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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,621 ✭✭✭ThebitterLemon


    only race that I finished heavenlier than when I started

    Haha, you looking for a sainthood for pacing a sub 20 min 5k, BB the running deity :)

    TbL


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    only race that I finished heavenlier than when I started

    Haha, you looking for a sainthood for pacing a sub 20 min 5k, BB the running deity :)

    TbL

    Autocorrect rules :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    First 70 mile this year, technically shouldn't be increasing mileage and adding quality at the same time, but the 2nd half of the month is a car crash with work, so banking a few miles upfront.

    All my quality sessions, plus this morning's long run were impacted by the wind, so times not where they need to be, but effort and HR was.

    First run this morning where Sunny has featured - hello Spring.

    16726605106_58c9631030_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 70.1 [112.8]
    MTD: 77.9 [125.4]
    YTD: 579.6 [932.5]
    Races YTD: 4
    Weight: 70.2kg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    A disciplined week I would say, was in Limerick for 4 days with work and delivered my target of 32 miles, including meeting gtothek and another at UL for a nice session of 5 x 1600.
    Hit my weekly target of 60 with a steady HM distance trot today after the Mum visits.

    Malahide Park Run [6th 17:22]

    A chilly morning with a cheeky breeze in Malahide as I paid a long overdue visit to the birthplace of the Irish Parkrun.
    Had promised a work colleague, who's involved over there a trip out and it suited this weekend.

    Great crowds of 400+ at this, I was just heading for solid workout anything under 18 and I would have been happy.

    As it turned out I got into a nice little group with 2 others after half a k who were moving at a respectable pace, so taking turns with them at keeping the pace honest meant this was a pleasurable experience.

    They went onto to race each other for 4th and although I increased my last k effort I was happy to hit 17:22 and shave 4 seconds off my seasons best and my 3rd fastest master's 5k I believe.

    Travelling again next week, so need to front and back end load.

    16616950137_1cbd7a8462_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 60.1 [96.7]
    MTD: 138.0 [222.1]
    YTD: 639.7 [1029.2]
    Races YTD: 5
    Weight: 70.2kg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    Consistency, another consistent week in the bag considering work is off the chart at the moment, which included a pre 6am trot around Wokingham. Next week will be pretty challenging, away for 5 days, with meetings starting at 7am on 2 of the mornings and not getting finished before 10pm most evenings.

    Mar 18th | 5 x 800m [2:41-2:43-2:42-2:43-2:43] + 6 x Strides
    Headed to Krusty's pain cave in Kilbogget for these - is it ever not breezy on that cinder track :rolleyes:
    Happy with the time spread on these, although the discomfort increased with each passing rep, shows that there is more control to come as I do more of this type of work.
    Finished with 6 x form strides.

    Mar 22nd | 3 x 3M @T [6:07-6:04]
    Beautiful morning, so I took advantage of the Wicklow HM route to get this session in. I would suggest that conditions would be challenging today for the participants, with a cheeky breeze on the majority of the uphill sections (and there's quite a few).
    I was happy with my session, very much in control and the fastest that I've done these segments previously.
    Inadvertently ran into the back of the 10k and HM as I warmed down, but it was nice to get a few cheers on my warm down and have the traffic stopped for me - and although tempted I declined the offer of water from the 6k water station ;)

    13.16 Miles in 1:28:44 - 6:45 pace, I suppose I'm not allowed to add that to the 10 round numbers thread :P

    16270088464_302d6df75c_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 61.7 [99.3]
    MTD: 199.7 [321.3]
    YTD: 701.4 [1128.5]
    Races YTD: 5
    Weight: 70.2kg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,370 ✭✭✭pconn062


    I often wonder what are these jobs people have that require you to work from 7am-10pm?? That is just crazy! :eek:

    Great planning though to be able to fit training in around all that, and very good training at that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    pconn062 wrote: »
    I often wonder what are these jobs people have that require you to work from 7am-10pm?? That is just crazy! :eek:

    Combination of work plus entertaining, but it all eats into your personal time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    Nothing much to see here.

    Was pleased with my discipline during my week away, but was beginning to feel crap on Sunday 29th, that coupled with a night time cramp in my calf should have been a warning sign. But I stubbornly headed out the door with the aim to run the required easy miles to hit 60 for the week.
    Felt tired all the way around and then my calf and achilles went pop, so made a beeline for the house.

    7 days of man-flu followed where I had zero energy and a nasty chest infection, didn't have the will or motivation to run.

    Getting back at it slowly this week, first half was a struggle, very lethargic and low energy levels. The weekend has been better, but not 100% over the dose just yet.

    Disappointed to miss a few target races and having to hit the reset button has knocked me back a bit, will reassess once I'm 100%.

    16912975417_9d82be53ba_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 40.9 [65.9]
    MTD: 43.4 [69.9]
    YTD: 805.9 [1296.7]
    Races YTD: 5
    Weight: 70.5kg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    A sensible increase in mileage this week on the way back to 100% health.
    Plugged in a few sessions, and even though the pace was where I needed it to be, the effort and heart rate are elevated higher than expected, plus I've that lingering exercise induced cough, so it's a little warning sign not to go full steam ahead just yet.

    County 5k road race champs on Weds evening, probably coming a little too early for me, but I'll tog out and give it a rattle anyway.

    17196432082_0b761e0284_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 48.1 [77.3]
    MTD: 91.5 [147.2]
    YTD: 854.0 [1374.0]
    Races YTD: 5
    Weight: 70.5kg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    22.04 Wicklow 5k Road Race Champs | 17:27 | 12th | 2nd M45

    A fairly predictable run really, knew with the missed training, quality sessions and lingering cough that I wouldn't be back up to planned target for this race (sub 17:15). I had given a sub 17:30 estimate to the club captain and that's how it panned out, although I had to go searching for that in the last few k.

    Happy with how the race was constructed in my typical 5k pyramid for the splits [3:28-3:37-3:35-3:27-3:20], just missing a handful of secs for each split.

    Got a good start, stayed out of trouble and after a k I was in a bunch with another 6-7 from 13th - 20th. A few shapes thrown every now and then, and I covered any moves that were made.

    Picked up another who fell back at about 2k and I'm now at the head of the group with a Greystones runner, with everyone else in close contact and the odd heel clip.

    As we get to the turn point at 2.6k, one of the juniors that went out hard is fading so I make an effort to get ahead, but go into the turn too fast and have to go wide to keep my momentum, schoolboy error, easy in - fast out!

    Get back in front of the group and start thinking tactics, decide to push the pace from just before the 3k mark. Bring another runner with me and we work together for a bit, but he pushes on and I'm happy to maintain my ever increasing effort.

    In hindsight this was an error as he turned out to be an M45, he went went on to finish 8 seconds ahead of me, so it may have been immaterial even if I knew this!

    Gradually wound it up for the last 600m, but was maintaining the gap rather than closing it.

    Happy enough with the result, back to early season form, MaxHR was low at 174 so there was potentially more to give off my current level of fitness.


    No real post race effects and I ran a couple of easy, but hilly runs and a decent 12M with about 5.5 miles fartlek thrown in, all at sub 6 pace.

    If I'm not travelling there's a mile on the track on Thurs, but with no specific training this will be more of a lay down a baseline.

    17070462867_b495182619_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 49.7 [80.0]
    MTD: 141.2 [227.2]
    YTD: 903.7 [1454.1]
    Races YTD: 6
    Weight: 70.5kg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,677 ✭✭✭kit3


    Another good one gone ??? Come back - all the good ones had a second coming !


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,677 ✭✭✭kit3


    kit3 wrote: »
    Another good one gone ??? Come back - all the good ones had a second coming !

    Ah, that's better - see you after the sabbatical :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    It's been a while :p
    Work, life and other obligations have kept me busy, but I've also managed to get a bit of training done also.
    I've used a combination of shorter races (6) and sessions I know work for me to get back to a reasonable level.

    Race Highlights
    30.04 F4L 1 Mile Track, 5:06
    Baptism of fire, but good to understand where I was at.
    74-77-79-76, leaked too much time on lap 3, finished fast over the last 120, but still lost a place to younger legs.

    04.05 Leinster Master's 6k R/R, 21:05, 4th M45
    Happy with how I ran this, master's PB in a very competitive race and a course PB 1:18.
    It's an up and down 4 lap course and I ran 3:24-3:26-3:36-3:37-3:33-3:30.
    Passed about 5 from halfway and finished strong.

    09.05 Wicklow 800m Master's Track, 2:19.8, 1st M45
    Just done this as a tick in the box exercise.
    The master's were split into their own race, I ended up leading them through the 1st lap in a too slow 71.
    Kicked on once I heard the split, but was passed by an 800m specialist in the back straight, 68 and change for lap 2, a bit back to front for an 800 :rolleyes:

    17.05 Terenure 5 Mile, 28:54, 1st M45
    Tough enough conditions with the wind kicking around for this one.
    Had run 28:51 here last year and would have been happy to get within 20 secs of that with sub 29 being a bonus.
    I was 3 secs down from last year's fast 1st mile split, so actually ran the same time for the last 4 miles which I was happy with.
    5:32-5:48-5:56-5:48-5:50, but just lacked a bit of zip.

    03.06 DAB Graded #4 3,000m, 9:53, 2nd Heat 2
    Very pleased with this race, was hoping for sub 10 and to get within 2 secs of last year's season's best in what I feel was one of my top 3 performances last year, has given me a little hope, all the more as this ended up a bit of a time trial.
    Got a good start, through 200 in 37 and nicely tucked in behind the leader, with a pack on my heels.
    The leader was moving well and at about 2 secs a lap faster than me, but in turn the footsteps started to fade behind me.
    I just focused on form and nailing 80 sec laps, just listening for X:X7 as the splits were called at the end of each lap.
    Hit each one bang on and then finished with a 36 last 200.

    06.06 Shanganagh Parkrun, 17:32, 1st
    Plan had 14 with 3 @ T, so decided to head over to Shanganagh and pop my Shanganagh Parkrun cherry.
    Nice morning, but very windy and the plan was to run about 18mins.
    Whistle went and one of my fellow club members jumped to the front and went off at a decent clip. I wasn't clock watching and just focused on getting into a nice rhythm.
    1st k beeped at 3:30 and soon after the leader began to fade, it was a windy section off the course and I nipped in behind, but he was decelerating so I maintained pace and took on the stop you in your tracks wind and chased down the lead bike.
    Kept up this effort for the full race, giving back some seconds against the wind and gaining on the far side.

    Work is manic for the next 3-4 weeks, so target races are on hold and I'll run when and where I can.

    18531551296_627bb35c1e_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 55.3 [89.0]
    MTD: 55.3 [89.0]
    YTD: 1,228.1 [1976.1]
    Races YTD: 12
    Master's PB: 1
    Weight: 70.8kg


  • Registered Users Posts: 767 ✭✭✭wrstan


    Great running Dom, you looked very strong on Saturday in that wind!

    What plan are you following, looks like some form of JD sessions recently? Whats the next target race?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,677 ✭✭✭kit3


    Good to see you back :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    wrstan wrote: »
    Great running Dom, you looked very strong on Saturday in that wind!

    What plan are you following, looks like some form of JD sessions recently? Whats the next target race?

    I'm not really specializing or focusing on a particular race at the moment, more generalizing. Work is busy, so can't commit to something in 8 weeks time as it may not happen - 3 trips covering 8 days coming up in a 14 day window for example.
    But the plan is roughly focused on three areas:
    Medium endurance, targeting in the region of 50 - 60 miles pw, with a 90min+ run 3 out of 4 weeks.
    Generally 2 sessions, 1 speed endurance focused, which is where the JD tempo paced sessions are coming from and the other 3-5k focused.
    One or both of these then get dropped if I'm using as race as part of the development.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    ....and we're back.
    Summer was tough, no racing, work very busy, couldn't add anything else on my plate, so just ran when, where and how I could.

    Focus back on now since Sept, being asked to pace DCM has kept me honest, ramped up the mileage, added some hills and tempo work and chucked in a few 20M+ runs and came out the other end unscathed.

    2 races this weekend, Sat 1 mile controlled in 5:11 and the Intermediate XC today again pretty controlled for 5th.

    DCM pacing up next, hopefully a good November with a few F4L's or parkruns, followed by the WAC HM, Senior XC and Streets of Wicklow.

    22102930441_747b1b2682_z.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,272 ✭✭✭Dubgal72


    Fancy :) :cool: :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    So what do you do when you haven't raced for 4 months, introduce yourself slowly back into racing with 3 races in 5 days :rolleyes:

    I do find racing a great fitness accelerator, each race being worth 2-3 sessions IMO.

    Monday was a postponed long run, due to the races at the weekend. Really don't like running long after work, but needed to fit it into the schedule. Went reasonably well, running pretty consistently either side of 7:30 pace.

    Thursday was a 2 mile Fit4Life race in Greystones and I knocked out a decent performance for a master's pb by a handful of seconds and a course pb of 23 seconds.

    It's not a quick course by any means, being a net downhill out and net uphill back, several corners to navigate and a u turn at the bottom. But Thursday's conditions were favorable with a gentle breeze against the head on the way out and having that from behind to get you back up to the start.

    No clock watching on this one, just racing and I got a decent start slipping into 3rd after a couple of hundred meters. Kept 2nd place within touching distance while never being able to shake the sound of several pairs of feet and heavy breathing from behind. Tried to focus on form and exiting the turns strongly to keep the momentum going.

    Hit the turn and a quick glance showed I had 2 in close attendance in 4th and 5th.

    Started to work hard heading back up, closing on second kept enough interest and the footsteps from behind dissuading me in settling for 3rd.

    Made a push from home off the last roundabout and quickly closed on 2nd before accelerating again to hopefully ward off a response, it seemed to have worked, but I was also dragging 4th with me. No let up as the last section flattens out for the last 150m and I run strongly through the line.

    2 mile, 2nd place, 10:48

    Most pleasing part of this was even splits with a pair of 5:24's.

    Mini-taper next week and then DCM pacing.

    Not back to the Ireland fight back - COYBIG


    22283943631_46db4722ce_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 64.4 [103.5]
    MTD: 175.2 [281.9]
    YTD: 2,330.5 [3,749.8]
    Races YTD: 16
    Master's PB: 2
    Weight: 70.6kg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    DCM pacing sandwiched in between a mini and a reverse taper.
    Body in great shape after Dublin, except some bruising from when I went for hop.

    Finished off the week with some spooky pacing at the Shanganagh parkrun and a nice up the ladder 12 mile run in beautiful conditions this morning, starting at 7:37 pace and finishing at 6:13 for an average of 6:57.

    Time for proper training now and learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable again.

    22683059691_bcc3847766_b.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 71.3 [114.7]
    MTD: 274.7 [442.1] (Oct)
    YTD: 2,442 [3,930]
    Races YTD: 18
    Master's PB: 2
    Weight: 70.8kg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,759 ✭✭✭belcarra


    Your summary data/graphics look like some sort of a solar/lunar calendar!

    What's next up for you D?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    belcarra wrote: »
    Your summary data/graphics look like some sort of a solar/lunar calendar!

    What's next up for you D?

    Just a screen grab from Strava :)
    No major focus John, just getting back into training that puts me in reasonable shape to race 5k to HM, with a bit of muck thrown in.
    And just north of 9 miles per day would see me over 3k again this year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    Thats a long marathon you ran :eek:. Must have been doing a lot of weaving and rallying the troops :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    Thats a long marathon you ran :eek:. Must have been doing a lot of weaving and rallying the troops :D

    That's the daily total, includes the jog back to the hotel (the little bubble) :), 26.4 on the Garmin!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    BeepBeep67 wrote: »
    That's the daily total, includes the jog back to the hotel (the little bubble) :), 26.4 on the Garmin!

    Missed the little baby bubble beside the Daddy Bubble :D. You've some range these days between the mile and the marathon. What's the next big target.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    Missed the little baby bubble beside the Daddy Bubble :D. You've some range these days between the mile and the marathon. What's the next big target.

    No short term targets, just improve the quality of the training. There's lot's of miles in the bank, but not enough sessions, time to start withdrawing again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    November, November. Preparation, creation.

    291 miles, 44 runs, 36 hours, 29 days, 8 sessions, 1 race, 1 Master's PB.

    Another solid month under the belt, my biggest November by a handful of miles and after a slow start finally caught up with my 2014 mileage.
    Primary focus was base mileage and tempo / progression runs.
    Tempos varied from 6min pace for 3miles to 6:24 pace for 8miles, also ran a Fit4Life trail 4 mile race at about 90%.
    Picked up a bit of a tummy bug since last Thur, feeling a bit flat but rocked on through, including 2hrs in Avondale yesterday in the wind, ran, muck and hills. Felt like I had ran a marathon afterwards!

    Gingerbread HM, Portarlington, Nov 22nd.
    This was more a fitness test than a target race, with the plan to dial into a pace that I could sustain for the full race. Early into the training and no real taper apart from only running 25 mins the day before.
    I have a fairly soft master's pb of 83:06, due to the fact that I haven't really raced one when I've been properly fit or have ran on tough courses, so had 1 eye on taking that down anyway.

    Met overpronator and dublinrunner at the start line, both were doing the 10k option and after a bit of a delay we were off.
    Difficult not to get sucked along with the 10k'rs and after a 5:58 first mile I settled back into my plan.

    From there my splits were tight, with 2-4 averaging 6:10 pace, 5-7 6:09, 8-10 6:09 and 11-13 6:09, with a little lift in pace for the last 30 odd seconds. Very happy with this as I wasn't clock watching and just tried to keep a steady rhythm.

    I didn't quite cruise it, but the effort was consistent and only climbed for the last couple of miles after a cheeky little climb at about 11 miles.

    The race itself, I finished 6th in 80:29, master's pb by 2:37. I was in a little group battling for 4th after the 10k went it's way, but they went ahead after a while although I was gaining on 5th in the last mile.

    So a good day at the office, didn't spank myself. Would there have been a sub 80 if I was chasing that, not sure, could have been a different story if I went through 10 miles 20-30 secs faster, but the confidence is there that the preparation is right to create something faster when the time comes.

    23346382911_af3e5241b6_o.jpg

    Running Totals
    WTD: 78.6 [126.4]
    MTD: 291 [468]
    YTD: 2,721 [4,378]
    Races YTD: 19
    Master's PB: 3
    Weight: 71.4kg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    Thought I would chuck my HM time into McMillian to see how the year has panned out.

    Surprisingly close spread having run:
    3k : 9:53.5 : Track (Graded)
    5k : 17:22 : Road (Wicklow RR champs)
    5M : 28:54 : Road (Terenure 5)
    10k : 36:33 : Half on trail

    23421963476_ee36442749_o.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    Percentages
    310 miles, 47 runs, 39 hours, 31 days, 9 sessions, 2 races, 1 SB.
    So hit my stretch target for Dec, which was to run every day and hit 310 miles, which gives me a 1% increase on mileage versus 2014 . Challenging at times with back to back business trips, but picking a hotel near nice running routes helped.
    Feeling a lot stronger this year rather than fatigued which was the case last year, but I’ve been very consistent in the 2nd half with my biggest July – Dec mileage at 1,616.

    Wicklow Senior Cross Country 13.12.15
    13th, 1st team, 5th scorer
    Decent field assembled for this which was great to see, Bray had a strong team and our main rivals were down a few bankers due to injury, but had better depth, so nothing was written stone.
    2k course, which was undulating with 2 challenging climbs, had a good few sticky spots and a few tight turns, so the biggest challenge was maintaining momentum.
    Personally, I ran to form on this one, getting a head of a few local rivals and behind another who is on a steep upward curve.
    Ran pretty consistently throughout, was detached from the 3rd lap so just had to grind it out and finished strongly for 15th.

    Streets of Wicklow 5k
    15th, 17:09, SB
    Never quite sure what to expect in this one, I like to enjoy my Christmas day (sometimes too much) and the weather has been an important factor over the years.
    This year we had cold rain, but thankfully the forecasted winds stayed away, which made the flat prom section a welcome addition, rather than something to be feared.
    It’s a fast start and I felt I got away well but soon felt back in the pack, photos show I was in the high 20’s after 500mts or so. The field was deep enough with Fitzpatrick, Mooney, Hogan and McCarthy battling it out for the podium spots.
    After a 1st k of 3:23 I was feeling in my rhythm and concentrated on picking off places up the main street, guessing I got about 5-6.
    Course turns sharply at about 1 mile with a short steep downhill and a tight turn, which I took like the Luas, nearly ending up in the river. Nice flat section along the Quays though and 2 Parnell runners kindly leave the inside racing line open for me, so I don’t need to be asked twice and nip through. 2k in 6:48.
    Up over Halpin’s Bridge and around the back of the Leitrim and I close on another 2 Parnell runners, pass them as we head onto the prom and reach the 3k point just as we turn onto the Port relief road. 3k in 10:16.
    Into a bit a breeze here, but was expecting it to be worse, myself and one of the Parnell runners (the one on an upward curve) battle it out and in turn we close on an Inbhear Dee junior and 1 other and take them just before the foot bridge. Hit 4k in 13:46 after leaking a bit of time into the wind in spite of the effort.
    Final k and the 400mts up Wentworth is still again the wind, but I take a runner I know from SBR here who offers encouragement. My Parnell rival is drifting ahead and I’m working hard to hang on. Back onto the main street and some respite from the wind, mange to take one more place here, but can’t close any further on the Parnell runner. Final k 3:22 + a few seconds for the overs to finish in 17:09.
    Officially 15th, haven’t seen category results yet (Timmaay are you awake?:p)
    Delighted with that, would have been happy with anything under 17:30, 2nd fastest Master’s 5k, a season’s best and the 1st time all my splits have been sub 3:30. So the strength is there, just missing a little top end.

    January is mileage and race focused with 3 on the agenda, Feb and Mar will be a very specific training cycle.
    Happy New Year Boardies

    24003647611_931ab94cef_o.jpg

    Running Totals
    MTD: 310 [499]
    YTD: 3,031 [4,877]
    Races YTD: 24
    Master's PB: 3
    Weight: 71.8kg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,079 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    Wicklow Master's XC 03.01.16
    6th | 1st M45 | 1st Team | 3rd scorer


    Woke up early to be greeted with wind and rain as I gazed out the kitchen window. Had a coffee and a bowl of cereal, located my gear and went back to bed for an hour and watched the news. Thankfully when I re emerged the weather had broken and it had the makings of a nice day.

    Abhainn was collecting me about 1 hour before the race, the beauty of racing 10mins from your house. The location was an organic beef farm on the north side of Ashford. Parked up and as we walked to registration we were told several times how challenging the underfoot conditions were - great.

    Met up with the club, had a chat with some rivals and headed of on a course recce with KC and Abhainn. No major climbs, but plenty of mucky sections and twists and turns, with sections cut up from the normal residents.

    I used to really enjoy XC, but that was more than 30 years ago when I was 9 stone dripping when, deep muck and a few extra stone are not a good combination :). I would have to say this was probably the largest masters field gathered for a good number of years with almost 50 on the line.

    The race was 3 laps and I tackled it in 3 sections.

    Lap 1: I got a decent start, but as we exited the 1st field I was back in about 12th, no panic I let the race take shape around me and concentrated on my footing and lengthening or shortening my stride depending on the surface. Towards the end of this lap the race began to settle, I was 10th after a bit of movement through the field.

    Lap 2: As we made our way back through the start I had a good view of how the race was developing up ahead. Bray in 2nd, 4th and 10th and Parnell in 1st, 5th and 7th, with back up in 9th and 1 I had just passed, I also knew that my main rival for M45 was in 6th, he beat me in road race champs.
    Decision made to put in a strong lap 2. Pushed hard taking a Parnell runner, he responded which was useful as we both closed on 8th. Dropped him at the top of the hill and went on the next chase. Caught the next Parnell runner on the switchbacks, he wasn't giving his place away easily, but this section probably had the best running and this suited me. I eventually pulled away and this brought me up behind my M45 rival, still on the switchback I went wide and passed strongly. In 7th now and I'm breathing heavy but keep pushing and take 6th at the highest point in the course, use the downhill section to compose myself and nearly loose my footing in a brief lapse of concentration.

    Lap 3: Take stock, no change at the front, Bray 2-4, Parnell 1-5, I'm 6th not really close enough to 5th to challenge, so it's all about keeping my place. I've clear space in front of me so can focused on not messing up on slippery sections and running strong where I can. As I pass various partisan and non-partisan supporters I can gauge how far or not I'm ahead. Increase the pace in the last field, but the course is in bits now and traction is poor, but apart from a slip on the 2nd to last corner we get across the line in 6th. Happy to confirm later that we secured team gold by 1 point.

    Takes a few minutes to gather myself and head off for warm down #1, I will also run the last 1.5 miles to my house to hit my weekly target of 60.

    So very happy with my end of year form, I'm ahead of where I expected and more importantly I'm in the right frame of mind mentally.

    Hip flexor a bit tight from yesterdays exertions, so will keep an eye on that.


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