Sunday, January 17, 2016

Killorglin Puck Warriors Turkey Burn Off 5k

I felt a lot better by Thursday morning and by Friday I almost felt like gliding over the asphalt again with very little effort. I kept the effort very easy at all times and the pace started creeping closer and closer to 8-minute miles. The HR data is very good but that has already been very good anyway and didn't necessarily reflect how I felt - certainly not on Monday!

Taking it easy ended on Saturday morning, temporarily at least. I was wondering how a race would go after several days of nothing but very easy effort. A short sharpening workout on Thursday would probably have meant a better race but I'm not training to look good in a 5k.

The race format was a little bit different, it was girls against boys. The girls would get a 3-minute headstart and the boys would chase them, first across the line is the overall winner. I didn't worry if we would catch the leading ladies, just resolved to run my own race. Right from the start I was right at the shoulder of the respective race leader, at first Declan and the Damien. I felt the effort was easy for a 5k even by the time we caught up with the back of the women's field. After about a mile I put in a bit of an effort and put my nose in front but Damien responded immediately and put himself ahead again. I never looked around to see how big the lead group was but I could hear footsteps falling away until there were only 3 of us left by halfway and when the sun came out for a moment I could see our shadows and even Declan was falling behind, so it was down to just 2.

The top 5
Aine's races always feature at least one nasty hill and this was no exception, the final mile went over Laharn hill. I gave it my best to see how good Damien's climbing legs were. I got to the front but could not shake him. We caught the leading lady close to the top, so it was definitely going to be a boys' win. I knew Declan could not be far behind and was wary of his descending skills but Damien's weren't bad either. He got in front again and at one point opened up a small gap but I managed to close that. The last bit was flat to the finish. Since I can count the number of times I have managed to outsprint someone on just one hand and still have several fingers spare I tend to go hell for leather with a good bit to go and hope for the best, so that's what I did with about 500 metres left. Unfortunately Damien was having none of it. I could not sustain the effort and he was soon ahead again and at that point the race was decided. I lost heart a bit when I realised I wasn't going to win and then lost another couple of seconds by going the wrong side of a cone and had to duck under the tape. I finished a whopping 5 seconds behind Damien in second place and only a second ahead of Declan who must have snuck up close without me noticing.

Second place it was in 18:14 and I had thoroughly enjoyed the battle up front. The fast guys and girls were all missing today which gave the likes of me the opportunity to enjoy a bit of glory for once. It was well worth breaking the easy spell and since this was only a 5k I doubt there was much damage done. My splits were all very similar and all under 6-minutes, even the final one with that hill, a sign that we really gave it a good go for the win.

On Sunday it was back to easy running. The original plan was 10 miles but I cut that down to 8, and even that may have been a bit much because the legs started feeling tired soon. The weather probably didn't help, unlike yesterday's ideal conditions it was back to wind and rain.

I'll keep the easy runs going for another few days until I feel the race has gone from the legs.
14 Jan
10 miles, 1:21:42, 8:08 pace
15 Jan
8 miles, 1:04:23, 8:03 pace, HR 133
16 Jan
am: ~6 miles, including:
   Killorglin Puck Warriors Turkey Burn Off 5k, 18:14, HR 171, 2nd place
pm: 3 miles, 27:26, 9:03 pace, HR 124, treadmill
17 Jan
8 miles, 1:04:06, 8:01 pace, HR 134
Weekly Mileage: 68


  1. Stonking 5k Thomas. With a flat course and some sharpening you can't be too far off setting a PB.

  2. 18:14 is an excellent time, especially knowing that you don't taper for races and carry on with a high mileage 7 days a week, congratulations!

  3. I didn't recognise you in the short shorts and short socks. Good look! I can imagine you having a ding-dong battle with Scott Brown in that get-up. Oh yes, great race and time - well done.