Post-marathon 10K – a shot in the Dark

Click image to visit the event website

Click image to visit the event website

I’m doing a 10K race this Wednesday night, which will be just over two weeks after the Dublin Marathon – and I’m not sure how it will go.

The race in question is at Run in the Dark, an event with a 5K and 10K run, held simultaneously in various locations across Ireland and Britain on the night of 12 November.

Many participants will have been attracted by the story behind the race – that of Mark Pollock and his efforts to raise money to help find a cure for spinal injuries. There’s also the excitement of running on city-centre streets, plus the novelty of a race at night-time, which will be a first for me.

I entered this race well before the Dublin Marathon; places sell out quickly, but I also wanted to have something to do after the marathon. I thought it would help me get back into action and stave off the post-marathon blues.

However, the marathon didn’t go as well as I had hoped and planned. I feel like I’ve recovered, and since I resumed running last week I’ve felt fresh and nimble. But now I wonder how hard I could push myself in Wednesday night’s 10K, or if I should even push myself at all.

It’s all very well for me to plan on going easy and treating this race as if I’m just going around for the trip. As a means of dulling my racing edge, I’ve even considered not wearing a watch.

But I know me; as soon as I get into the start area my bloodstream will be flooded with adrenaline and I’ll instinctively get the battle fever. The watch stays on.

That said, I won’t be so light-headed as to try getting near my 10K personal best of 42:39 that I set in the 2014 Great Ireland Run. I won’t even be near the 44 minutes I clocked for the first 10K of the Dublin Marathon. I’ll probably just aim for a time of 40-something minutes, and if that’s 49:59 then that’ll do me fine. The P.B. can wait until the Aware Christmas Run in the Phoenix Park in mid-December.

However… what if a hard marathon two weeks beforehand is the perfect training run for a fast 10K? (That might be the battle fever talking.)

If you’re heading to the Run in the Dark races in Dublin on Wednesday night, see you there – I’ll be the one in hi-viz gear.

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