Tuesday, November 29, 2011

they say life begins at 40...

Thanks to an entry form landing on my desk this afternoon I posted my entry to the 2012 Ballyotton10 today.  The most noteworty point is that, assuming that my entry is accepted, it'll be the first race that I'll run as Master - being less than 2 weeks after my 40th birthday!!)

No running since last Saturday - jetlag. 

Now that I've a focus it's time to start training...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving in Chelmsford, MA

Once again I've been remiss in updating this blog but the simple fact is that apart from some regular running there hasn't been too much of 'special interest' to report on.  My full running diary is regularly updated on my dailymile.com but suffice it to say that most weeks I've been running regularly, typically putting in runs of 5 to 10 miles with the pace in and around 7 min/mile.  Apart from a few exceptions weekly totals have been 30-40 miles.  I've also tried to fit in a steady-tempo progression run at least once a week. My two eldest children have also recently joined an athletics club, Belgooly AC, so that has meant that I've been at the CIT track at least 1 evening a week, generally doing 800m reps.  Other than the fact that I haven't been putting in enough long runs (>10miles) - this training has been generally in accordance with 'the plan'.

BTW my girls have been really enjoying their Tuesday / Thursday sessions so hopefully the enthusiasm will continue and in 30-40 years time they too will be running regularly for the fun of it.  

I also just came from a weeks holiday near Boston with my family.  It was my first time in the US for Thanksgiving (i.e. an excuse for meeting family, eating too much, watching football (not the FAI or GAA type) and preparing for the infamous Black Friday shopping frenzy!).  A great time was had by all!!

The jetlag meant that I woke up early (5-6am) every day.  This was generally before the rest of the family woke up so I got a chance to fit in an early morning run along an old railway line in Chelmsford, MA.  Luckily the weather was unseasonably warm (apart from Thursday & Friday) so I didn't have to run in the snow.

I also took the opportunity to run in a local Thanksgiving day charity run in Lowell last Thursday morning.  The 8am race start time was early enough not to interrupt the rest of the festivities but it also meant that the air temperature was still below freezing as noted by my shivering legs on the start line.

The race was a 5km run/walk combined with a 10km run.  There were approx 270No. competitors in the 10km and 900No. competitors in the 5km.  The race was over 2 laps of approx 5km which led to an 'interesting' (chaotic) finish when there were still some runners just starting their second lap while the 10km leaders were finishing in the midst of the 5km 'walkers'.

After getting there early, as usual, I registered for the 10km for the sum of $30 and ran a lap of the course  in my new Asics Nimbus trainers to warmup, i.e. defrost.  I then 'arrogantly' toed the line in the front row.  All the 'locals' were well wrapped up for the weather wearing long sleeved t-shirts, leggings, gloves, hats etc; I on the other hand went for the light weight racing look i.e. shorts and singlet (mad!!).

Since this was my first race in over 2 years I had no real expectations.  Last time I raced 'seriously'  I was capable of a sub-38 (maybe sub-37) 10km so I hoped to at least break 40mins.  On the basis of previous results this time might even give me a top 10 finish!  My runs in the few days leading up to the race suggested that this should be 'easily' achievable.  I planned to head out at a 6:20 to 6:25 pace and hopefully finish strongly.

This seemed like a good plan.... if only I stuck to it!  When the gun went I headed out just behind with the leaders - I had forgotten that some of these would only be running 5km so I think I got pulled along too quickly over the first mile.  The cold air and slightly tired legs meant that I paid for this early pace in the second half of the 10km.  My pace splits based on the mile markers were 6:05, 6:19, 6:29, 6:23, 6:16, 6:17.  I went through the 5km in 19:51 just ahead of schedule and finished in 39:45.... almost event splits.

Overall I finished in 8th position and 3rd in the 30-39 age category.  If only I was a few months older I'd have easily won the 40-49 category!!!

This graph shows how my race went.....

The full results are on the CoolRunning.com website here

It's now time to increase the long runs and get ready for some 10-mile races after Christmas....

Entry into the Ballycotton-10 opens tomorrow!!! :)