Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 - the year that never was!

So 2014 is nearly over and, as John Walshe reminded me today, it's about time that I updated this blog.  As the chart below indicates this year was a bit of a nonstarter from a running perspective with monthly mileage that would look average on a weekly mileage log. In summary I suffer from being 'ill' in 2014 - Injury, Life & Laziness.
  • Injury was in the form of my own persistent calf weakness and old age, my children's broken bones and my wife's broken bones.....
  • Life was life - work, family, children, work, friends, socialising, work, children .....
  • Laziness from general life fatigue and low motivation - a flaw of my human condition
Suffice it to say that all my running goals were put on hold.  But now was 2014 is drawing to a close a sense of Zen is returning to my world and running is coming back on the agenda.  I even ran my first race in over 18months (first solo race in over 2 years) earlier today and there don't appear to be any ill effects.
It's great to see that other bloggers/friends have not suffered from the same ills and many bloggers, both here and on Dailymile, have achieved/exceeded their targets and excelled at their preferred distances.  Well done.
Roll on 2015 and keep the dreaded ills away from me too!!

Belgooly AC 4 mile - St Stephen's Day 2014
Although I have been aware of this traditional race since I first began running in the early 1980's, today was my first time running this event.  The race is organised by my children's athletic club (Belgooly AC) and being the season of goodwill 50% of the €10 entry fee is donated to a local bowel cancer charity.  This charity has particular relevance to me as sadly this was the disease that my father died from 9 years ago. 
There was also another first today in that I ran this race as a registered member of Belgooly AC. All my running life I have been associated with either Midleton AC or East Cork AC but since my regular contact these days (through my children and where I help out as a part-time coach) is with Belgooly AC I thought that it was only right that changed allegiances and registered with Belgooly.  Belgooly doesn't have a strong adult membership but maybe we can change this over the coming years.
As well as running today my wife and I also helped the club with the organisation of the race by digitising the entries - so it was a busy afternoon in front of a computer!!
The race itself went reasonably well despite my best efforts and overindulgences yesterday (Christmas Day). I wasn't ideally prepared for a quick run with all my runs over the past year or so being 7:30min/mile or slower.  So I was not hopeful of getting too close to my most recent (5 years ago!) 4 mile PB of 23minutes. However I was hopeful, but not certain, of being able to sustain a sub 7:30 pace and break 30mins for the 4 miles.  At best I thought that I could run sub-28 minutes.
Luckily the rain cleared and running conditions were ideal.  Over 650 runners took part, slightly down on last year, but still large enough to ensure that the club can make a donation of over €3000 to charity.
I positioned myself mid field and ran at a reasonably steady/even pace.  I was a bit surprised by the hilly nature of the course and from the end of the first mile I could feel the lactic burn, heavy breathing and an overwhelming urge to stop or at least slow down!  I also ran in racing flats (Asics DS racers) for the first time since 2012 and the lack of cushioning combined with my added weight/fat had a noticeable 'impact' in my legs.  I kept going...
The 2 mile marker came a bit early though - either that or I ran that mile split in 5:34 !! :) but the downhill finish was more than welcome!
My official time was 27:00 (slightly quicker than my watch time!) and I finished within the top 100 (15%).  Well down on past performances but well ahead of my target/goal for today.  Onwards and upwards I say....
Also, I must say well done to the other Belgooly AC (junior and senior) runners who took part including, Robert, Gavin, Frank, Sarah, Marc, Alex to name but a few who achieved their own goals today. 
Happy New Year, roll on 2015 and may all your dreams come through.
Near the top of the first hill...   

400m to go....