Trying to peak at this time of year is tricky for obvious reasons. But I gave it a real good go:
Mon - 2km up, 4 x 4 mins off 90 secs, 1.6km down. All up 9.6kms
Tue - Treadmill 10.0km recovery run 35:53 (3:35's)
Wed - 2km up, Treadmill 8.0km threshold run 24:45 (3:06's), 1.6km down. All up 11.6kms
Thu - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 36:57 (3:53's)
Fri - Rest
Sat - Fields of Athenry 10km 31:59. All up 15.1kms
Sun - Claregalway 9.5km recovery run 35:48 (3:46's)
Total for the week 64.7kms
Some cracking treadmill sessions leading into the Fields - if treadmill form was anything to go by I was in PB shape. But we all know we don't race on treadmills....
A good treadmill speed session on Monday - running the 4 minutes efforts on 2% gradient at sub 3 minute per km pace. The heart rate was up high (above 150) - just where it needed to be. Then a good threshold run again on the treadmill on Wednesday as a final tune-up. Running at 3:05/km pace and feeling pretty good. Had I ran the full 10km I'd have been confident that it would have been sub 31 minutes for 10km....
A good feed and drink on Xmas day and I was ready for the Fields. The conditions were just about perfect - apart from 2 big water hazards on the course. The race started and the 2 Dublin guys hit the lead with myself and Jason Broderick in quick pursuit. The first km was quick and I then really pushed the second km on a nice downhill section to gap Jason. I was running well through the third km with the lead 2 guys pulling away but then I started to struggle a bit through km #4. A slow split resulted and I was aware that Jason was starting to close back in on me.
By halfway (around 15:50) Jason had caught me. I knew he'd put in a big effort so I responded straight away and pushed on until 6km and again I had opened up a gap. The next 3 kms I was feeling okay but the pace had certainly slowed (maybe through the water hazards) and my splits were all around 3:20 (but not the 3:10's required). The last km is a beauty and I cranked up the pace running a 2:57 to cross the line in 31:59 for 3rd place. A very up and down race in terms of pacing but overall a very satisfying result. Another great run by Jason clocking close to a 30 second PB for 4th place.
A good recovery run the next day to cap off the week. Amazing that run was good as I blew the froth off numerous (read double figure) beverages the day before....