Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cork Half-Marathon, Blarney Sept 12th

Well today's race went very well. I'd planned to start out at Marathon Pace (I hadn't yet decided at what pace I'd run the Marathon at, but I figured that it'd be between 7:10 and 7:25) and then to 'lash it from the far side of the hill, i.e. from about 8 miles or so.

The course, along with the altitude profile can be seen HERE The altitude profile is on the bottom right. You can see that the course heads steadily upwards all the way friom the start to a little over halfway, but really kicks upwards after 4.5 miles to 6.5 miles.

As I said in previous posts, I leak slightly when running, and normally wear jockey type underwear under my shorts. This is mainly to keep a cut down incontinence pad in place. I've found that this is fine for short races, but, for longer runs/races, can cause a bit of chafing (due to fabric/elastic pressure in the upper thigh/groin region). I'd decided to forego the jocks today and just ran in regular running shorts with a cut down pad. I had no issues whatsoever during the race and felt that I had little of no leakage. Later I found that leakage was minimal - guessing about a tablespoonful or so - and most probably happened after the finish. We also went for a 3 mile warm-down afterwards to loosen up. i said in yesterdays's post that I reckon that, in the foreseeable future, I'll be completely dispensing with need for wearing the pad while running.

The race itself attracted some 600+ runners and was run in warmish conditions. It wasn't too hot - about 16-18C - but it was somewhat humid. I intended respecting the hill and set out to run at about 7:10 pace. [I should say that, in the previous week, I'd run 20 miles last Sunday, ran 4 miles easy on Monday, did 6 x 800m on the track on Tuesday, with 3 x 1M on Thursday, with 9.6M on Wed, Fri and Sat - in otherwords, I ran 68 miles last week, with two hard speed sessions AND no Taper! Not your ideal pre-Half Mar training, but that was the plan - This wasn't a key race for me - Cork to Cobh 15m, in 3 weeks, definitely is.]

The first mile was 7:07 and I was a little concerned at the very slightly fast pace, considering the humid conditions, and decided to cut back a little. The next three miles were: 7:29, 7:27, 7:24, with the 5th mile slightly slower again, 7:34, bringing me thro the 5 mile mark in 37:02.

The 6th mile is, by far, the toughest and the pace dropped considerably, to 8:06. Nevertheless only two people passed me in this mile - I passed loads - and both of them were caught on the downhill stretch after the village of Grenagh.

There is a steep section, out of Grenagh,lasting about a half a mile, or so. This is a fine section for hill runners, but I'd planned to take it comfortably, just stretching out the legs, and so it was.

This mile, which included the last of the uphill section, came in at 7:18 (52:26 for 7M). I'd planned to 'take it out' from the bottom of the hill, and started to work hard. I also started to count 'net place' from there, in other words, if I passed someone, the count was +1, with a -1 if someone passed me. By the finish, the count was +34, with no passes - Nobody managed to overtake me in the final 6.11 miles!!

From the 7 mile mark, I rattle off very steadily, 6:47, 6:55, 6:53, 6:56, 6:57, 6:52, with the final 0.11M taking 40 secs. I normally don't look at my watch during a race, except to get a feel for the starting pace, so I had no idea what pace I was going at. Frankly, I had expected to be passing more people, so I figured I'd come in around 1:37 and was very pleasantly surprised to see the clock at 1:33:59 - unfortunately the clock was about 80m from the finish line.

The official results aren't out yet, but I made it 1:34:14, just 45 secs slower than I ran in the same race in Sept 2006, some 5 months after my initial 4.3ng/l PSA result.

Overall I am absolutely delighted with today's result. All I wan't now is for my current PSA test result to come back as <0.02ng/l. I had the test done two weeks ago last Friday and am still waiting. Results are normally available between 5 and 10 working days after the, but this isn't the first time they've been this late. I don't mind the wait, as long as they're good!


Marky Mark said...

Congratulations on a spectacular effort and result!

John Quigley said...

Thanks Mark!

How are you doing? Last I recall was that you were about to undergo robotic back in march April. I hope all went well and that you managed to get in some of your planned runs.

I'm on a high after that! The best was to get the better of many of those who had overtaken me during the progression of my illness.

I'm still a good bit shy of several of my former arch-rivals, but I nearly have them in my sights.

Even if I never make it back that far, it is wonderful to have come back so far. To think that , little over 28 months ago, I was prepared for the possibility that I might never run again!

Marky Mark said...

That's amazing John! My surgery went very well and the pathology was perfect so unless something happens I don't need further treatment. I haven't had a meaningful leakage issue and on the other front things are progressing even if not how they were beforehand.

From a running point of view I have a "flip tear" in the meniscus of my right knee and I can't seen to get in meaningful mileage, so that has been very disappointing as I can see that returning to more or less where you were does lead to a real high! I have to decide whether to have it scoped or not and will decide in the next couple of months.

I'm registered for a couple of halves in the next six weeks but may have to scale both back to 5K's. Still, given where I was in March, this isn't the end of the isn't yet quite even six months.