So after last weeks 36mile Ultra I opted for a much shorter race this week by taking part in the Piltown 10km race in Co Kilkenny on Friday night. I've not done a large number of 10km races but I've always seen an improvement when I run them and I'm still chasing the elusive goal of a sub 40min 10k. To get a sub 40min time it meant I had to run an average pace of 6:26min/mile for the entire distance. This is a big ask after last weeks 36mile Ultra but I was hoping I could pull it off none the less.
This was a race starting at 7.30pm so I headed off for the start of the race and met up with the lads from town, between all of us we were aiming for times ranging between sub 40 - sub 45. The conditions were good and the course was advertised as fast so there was a lot of hope of reaching our goals.
The race started on time and we were off; the first mile was a slight decline and as always it was fast as during the first mile I averaged a pace of 6:03min/mile, I spotted this and I eventually slowed onto the second mile. By the time I was heading into mile three I have to say I felt like my legs were heavy and I knew that to try push for a sub40 time was going to be extremely difficult! However I pushed on and headed for what appeared to be an endless section of straight road which began just before mile 4 and eventually ended around mile 6.
By the time I was coming up on mile 5 I pushed the pace and passed two runners; I kept ahead of them for approx half a mile but eventually they gained back the space I had put between them and eventually got maybe 100metres ahead of me.
As we approached mile 6 there was a slight incline on the course and we headed into the GAA grounds where the surface changed coming up to the finish line to gravel and to eventually grass as we raced towards the finish. I tried my best to even catch one of the two runners ahead of me but I just had no more energy in the legs to push any harder.
I finished 37th across the line (out of 128 finishes) in a time of 40min 50sec and was happy to lay down on the ground for a well deserved rest!
Its not really the sub 40 I had hoped for but still a new personal best I can be proud of as it shaves 7 seconds off my previous 10km distance set during the Danesfort 10km in September 2014.
I think without a doubt if I had not done the ultra last week, I would have broken sub 40 but overall I'm very happy with how things went. Also, after the start and with the exception of the two runners at mile 5 only one other runner past me after mile 1, that's always a confidence boost.
Garmin of the course and my laps can be viewed below:
Miles This Year: 1157 miles