Sunday, March 20, 2011

Almost there, Anglo Celtic Plate 2011.

Le Cheile Men's Team, Kildare Senior Road Race Championships 2011
With less than a week to go until the ACP I've more or less finished my training with a 20K easy run this morning at my planned race pace.  I wore my Garmin and had it set at the loop length for the course in Perth which is 2.381K (42 laps) and based on this morning's run I now have a good idea of how often I'll be passing the support crew.

Training has gone as well as can be expected and I'm going into race week injury free and in good shape so I've no excuses and expect to run a good race!  Over the past few weeks I've had many quality sessions including a few disciplined races that I ran as planned hard training sessions rather than getting caught up in a race even though it can be tough mentally when you know it's possible to do that bit better.

David McCarthy in full flight & Larry Kelly.
Last weekend I took part in the Kildare Senior Road Race Championships which was 10K and hosted by my local club Le Cheile A.C.  I knew going into this race that I was in good shape as my shorter runs had got progressively faster having started my taper but I was conscious of the fact that going all out in a short race just for the result could cost me in the long term and this wasn't my distance or my race.  I declared my expected finish time of 36 mins to 36:30 in advance of the race starting and made the effort not to get caught up in a race even though I found myself running comfortably with the lead group from the start.
Running in the group meant I didn't have to think about what I was doing and it seemed easy to just run along with the pack but on checking my watch I noticed we went through the first K mark in 3:22 (5:26 mile) and I thought this a bit too fast so I dropped back.  Between 2k and 7K I ran on my own but always had the lead group in sight and they never seemed to gain any more of a lead and I began wondering would it have been easier to stay with them and get the benefit of running in a pack which also includes shelter from the breeze.

Got back into my own zone and held it steady up to 8K and knew there was a hill ahead and decided to wait until I'd cleared that before pushing the pace.  As I reached the 9K mark beyond the hill I could see the lead pack making their way along the home stretch as the course turned back on itself at 9.5K and I then knew I made the right decision to fall back as the pace had increased in the last 1K to one I know I couldn't hold but might have tried and that's when the damage would have been done.

I crossed the finish line in 5th place with a new less than full effort PB of 36:17 and more importantly I knew I could have kept going at the same pace.

I think my preparation for the 100K World Championships went quite well considering how soon after the Spartathlon it was so next week I'll almost mirror how I approached that race and that starts with a sports massage with Peter Matthews tomorrow.

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