Sunday, December 30, 2018


Well, that was slow!

I had never run a race shorter than 5K, and while I'm perfectly aware that most people treat the GOAL miles as a walk or maybe an easy jog with the family, I reckoned there would be a few faster guys there as well, keen to get a good workout.

Obviously, opening the kids' presents took precedence. Wait a second, what did they do to get so much? Did the naughty list get lost or something? Anyway, once they had gone through their stacks I jogged the 3 miles to Shanganagh Park, where Dom had organised the event. It might have been better for a fast mile to drive there, but a flat tyre put a stop to that idea, and I probably would have jogged anyway.

They had 3 start times, 9:30/40/50, and while I got there a couple of minutes before the first start I decided to give that a miss and get a bit of a rest before my mile, so the 9:40 one it was. One guy took off at the start and kept inching away, one girl went off fast as well but couldn't keep the pace, so I was in second place for a while until 2 guys passed me about two thirds in, when my oxygen depth started to tell, one of them moving so smoothly that it looked like he was out for an easy morning jog. By that time we just started to catch up with the back end of the first start, and I belatedly realised that I had chosen the worst option because the rest of the mile was spent weaving through the crowds, which made a strong finish impossible, even if I'd had the legs and lungs to do so.

Still, I was in shock when I saw my time, barely under 6 minutes. I had expected maybe 5:30 or so but was worlds away from that, and the crowds had nothing to do with it. I could have sworn I had run as fast as I could, and my cadence of 208 seems to indicate that I definitely wasn't jogging, as does the way I was totally out of breath afterwards, so it comes back to tired old legs, I suppose.

The next day I intended to go out for an easy recovery run but my right glutes felt painfully tight and absolutely not right at all, so when it still had not loosened up after a mile I binned the run and went back home. For once it was the right call, because the next day it was virtually gone.

I don't want to spend much time recapping 2018 as a running year. It was the year when I finally had to admit that my international running career is over, something I might have done in 2017 already but hey. I'm okay with that, as I have stated in an earlier post, I have a lot to look back on with pride and satisfaction, and absolutely no regrets.

I'm not sure what's in store for 2019. My training isn't going great; I managed to rebuild my endurance to the extend that I can jog 20 miles without issue but my easy pace has suddenly slowed by 30-ish seconds a mile and the VDOT numbers in training are barely improving, so something isn't quite right. However, I still enjoy a 10 mile jog as much as I ever did, and that's the most important thing. I never set out to be great runner, 14 years ago I would have been happy just to be able to finish a marathon, and I still got that.

I hope you had a good Christmas, and Happy New Year!
25 Dec
6.63 miles, 56:46, 8:33 pace, HR 140
1 mile, 5:58, HR 166, GOAL mile
26 Dec
1.75 miles, 16:02, 9:10 pace, HR 133
27 Dec
10 miles, 1:23:36, 8:21 pace, HR 144
28 Dec
12 miles, 1:44:58, 8:43 pace, HR 143
29 Dec
10 miles, 1:22:23, 8:12 pace, HR 143
30 Dec
15 miles, 2:02:13, 8:12 pace, HR 145

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