Saturday, 11 May 2013

Seeking Knowledge

             Life begins at forty they say. Well my running life has taken a substantial upward curve, speedwise anyhow. In the two race's I'v competed in since, I'v taken home my first two running pot's. A win in the over 40 category at race two of the Doneraile park series (I went home without picking up this prize, a week after my birthday It had yet to sink in that I was now in the rank's of the old men and that I had bagged the first old man home prize), and a third place overall in the next race of that series. Ya, third! A three way dog fight until a km to go where well known hill runner Tom Blackburn and a younger lad from Killorglin showed me how to finish it off and left me gasping in their wake.

             Priceless after race advice from the big man reinforces my liking for this whole scene where running is king and winning doesn't really matter (sort of). Go out, run like f*** and go home with a big grin on your face. The 5.41 average pace contributed to the grin, 6 months ago I wouldn't have thought it possible, but after running a few quick miles in training b.m.s*, I felt brave enough to go out hard and sustain it for 5K.

A long downhill section soon after the start brought the cyclist back out in me.  Unfortunately running downhill fast has a more detrimental  effect on the leg's than cycling downhill fast. 

             "I think you ran down the hill a 'bit' too fast in the first half mile". My thinking on it previously was to make hay while the sun shines and use the force of gravity to assist me on the decline after the start. Not so. Another lesson learned. This is the type of invaluable advice gained from various different sources over the years that give's you the knowledge and confidence to try new stuff, experiment and ultimately improve your game, whatever it may be. Less formal than listening to a coach and for me, over the years is the only way to go. Everyone you listen to has their own idea's from their own experiences. Keep an ear to the ground and through experimentation in training you can filter out the shite and keep the best of it, on another level it makes for good conversation.

             For the last few day's I had to fight a virulent strain of man flu and decided this morning I was going to tackle it head on. A 10 mile easy run seems to be after beating it off and after a relatively easy few week's I'm ready to dish out a few more hard sessions. This was only the second ten miler I'v done since Mallow back in March. A heavy rain shower being driven by a block headwind at mile three shook me out of my slumber and forced me into a real nice, solid pace. When the rain come's like that you have to come to your senses and fight your way through it, had that shower not come I don't think I'd have ran the ten, I needed it to wake me up. When the rain was at it's heaviest I passed a runner going in the same direction, the facial expression was somewhere between a grimmace and a smile and that's probably the best way to describe the feeling of running in the rain. The grimmace brought on by the toughness of the situation and a confused smile wondering why the f*** your actually enjoying it!

            Two minutes later I got the start of 30 minutes of sun to dry me out, turning back for town with the wind at my back for the last three, another downpour. This was different, with the tailwind thing's are quieter, the rhythm of breathing and foot strikes on the wet surface is almost musical and an increased pace feel's totally natural. All of a sudden I'v a ten second lead on a chasing group of four with two miles to go, Just held 'em off  too!

           Home and hosed, the run, as usual sort's everything out. It's easy to lie on in bed when your feeling like shite but it can set a negative tone for the rest of the day. Getting out for the run turn's it on it's head and set's the tone for the day in a different direction.

          I'v had a taste of the 'other side' of late, being involved in organising a three race series of 5K race's around the Streets of Fermoy. It's been great so far and the help from all quarter's has blown me away (I won't go thanking people, I'll forget someone and there's still two race's to go!). The feedback from the runner's has been very positive and I'v a new respect for the thousand's of volunteer's and race organiser's that are flat out doing their thing (in all sport's) thro'out the country. Without them ....................

A section of the 120 participants who took part in the first Street's of Fermoy 5K road race on Thursday. 

*b.m.s - by my standards!

Until next time    

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