Thursday, July 9, 2009

Corkbeg 5mile

I was a bit unsure about how I'd run tonight. In fact, tonight's race was my first real test since the 4 mile race in Carrignavar last March (which in hindsight I probably should have skipped as I'm now sure that it added to my ITB issues!!). But hindsight is great isn't it!!

Although I've had a few good runs recently I haven't put in any really hard workouts and my training has generally been a bit... erratic. So pre-race I convinced myself that a solid sub-32 would suffice.

The Corkbeg 5 is organised by my club East Cork AC so, since I started running again a few years ago I've always wanted to run in this race but until tonight I didn't get the chance. Also I grew up in the area and I've always thought that it would be nice to run a race there. Thinking back, the last run I raced in the area was a "Milk Run" in the early 80's.... remember those anyone??

The course is generally an out-n-back which starts on a downhill (never good!!) but is mostly flat with a bit of a climb up to the 2 mile mark followed by a short steep descent. Unfortunately, being an out-n-back the start and finish are near each other so the downhill start becomes an uphill finish (also never good!!).

After an early check in, a 3 mile warm up and some chat with those I knew (and some I met for the first time) it was time to line up. The weather was perfect, warm, no wind and there was a good enough crowd (probably 100 or so) which was a reasonable turnout as there was a popular BHAA 5k race in Cork last night which attracted more than 400 runners!!

Despite my resignation that a solid sub-32 would do I intended on going out at 6min pace and hanging on for as long as I could. The downhill start helped me and I passed Mile 1 in 5:45mins a bit quicker than I'd planned. At this stage the field was quite strung out and I was in danger of being lost in no-mans-land so I fixed my eyes on a clubmate (David) who was one or two places ahead.

The climb up to Mile 2 was tough but manageable and cost me a couple of seconds and one place!! Note to self....I must do some more strength work!! I reached the Mile 2 marker in 6:08min still ahead of my average 6min pace target - OK!

Now came the sharp downhill. Should I push hard downhill and pull back lost seconds or maintain my pace and recover from the climb. I could hear footsteps and breathing not too far behind so I sort of did a bit of both. Pushed hard enough not to loose any placing but used the downhill to recover a bit also. Spot the dip in the heart rate in the chart below. I passed the Mile 3 in 6:02min.

I began to falter during the initial stages of mile 4 and my pace dropped to 6:16min for a bit. I could have done with another downhill to help me recover!! I was joined from behind by another runner (unfortunately I couldn't draw enough breath the ask him his name!!) and we ran side by side for a while. I thought to myself he came alongside but he didn't pass me so after about half a mile I began to feel better and I upped the tempo and put some daylight between us. I reached the Mile 4 marker in 6:05mins... that initial dip in form cost me!!

At this stage I could smell the finish line (or was it my sweat!!). My first thought was that I can jog now and still make the sub-32 target...oh how tempting was that when my heart was beating at 187bpm. I didn't give in though, put temptation to the back of my head and started to think of a sub-31 finish!

The last mile was initially flat but the last half was uphill - how cruel!! I concentrated on the runner about 15m ahead determined not to let him get away and also determined not to be passed. I wasn't, but unfortunately, and despite a 1:27 last quarter, I didn't have enough to catch the guy ahead. I crossed the line and stopped my watch a 5:58min last mile giving a total of 30:00min for the race!! A solid PB by almost 30 seconds - happy days!! I only lost 3 places after the first mile and I think I finished in 19th place.

It would have been nice to have made sub-30 (McMillan says I can!!) especially when the guy who finished behind said "well done - did you make sub-30". "No, just 30 flat", I replied. To be honest with my training being so up and down I don't think I deserved a sub-30 tonight and it's good to have something to aim for!! Next time (assuming a fast course!!)

A 1 mile warm down and back to home to my mothers for a nice home cooked dinner!! Happy days!!

My achilles are sore now - I can only imagine what they'll be like in the morning!!!


The official results are here. 19th place is confirmed (157 competitors) but look at the pace per mile 5:59.9min/ I did break 30mins!! :)


Mike said...

Great job Brendan. With your training not being as consistent as it's been in the past, a 30-flat time is VERY solid.

Once your training comes around, you're looking going low to mid 29s.

Grellan said...

Great sub-32 result and a PB on your first race back from injury - looks like you're ready for the biild up to the great north run and a few more summer PB's.


Really enjoyed reading your race report and thats great to get a p.b.
Maybe the the fact that you got a good p.b. shows that the moderate training you've been doing works for you!

Thomas said...

After months of irregular training you just ran a 5 miler faster than my 5k-pace. Blimey!

Do me a favour and don't run a marathon. I'd like to keep the illusion that I would at least be able to beat you at that distance.


cool, sub 6 pace and top 20!

Paudie said...

Great race report. Well done on the PB. If thats what you are like after a few months of irregular training then you have a bright summer ahead with regular training. Well done.

Love2Run said...

Great race and report. Maybe there is something to be said for irregular training (the rest part?). Watch out Thomas if he gets serious about long distances.