Sunday, December 27, 2015

Back In The Ring

As promised, I kept the training going over Christmas. I took it slightly easier on Christmas Day with only 8 miles, but the rain was so cold it really felt like I had been doing enough already. I had some vague plans of adding a few extra miles later on but the turkey was too filling and running would almost certainly have been a bad idea. Btw, I got upgraded to Turkey Cook this Christmas, which makes sense as Niamh is vegetarian. Both Cian and me agreed that it was an excellent turkey, but maybe that was just the men sticking together.

I'm in orange, the one with the race face
Anyway, St. Stephen's Day, or Boxing Day as the English ones in the family still insist on calling it, was the day of the very traditional Farranfore 5k race. Well, the Farranfore race is traditional, the 5k distance was only introduced 3 years ago, before that it had been  4.2 mile race to Firies; now we're turning around just before entering Firies. Anyway, I expected a wet and rather miserable few miles because it was raining heavily as I drove towards Farranfore but once we got going it was pretty much perfect, no wind and if there was any rain then I did not notice it. I was astounded by how many people ran off at full speed, not for the first time, but I caught half of them before we had crested the hill half a mile later. I stuck to a group that also contained 3 ladies but when it broke apart after 2k I had a decision to make, do I stick with the runners I am with which was hard but doable or do I go with the runners pulling away at the front and suffer for it? I went for the suffering option and wouldn't you know it, it was perfectly doable as well, if not exactly easy. The return leg featured that hill again, of course, and my legs weren't at their best any more. I battled with 3 or 4 guys with varying success but just before the top of the hill the lad right in front of me blew up and I gained one extra place. I tried to chase down the guy in front of me on the downhill but even though I managed to cut most of the deficit, he was still a few metres ahead of me at the finish, as the pic shows. I took my time to catch my breath and eventually managed to get my time from my watch, 18:12. That was a lovely Christmas surprise, quite a bit faster than what I would have thought possible, especially since this isn't exactly the fastest of races course with that hill that has to be tackled twice. One slight downer was that we waited in the hall for the results, in the hope that I might or might not have picked up an age group award before being sent home after 90 minutes without results due to a technical glitch. Ah well, results have now been published, they even gave me 3 extra seconds on the official results with 18:09, but I was only the third M45 runner and 26th overall. The standard was remarkably high, for sixth place, the last one to pick up a prize, you would have needed a stonkingly fast 15:49!

I added 4 miles later that evening on the treadmill but took it exceptionally easy; this was a true recovery run. If it helped or hindered Sunday's long run I'm not entirely sure, the legs sure still felt the effort. The original plan had been for 20 miles once more but the legs were hurting and I needed to be home early because Niamh had to leave for Killarney at half ten, so I cut it down to 18 miles only, passing Niamh just as she left the house; perfect timing after all. The legs felt just as they had right at the start, so from that point of view I could easily have added another couple of miles but I've been wondering the last week or two if I'm getting too tired and not entirely able to soak up the training, so a bit of restraint is probably a good thing anyway.
28 Dec
8 miles, 1:02:48, 7:51 pace, HR 138
26 Dec
am: 7+miles, including Farranfore 5k in 18:12, 5:55 pace, HR 172
pm: 4 miles, 35:14, 8:48 pace, HR 139, treadmill
27 Dec
18 miles, 2:27:25, 8:11 pace, HR 139
Weekly Mileage: 90


  1. Manchester it is so. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Eoin O'Callaghan's performance from last year? ;-) A PB there for the taking.

  2. Great racing in a very competitive field, congratulations!

  3. Embedded within all of that training, that's a great 5k time (wow) - but don't sail too close to the wind; there's something special brewing here!

  4. That's a great result considering the mileage you're putting in!

  5. Well done Thomas - enjoyed that report. 18:09 is pretty quick! But yes, high standard race for sure. 18:09 would get you a top-10/300+ at our Parkrun. Good pic too - nice form and I'm liking the lack of long socks ;-)

  6. Sub 6 min/milling is very respectable, and really not too far off your PB so it looks like you wrapped up 2015 in style!