Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

Clonmel AC Half Marathon

August 18th, 2013

This race was another reason to keep  up the summer training, the Boston Scientific Half Marathon as coordinated by the Clonmel Athletic Club.

It was a lovely morning, sunny and yet not too hot, so just perfect conditions for a run. Got on location nice and early and to my utter surprise I bumped into a couple of work / football buddies from the Motorola Cork days, it was great to catch up and we all had a laugh in trying to suss out whether any one of us were going to run this in decent time.

Once registered I headed for the new walk way that’s been created along the N24 by-pass of Clonmel. It was a great spot for doing some shake down runs and stretches, and given that the starting line was along the same route it worked out perfectly when it came to joining the start line for the gun.

The number of runners was high and the starting line, come timing mat, was narrow so it made for some jostling at the start but it wasn’t that bad and off we went. Starting pace was mighty steady, I was really worried I’d burn everything in the first mile (yes miles, the course was measured in miles and I’ve finally got my head around what I should be pacing myself at, either in kms or miles and therefore the course markers become useful again). The 1st mile was actually too leisurely and so I picked up the run, I was aiming for 7 min per mile and I just wanted to do that time for as long as the legs lasted.

I found the legs lasted until mile 7.5 and then I had a complete and utter slow down in pace, tank was running empty and the next wee while was tough.

Number 451 finding it tough

Then for some reason between mile 9.5 and 10.5 I found something, was back on track with the 7 min / mile. I then made one of those really bad decisions, out on course around the 10.5 mark the race officials were offering sweets. Now I thought, well if they have them on course then they must be of some use. No, no, no, no, no. The bloody things just dried up my mouth and were a real pain and there wasn’t a water station in sight. That was just plain wrong! And then I hit the slow long hill of the PoppyFields. Oh that hill just killed me, it took forever to get to the top and once there I still didn’t have much left, however they did have a water station and I managed to rid that problem with the sweets.

The last few miles were funny, because in my head I was running as normal, but with everyone passing me, obviously I wasn’t, but I got towards the finish line and could see the timer, I was within goal time, fantastic, it was time to just bring it on home.

Had a great reception at the finish line, with all the family there and I got to share with them my great delight in finishing the run in 1:39:10, breaking the ton ! Truly I was, still am, over the moon with that result. Not sure if I want to try it again, I really like the 10km runs and the training for the half marathon is long, but still to reach an achievement is just such a great feeling too!


3 Counties Challenge: Piltown 10k Race

August 2nd, 2013

The summer holidays in Devon, which were great by the way, stopped me from participating in the Rathgormack 5 Mile Race mid July, but I kept up the training runs over the break and I was back and ready for the 5th and final run of the summer series organised by the Carrick Roadrunners.

This race was hyper-local given that it was in Piltown and even part of the course was on a regular training route of mine so I was excited and determined about running this race. More so determined as I bombed at this race last year and wanted to make up for that.

On picking up my number at the registration desk I was greeted with a pleasent surprise as I was presented with a money off voucher for Outfield Sports (Carrick-on-Suir) given that I was about to complete 4 runs out of the 5 run series.

I tucked that voucher away and made for the start line in Kildalton College, the number of participants seemed smaller but overall the start line was still crowded. On the off I was sure not to kill myself in the first part around the grounds of Kildalton, this is something I didn’t watch out for the year previous. Also I took note that the course was measured in miles so I have a better set of figures in my head now when it comes to my race pace in miles.

I broke the first hill nicely and was well into my run by mile 3 and then we hit the Bog Road, my training patch. I needed a good strong pace on this stretch and found it. I was feeling good, really good and was well on my way to the finish line. Then in the final 500m there was a little hiccup a stumble and then I hear in the crowd, “Come on Miguel you’re nearly there”. A supporter, it was brillant, just what I needed to get that head up again and burst for the actual line.

Once the race clock came into sight it was fantastic, just to see I was right on track for what I wanted to achieve and I stopped it at 42:21.

Number 662 making for the finish line

This was a personnel best for 10km which I must say I am delighted with, makes me feel all the training runs over the summer break were worth it. It seems the camera man at the finish line caught that feeling just right too.

Number 662 happy out with the final result