Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tuam National Inter-Counties XC

The build up to the country:

Mon - Treadmill 10.0km recovery run 36:27 (3:39's)

Tue am – 1.6km up, 10km treadmill threshold run 31:43 (3:10's), 1.0km down. All up 12.6km

Tue pm - Tuam AC easy run 11.5km

Wed - Claregalway 9.5km easy run 38:55 (4:06's)

Thu – 2.5km up, 4 x 30 secs, 8 x 2 mins off 60 secs, 2.5km down. All up 11.3km

Fri - Claregalway 11.1km recovery run 41:41 (3:45's)

Sat - Rest

Sun – National Inter-Counties 10km XC 14th in 39:20. All up 13.3kms

Total for week 79.3km

The conditions for the country were very sticky. A tough twisty 2km loop with one killer hill. All ground very soft except one section of about 400m where I felt I could actually run. The rest reminded me of my swimming – huge effort but going nowhere. Back to the race – a very poor turnout but a strong team from Galway so a good chance of some bling. The race started and I settled into my running. I didn’t start slow – I think everyone else started too quick. The first lap I was picking off a few runners and my immediate thought was that I wasn’t going to be in the scorers for Galway. After a lap or so I’d picked up several places and my focus was on catching a few Donegal runners up ahead.

My pace throughout was very consistent – within a few seconds each lap. The hill at the start of the lap was a real grind but once up the top and round the corner you had the section I mentioned where I could run a bit. Not much happening apart from plenty of support on the course which was much appreciated. I picked off one Donegal shirt but there was another one I had my eye on. But I didn’t catch him until the last lap. By this time I just wanted it to be over. I managed a strong section and broke away from the Donegal runner and in second half of the lap I started closing in on Mike O’Connor. Another big effort and I went past him as we rounded the last corner for the run to the finish. I just managed to hold him off as you can see from the photo below.

I finished 14th overall and was 4th Galway scorer in a time of 39:20. Not my greatest work but it was a huge effort and I was close to a vomit at the finish. Galway won the team gold medal so a huge achievement for the county. My first ever senior medal! A few beers after and home in time to see Spurs beat Man City. All in all a great day.

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