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Well, I half did it! I woke up on Saturday morning with a terrible head cold. I don't know where it came from, but I was sneezing and bunged up, so I decided to pass on my first of the two races I had planned this weekend. I know it sounds like a cop out, but this was genuine, and there was no way I could do myself any level of justice on Saturday. I saved myself for Sunday.<br><br>
Saturday evening saw me still sneezing and I have to confess that running was the last thing on my mind when I went to bed. But, miracles do happen, and when I woke up on Sunday morning, the cold had vanished as quickly as it had arrived, so off I went to the Phoenix Park for the Great Ireland Run. For those of you unfamiliar with the Great Run series, these are a series of races around the UK and Ireland organised by former Olympian Brendan Foster, and the Irish version is a 10K with some 9,000 entrants.<br><br>
Given my current level of unfitness, I had arranged to run with my Italian friend Monica, who is running the Lochaber Marathon next weekend, and wanted to break the hour for this run but was unsure of pacing. So we met up, took our places in the throngs and set off slowly with the crowd. Normal bug-bear of walkers four a breast having started too far near the front (Why?), so the first Km was a bobbing and weaving 1000 metres plus, but eventually we settled into a rhythm and were running around 5:50 pace (per Km that is). Half way was steady and reached in 29:22, but with the second half being a known roller coaster it would be tougher than the first.<br><br>
It was a very warm sunny day, and the sweat was pouring off me as I ran down the Kyber Pass and through the S Bends, the Furry Glen, and we progressed along smoothly, the hills being worked and things were looking good. Monica was feeling strong, although talking was down to a few simple "Are you OK's?", and the last climb was up to the 9 Km mark, and then a flat last 900 to the finish. This last climb took it's toll on me, this was the longest run for me in a long while, and as we passed that last marker, I told Monica to push on as she was on for a sub 58 at this point, a new PR for her, I needed to recover from that last climb and ease along to the finish. She moved ahead, 5, 10, 15 metres, I could see her and kept her in sight. With around 400 to go, I had recovered my breath and started to close the gap. There were lots of other runners around me, and there was nothing to gain from pushing too hard to finish, but in the end I had closed to around 5 metres by the time I crossed the line, no sprint finish, but a pleasing run given the level I am at - 58:01 was my time, a time I would have been disgusted with only 6 months ago, but one I was quite happy to record today - It's a start.........
 

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Not bad at all! <img alt="icon_cheers.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_cheers.gif"> And you helped Monica to her new PR, that is worth everything. I love your colorful reports too.<br><br>
Congratulations! Smart move sataying away from the Saturday race, always listen to your body.
 
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