Sunday, November 22, 2015


Ultra runners are creatures of habits. I guess there's no denying that: I have only been using Strava since August 2014 and yet I have already amassed a three-figure number of 10 mile runs on the same road alongside Caragh Lake (someone called me "Mr 10 miles a couple of months ago). Yes, this is my standard run. I think I recently ran it 5 times in a row. It has everything: beautiful scenery, several hills and a very quiet road. Perfect. Having said that, I have upped my training a bit over the last 2 weeks, which meant a more varied approach.

Saturday was the day of our local race, the Killorglin Puck Warrior 10k. I have missed it the last 4 or 5 years because I never felt up for a 10k after running a long race during summer followed by the Dublin marathon and one or two more ultras in Dingle and Sixmilebridge. This year I have not raced since the Spartathlon 8 weeks ago and while racing during base building isn't particularly encouraged (depends who you ask, though) I just could not miss our home town race - some support for the local running community doesn't go amiss, I'm bad enough at that as it is.

Aine loves hills in her races! I'm pretty sure she has never put on a race over a flat course. Actually, the 5k was okay but to make up for that she put not just 1 but 2 killer climbs into the 10k, which was the distance I had opted for. I kept a steady pace with a few other guys in a little group, somewhere around 6th place. After the first hill that group had dwindled down to 3 and we ran together towards Cromane, though at that point I was hanging on for dear life. I lost contact by a couple of metres on 2 or 3 occasions but each time managed to claw my way back as I did not want to run into the wind on my own. Turning the corner only provided short respite because in no time at all we were at the second hill. At first I managed to somewhat stay in contact but then the imaginary bungee cord snapped and the guys pulled away. I could not make up the deficit on the downhill either, though it wasn't for lack of trying, I finished the race with a 6-minute mile, my fastest of the day, to finish in 7th position in 39:46 (on my own watch). So much effort for such a modest time! Just for the heck of it I took a screenshot to prove that I got into 4:xx pace at some point (yes it was downhill. Obviously!)

Before the start Seamus had jokingly suggested I pace him to 40 minutes so of course I gave out to him for not keeping up and missing out by 4 seconds while he gave out to me for not waiting for him - all in good spirit, obviously. Unfortunately I could not hang around as I had to immediately hurry home for the kids' music lessons in Tralee. I did a 2 mile cooldown run later on but after 10 minutes my blood sugar level had dropped and all I could do was crawl home while my heart seemed to be racing. Watermelon has never tasted so good!

I expected the legs to be totally dead on Sunday morning and was pleasantly surprised to find them in very good order (I guess the hit will come on Monday instead). I ran around the lake for the first time in ages and it went much better than expected. Last week the last 5 miles had been quite some drag, today they were much better, though admittedly I wasn't exactly feeling sprightly towards the end. It was a lovely sunny morning for a run - haven't had one of those in quite some time!

20 Nov
10 miles, 1:22:45, 8:16 pace, HR 138
21 Nov
10 miles, including:
Puck Warrior 10k, 39:46, 6:24 pace, HR 172, 7th place
22 Nov
18 miles, 2:21:20, 7:51 pace, HR 149
Weekly mileage: 85

1 comment:

  1. Good effort @ the 10k. Looking at the strava your pacing was pretty solid. At this stage in recovery and beginning of training putting away a sub 40 on course with a few mills is perfectly respectable.