DAIRY: Racing sick?

My light flu has receded into sniffles, and thanks to fruit, electrolyte drink, lavender and eucalyptus hot tub baths, and plenty of rest, may even be completely gone by Sunday, when I have my "debut" as a true competitive runner on home soil.

Quick Recovery?
I have mixed feelings about it, as I was looking forward to seeing just how far I could go in my native land. Now, I'll end up running the race not being fully healthy, not having had optimal training (as the illness and my holidays has damaged my training program for the last few weeks).

Instead of going forward, I'd say I have gone backwards. Probably only a little bit, and nothing I won't have recovered in a few weeks once my regular rhythm has been put back into place, but I won't be able to go out, all guns blazing, at the Marselis run.

I was hoping for a finish time in and about 48-50 minutes for the 12k, but realistically, I'll probably run pretty dead after 7 or 8k, and I'd estimate a finish in and around 55 minutes.

A Tricky Distance
I find 12k a tricky distance, first and foremost because it's a relative unknown to me. The only races I've run that have been close have been very rough mountain runs (Brockaghs and Tibradden, to name two, clock in slightly below 12k). I should be able to better my Achill Island Half-Marathon speed (even sick) of 4:38. I was pretty comfortable throughout that race, and only my legs stopped me.

The same could prove an issue on Sunday. My "rise to (mediocre!) prominence" in running this year has been helped by my choice of mountain running as a discipline. Mountain running sides with the runner with a strong heart and a strong will, as high speed cannot be reached going up while terrific speed can be gained from proper technique alone going down.

The Gift of Raw Pace
In other words, it gives runners without raw natural pace, and strongly developed musculatures more of a fighting chance. Can I generate a raw pace much higher than 4:38 over 12k? Possible, at my best, extremely doubtful in my present condition.

Defeats, as the one I will expect on Sunday, are healthy, however, they are a kick in the face, and nothing works better to motivate me for the long solitary and dark winter nights that lie ahead.

Hopefully, next year, I'll return with a winter Cross-Country season in my legs, and perhaps, if my genetics will it, have developed a much fiercer base pace than my present.