Monday, January 18, 2010

Race Report #35 - And we're back

Who'd have guessed that seven days after the race was initially postponed, with temperatures in circa -5C that we'd end up racing in 10C. A 15 degree turnaround in just a week! This country is nuts.

While I finished in a respectable position, and the people who finished around me were the people I'd like to see finishing around me, this was anything but pleasant. The race itself followed the general cross country way of things. Thoughts of "this is easy, maybe I'm not going fast enough" to "f*** this! I'm calling it quits at the end of this lap, why did I up the pace?" flashed through my mind at various stages.

For the majority of the first lap I felt like I was cruising. My breathing was comfortable, movement was easy and the course seemed to avoid all hills in the park. Then the second lap started and it appears that 180 people having done one lap dug it up nicely making the second much tougher. At this stage I had my position and I was working to stay with those close by and ensuring that no gaps opened up. Coming towards the end of the second lap my calves were tightening up and I had to do my best to ignore them. All I concentrated on was the fact that the start of the lap was the "easy" section of the course. Soon I'd be there again. But at this stage the start had been trampled by 720 spikes ridding any easiness.

For the final lap I recalled sessions up the mountains and up the snowy hills of the Phoenix Park to remind myself that the strength was there in the legs to carry on through. I stayed like a terrier on the heels of the lad in front. The poor guy had me breathing down his neck for the duration of the race. I could hear no one behind me at any stage and this guy had to put up with me acting like his echo; puddles being splashed a second after he splashed them. In the end all I could do was chase him down and finish as close as I could to him - I knew in the last 300m or so that I didn't have it to over take him.

There we have it - six cross country races done this season and just three to go now. Not bad for someone who'd only raced five in his life before October and never more than two in a season.
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