10 Things I Think About Pacing The Charleville Half Marathon
1. Something borrowed, something red, something mouldy.
I think the reason JEP (Jonathan Escalante-Phillips) ran so fast is because he was wearing my exclusive Gilead Nike singlet, a "clean" pair of Michael Herlihy's shorts and my used blister proof socks. At least he remembered his racing shoes. I'm probably going to have to retire the singlet because it ain't ever running a sub 70 half on my shoulders.
2. Ownabwee Honey
I now know that the secret to a 68 minute half marathon is half a bottle of SuperValu's cheapest honey in the 12 hours before a race. That and a few nespressos. Rice cakes seem to be beneficial too. The dietary habits of a 68 minute half marathoner are interesting.
3. Food Doping
I think the day before a half marathon should include mainly/entirely Italian food. Myself, John Meade, JEP and Paul Gallagher had a stereoptypical lazy italian lunch at Italee featuring paninis, Italian hot chocolate and blackberry crostata. Myself and JEP shared a 16' Novocento pizza for dinner. Novocento must add clenbuterol to the parma ham, I think it's one of the extras.
4. Iarlath O'Lionaird and Steve Cooney
I don't think JEP will be rushing back to Cork for another sean-nós gig. Although I think sean-nós might help with sleep. John Meade understood every word. I'm sure we will be hearing about what the songs meant for weeks. I think I saw him taking notes.
I still think Swedish House Mafia is the best pre-race music. It really does make you want to stab someone. It's 6 minutes of brilliance. JEP is converted although he didn't have much choice.
6. Lady in Red
I think my Sevilla FC ensemble was the perfect pacing costume. Who needs a balloon when you've a bright red hat, immaculate white sunglasses and a lovely red jersey on. Although the guys in the pace group said they'd have preferred a lady in red.
7. Perfect Pacing
I did feel a bit bad running an even pace for an entire race. It's against my religion. It's no fun, terribly boring, just run along at your prescribed pace, no element of surprise, no misery, no blowing up and so clinical. I'd much rather go hard and drive it on, it's much more fun. It was good practice for Berlin next week. I just need to be clinical for one more race and then I can go back to my usual madness.
I think I'll have to consider leaving the country from September to March. It was really cold this morning, it was awful. I could feel my tan fading with every second. It's terrible. I don't think it'll last 6 months. I might have to consider sunbeds.
I think I've got the taper right this time. I've just ignored it. I feel much less fat and my legs and head are much happier. Sure no one even knew what a taper was back in the 80s and they ran fine. I think a taper is only necessary if you are running proper high mileage like say 140 miles per week, Then it might be sensible to drop back to 80. I've only been running 80-90 miles a week so there really is no point in cutting back. I'll be fine.
I don't think you'll find a better organised half marathon in Europe. It really is perfect. A perfectly flat arrow straight course, no queues, no problems and no nonsense. You'd almost think Michael Herlihy was involved in organising it.