Sunday was Race 2 of the Run Clare Series 2016, in the beautiful West Clare. The day was perfect, a slight bit chilly but dry and sunny.
This was the same scenic route as last year, starting at the GAA field and running back in towards Quilty. Once in the village we turned left and ran along the beautiful Atlantic coast before turning left again. The next stretch of road was relatively flat. Just after the half way mark we turned left and ran slowly and steadily up a slight incline, passing the water station at the 3 mile mark. We took another left turn at the end of this straight and ran down hill under the old railway bridge. It was at this point that we took the final left turn and had to run up a tougher incline. At the top of this hill, just beside the primary school, we began the final descent towards the finish line, in the grounds of the GAA field.
My 5 Mile
The day itself was glorious. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. It was cold but the sun was shining and with beautiful scenery to look at, it was hard not to be in good form. Orla, Ruth, Caroline and I met in Ennis and travelled back together. There was an air of anticipation and excitement in the car. We chatted and laughed all the way back to Quilty. We had been in the car approx 20 mins when we hear an almighty bang on the roof of the car! I thought that it must have been a branch that had fallen onto the roof of the car as we passed by but there were no trees near us at the time. We then thought that maybe one of the roof racks had come loose on the car, not so. One of the girls (Who shall remain nameless!!!) then realised that she had in fact had left her phone on the roof of the car and that it had managed to survive for 20 mins before falling off! At this stage we were running late for registration so we said that we would collect the phone on the way back as we “knew” where the phone had fallen off. Yeah right! We laughed all the way back to Quilty!
Once we got there we registered and got ourselves ready for the off. We did a nice warm up on the Kilmurry-Ibricken GAA grounds. Once ready we lined up at the start. I could feel the nerves tingling in the pit of my stomach, but that’s normal for me prior to any race. We each said our usual goodbyes and best of luck and agreed to meet each other at the finish line.
I ran slowly and steadily and found that I didn’t really settle into the race until well into the second mile. I wanted to walk after 100 yards so I didn’t know how I would manage the full 5 miles. The scenery of the first mile was beautiful and I found that it was a great distraction from the negativity running around in my head. Mile 2 to mile 3 was relatively flat so this was also a help to keep the motivation going in my head, however the sun was beating down on us so any thoughts of being cold were well and truly gone. My freckles were on show for the world to see!
There was a water station at the 3 mile mark and at that stage I admitted defeat and began to walk. I felt exhausted at that stage. It didn’t help that our son hasn’t been sleeping well at all recently, waking up to 6 times at night and for long periods and the 2 nights prior to the race were no exception. Needless to say I was shattered. I ran and walked until there was ½ mile to go and only at that stage did I push myself to my limits. I took off running as fast as I could, trying to make up lost time. I was wearing my watch so I knew that my time wasn’t good enough to beat or match last year but I felt better sprinting to the finish line. All the girls were waiting for me, having all come in faster than me. The relief was huge!
Last year I ran the race nonstop in 55:42 where as this year I ran and walked it in 57:09. It’s disappointing really. Was I prepared for this race? In one word “NO”. I thought that after the Resolution Run in January I would find my motivation and step up my training but due to various reasons my training was lacking. I have been quite focused on Kickboxing recently and have allowed that to take away from my running training. This race has now given me the realisation and the kick that I needed. It was only when I was at the 3 mile mark that I realised that I am a full stone heavier now than I was this time last year. Running with this extra stone and a lack of training has resulted in a disappointing race for me. I’m not going to let this upset me though and instead use it for motivation. I am now going to dedicate 3 days per week to running and 1 day for Kickboxing. I have even downloaded a training plan for the 10 mile, just to keep me on track!
Following the race the girls and I headed back towards Ennis. We had decided that we would stop on the way back to find the missing phone as it was still ringing. We knew where it had fallen so it would be a quick 5 minute pit stop to locate the missing phone. Our only worry was that it would be pretty smashed up. Ha Ha what were we thinking? Trying to find a missing phone, that was on silent, along a very busy road? Madness is all I can say! We walked different parts of the road for over an hour, as well as driving up and down the same stretches of road (Apologies to any local who thought that we were crazy). Needless to say the missing phone still remains missing. We were unsuccessful even though it was still ringing. It was so disappointing but we couldn’t spend all evening looking for a needle in a haystack. We did get a huge amount of entertainment from the whole thing though!
500 people had preregistered for the race but 100 of these did not turn up on the day. Another 100 did turn up for this individual race though. Refreshments were provided for the race participants in The Quilty Tavern. I have to say the 2 cups of tea that I had drank afterwards were the best. Once again Lorraine, Jason, their team and the people of Quilty organised a fantastic race. Well done to all involved and thank you for our race Mugs (Even if I did manage to break the handle off mine!!!).
For me the next race will be The Pakie Ryan Memorial 10K Run in my home village of Newmarket-on-Fergus on the 19th of March. One week later, on Easter Saturday, 26th of March, I will be running Race 3 of the Run Clare Series 2016, the Eamon Moloney Memorial 10K (I’ll be one step closer to getting my finishers medal!)