Sunday, April 21, 2013

Great Island 10 Mile Run In Cobh

This morning I headed for Cobh near Cork to take part in the Great Island 10 Mile Run. It was with a little trepidation I set off as I could still remember the difficulty I had over the last four or five miles in the Mallow 10 and while I had done more in the way of training I felt that I was still a long way from where I wanted to be. I registered and milled about for the thirty or so minutes before the off and as the sizable crowd gathered at the start I got caught up in the occasion and excitement of it all and soon my nerves went. Its really a bit silly me getting nervous at all but I suppose it is just in my make up to push myself, and while I knew I could cover the distance easily enough, I would always try to run as hard as I reasonably could. The weather forecast had been poor so I had my warm merino top on covered by a light jacket and tights as well, unfortunately the sun was shining and I was a little overdressed for the day. Ah well what harm. Soon the start arrived and we were off.

I could do with losing a half stone or two.
It had been quite a climb up the hillside in Cobh to get to the start but that meant that after an initial flat few hundred meters we were then treated to a long fast downhill section. I enjoyed this but all too soon we bottomed out and the first of the big hills arrived. This was fairly steep and carried on for a good four or five hundred meters and any time gained from the downhill start soon disappeared. I wasn't feeling too bad and this time I listened to my body and tried to keep at a pace I could sustain. The run continued and so did the undulations. I would crest a hill and try to recover on the all too brief downhill sections while also trying to up the pace to make up for what was lost on the hill, before I would have to face into yet another hill. I tried to have a drink at the regular water stations but I nearly choked myself trying to gulp some water from the plastic cups that were being used and gave up on them after that.
Sonia o Sullivan. I was only a few minutes behind....honest

The miles passed and I suppose gradually things took their toll. Each hill seemed that little bit tougher and my recovery period took that little bit longer so that by the time I arrived at the seven mile mark I was starting to suffer a bit. Still at this stage I knew that I would reach the finish and it was great to hear the encouragement of James Moore at this stage as he cheered me on. All the hills were now behind and the scenic views across the harbor helped to take my mind off my failing stamina that saw me slow gradually over the last couple of miles. I looked with some envy at the people that passed me at this stage and wished that I had the strength to put on some speed rather than slow down but hey I wasn't doing too bad I suppose. Eventually the finish line appeared and once again James was there to cheer me home and I crossed the finish line in 73 minutes 37 seconds and came 120th. There was a great atmosphere in the town and it was lovely to sit outside and enjoy a coffee and a chat in the sunshine. A rest tomorrow but then the training must go on.