Photographs Courtesy of Francis Kennedy – www.eirefoto.com The start of a new year and what better way to kick start it than a 10k race in perfect weather conditions?
Heading into the race my aim was to finish it and if my time was just over the hour mark then that would be perfect. I normally finish a 10k race in just over an hour
Once, I managed to shave a few seconds off sixty minutes. However, today I really could not expect any better than my norm. Due to the recent weather conditions my training plan was far from perfect. I had stepped it up a bit last week but thought two runs over Ryehill (a distance of 5.26 miles) and a 5k run on the treadmill would leave me wanting on race day.
I was worried starting out as I was running just under ten minute miles – as most know I’m pretty much a ten minute miler girl – and didn’t know if I could sustain running slightly faster than this from start to finish, but my legs felt good and I decided to stick with this pace for a few kilometres and see if I still felt ok.
At about the 2km mark I fell in with a gentleman from Barna who informed me he had only started running over the last year. In doing so he had completed two half-marathons and, even though his sister couldn’t run with him today, he had made the decision to make the journey on his own. This reminded me of the cardinal rule – it’s the taking part that counts. I also had a chat with Clara Burke who went on to complete her first 10k race.
For the next few kilometres, I put the head down and kept plugging away – checking the watch every so often, still wondering if I was wise to keep going just under ten minute miles. But, before I knew it, I was at the 7km marker. I knew I could beat the hour at this stage, but only if I stayed going at the same pace. Was I being too cocky? Would I be regretting my decision by 8km? I was feeling it now and that little voice in my head was starting to ask; “Can you do it?”
I hate that voice.
Thankfully I met Tracey Fahy, which reminded me of two previous races where I was struggling towards the finish, and she carried me along. I thought ‘this is it’. If I can keep with her I can beat the hour, and so I put the head down and ran along with her and Mags Flannery. There was little talking and a lot of huffing and puffing.
The huffing and puffing was me!!
Having passed the last marker, the end was near. The supporters spurred me on and I gave one last spurt for the finish – shocked at what the clock read… 58.50… a PB!!!
What a great way to start the New Year. I know that the race was meant to have been run on St. Stephen’s day, but like with my training, the weather messed with this. I felt I had regained something from what I felt had been a crap few weeks of training and the weather had not beaten me. The little running I had managed to do – including running up and down my garden in sheer desperation – had paid off.
It was a great race and although just over a week late it was well worth the wait.
Congrats to all who helped make it the success it was.