as I expected them to be. Tomorrow’s effort level will depend on how I’ll feel in the morning.
- 9 Mar
- 15 miles, 1:59:54, 7:59 pace, HR 146
last 4 @ 7:25 pace
- 10 Mar
- 8 miles, 1:05:05, 8:08 pace, HR 141