Sunday, March 22, 2015

Yet Another Kerry County Championship

Last year, exactly one week after the Tralee marathon, there was a local 5k/10k fundraiser at the school just around the corner from here. Despite the legs still feeling the marathon I took part, was lucky enough that no fast runner turned up in the 5k and won a lovely Easter Egg, as well as the warm glow that comes from supporting your local community. I had every intention this year of either doing the same again or let Niamh run it if she wanted to, but at the start of the week was informed that the county Kerry championship road race would be held on at exactly the same time. I still preferred the local option until Sean badgered me into running the championship because with Roland, our new star runner, we might have a good team, so I decided to take one for the team.

Turns out, Roland had gotten an email on Friday that he had gotten a place in the Wicklow Way Ultra on Saturday (yes, the very next day), ran that one instead, and used that as an excuse not to race a 5k on Sunday, which left me as the "star" runner and pop went our chances in the team results.

Before that I had done my very best to torpedo my own performance by running a fairly hefty mileage, considering that I was still recovering from the Tralee marathon, and going on a trail run on Saturday myself, though a much shorter option than the one that had done for Roland. I also ran 5 miles on Sunday morning, allegedly to shake out my legs but it all meant that my legs were aching slightly even during the warm up.

The race started while I was still busy fiddling with the buttons on my watch (seriously, I'm an idiot) and then I started chasing Maria McCarthy because I figured she would pull me to a faster time. It quickly became apparent that my legs just would not move fast enough to keep up with her, though the slightly downhill nature of the first mile and the wind at our back meant this was still a 5:34 opening mile. Obviously I was going to pay for that, with headwind, uphill and tired legs yielding a rather modest 6:22 second mile (I got those numbers from strava afterwards, I know better than to consult my watch during a 5k). After 1 mile I already wished for this to be over, rather early for those kind of thoughts, and at the halfway point Niamh O'Sullivan passed me looking strong, but at least she provided some reason to push harder. She pulled away from me very slightly over the next mile, but with my male ego finally making itself felt I put the hammer down at the top of the last hill. Quite to my surprise I actually closed the gap and moved ahead of her again, expecting the finish line to be just ahead, but we went on to the next corner and then there was still a quarter mile left, which just drew out forever and by the time I finally crossed the line I was close to collapsing, but was left with a rather mediocre time of about 18:41, my slowest 5k in quite some time and 45 seconds slower than last year's championship.

Actually, I take that modest time as a good sign because I certainly do not want to be in top shape for a 5k now, 3 weeks before a 24 hours championship. My main goal today was to come through without pulling my hamstring, or any other muscle, and that was achieved. I also got third place in the M45 category, which meant I had a medal to compare to Maia's, which she had gotten from doing the kids race at the aforementioned school fundraiser. Cian had done the same and Shea had done the 5k, so thankfully the Bubendorfer honour was upheld while the old man had been pre-occupied. However, I promised myself never ever to miss a race again that my girl is taking part in just to run in some championship.
19 Mar
8 miles, 1:03:01, 7:52 pace, HR 140
20 Mar
am: 8 miles, 1:02:42, 7:50 pace, HR 140
pm: 5 miles, 38:18, 7:40 pace, HR 143
21 Mar
12.1 miles, 1:53:37, 9:22 pace, HR 142
   Windy Gap x 2
22 Mar
am: 5 miles, 40:19, 8:04 pace, HR 138
pm: 7+ miles, including:
   Kerry County road championship
   5k in 18:41, 6:02 pace, HR 173
   3rd M45
Weekly Mileage: 70+


  1. One 45th of Turin! Best of luck with the final 3 weeks' prep.

  2. Great photo, congrats to all the Bubendorfers!