Since Blarney, I managed a total of 32 miles during the week 14/09 to 20/09 and 19miles during the week 21/09 to 28/09. Only one of the runs was more than 12 miles long and the majority were in the 5 to 8 miles range at 6:30 to 7:30 pace. As I said, not enough for marathon training.
On top of that our baby Joe is teething and, just like last night, he has taken to waking at 3am and screaming the house down!! So when the alarm went off at 6:30 today (timed to give me enough time to have a breakfast and get to the start line in fine and early for the 9:30 start) I simply turned over and went back to sleep. Not a good start.... and when I eventually awoke at 7:55am all I could do was grab some toast and rush out of the house. Just enough time to get to race HQ, register, go for a 1 mile warm up and get to the start and try to relax.
The Plan....The Blarney 'blip' combined with the erratic training regime had put some doubts into my mind about my current shape. So I decided that the plan for today would be to head out at 6:45 min/mile and depending on how I felt try to push the pace towards 6:30 over the second half and hopefully finish in the low 1:40's.
The race went to plan and to be honest, despite how I look in the photo below (thanks Paudie) taken near the finish line, it was probably the first time ever that I finished a race thinking that I could have gone further!!
As I said the plan was to start out at 6:45min/mile and see how it went. Well, it went well! But, a 15 mile race is a long way to report on so here is the very much abridged version..
Mile splits were...
Mile 1 - 6:43 - 154bpm (on target)
Mile 2 -6:37 - 164bpm (settling in and feeling good)
Mile 3 - 6:33 - 165bpm (good to see Pam and the kids)
Mile 4 - 6:34 - 166bpm (yippee the water stations give bottles!!)
Mile 5 - 6:32 - 167bpm (steady goes it - concentrate on catching the group ahead)
Mile 6 - 6:29 - 169bpm (Sunday Mass brings out good roadside support!!)
Mile 7 - 6:29 - 170bpm (another 6:30 mile - going well!)
Mile 8 - 6:33 - 170bpm (time to start working here's where it went to crap in Blarney)
Mile 9 - 6:23 - 172bpm (the group ahead is getting away - push on..)
Mile 10 - 6:22 - 173bpm (keep going....much better than Blarney)
Mile 11 - 6:28 - 174bpm (here's the start of the long drag to the finish)
Mile 12 - 6:27 - 175bpm (focus of the guy in front; steep downhill & left hamstring cramps)
Mile 13 - 6:46 - 174bpm (uphill, minding hamstring fortunately can't hear anyone behind)
Mile 14 - 6:46 - 177bpm (when will this 'hill' end??)
Mile 15 - 6:22 - 178bpm (nice downhill 1/4 to the finish but didn't catch the guy in front!!)
The not-so-painful truth...
On crossing the line I stopped my watch on 1:38:11 .... a PB (although as this was my first time to race over 15 miles I suppose it doesn't really count!!). I think that I was in the top 50 finishers but a long way behind the winner (1:16+).
Yet another finish line photo of me looking at my watch...Of more note was that I passed the HM marker (feeling fresh) in 1:25:44 which is a HM PB. Pity I couldn't have done that in Blarney!! :)
This was my first Cork to Cobh run and I can see why it has become a firm fixture in the Cork road running scene. A nice course, well organised with plenty of bottled water. I understand that over 800 ran today that's a big jump from the 670 last year.So what now... before the race today Grellan asked me if this was the end of my 'season'. Given that my 'season' never really started (only 3 races since last March) it may just be the start but I'll have to see what races come up. Maybe a pre-Christmas marathon?? or maybe just some hard training for the Munster 10-mile series in the New Year?
Time will tell....