Monday, 27 January 2014

Well, what would John Treacy do?

Coming through the other side of Christmas and into the new year with pretty good leg's (b.m.s) I went to Little Island last Sunday just east of Cork city to test myself at the Cork bhaa four miler, doesn't sound much but four mile's is plenty long enough to find out what kind of form your in after a three month break from racing. After forgetting the garmin I had to enquire as to what sort of pace we were doing at the half way point, this was enough to crack my shoulder companion (which wasn't my intention ..... honest) and after informing me we were running at 5.50 mile pace I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was going, this time last year I struggled to maintain 6.10 pace for the same distance. A quick cup of tea, a few bun's and off home, happy to be taking my new found knowledge into the first big road race of the year, The John Treacy Dungarvan 10 mile on the following Sunday.

A far from ideal run up to the weekend had me happy enough not to expect too much on Sunday for a number of reason's, the main one being I have never ran well here and have alway's used it as a race to clear out the cobweb's and try to move up a gear from here on in toward's the rest of the season. At 10 mile's it's a bit of a stretch, although I'v eight 12/13 mile training runs in the leg's since the middle of November I still feel like I should have more at that distance to finish strongly.

Warming up with John (not Treacy) I was happy to find I still had last week's leg's on, cruising in the bright winter sunshine I had reason to believe that I might be on another good day, a vote of confidence from my shoulder buddy confirmed it, and like my last 10 miler in Mallow last March I decided to go out the road 6min. miling.

An unfortunately timed funeral procession delayed us just enough to be positioned perfectly under an impressive black thundercloud that dumped it's content's on the 1600 singlet clad runner's, nullifying any benefit that was gained from a warm up 15 min. earlier. Still, much happier here than as part of the funeral procession.

By the time we were going through the first mile marker it was a deluge, the heavy rain had formed deep pool's on both side's of the road connected by fast flowing stream's of ice cold water. Memories of what it's like to race a bike in these condition's was some consolation and going into mile two I was really enjoying it,  heavy hail being driven by 45 mph gust's from the left must have had some wondering what they were doing out here at all, but today my good leg's were having a major positive effect on my mindset.  For those with thought's of jacking it in, and we've all been there, today must have been difficult. I mean, what would John Treacy do? what would John Treacy think if a bit of sub zero hailstone was the deciding factor in any one runner calling it a day? I shudder to think. I know what he'd do. He'd nail it, he'd dish it out like there's no tomorrow, and he'd love every minute of it. He'd revel in it , his heart would sink with a break in the cloud's, the tougher the better, that's what he'd like. So, if you were to jack it in today, just don't let him see ya.

The elite's going through the first mile squinting through the downpour  (pic. courtesy Cork running blogspot)

So I'm there, cruising through mile three, mile four, through mile five at 29.45 in familiar company with sometime training partner's Mike and John from St. Catherine's and I'm totally in control with the most exposed part of the course almost behind us, around the hairpin and it's bye bye to the headwind. What would John Treacy do? he'd nail it right now, he'd do it to test his rival's, soften them up. I'm not J.T though, I'll sit tight, 10 mile's is 10 mile's and I'v still to pull off an hour at 10mph. I have to contain myself, I'm not home yet.

Mile 6 and I get a sting thro' the outside of both thigh's and it's not going away, as the meter's pass it's starting to take over all of my thought's and I'm having to reset the default setting's as the alarm bell's start to ring, this is not good. How can you go from being so comfortable to almost deranged in the space of four/five minutes. On another day I could possibly deal with it better but now I think I'm paying the price for the laid back attitude I brought to the race this morning. If I was more 'up for it' I'd have been ready for the influx of lactate and would have been ready to deal with it accordingly, I was so comfortable early on I had forgotten about the inevitable. What would JT do, he'd run through it of course, he'd look around him, feel the pain and soak it up, soak it up just that 1% more than his rival's until he'd cracked them.

I cracked with two and a half to go, mentally first as alway's. It's the head that decide's what too much pain is on any given day. the leg's concur. Massive dissapointment for a few second's, pull yourself together, go again, to my surprise I manage to get going again which lead's me to thinking I shouldn't have cracked in the first place. "FFS what was that about, there they go up onto the main road". Torrent's of personal verbal abuse ensue and the last two mile's are ran in desperation and hope, maybe the pacer is running with a lot to spare. Downhill with a tailwind for the last mile, maybe I'll make it up? I didn't look at the watch, just ran. 60.10 when the clock came into view, 60.43 crossing the line. A lot faster than what I'd thought coming down in the van, but the manner at how it came about?  Somewhere between bemused and amused it's a good start to the year and the sense of relief on crossing the line after an effort like that is worth a million dollar's.

50mtrs to go, the sufferfest is almost at an end and the winter cobwebs are a thing of the past
(pic. courtesy Dave Colman - DC Images

What would JT do? he'd give himself a good talking to, that's what he'd do.



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