A busy few days – and Tralee Parkrun Anniversary!

I have certainly put in a tough week this week. I ran 15 miles with Born to Run on Sunday, and I found the last few miles very tough after the previous days trail running session with Tralee Triathlon Club. Not for the first time, Brian O’Shea pushed me on when I felt I’d nothing left, and helped me get to the finish.

On Wednesday evening I donated blood (if you want to know why I donate, this is the reason), and, despite the advice to rest for a few days after donating, I went ahead and did my strength and conditioning session on Thursday evening.
I actually didn’t feel too bad, though I did notice that the bench presses really took it out of me. On Friday morning I went for a 9 mile run with Catherine, and it soon became apparent that I had overdone it – I was fine for the first few miles, but by the halfway point, I was struggling badly, and I really suffered for the last few miles. I was weak and light-headed, and badly lacking in energy – the 700 foot climb over the last quarter mile felt like climbing Everest!

I had originally planned to do another trail running session with Milosz, but I was sensible enough to realize that it was unlikely to end well, so I decided instead to do the Tralee parkrun this morning. It was a good one to do, as it was the first birthday of Tralee parkrun, and there was a huge turnout, with a prize giving and cake afterwards.

First the first time in quite a while, I had my two sons with me, as Adam had his usual Saturday soccer match on Friday night instead.

We headed to Tralee Town Park in somewhat discouraging conditions – it was very cold, windy, and to top it off, there was hailstone falling as we left home. It certainly didn’t deter the runners though, as there was the biggest crowd I’d seen at this event.
Conditions improved a bit by the start, thankfully. I had decided, based on my experience on yesterdays run, to take it very easy on this run, and Lee, who had been ill during the week, was determined not to push himself to hard either.

For once, I stuck to the plan, and set off at a nice easy pace, and the two boys stuck with me for all of half a lap. At this point, I noticed Adam’s lace had ripped, so I stopped him to tie it. Lee, being the born competitor he is, saw an opportunity to get one over on his big brother, and took off at a sprint to gain some distance on us. As soon as I had tied his laces, Adam set off in pursuit.

I decided to let them at it, and kept on at my nice easy trot.

I probably enjoyed this parkrun more than most I’ve done, despite the odd rain shower, as I put myself under no pressure whatsoever to get a time. By halfway through the last lap, I overtook Lee who had burnt himself out in his quest to beat Adam. His earlier illness had left his energy levels low, and now he was paying for his efforts!

Adam crossed the line in 29:04, with me following on 31:31, and Lee struggling in on 34:55.

After the run, we headed to the Brandon Hotel, where there was prize giving for the runners and volunteers who had accumulated the most points, ran the best times, volunteered the most times etc. The prizes were presented by legendary runner John Lenihan, and the organisers put on a great show. My boys were very happy with their cake and hot chocolate. Well done to all the prize winners, and it is obvious that Tralee parkrun has a very promising future.

Tomorrow I plan on running 16 miles with Born to Run, as long as I feel up to it. It promises to be a VERY slow run!

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