Today was our version here in Dublin of the Jingle Bell run, and I had no great expectations of how I was going to do. After a less strenuous Philadelphia than expected, due to PF, I have been back into training properly this week, but only steady runs, so as long as I was under 25 minutes I would be happy.<br><br>
Had a lousy nights sleep as the people downstairs decided to have "another" party and like to play crap boom-boom music (and I use the word music loosely), and they were still at it at 7:30 this morning when we were getting up - The weather was pretty terrible - heavy rain showers and the wind blustering around 30 mph at times - Not the ideal.<br><br>
The race was in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, and is a regular Xmas event, although I have only run it once before, back in 2004, although I do recall the uphill finish, and a few exposed places in the Park, I wasn't looking forward to. Adrienne (Cailin Deas) was also running, and we also met up with my old training partner Kieran and my Italian friend Monica, so a pleasant get together as we sat in the car before the race, thankfully the rain had abated, and the sun was actually shining as we headed up to the start, shortly before 11 am.<br><br>
To be fair, my race was relatively uneventful. Adrienne was going to walk run, so Kieran, Monica and myself edged nearer the front at the start, and I surprised myself by setting off reasonably quickly with both my running buddies dropping back within the first few hundred metres. As ever the crowded start was a little dis-orgranised, with santa clauses, elves and mrs clauses to the fore <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">... Eventually it started to settle down and I hit the first Km mark at 4:42, and from there on it was pretty reasonable running -<br><br>
The wind played it's part between 2 and 3 km as we had a cross wind which was difficult to deal with, then we turned into a head wind and that was a head down job, but I was running pretty even splits, with 3K hit at 14:10, and once we turned away from the winds and onto the Lower Glen Road I was able to keep the pace going, 4 km passed in 18:55, and easy math told me that a steady run to the finish would see me under 24 minutes comfortably.<br><br>
As we dropped into the bottom of the Glen, I remembered that there was a sharp turn then a 100m climb before the finish, but I dug in and pushed myself up the hill and when we levelled off, I could see the finish line ahead and coasted aggressively (if you can do such a thing!) and crossed the line, stopping my watch at 23:25, a 4:30 last kilometre, including the climb, so I was very happy with my day's work.<br><br>
Kieran finished around 30 seconds behind me, with Monica a couple of minutes further back. K and I ran back to run Adrienne home, and I'll let her describe her race herself. We got a nice coffee mug for running the race, and went back to the clubhouse of Donore Harriers, the host club, for a hot coffee and some snacks - very welcome on a cool day.<br><br>
Off to England next weekend for the Stockport 10, and another race to gauge my fitness levels.