Today I met up with Ian for an easy run around Renmore. We did 3 laps of the Resolution Run course to be used tomorrow and also ran with Paul Fallon for a short while who was finishing his 1,000 mile run in December. An incredible achievement and something he should be very proud of. All up only 9.2km for me in just over 40 minutes.
That gets me an annual total of 4,230.5km for the year. My biggest yet!
Moving on, it's time for the yearly review. Here is the list of races for the year:
A very good year for me. Lot of racing, no real injuries to speak of and a few PB's along the way. Of the 39 road races I managed 21 x 1st places, 8 x 2nds, 4 x 3rds, 3 x 4ths, 2 x 5ths and 1 x 26th.
On the PB front I managed to improve my 5km PB on a few occasions. A very unexpected PB on New Years Day running 15:51 at the 5km Resolution Run in an epic sprint finish. I then improved that in the second week of the Galway 5km series out at Tuam on May 10th running 15:45. I managed to equal that time the following week in Craughwell and then recorded a big improvement in Maree on 13th July clocking 15:33.
For 8km, I peaked for the Streets of Galway and I managed to improve my PB by a whopping 3 seconds with a 25:36 in early August.
At 10km it was a case of chipping a few seconds off my PB here and there. Going into the year my PB stood at 32:49. I tackled the distance 12 times in the year and was very consistent breaking 33 minutes on 8 separate occasions with the worst time being 33:53 from last week in very testing conditions. I improved my PB to 32:44 at Clarinbridge at the end of January and then improved that further to 32:41 at Annaghdown on June 21st. I have to say I thought I'd go a lot closer to breaking 32 minutes this year. Despite some red hot form in training and over 5km, I couldn't convert that over 10km. Some of that could be down to bad luck as I often was racing solo (time trialing). On a few other days it just didn't happen (the Great Ireland Run springs to mind). More improvement to come hopefully.
My first race over 10 miles out in Craughwell on March 20th. I ran well and managed to post a decent time of 53:20 on my debut.
At the half marathon I started the year well. I posted a decent PB in the postponed 2010 Norwich Half Marathon running 1:11:15 on March 13th (a 39 second improvement). I tried to improve on that with 4 more attempts at the distance and despite training really hard for the 2011 Norwich Half in November, tough windy conditions put pay to a quick time where I ran 1:14:07. I honestly felt that I had a sniff of sub 71 minutes on that day which was a bit disappointing.
Looking through the list it's hard to pick my top 5 performances of the year but here goes:
1) Craughwell 10 miler (March 20th). This was the week after the Norwich Half Marathon and my legs didn't feel great. I ended up having a tough battle with Paul Buckley where we swapped positions many times. On the day I was beaten by the better man but the racing on that day was why I love running. My time of 53:20 was the equivalent of 31:50 for 10km and 1:10:50 for the half. An unexpected result given the half marathon the week before.
2) Balla 10km (July 23rd). Another good battle with Martin Conroy on a tough hilly course. Martin and the hills got the better of me in the last 4km but I still managed to run 32:43 only narrowly missing out on a PB. A great race and good to see the whole town out in support of this race.
3) Norwich Half Marathon (March 13th). A new PB and great to run well in your home town with friends and family watching. I managed 5th positon after catching and overtaking another runner in the last few miles.
4) Resolution Run (Jan 1st). My lead-up training was awful and I had a hangover to boot. Despite hardly being able to fill in the entry form I managed a win and a new PB of 15:51 with a sprint finish at the end. Where did that come from?
5) Claregalway 10km (August 13th). A nice win in the county 10km championship in my back yard with the wife and children watching.
An honourable mention also to the Galway 5,000m Championship track race that I won on June 16th. I sat in behind Kenny Rogers for the majority of the race and managed to pip him on the line with a quick last 100m. A decent time also of 15:14 which equalled my track PB.
That's about it for 2011. I now need to set some new goals for 2012 which no doubt will involve getting quicker over various distances (isn't that always the way?). Plus I hope to have lots of good racing along the way. But for now it's time for some beer. Cheers to you all!