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.
- 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