Tuesday, June 21

Dunmanway 10k result .. not a walk in the park

Beautiful Sunny Morning in Dunmanway on Sunday as I laced up my
slightly worn out Saucony's for my first road race of the year.
I was looking forward to this one but I was also a bit anxious and
had a feeling I was in for a painful morning.
My target time was 40 mins and the plan was to set out at 6.30 for the first mile and pick up the pace to 6.20 or 6.15 as the race unfolded.

Great feeling to be on the start line again and as the gun goes off
I hit my stride and picked out the shortest line to the first turn.
I let a few eager beavers go on ahead and I reckon 25 or 30 were
ahead of me up the road.
First glance at the watch and we are 8 mins in to the race so
I have obviously missed the first mile marker!
Running ok but I realise as we go uphill for mile 2 that I have
my work cut out to hit a good time.
I pass mile 2 at 13mins (not too bad)
Mile 3 is a bit tough as well but I am going ok (slowing a bit) as
we climb again..pass the mile 3 marker breathing hard and in dire
need of water as the 5k post passes in just over 20mins.

I have gained a few places since we started but now I am
passed by one or 2 as I am still working hard in mile 4 .. one
guy comes back on my shoulder (I recognise him as one of the
older Eagle guys) and I stick with him refusing to allow him past.
I gradually gain a few metres and shake him off.
After a few minutes he is back and this time he goes past ,
followed by another Eagle and as we hit the 5 mile marker I realise
this is not going too well.
Ribs are sore as lungs are working hard to maintain the effort.

I know the last mile has a sharp hill at the end and then we
descend to the finish so I let the young lad in orange go
past as I save my strength for the 400 metre climb.

Sure enough we turn the corner and start the climb - my old
racing spirit returns and combined with pain and anger I pick off
one guy half way up and I set my sights on Mr Orange who I pass near the brow of the hill.
A quick all out descent and I am home in what I thought was
40 mins 50 seconds.

It turns out my mind was also tired and my finish time was actually
41.52. Position 30th.

This was a big disappointment and I was beaten by guys I used to be
able to beat handily enough - but I gotta take it on the chin and
improve the next day.
As I get a bit faster I will appreciate more every 30 seconds I can
improve to get back nearer to my potential.
A bit of research on the finish times here compared to other 10k
races tells me most runners were over a minute slower on this course so
it is not a total disaster..
It is easy to forget when you are running well how hard a sport this
is as times!

Tuesday, June 14

10k Races and Grey Crows

Finally it is time to go racing again.

I have three 10k races pencilled in for the next 3 weekends:
Dunmanway10k on Sunday, Courtmacsherry on 24th of June,
and Ballinascarthy the following weekend.
All these races are in west cork and only 20 mins drive from my
house so I am looking forward to getting back into race mode.

Training is not back to anywhere near the level or intensity
of last year but I am ticking over ok.
I am out running 4 to 5 times a week but mileage is low..

I have been busy trying to kill grey crows that are attacking
my new windows..they see their image in the glass and try to kill the "stranger", they are also eating the rubber sealant as they seem to like the oily taste of the rubber.
Nasty buggers, they are hard to trap, kill, get rid of..
Attempts to date have included purchasing a fake kestrel,
(they were sold out of hawks! ),rubbing Vicks on the windows (they hate the smell) , Glue on a Board (try to stick em),
Dropping a lump Hammer from an upstairs window (just missed! ),
Pellet Gun (this is the most fun .. wife does'nt like it though)
Dipping Bread in Anti -Freeze , etc,etc
When I say kill I mean of course "relocate" as the vermin are protected under the wildlife act - not sure why!)
I am making progress ..so hopefully my 6am crow calls will end soon.

On the running front I have a found a local loop which is exactly
5k so 2 of these and I have my 10k.
Last Wednesday I did a slow 5k followed up with a fast 5k to test my fitness levels and I came home in just under 19 mins for the second loop which was pleasing for a training run.
The plan is to get under 40 mins for the first 10k and try to kick on
from there. I won't really know where I am at until I race.