So I’ve done a XC race – it was hard work and I have no idea where I finished or what time I did. Mr S beat me by a long way and I can’t say I really enjoyed it that much but I would give it another go to try and learn and get stronger. I just never felt I had any real purpose in the race itself once Mr S ran away from me so if he hadn’t been there then not sure if just a simple hills session may have achieved the same training effect.
Went and congratulated Mr S after the race and had a chat about how much tougher it was than running on road. I said you would need to do a few to learn about how to pace properly up and down the hills and what affect it had – hope it didn’t sound like sour grapes because he ran really well today and was much better than me.
Also I was supposed to be running 10 miles in total so as the race was only 4.5 miles I had to go and run another 2 as my warm down.
Good luck tomorrow Lou with the PB attempt – I hope the short book I have written will teach you not to chase me for a race report in future!
XC was a bit rubbish. It was 4 laps around a muddy grassy park with two steep climbs and one sharp downhill. Not knowing the way these things work thought I'd missed the start when some people set off but apparently they were the slow people who went off 3 mins before the main pack with the 'hares' going off 3 mins after us - I was having to ask a lot of questions. Anyway we lined up but as the countdown started I was definitely lacking in a real pre race buzz - probably about 30 - 40 of us.
I knew one of the people there - Mr Slower Than Me (Mr S) from my parkrun PB who I beat that day by 6 secs but who now is faster than me as he has a parkrun PB of 19:12 (3 secs). So I had a bit of chat with him before and thought I would track him and see how I got on.
I had thought it was going to be 9740m (like Jan race earlier this year) but in actual fact only 7200m so 4.5 miles.
The start was at the top of a steep bank which I thought would be a tough finish (more of that later!) and I set off tracking Mr S. Missed first 0.3 miles on my Garmin as didn't press start properly so don't have an exact time or distance.
Anyway ran for a bit then came to the steep downhill. Leant my weight forward like I had read about and absolutely flew down the hill passing loads of people including Mr S. Probably a bit too fast as about half a mile later the legs started feeling a bit jellylike. Anyway on I plodded and drove hard up the first and second steep hill – 1 lap down – pretty pleased now that it is only 7.2k and not 9.7k!
Ignoring the first 0.3 miles until I knocked on my Garmin properly first measured mile in 6:39. Round the flat bit at the top again but could feel Mr S closing on me – anyway charged down the hill again even faster and shook him off but about half a lap later he came up on my shoulder, had a brief chat about how fast I had gone down the hill then on the plodded and I had to let him go. The plan was to try and keep him within range so that if I felt good at start of lap 4 I could try and rein him in but he moved away quite quickly not helped by the fact that on second steep hill of the lap I caught up with one of the early starters right at the bottom and had to paddle up behind her as was the only single file bit of the race.
So second lap done and I’m just paddling round now not really sure what my goal is. 2nd measured mile in 7:00. Third lap held my position but Mr S was now off in the distance passing other people and the really steep hill had become hard work. Third measured mile in 7:10.
So plodded round final lap till I got to top of steep hill and decided this is where I had to start some sort of effort – charged down again and went off in pursuit of someone in front of me in a yellow top who I caught and ran past feeling a bit stronger, struggled up the steep hill and as I ran past a marshal at the bottom of the hill asked a marshal is the finish at the top of the hill to which he answered yes.
So pressed along the final flat bit then charged up the final hill to complete the fourth lap but when got to top wasn’t clear where finish was so when I saw two blue ropes headed towards them and as I relaxed onto my haunches realised that the finish line was the other side of the ropes and I still had to run round the field again – about another 0.3 miles – as I realised this lots of other people shouted at me that I’d gone wrong way mixed in with some laughter and as I got back on the route a couple of people had run past me. Found it really hard to get back up to any sort of speed for last 0.3 miles and then forgot to stop my watch when I finished too. My final measured mile was 6:52 so overall pacing for the middle 4 of the 4.5 miles was MP pace.
Jantastic! Sounds like I've got a job to do - will have to read all the web site now and try and understand what it's all about. Lit - is your 'may have to agree to' the same as a 'count me in'? That's how I read the signals anyway - no wonder you have problems!
Good drinking and partying and that beer sweat image is a familiar one to me Tommy - does make you feel better though and probably healthier than a greasy cooked breakfast.