For what started off as a crackin' day in Galway, the closer to home time it came, the more clouds seemed to appear in the sky. Despite the threat of rain, it stayed off a nice warm-ish (but cloudy) evening for the 4th race in the Galway 5K Series... Craughwell.
Race 4 - Craughwell Race Map
We gathered just outside Craughwell National School before 8pm. It made a nice change this week to be at the start line a good 20 minutes before the race started as opposed to the gout of last weeks run to the start line thanks to the uber-slow level crossing in Oranmore.
Myself & Brad making our way to the start line (Pic found on FB)
The race started at 8pm on the button. The Craughwell run was actually lovely. It started on the school road and turned out onto the main Oranmore - Loughrea road so we had a lot more room to manoeuvre in and out amongst the hundreds of other runners. Despite having seen the route map before the race, I had imagined we turned off much sooner than we did, so taking a run through Craughwell village was actually quite a pleasant surprise!
This week I decided not to bring my headphones kind-of as a test to myself as I found having them last week threw me off a little as I knew my pace and time as I ran around Loughrea. I found the first two weeks I performed better when I didn't know my time. I figured I would try that again this week. Not knowing my time and pushing myself worked to my advantage but semi killed me out too.
I don't know if it was exerting myself or my sore rib (from Zip-lining last Saturday) but something just felt slightly off kilter last night. As I ran past the 4K marker, I figured I would push myself that little bit more as I was starting to be over-taking by the dozens. This always happens near the end where people put the foot down and use as much gas as they can to get them across the finish line. My 'problem' was, I couldn't shift up a gear.
Anyone know knows me knows I am crap at judging distances, heights etc. My spatial awareness is crap - yet I can still park my car no problem. To date, I've never hit a wall/another car while parking so I must have some spatial awareness. Anyway, a good bit past the 4K marker I saw a 800m sign. WTF? I've never seen them before but it threw me a little. I prefer the blissful ignorance of not knowing how far into my kilometre I am - I just keep visualising the finish line just around the corner.
I continued on to the 400m sign, still perturbed that I wasn't at the finish line yet. As we turned the last corner, the finish line appeared in front of me and I liked what I saw on the race clock! I was in a position to smash my 5K personal best. That shifted me into 5th gear and I picked up enough energy to cross the finish line in a time I knew would make me happy.
My official chip time: 23 minutes 22 seconds!
I knocked more than a minute off last weeks race and over 30s off my previous Personal Best in Claregalway. TOOT TOOT! I'm absolutely delighted. Considering back in January by PB for a 5K was over 37 minutes, I can't believe my progress myself. My over-all goal for this 5K Series was to try get one of the races in under 25 minutes (as I'd never done that before). To have all 4 come in under 25 minutes has been amazing.
Gordon, Brad, Myself, Sinead and Clair
Now I'm off to take my rest day today before a gentle run on Thursday in prep for this Saturday's Half Marathon - Eeeek! Thanks Craughwell, you were amazing! Week 5 of the 5K Series continues next Tuesday in Galway Racecourse.