Desperate. That was my “Word of the Day” yesterday: Desperately tired, desperately disappointed and desperate climbing! So was my sentiment after completing the Ticknock Leinster League race anyway: the traditional three-looped course last used in the Winter League 2007.
But let’s start with the positives anyway because there were some:
For starters the field was magnificent upfront, old heroes like Cormac Conroy and Hugh McLindon were back again, but even they were outshone by the return of Barry Minnock to the league he has conquered two years rolling and the presence of World Trophy starlet Brian McMahon. Peter O’Farrell was also there, as was last week’s winner Kevin English, current League leader Eoin Keith and many more. The number of club runners amounted for almost half of the 207 strong field. There was plenty of drama too with Brian leading by a whisker before getting lost and allowing Barry to cruise home in an impressive time. Aaron O’Donohue and Eoin Keith both DNFed injured while Keith Heary lost time spraining his ankle but did manage to finish.
Ticknock is quick acquiring the same ruthless reputation that Tibradden once held...
A personal highlight, I suppose, is that I did knock 11 minutes of my previous time on the route and I had a good 8th kilometre which I ran in 3:17min/km. That’s unfortunately were the good news stops.
Long story short: My uphill legs weren’t working today, at all, and any attempt to push it met with instant blocks from heart and lungs. It was like my brain had put a security switch on.
My finish position of 31st and “% of win time” of 125% are the worst, by some measure, since my maiden season of 2007 and my average pace of 5:08min/km is much worse than any recent performance I’ve had in the hills and there-in lies my greatest disappointment with the race. I simply thought I’d moved beyond this type of “bottom-level” of relative performance (as it’s often called in team sports).
However, reason must rule over emotion, and while I would consider this a major setback under normal circumstances and a reason to have a second look at my programme, it’s actually easy to guess why I had this “collapse”. Just add racing too hard on Sunday to the recent injury and you don’t get a recipe for a good race. Perhaps I was wrong in expecting a reasonable performance.
So it should be an easy fix, ease the knee back in regular training, recover fully, and keep increasing my mileage steadily again to the 50 miles were I left off, and I should be back on track hopefully within a few weeks.
I’m greedy, though, after this race, I need a reckoning, and I think Prince William’s Seat or Corrig could a place to get just that...