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: Tom Jordan 5 Mile Race in Portlaw

May 10th, 2013

The Portlaw to Kilmedan road is one I travel a lot as it’s the main part of my journey to work every morning so getting to run on this road was a small treat I was looking forward to.

So it’s race 2 of the 3 Counties Challenge summer series 2013, a series of 5 races organised by the Carrick Roadrunners.

For this run I’m finding it hard to get the miles right in my head, it’s so strange I have kilometres ingrained in my brain, but thinking of a run in miles is just off putting.

There were loads of people under starts orders and even with the wide roads of Portlaw, it was pretty packed for the first “mile”. Again and again I just seem to rush things I caught a glimpse of 5:55 off the watch at the 1st mile marker, which by quickly calculations was just way too fast for a first mile, in in the scheme of my target time. The next mile wasn’t too bad either, but then, just then the quick start caught up with me and from the 2.5 mile point I say until mile 4 I found it tough going.

However the final mile run into Portlaw was great, I recognised the scenery (and it was more down hill), which placed me a in comfort zone I managed a good run to the line.

Number 377 heading for the line

Off the watch I caught a time of 33.57 and from the results sheet I had a gun time of 33:58. Finishing 91st out of 245 runners.

Happy to see the finish line

I was really happy with this, the goal time was 34:00, I was right on track with 33:58, even though I was a bit off cue at the start, and as the photo shows just a few steps ahead of a number of runners.

3 Counties Challenge: Faugheen 5K

April 26th, 2013

This was the first run of the 3 Counties Challenge summer series 2013, a series of races organised by the Carrick Roadrunners.

The Faugheen 5K was out in the lovely little village of Faugheen, which is just north of Carrick-on-Suir and really is on the boarder of Kilkenny – Tipperary and believe the centre of a lot of rivalry.

The course in this case was essentially a run around the block of Faugheen finishing up in the centre of the village. I’ve not been feeling the best for the last 2 weeks, blocked nose and all so there hasn’t been too many training miles put in, so I was unsure as to how this run would pan out.

It was cold, damn cold at the start line, but the crowd of over 200 at the start line kept the breeze away.

Number 3 heading for the start line

The pace at the start was mighty quick, in fact too quick I clocked a time of 3:45 for the first 1Km and even 3:55 at the 2Km mark, but I just wasn’t able to keep that pace going for the remainder of the run and so dropped back a bit. Once I found my rhythm my legs were a little heavy, but I carried through and clocked a time of 20:21 on my watch.

From the official timer I had a gun time of 20:27, a chip time of 20:22, and out of 213 participants I was placed 77th.

I’m not unhappy with the overall result, but I must get back into the training plan.


Gaol break half marathon was tough !

March 24th, 2013

My first half marathon was tough, purely tough out. The up hill climbs of Wicklow just didn’t seem to end and to boot I forgot my normal running shoes, which worried me at the start, and then mid way through the run everything seemed fine, but by the time I got the end, the feet really did truly hurt. On reflection everything about this race was tough !


Wicklow Half Marathon

The trip to Wicklow had us over the hills and far away, as we attempted to use a different route to get to Wicklow town, but we turned off the M9 too early and ended up having to going over some mighty hills, snow and all was seen.

We made it on time, but the bitter cool was plain to feel, so a full warm up wasn’t too easy. I was a little surprised that the rally point Wicklow Goal, was in fact away from the start line, I wasn’t expecting that and for the start of this race I got stuck a bit at the back of the pack. There were also so many starters for the half marathon (418) it took some time to get through the pack and it was at the 2km mark before the run started to really get in to its stride.

The up hill runs started around the 4km mark and never seemed to end although re-looking at the course it seems to indicate that we got to the top at the 10km mark. Having said that even with the uphill burn I was on target at the 10km and things seemed to be going fine until the 14km mark, I hit a hill at this point and my legs just seemed to go to lead, from there on in the run was tough.


Miguel running to the finish line

Miguel running to the finish line

There was nothing in the tank until the last 1km and as I started to up the tempo I could feel the cramps coming in, but I pushed on through. I had supporters at the finish line, Mam, Dad and little Daniel, I knew they were all frozen to death, but they stayed and cheered on any way, that helped with the final spurt to the finish line!

Now I aimed for 100 minutes I got there in 101 ! On the watch 1:40:11 and from the timing chip 1:40:07. I’m really, really happy with that time, given the last 6km or so were so tough.

Rafa, Miguel and Daniel at the finish line of the Wicklow Half Marathon

Rafa, Miguel and Daniel at the finish line of the Wicklow Half Marathon. Poor Daniel is frozen.

It will be back to the 10km runs for a while I think.

Carrick AC Winter League #10

December 11th, 2012

The last race of the winter league and on the watch 19:23 and from the official timer 19:23 that’s my best time of the series of 10 runs and all thanks to the fast starter with our group.
There was a guy that took an early lead in the first km and opened up a gap which over the course of the next 4km I tried to reel in but the distance between us just seemed to stay the same & I just didn’t make it.
However overall I got my PB and by some 14 secs which I’m delighted with and in being allocated 12 points it was another great end to the series.
Overall the best 8 runs I scored 280 points which means nothing until the official results are released Saturday. Either which way it was a good winter series and I’ll definitely go for it again.

Update : The final points tally was released and I was allocated 301 points which placed me in 30th out of 136 participants.
The winner was on 163 points. Overall I’m happy with that. A little mad that I only completed 7 out of the possible 10 runs but still that last run was great.

Carrick AC Winter League #9

December 4th, 2012

I missed last week and so i was wondering how this race would pan out. On the watch 19:38 and from the official timer 19:38.

It was a mass start tonight which was great I got into a rhythm fairly quickly and felt great until the 3/4 mark upon which I started to lose strength a little. Still I’m happy with the run and it was just 1 seconds off my PB and on finishing I thought I could have given more.

Points wise I got 18, which is reflective of my better time. Next week is the last one.

Carrick AC Winter League #7

November 20th, 2012

On the watch tonight 19:44 and on the official timer 19:46.

That’s an improvement of 15 seconds over last weeks time but still 9 seconds from my PB of 19:37.

Points wise I received 43 points which again was about the average I’ve been receiving over the course of the league.

Carrick AC Winter league #1

October 9th, 2012

On the watch 19:49.

On the official timer had me at 19:49 also. I was in 11th place and thus 11 points at round 1.