Wednesday, August 31, 2011


A local run around my bog standard 9.5km route in 38:56. There is work being done on the bridge but you can still cross if you hurdle the barriers...

Then a massage. Very sore. All being well I'll do a tempo run tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pyramid Session

A long warm-up of 6.4km. Then to the track for stretches and strides. It was decided to move from the track to do the session (argghhh!) - so down to the pitches for a pyramid session.

The session was 1 min, 2 mins, 3 mins, 4 mins, 5 mins, 4 mins, 3 mins, 2 mins and 1 min (total 25 mins hard running). Recovery between each effort was always 1 min walk/slow jog. There was a good group at the front and by starting back a little I had people to chase down each rep.

I covered about 8km during the fast bits which wasn't bad considering I'm not a huge fan of running on the grass. I certainly wasn't holding back and gave it my all. I finished up with a 3.2km warm-down so all up 17.6kms for the day.

A few niggles at the moment. Massage booked for tomorrow...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Angel Delight

After being told that my local loop had been closed, I decided that I had to go and investigate. I added a bit on at the beginning (Rock Rd), then ran up to the bridge which was still there and could be crossed. Strange. I decided to double back anyway as to continue on would mean more than 40 minutes and I only wanted to run for that length of time. All up 9.9km in 40:48 (4:07's).

I forgot to mention yesterday that I had my first Angel Delight in at least 20 years. I spotted them in the supermarket recently and thought I'd try the butterscotch flavour. Bloody lovely. I ate the whole thing in one sitting.

As we move in to September the focus will be on some longer training. I have 2 trips planned. The family is going to Westport for a week at the start of September for a change of scene. Then at the end of the month my old man is taking me to Skiathos for a week for my 40th birthday. That means less racing but fear not, I'll still be training hard.

STOP PRESS - I just checked and there is a half marathon in Westport this weekend. This could just work as a nice training run to mark the start of the trip...umm...

Sunday, August 28, 2011


With the news that my normal 9.5km loop is no longer accessible due to the bridge crossing the river being rebuilt, I had to look for a new long run. I decided to try another of the local country lanes than joins the N17 to Galway Airport. To make it a loop I had to run on the hard shoulder of the main road for about 5km which isn't much fun with cars whizzing by.

Anyway, I completed the first lap in just over 45 minutes, then decided to run a second loop. All up 22.3kms in 1:31:18 (4:06's).

That's 83.9km for the week. Not a bad week with a couple of decent races. The only thing is that I appear to have picked up a slight side strain. Nothing too serious and should be fine in a few days.

A quick mention of the sport on the weekend. England finally beat Ireland at rugby; Spurs get humiliated for the second time in a week; Mo has a fantastic race in the 10,000m getting pipped on the line. No shame in finishing second Mo - and to finish with a 53 second lap just beggars belief....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Claremorris 5 miler

I'd heard mixed reports on the course ranging from "not too bad after the first hill" to "all hills apart from the flat section along the motorway". I'd go with the latter, a very undulating course. Not steep hills, but long drags that really had you working.

I got a taste of the first climb as you exit the town on the warm-up. I bumped into Colm and we jogged a few kms. The weather was mixed, windy and raining one minute, then it would clear the next. Thankfully for the race the weather behaved.

Of the course, it was a P shaped affair. The loop was probably just over a mile, with the balance being made up of the road out and back into town. There seemed to be a decent turn-out and we were soon underway.

I went to the front with Roger Barrett and we ran stride for stride up the first hill. After that, there was a long downhill section where we passed through the first mile. Then more climbing and on a few occasions I threw in a few surges which were all covered off. I think it was somewhere before the second mile that I managed to open up a small gap and feeling good I was again trying to lift the pace.

The section along the motorway was great. Nice flat terrain running with the wind and I felt strong and was opening up a nice lead. That was short lived as I turned off the motorway for the run back into town there were more hills and I started to struggle. That's how it remained for the last couple of miles, just gritting it out. The start of the last mile was the long uphill drag, then a nice descent before a flat section of about 400m to the finish line.

I crossed the line in 26:04 for another win and although the time wasn't particularly quick, it's still the equivalent of a sub 26 minute 8km on a challenging course. Happy enough with that given I've raced 3 times in 8 days.

I finished up with a couple of miles warm-down so that's 13.2km for the day. Another good race in the Mayo league. I'd recommend these races to anyone thinking of giving them a go.

Here are the mile splits:

1m 5:08
2m 5:13
3m 5:16
4m 5:18
5m 5:09

Total 26:04 (3:14/km pace)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photos and Video

Did nowt today. Give the legs a chance to freshen up and all that.

Okay, I've found some photos from some recent races.

Starting with the Oranmore 5km. This one is approaching the finish line:

And here is a little video clip from the same event:

Here's one from the 5,000m on the track last weekend at Tullamore. It's near the start of the race with the 3 division 1 runners leading the race:

And finally some from the Claregalway 10km (start, finish and top 4 - thanks to edenhill):

Another race tomorrow. A few hills to deal with but I'm in decent shape so should go okay. Looking forward to it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


During the race yesterday my legs felt fine but today I was struggling. It must be some sort of delayed reaction to back-to-back sessions. Anyway I decided to get out for a bit and covered 12.1kms in 52:14 (4:19's). I was wearing my new technical top from yesterday's race - very nice.

I have to mention the cricket. England finally beat Ireland at something. A close game that could have gone either way. A shame it had so many weather interruptions but that was always going to be a possibility playing the game here!

Rest day tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oranmore 5km

I decided to race so I made the short trip up the road to Oranmore. After collecting my number, I bumped into Brian and we ran a few kms warm-up with a couple of 100m strides thrown in before heading down to the start.

The set-up looked very impressive. A good start/finish area, race announcer, a big crowd (estimate 300+ runners). The countdown was under way and it was time to get moving. Everyone started running but the lead car didn't budge! Thankfully they realised just as the runners were starting to draw level and it whizzed off for us to chase. Through the first km in 3 flat and I was leading with a young guy Paedar right on my heels. The second km was a long uphill drag and the pace slowed but was still running nicely through 2km with a split of 3:17. I was still being chased by Paedar and thankfully there was a downhill section through to the turnaround point at 2.5km (it was an out and back course).

I sensed at this point I had opened up a small gap so I pressed for home. After the initial climb back to 3km (3:15) I put the foot down and was feeling good. The last couple of kms seemed to pass fairly quickly and I went through the downhill 4th km with a 3:04 finishing off with a 3:05 to cross the finish line in first place in a time of 15:41. I won by about 20 seconds and it was pleasing to be able to lift the pace at the business end of the race.

Thanks to the lead cyclist who cleared the return path of oncoming runners. I'm not a fan of the out and back course as I get too easily distracted but on this occasion it worked well.

I finished up with a 3km warm-down so all up 10kms for the day. Here's the best bit, my prize for the day - an 8 week fitness course! Well it made me laugh and was greatly received by the wife. Thanks to all the organisers who put on another decent race. I'm taking it easy now before Saturday...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Combo training

Track night. After a long warm-up (5.6km), it was onto the track. A few strides and then the session was revealed. A 4 lapper, 2 mins recovery, 15 minutes tempo around the grass pitches, 2 minutes recovery, then back to the track for a further 4 lapper. Didn't sound too bad.

I cruised the first mile in 4:59, then jogged down to the pitches and started my 15 minute tempo bang on time. The course I ran was around 3 of the main pitches with an off road section of a couple of hundred metres at the end of each lap. I took my splits each lap and was running at exactly 4:20's which for the approx 1.3km circuit meant nicely under 3:30/km pace. After 3 and (almost) a half laps the 15 minutes was up. Jogged back to the track and knocked out my last mile in 4:56. A good session. After a small recovery I jumped in with another group and did a further lap as they finished their session.

After a 3.2km warm-down it was all over. All up 16.8kms for the day.

I'll be doing more of these longer type sessions in the coming weeks as we move into half marathon season. I have the Galway Bay Half on October 1st, then I may head back to Norwich for the tough half in November. I'll be 40 for both of these races so I'll have moved up an age bracket...

Not sure whether to do the 5km on Wednesday or not. My legs at this stage are saying no!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Deja Vu Week

This will be the fourth week on the trot where I have a Saturday race. And my training will be similar to previous weeks (maybe with a twist).

Today was an easy 9.5kms in 39:37. My legs felt tired today and glad to get it out of the way.

Tomorrow will be track and if I pull up okay I'm considering a 5km race the following evening. That breaks the golden rule of doing back-to-back speed sessions so we shall see. Then easy running on Thursday with a rest on Friday before the 5 miler on Saturday.

As I suspected England won the final test match. India put up a good fight in the first session only to roll over after lunch. That was good.

Watched Spurs get shellacked by Utd in the evening. Spurs were in the game until the first goal then it got a bit embarrassing. That was bad.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finishing the week long

A late evening run. Started at 7:30pm and did my neighbourly long run covering 22.5kms in 1:30:26 (4:01/km pace). Felt really good tonight and no sign of yesterday's 5km in the legs.

That's 77.5kms for the week.

The cricket is nicely poised for an interesting last day. England should win comfortably unless the little master can conjure something up...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

National League Finals

I had the kids in tow today as the better half way away for the weekend which meant I had to rely on some of the guys from the club to look after them whilst I did the race. I can report they did a good job (thanks guys)!

So after the long drive to Tullamore, I was running a bit late, plus the races were running early which meant I only had time for a couple of kms warm-up. Then straight on the track for a few strides and then lining up at the start. Not a big field (14 in the race), and whilst I was running division 1, we also had the premier league guys to keep things interesting. Some quality in the field, including Mark Kenneally (national 10km champ - sub 29 minutes), Joe Sweeney (Irish rep), Sean Connolly (ran 2:16 on marathon debut recently and a 4 minute miler). Sean was the stand-out guy in division 1 so to be honest it was a race for second place...

The gun sounded and there division 1 runners hit the front of which I was part and I settled into 3rd place. I wasn't running with a watch but the pace seemed very slow. They were calling out lap times at the 200m mark and the first lap was a 73. Nothing flash. It became a tactical race and that's how it remained for the next 3 or 4 laps. Nobody prepared to up the pace so it was going to get interesting at some point.

I don't recall all the detail but probably after 2km, one of the premier guys hit the front to get things moving. Lap times had been in the 73 to 76 second range and I was feeling fine. A few more guys hit the front and I was left chasing them at a slightly quicker pace. After a couple of laps of this the main group had reformed and it was going to be a 2km shoot-out.

Sure enough, the lead guys suddenly dropped in a 64 second lap and I was left alone in 5th place (2nd in division 1 behind Sean). I had upped the pace to around 72 second laps but made no attempt to go with them. The remaining laps I was left running by myself and whilst I was out of touch on the leaders, I had opened up a decent gap on the chasers. After kicking down the last lap I crossed the line in a time of 15:26.61. A pleasing time given the slow start to the race.

I finished 2nd in division 1 (5th overall) and some decent points to put towards the Galway City Harriers tally for the day. As it turns out we finished 2nd overall on the day and will now be promoted to the premier league next year. Well done to all the other sprinters, throwers and jumpers on the day who represented the club plus thanks to Matt for organising.

I finished up with a couple of kms warm-down and a quick shower. Then back in the car with the kids for the long drive back to Galway. All up 9kms for the day.

The most pleasing thing is that the time (15:27 rounded) felt completely comfortable. It was a warm day (19 degrees) and a few people were struggling but I felt good. It gives me heart that the sub 15 is still within reach!

Here are the overall team standings for the day:

Division 1 Men
1. Tallaght 114
2. Galway 98
3. Clare 92
4. Sligo 88
5. An Riocht 87
6. Olympic 78
7. Kildare 75
8. Tipperary 76

Here are the 5000m results:

5000 m - Men Division One Final

1 27 Connolly, Sean Tallaght A.C. 15.16.51
2 51 Bidwell, Matt Galway City Harriers A.C. 15.26.61
3 52 Kelly, David Sligo A.C. 15.56.72
4 25 Murphy, Brian Clare County 16.03.46
5 28 O'Callaghan, Donal Riocht A.C. 16.12.89
6 54 Roche, Patrick Kildare County 16.81.66

5000 m - Men Premier Division

1 1 Kenneally, Mark Clonliffe Harriers A.C. 15.02.88
2 7 Sweeney, Joseph Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 15.11.43
3 5 Dooney. Kevin Raheny Shamrock A.C. 15.19.16
4 4 Brown, Robin North Down A.C. 15.31.85
5 8 Connick, Andrew Ferrybank A.C. 15.35.61
6 3 Maunsell, Thomas Leevale A.C. 15.35.63
7 2 Murphy, Ed Kerry Athletics 15.44.43
8 6 Nolan, James St. Abbans A.C. 17.49.40

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bell and Pietersen

No running today. Instead plenty of time to mull over the race tomorrow. If it's like last year then all grades will be run as one race which works well for me. It's all about running hard and hoping that a) your pace is on target, and b) that the pain involved is manageable. Ideally I'd like to go through 3km in close to 9 minutes and then hang on but you never know how the race will unfold. I don't think I'm in PB shape but would love to run another low-ish 15...

The cricket today was magnificent. After a closely fought first session, England have taken the game away from India. Are you watching Australia?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Easy and strides

One final run before the track race on Saturday. Another easy run of 9.5km in 38:07 (4:01's). I stopped after 20 minutes or so and did 6 x 100m strides trying to increase the pace on each effort. All up 10.1km for the day.

Thoughts turn to the race now. I'm not getting many positive vibes at the moment following a couple of poor track sessions. More thoughts on this tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Easy hour

I ran 14.4km in 58:03 (4:02's). It's starting to get a bit cooler in the evenings now - good for running but jumper needed in the house. The countdown is on before we have to start lighting the fire again...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuning Up

Back to the track for my weekly session. I was hoping this would be a friendly session acting as a final hit-out before Saturday's track race. I'm of the preference of not knowing what's in store and being told once you get together as a group. Knowing up front tends to bring on too many negative thoughts of dreading it. Anyway, I digress.

After a 4.0km warm-up, stretches and strides it was time to get going. The session was 6 x 800 off 90 seconds at target 5km pace (15 minutes so that works out to 2:24's for the 800's). Perfect weather conditions - cool with very little breeze.

As with a similar session 2 weeks back, I struggled a bit. Well quite a lot if I'm honest. They were supposed to feel comfortable but I was having to work more than necessary to bring them in on target. Actual times were:


I finished up with 3.2km warm-down so all up 12.0kms for the day. Not a real confidence booster but hopefully I'll come good by Saturday (being Mr Consistent). Easy running for the next 2 days and a rest day on Friday.

Owen looking strong at the moment. Expect some big races from him in the coming months.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another week and more racing

An easy 9.5kms in 38:30. Weather very wet. Some sun forecast for the remainder of the week...

Track 5,000m on Saturday. Dreading it!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Late Doors

It was another run where I had to force myself out of the door. Ideally you get your long run out of the way early doors, but today I left it late and eventually got going just after 7pm. I ran my long local run and knocked off 22.5kms in 1:33:46 (4:10's). Very tired.

That's 83.6km for the week. Another typical week for me in the bank.

I forgot to add my splits for the Claregalway 10km. Here goes:

1km 3:23
2km 3:11
3km 3:08
4km 3:18
5km 3:19 (5km 16:19)
6km 3:32
7km 3:20
8km 3:13
9km 3:17
10km 3:17 (5km 16:39)

Total 32:58

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ted "the Count" Hankey

Later in the evening I made the short trip to Tuam to watch Ted Hankey playing a darts exhibition match. I wasn't sure what to expect but was keen to give it a look (thanks to Colm for the tickets!). Oh yeah, almost forgot, I was down to play him in one leg. Game on.

The turnout was fairly poor - I'd estimate about 70 people watching. I was scheduled to play 8th, and after the 7th game there was a long interval which was more time to sweat. Thankfully a few pints of Guinness had helped to lubricate my elbow and ease the nerves. If I was like this before a race I'd have to give up running....

Anyway, my walk-on music was AC/DC's "Thunderstuck", and soon "the Thunder from Down Under" was in action. It was one game of 801 and after starting well with scores of 85 and 81, I hit the wall. I had another score of 98, but the Count smelt blood and finished me off with a couple of big scores and straight out on the double. I knew I had made a mistake when I forgot my garlic. Hopefully some photographic evidence to follow...

I finished off the night back in the local boozer. More Guinness, darts and pool. I love pubs...home at 3am...

Claregalway 10km

I missed this race last year so was looking forward to having a solid hit-out in my home town. The course is a tough one, a double loop with a long climb of 600m at the start of each lap. There's also a nasty hill at the 3km/8km mark. Conditions were quite windy and we were lucky that the rain just about held off.

I walked up to register (about 800m from where I live), got changed into my gear and headed out for a couple of kms warm-up. Soon it was time to line up at the start.

Just like sprinters I had worked on my start (minus the blocks). My watch was ready, I was listening to the starter, and was soon pounding the pavements. As we exited the industrial estate I was in the lead only to be greeted with the first big climb. My plan was to run strong, but not flat out and about halfway up the hill I was joined by another runner who I wasn't familiar with. As we reached the crest of the hill I immediately felt a lot more comfortable and opened up a gap on the chasing field.

As has been the norm lately, I wasn't looking at the watch and was running on feel. I know this course like the back of my hand so it was quite ironic that I had a lead car to follow round. I have to say I'm not a big fan of the double lap courses as I'm always thinking that I have to do this again, or that I wish I was on the second lap. I'd say I'm not alone in those thoughts.

The race that I was hoping for didn't really happen - once again I was in time trial mode. After 2km there is a long downhill, then the aforementioned climb at 3km. Then it's fairly flat for the balance of the lap. As I went through the halfway mark I had opened up a decent gap and to be honest I switched off a bit (plus the legs were feeling quite tired). The second time up the climb was bloody tough, but again I got the legs moving nicely once at the summit. I knew I had slowed a bit but wasn't too phased and soon I was running down the finishing chute to cross the line first in a time of 32:58.

The time was actually a bit faster than it felt (I would have guessed it to be a 33:20 run). So that was pleasing. I also won by a decent margin which was surprising as this was the County 10km Championships. I'll certainly take the win and I think I'm now the current county champion at 5,000m (track), 10km and 10 miles. I'd say the course is on a par with the Lane Cove 10km course in Sydney. There are tough sections but if you are sensible, there are some very fast stretches to make up some time.

I finished up with a couple of kms warm-down so all up 14kms for the day. Moving on...

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Can Read

No running today. Instead a quiet Friday night drinking beer and eating pizza. I threw a few darts as well for reasons that will be explained tomorrow. Lets just say I'm more nervous about the darts than the 10km race...

I've just about finished reading "Running With the Buffaloes". A great read as it gives you a real insight into the world of university cross country running in America. Focussing on the Colorado University team and how these guys churn out 100 mile weeks - at altitude. It makes me feel like I'm not even training...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Mixed Bag

A quick session today. I basically did my normal 9.5km lap but threw in a few efforts. The first was my 3.6km time trial route which I knocked off in 11:27 (3:11's). Then continuing on at a slow pace for a further 3 minutes I then did a 5 minute effort (into the wind - estimate 3:25 pace). Then after a 2 minute jog I finished up with a 1 minute effort. Then easy running for the balance of the lap.

All up the 9.5km took me 35:01 (3:41's). That's it now until the race on Saturday.

England going very well in the cricket. It's like India don't want to be there. A shame in a way as I thought this would be a very closely fought series.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Splashing around

Tonight the running conditions were brutal. Very wet and windy and the roads were covered in water as it had been raining hard all day. I put on my waterproof gear and hat and it must have looked like I was off for a spot of looting.....anyway I finished my 9.5km route in a slow 40:15 (4:14's). Glad to get that over with.

A few photos coming through from the Streets. Here's a good one of the start (thanks to edenhill):

Here are the top 10 times:

1 2199 Gerry RYAN Male Senior Men Craughwell AC 0:24:24 0:24:24
2 2168 Vinny MULVEY Male Senior Men Raheny Shamrocks AC 0:24:29 0:24:29
3 19 Neville DAVEY Male Senior Men 0:24:39 0:24:39
4 2263 Simon RYAN Male Senior Men Raheny Shamrocks AC 0:25:35 0:25:35
5 1422 Matthew BIDWELL Male Senior Men Galway City Harriers AC 0:25:36 0:25:36
6 1883 Cillian O'LEARY Male Senior Men Raheny Shamrocks AC 0:25:44 0:25:44
7 2119 Bernard ROE Male Senior Men Raheny Shamrocks AC 0:25:55 0:25:55
8 1840 David BYRNE Male Senior Men Tallaght AC 0:26:16 0:26:13
9 1382 Tony SCANLAN Male Senior Men Galway City Harriers AC 0:26:19 0:26:17
10 1488 Ruairi O'DONNELL Male Senior Men Limerick AC 0:26:29 0:26:28

Finally, a big thanks to all the support I got on the course on Saturday, I couldn't believe the amount of shouts I was getting. Much appeciated.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Reducing Recovery

A repeat of a session I last did on Sep 15th 2010 here.

After a long 6.4km warm-up and some strides it was showtime.

Just to give the full details of the session - it was 16 x 400m off reducing recoveries - you get 60 seconds recovery between laps 1,2,3,4 and 5. Then 45 seconds between laps 5,6,7,8 and 9. Then 30 seconds between laps 9,10,11,12 and 13 finishing with 15 seconds between laps 13,14,15 and 16. Simple.

The plan was to run them just below target 5km pace (15 minutes for me) so it was agreed that 70 second laps (72 seconds less 2 seconds) should feel "comfortable". Here are my times:


It went from feeling relatively easy to bloody hard as soon as the recovery time dropped to 15 seconds (a very cruel mistress). Glad to get the session over with to be honest. A tough old session on the back of Saturday's race.

I finished up with a 3.2km warm-down and that makes it 16.0km for the day. Easy running for the rest of the week except for Thursday where I may do a bit of fartlek training.

Monday, August 08, 2011


Another easy local run (same route as last Monday). This time the 12.1kms took me 47:54 and that works out to 3:58/km pace. Feeling good.

Back to the track tomorrow.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Long and local

I wasn't feeling too shabby today so rather than slob around I did a mid afternoon long run. My local route of 22.5kms in a time of 1:32:05 (4:06/km). It was raining most of the run which was quite pleasant.

That's 82.3km for the week.

It's the Claregalway 10km next Saturday. It doubles up as the County 10km championship so hopefully more good racing to look forward to. Not a PB course as it's a hilly one - the course being 2 laps of the 5km course used during this year's 5km series (same direction).

Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Streets of Galway

I arrived in good time. I bumped into Paul and about 30 minutes before the race start of 7pm we headed out for a warm-up. It soon started raining so we cut the warm-up short after only 2 kms. Back inside for shelter and to change into the racing flats, then back out again for a final 5 minutes warm-up before doing a few strides and lining up at the start.

Another messy start. Anyway, quickly into my running up near the front and after being overtaken by a crocodile, I settled into a small group heading towards town. There was some breeze to deal with, and it was trying to rain again, but nothing too bad. I went through the first km in 5th position but I wasn't looking at splits, I was just using my watch to record the times.

By this stage the first 3 runners had opened up a nice gap, then there was a guy chasing them back in 4th (Simon Ryan), and a group of 3 of us fighting it out for 5th. We climbed up to Eyre Square, then headed out towards the Cathedral. This section was quite tough as the breeze seemed to be coming straight at you with a sort of wind tunnel effect between the city buildings.

I remained in the group of 3 with the leaders slowly disappearing up the road. After the Cathedral there was another tough drag as we ran along University Road. Again into the wind and to make matters worse it started drizzling but thankfully we soon were to make a left turn down Newcastle Road.

I felt better running this section and at the bottom part of this long section where we were to take a right turn up Devon Court, the 4th place runner Simon missed the turn and had to be sent back. He must have lost close to 10 seconds and was now part of our small group...

As we made the turn down Rockbarton Road there was still 4 of us fighting it out. I though this section would be fast but it didn't seem to be the steep downhill that I remembered from last year. Simon had again moved into 4th and I went with him and it seemed like we had opened up a small gap on the remaining 2 chasers.

Moving onto the prom and it was time to push for home. There was a bit of cat and mouse after the 6th km as neither myself or Simon wanted to go too early. The wind was on the back and I was feeling as good as could have been hoped for. Upon seeing the 7km marker it was time to kick. Initially I think I moved into 4th place, but this was short lived. With 500m to go we were still stride for stride and I indicated to Simon that there was a final sharp right turn before the finish line. As we hit the 200m marker Simon kicked down and left me in his wake. That's how it remained and I had to settle for 5th postion in a time of 25:36.

I'm happy enough with the time though it did feel like I'd run a bit quicker. That's a 2 second PB and one position better than last year so happy days. Here are the splits:

1km 3:02
2km 3:19
3km 3:14
4km 3:12
5km 3:26
6km 3:10
7km 3:13
8km 3:00

Total 25:36

I pretty much executed my race plan except for the sloppy 5th km which may have cost me the sub 25:30. Nice to finish quick running the last 3kms in 9:23 finishing with a 3 minute click.

No time for a warm-down. Straight into the shower, a quick change, and back to the finish line to hand out water bottles!

I have to give the winner of the race a big mention. Gerry Ryan won in a time of 24:24. Incredible running beating a strong contingent of Raheny Shamrock runners who had made the trip over from Dublin. Gerry is 47 and with those sort of times at that age it gives us all hope. World class.

All up about 11kms for the day. Then I headed into town for some (read plenty) of post race refreshments...

Friday, August 05, 2011

The Streets

You're fit, but my gosh don't you know it...

The Streets of Galway is arguably the biggest race on the Galway calendar. Tomorrow will be the 26th running of the event and with over 2,500 people registered, it promises to be a great race. Last year I finished in 6th position running 25:38 and I'm hoping I can improve on that this time around. Splits last year were as follows:

1km 3:09
2km 3:13
3km 3:13
4km 3:04
5km 3:19
6km 3:14
7km 3:21
8km 3:05

The course is fast and flat and looking at those splits, it seems I lost a bit of speed through kms 5 to 7. The plan is to run the first 5km under 16 minutes, then try and lift the pace for the final run along the prom (hopefully with the wind on the back). Then hit the pub...

Talking of which, I fell off my 3 day wagon last night. I lasted one day. Pathetic. And tonight being Friday means it would be rude not to...

Good luck to everyone racing on the weekend. May it bring PB's then VB's (or whatever else your tipple is)...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

48 Hours

Another easy run around the block. A 9.5km run in 38:55 (4:06's). I did a few pick ups on the final run home but the legs still feel very unresponsive. Hopefully with 48 hours rest between now and the race everything will come together and it'll be alright on the night.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Still not bad

Okay, the last proper session before the Streets. Arrived at the track late and after sitting in the car for a while to avoid heavy rain, I eventually got going for my warm-up where I bumped into Ian. After about 4.8kms I was ready for the session.

Conditions were pretty poor. Still raining, shirt and shoes already waterlogged, track very slippery, plus about 10 more excuses. I'd spoken with Matt and the instructions were to run 6 x 800 (off 2 minutes). Starting at say 2:20, then a couple of 2:18's, finishing with a pair of 2:14's. I would have been confident of doing that based on recent form but after the first lap of the first 800 those times were out of the window. The session went:


So looking for the positives, overall it was still at below 3 minute per km pace, and I managed to get quicker throughout the session. But it was a real effort which was either due to the conditions, or me being on the shant for the last week. Probably a bit of both.

Not the confidence builder I wanted just before the race but still a decent enough session. I'll take it easy the next couple of days as I'm feeling pretty tired and I'll be avoiding all forms of alcohol until post race. That will be a full 3 evenings...

I finished up with 3.2kms warm-down so all up 12.4km for the day.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


A bit further today. I squeezed my run in at lunchtime and did my local 14.4km route in 57:26 (3:59's).

Far too much activity on the socialising front. It's 5 nights on the trot and counting. Dad leaves tomorrow so tonight won't be a late one...

I see that the Galway City Half/Full Marathon has been cancelled at the end of the month (see website for details). That's a pity as I was planning to run after winning the half last year. Hopefully we'll see this race on the calendar at some future date.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Simple Innit

More of the easy stuff. A total of 12.1kms in 50:14 (4:09's).

This week will be lots of easy running, with a track session on Wednesday, and a rest day on Friday before the race on Saturday evening.