Morning Campers :)
I know I'm a little late with my report, but this is the first moment I've had free to sit down and write something!
After Coach Jim's evil hill torture session on the Tuesday, an a 6 miler on the Wednesday, I was in no real fit state to do the club track session last Thursday...It was a pyramid, 400 - 600 - 800 - 1000 - 1200 then back down again, and I only managed up to 1000m before my legs gave up in protest. I was kind of thinking that the XC on Saturday may be a bit too much, so I told Jim I'd attempt to do one lap and see how I got on, his reply was "Two laps are better than one" and that I ought to take it steady instead of taking off too fast (like I normally do).
Another factor of me doing the race was that I was working in the area that morning, I'd already been up to Ashington, Bedlington & Blyth, so I didn't have to drive back home then come out again, just toddled (in my own white van woman driving style) down the road, so I managed to see a few of the junior races and the senior men's race before mine started.
Was surprised at how warm it was, no wind either...hardly the usual gale force winds and sleet you'd expect for xc weather, but judging from the numbers of folks who dropped out of the men's race, and the fact that one of the juniors lost both shoes on the course, I was expecting something pretty tough.
Met up with the Jarrow & Hebburn lot and did a bit of a warm up with Rachel and Michelle (this was her first race), before stripping off to vest & shorts and heading over to the start. It was flippin' cold just standing around, but I always overheat so I thought it was worth the chance of a chilly start to just leave my long sleeved top off.
Not before long we were off..
Plan: To make it round the two laps without stopping, or dropping out.
I felt pretty comfortable round the first lap - the hills weren't too steep, but the mud was between 6-12 inches deep in places, which made for quite interesting running. A lot of the ladies (well most of them to be honest) in front of me were running wide on the corners to avoid the mud, but I thought: sod it, I'm already minging, and I don't want to run any further than is necessary. So I just ploughed my way through the middle taking the shortest route possible.
Many thanks to Simon Simpson, our resident Jarrow & Hebburn photographer
I actually felt more and more comfortable as the race went on - maybe because I wasn't fleeing along at a silly pace, and I was actually really enjoying all the mud in some bizarre masochistic way. I had a few shouts of support on the way round which really helps too - many thanks the the Sunderland Stollers, Martin from Gateshead Harriers and to Micheal and the rest of the J&H lot! By the finish I was actually smiling :D
Came in 55th of 93, not too bad for a comeback race, my first since Blaydon XC in November, and what a better way to lift your spirits, to don your club colours and go plodging in clarts ;)
A big well done to Rachel & Michelle, and many thanks to Blyth for a great job of marshaling the course.
After a long run on Sunday too, I was obviously still suffering with the xc in my legs last night's club handicap, when I ran my slowest 5k since 2006 - 23:53 - dire. This doesn't bode too well for this years sub 21 attempt, but I was windy, and it's only the third session I've done in 3 months, so I guess I cant expect miracles :/ Just hoping I can recover in time for the summer races, as the spring 10k's are prolly going to be at a snails pace.
Anyways...I'm still out there, and my ankle isn't giving me jip :)
Happy Running folks!