Monday, October 19, 2015

The Return Of The Shamrock Warrior!!!

So,five weeks since my last race at 5th Avenue Mile "his self" was back at it this time over 5k xc not my traditional "comfort zone" but feck it a race is a race period and given we are still a ways away from Indoor Track I felt ok w/ swopping the tarten/all weather track for lush green grass and a little trail in Saratoga for Masters Nationals 5K XC C'ships.
When I say I had zero expectations of what I would do here I'm not "copping a plea" or trying to be cute or even sandbag the issue the fact was I hadn't ran a 5k xc race since Nov 2011 so I had no idea what to expect.
On top of that nugget was the fact that outside of the "mother of all cock ups"  the 2012 Club Nationals 10k XC C'ship I hadn't ran xc in 2012 or 2013,last year w/ Club Nationals in my backyard in Lehigh I sought redemption and got it but in order to do so my ventures on the "Green Green Grass Of Home" were over the longer distances 8k and 15k so like I said I had nothing recent over 5k on the track muchless road or xc to base a vague idea of time on......throw in being in week five of my off season training I have no speed work as such to draw upon this truly was a case of sling linguine at the wall and see what sticks....if anything!!!

I'd ran Saratoga once b4 06 or 07 and truly got my arse handed to me on a plate.....this is what happens when jumped up track 800m/1,500m/milers tangle w/ the big boys over 5k but taking the advice of a "wise owl"{that would be you John Cunningham!} I upped my mileage in 2010 coming off the 09 achilles injury and what do ya know my 800m/1,500m/mile times weren't effected and sweet jaysus my 3,000m/2 mile,5,000m track times not to mention 5k road/xc times improved....wise man that John Cunningham!
The fall out of the misdiagnosed 2011 Anemia issue was felt in Bloomington 2012 at Indoor Nationals where I got my hole handed to me again over 3,000m at which point and prehaps a little hastily I ditched 3,000m/5,000m on the track in favour of being a strictly 800m/1,500m/miler.......

While I lacked speed work coming into Saratoga I didn't lack mileage by days end I would record a 43 mile week to give me 55mpw,55mpw 29 mpw 55 mpw 43 mpw over the last 5 weeks of off season training,speed is grand and all that however speed w/out strength isn't worth a carrot.
The pre race mindset was 5.50 mile pace and maybe a 18 min 5k which while far from scary for the "big boys" would have been a big deal for boyo here and that was what I told myself as the M50 race lined up at the starting line me and 57 other 50 plus runners at 12.45pm.

Easing my way along the far left handside of the course I tucked in behind three of my teammates Chuck,Larry and Jim for the opening 200m, the lead pack of 6 runners including the likes of Mike McManus,Mike Nier,Mark Zamek and Francis "gobshite" Burdett were only a few meters ahead of me....dare I risk chasing after them????
Sure if I fell on me arse wasn't that to be expected anyway? what if I rolled the dice??? maybe I wouldn't brake the bank but I was playing w/ "house money" afterall{I swear I don't have a gambling problem I just know the lingo!!!}.....FECK IT!! faint heart never won fair maiden and while my nearest and dearest hadn't accompanied me to Saratoga her presence was very much w/ me so I gave chase to the leaders.
7th at the 1 mile marker in much for 5.50 pace....I was relegated to 8th and for a short while 9th b4 reclaiming 8th place w/ my "freewheel the shit out of the downhill" spirit.

11.34 at mile 2 a 6.01 mile I was feeling grand,the weeks of 10,12,14 mile runs were paying off w/ dividends I wasn't hurting at all 7th was a ways ahead of me but 9th was a ways behind me......was I really gonna finish 8th here?????
Having done my homework and jogged the course as my warm up and knew what was where I continued to hammer away making the final exit of the woods I was faced w/ a long 300m straight to the finish like a demented Paddy trying to reach the pub b4 "last call" I swore to mow down any fecker in my way and continue to plough my way towards the finishline.
8th in 17.25......are ya feckin shittin' me???? 9 seconds behind Dave Dunham in 7th and 12 seconds ahead of Alejandro Heuck in 9th I'd just ran my best race of the October.....over feckin cross country!!!!!!

W/ the dust still settling I'm coming to terms w/ the fact that my strength work is yeilding high rewards and maybe just maybe a rethink of my non off season training schedule is in order.
I had told myself heading into my Ruby anniversary 2016 season a "return to basics" was on the cards{jaysus another feckin gambling reference....I swear I have this shite under control!!} and while a return to my trusty Green & Yellow Saucony Spikes,Shamrock bandanna and Shamrock socks is mearly surface stuff I do believe the "golden days" I thought had passed me by could still be there for the taking if I can stay healthy and motivated,the former is out of my control all I can do is hope to stay healthy and do what I need to do to remain in shape......I don't lack motivation 40th anniversary and a new love in my quote Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On"........

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