This running lark can be a bit addictive, can’t it?
After a parkrun, a half marathon and a recovery run on consecutive days I decided that instead of doing something sensible like take a rest I’d do two runs on the same day instead.
In my defence, today wasn’t supposed to be a rest day. My Dublin plan scheduled my weekly intervals session for today so I was always going to do that anyway. What wasn’t scheduled, however, was a race … but more on that later.
Back to my intervals … today’s session was 12 x 0.25 miles at 5k pace with one minute recovery between each split. In other words, I had to run a quarter-of-a-mile in two-and-a-half minutes and do it 12 times.
I was joined by Bronagh, with whom I’m running the Dark Hedges Half Marathon in around five weeks. This was her first proper run for a few weeks so whilst it was great to have her company I was a little concerned it might have been too much too soon for her … spoiler alert, she coped just fine in the end.
Anyway, the intervals. Perhaps because it was much cooler today I found myself completing each split fairly comfortably and also judging my pace much better than in previous weeks.
Well, almost. For some reason the third split out of the twelve went extremely awry. I’m not really sure why, although I suspect it was nothing more than a case of forgetting what we were supposed to be doing and just running without focusing on the task in hand!
But, other than that, we got every other split pretty much spot on … some faster, some slower but more or less on target whilst still having something left in the tank. Certainly it wasn’t the flat out effort from previous weeks even though the target pace has been the same. Temperature, or just me getting stronger/faster? Hopefully the latter.
And so onto the race in the evening. Regular readers will know I’ve been assisting (or attempting to!) with the C25K scheme being run in the nearby village of Cullybackey.
The group completed their programme last week with a 30-minute run, with tonight’s event designed to allow them to show off their new found ability in a race environment. It was also a fundraiser for a local school, the Diamond Primary, so a good cause all round … raising money, and encouraging new runners.
I hadn’t really planned to take part, but Bronagh was keen to do it to continue her return to running, and with my other training partner, Iverene, intending to do it too I was very easily persuaded.
A surprisingly large number of runners turned up making it a much bigger event than I had anticipated which was great to see.
I had heard it was an undulating course, and so it proved when we were presented with a hill right from the start. What an introduction to the race!
However, after a minute or two in once I regulated my pace and breathing everything was ok.
After that initial long climb there was, thankfully, a most welcome lengthy downhill section ahead which lasted for the next mile or so.
Unfortunately, as we turned the last corner and onto the final mile the road rose up in front of us again, and it was like this for the rest of the race.
I should mention at this point that I ran the entire race with Bronagh. After not having done much over the past few weeks here she was doing her second run of the day, and whilst she was not finding it easy she displayed massive grit and determination not to let it beat her.
She didn’t stop once, despite her obvious discomfort at times, and even mustered up enough energy to challenge me to a sprint finish right at the end! It was an amazing and inspirational show of strength.
All in all, it was an enjoyable run and, indeed, an enjoyable day.