Sunday, July 18, 2010

Irish Runner 5 Mile Race Phoenix Park

I've been so lazy about posting on this blog over the past months.
The main events that I missed posts on are:
The Carlow 150 - cycle
The Blackstairs Challenge - cycle
The Wicklow 2oo - cycle
Kilcoole 5 Mile - road run
I hope to eventually put on something about these but for now the Irish Runner 5 Mile Race is on my mind.

As part of my training schedule for this years Dublin Marathon I've recently increased my weekly mileage so I hoped to use this run to gauge what level I was at.

I ran just over 3 miles at a gentle pace for a warm up. I had been a little worried about a sore right foot when I was wearing my racing flats but it seemed fine.
I stepped over the plastic barrier into the sub 40 minutes pen and made my way towards the front. I stopped at what I thought was a fair distance from the line so I wouldn't impede the fast runners but not get caught in traffic myself... how wrong I was.

While waiting for the start I had a good look at the runners around me, I realise how deceptive appearances can be but I couldn't help thinking that it would be a stretch for some of these people to make sub 40.

The buzzer sounded and we made our way to the start line, we were packed like sardines pushing through the starting area.
I had expected the crowd to thin out as we headed down the main road but it was wall to wall fat arsed people with a high opinion of their ability.
A totally frustrating time followed trying to weave through the bodies, slow down, accelerate for a gap, stutter step to avoid tripping on feet. It made for an aggravating time when I should have been getting into a rhythm.
I had set my watch to an optimistic 6.25 min miles and despite all the weaving and pace changing I was only 10 seconds slower than target at the first mile. I knew that there was a good downhill section in the next mile along the Kyber road, I thought that I would make up a few seconds along here. Again the traffic was so heavy that I was actually dropping time on the downhill.
I was so annoyed at this point that I briefly considered giving up the race altogether.
Then weirdest thing happened, a herd of deer tried to cross the road, some made it through the runners - don't know how they did that without hitting anyone - anyway, some idiots just in front of me put their arms up and slowed down to let the rest of deer cross. These retards had several thousand people running downhill behind them, what were they thinking? I suppose they weren't actually thinking about the carnage they could have caused. I noticed that my shout of "fuck them" was greeted with some odd looks. To my mind I was in a hurry but the deer had all the time in the world. Maybe I should have kept my opinion to

The next section was uphill, I was feeling good on the hill, although some weaving was required to avoid the runners that were going backwards, I felt strong and didn't drop any time - something of a minor miracle, the advantage of living in a hilly area.

I had hoped to get in with a group running a my pace but I spent the entire race either passing or being passed but never managed to find a shoulder to shelter behind.
I was dropping a few seconds per mile for miles 3 & 4 especially mile 4 where I dropped 19 seconds. I tried to push for the 5th mile and was doing well, I did get forced onto the kerb twice on the turn onto Chesterfield Road this really messed up whatever rhythm my little legs still had.
Despite that the last mile was the fasted average mile so I was happy with that.

I turned onto the final straight, a sign said only 400m to go. I tried to push for the line but I don't think I actually accelerated. I couldn't believe when I saw the clock at the finishing line reading 32.10. Something wrong here ? My eyes were glued to the seconds counting down on the clock 20,21,22 I crossed the line at about 32.28.
This was bang on my target time and when adjusted for the delay crossing the start line gave me a better than expected result. My watch was showing 32.01... Happy days !!!
I checked my official result later on the web 32.02 - 291 overall and 20 in category.

I was gutted afterwards to find that the course was short measured.
It was still a personal best by a long way but I'm still annoyed about the course measurement.

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