Charleville International Half Marathon (22nd September 2013)

Been meaning to get stuck into this race report all week.

Rocked down to #Charleville on Saturday evening straight from work in Limerick to meet up with +Edel O’Reilly and the two kids who were already settled in the Charleville Park Hotel since the afternoon. We’d a family room booked for the night.

I got down in plenty of time, got registered and met up with Michael Herlihy the race organiser for a few words and introduction before heading out for a bit of pizza with the kids.

I was taking on the #CharlevilleHalf as part of a Long Progression Run that my coach had planned for me today.

Plan called for:
Long run as 8km E pace, 10km as M pace +10secs, 8km as M pace, 5km as M pace -10secs, 2km E pace.

My predicted Mpace is 4:35/km so that’s the guide.

Up early on Sunday to get breakfast; scrambled eggs with croissants & coffee. I had a bag prepped with the bits & pieces for before the race which I would meet Edel for. Drove up to the muster point at +Charleville Gaa hall beside St. Joseph’s foundation. Kissed the family and headed off for the first 10k of the session.

I decided the best thing was to head out on the course 5k, turn and back to the start, timed so I would be back for 15 mins to the gun. Out I went 8k easy and kicked up for 2k at the Mpace +10 seconds before meeting up with Edel.

Quick change of singlet, drink of SiS GO Energy (I nibbed on a GO Energy Bar on the way in from
6k), put on my race shoes (Mizuno Elixir) took my race gels and headed for the start line.

All set!!

Bumping into my ‘nemisis’ Mr.Wiggle we had a bit of banter about our Amphibian King Vs Mr. Wiggle corporate challenge (one of these stupid things grown men find funny) 🙂

Anyway we both had our own plans and parked the challenge for another day, wishing each other well we parted realising that every wasp in the county was trying to mate with me due to the singlet!

I settled in among the 1:40 pacers knowing well this is my territory and off we went with very little preamble.

Lots of juggling for clear space, over the mat and plenty of sprinters up the outside and jumping in at the front, anyway, each to their own. Once onto the Kilmallock Rd it settled down a bit and the pace steadied, I settled into a 4:45/km ish pace comfortably for the next 8k. The one thing that surprised me was water station at 5k, most people took a slug from the bottle, dropped it or fired it into the ditch (#pethate).

It was a warm day and we’re racing, “you’ll need that”, I thought.

Anyway, and on. I took the first of my +Agave #9 gels at 5k (15k remember!) and sipped on my baby bottle of water. For the next 3k I tracked the pacers who seemed to surge ahead for a bit, I realised I had drifted slightly on my pacing as my ‘shoulder angels’ started fighting.

On one side I was getting “No need to push hard, you’ve an extra 10k done” the other saying “Stuff it, keep going”. The two of these argued back and forth for about 2k and it was only as I hit the end of the Phase I managed to shut them up.

At 8k in I stretched the legs a little as the next 8k of the plan was at Mpace. I’m sure people in the group thought I was mental, pushing on, I kept it steady though around the mid 4:30’s. Going through Kilmallock I dropped my water bottle in a bin (when empty I squish them, pop the top and stick in the back of the shorts until a bin / dropzone).

Around the corner to head back somewhere around halfway (my 20k) the HR stopped sending a signal. This was fine as I’d to run to pace. Taking a bottle from the station, over the mat, mouth rinsed, gel in (SiS this time), water sip, sip, sip. I kept going. Psychologically I was comfortable & confident in knowing what I was capable of due to the training.

I was fishing.

Throwing out a line, reeling people in steadily and passing with confidence leaving them behind me.

I struggled a little at 13-15k (23-25k) as there was a combination of turns, wind and drag. Also I was running very much on my own with no respite or body to hide behind. I did do a bit of creative slingshotting, but this was more of a mental advantage than physical.

Hitting the last water station just before the 16k mark I took my 2nd Agave#9 (check out Agave#Ireland) and another bottle of water, dropping my empty at the station. At this point one person that I’d passed came back at me. (This last 5k was to be run at 4:25/k but I’d mistakenly programed the watch to show 4:30/k.)

I let him drift off the front for a bit recognising that I’d passed him in the first half so he was running a negative split like myself, this was not just a ‘passee surge’ so I had to be careful.

Tracking him for the next kilometre, I pulled him back in from 15/20m and sat on his shoulder.

17.5k in RACE ON!!!

At 18k I stepped past him and ran off him and 2m in front. Then as we went over the bridge he went in front again. Floating down the back side of the bridge slope, I pulled steadily onto him and at 19.5k I backed myself and squeezed ahead again, gaining 5m, I drifted out to 10m and realising where I was with 1.2k to go I dug in.

Time for a haircut, methinks!

Passing straight through a group in front, sorry lads! (they were scattered across the road and I wasn’t going round the long way!)

I ran in the last km fast at 4:17 average up (8m gain) to the finish passing people all the way in.

My biggest, little fan!!

Finishing in 01:38:59 that hardest part was moving on to finish the session with 2k!!

Think I did 1.5k before necessity meant I’d to get back to the hotel, shower, change and up to #AKLimerick for an afternoons work with +Amphibian King West

+Polar training file is here. Happy to explain through comments.

Target phases.

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