Race Recap: Inter Counties XC
|February 7, 2012||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Race Recap, Races|
Typical that when I finally have the TIME to post, my internet starts playing up! I’ve been stuck with a patchy internet connection for the past couple of days, and didn’t fancy posting from my iPhone! But thankfully it seems to be fixed now! So here is my race recap from Saturday! Back soon with my What I Ate Wednesday!
I woke up on Saturday feeling refreshed after a good week running-wise, sleeping-wise, and nutrition-wise (well, excluding Friday’s cupcake-fest hehe!). The night before, I had my favourite pre-race meal:
Obviously, eating Smiles means that it’s going to be a good race
As I mentioned yesterday, I had fuelling problems again. This time I tried plain oatmeal made with water and a banana, and that didn’t work for me either! But I’ve got a couple more suggestions from a nutritionist to try. The other problem was that my race didn’t start till 2.45pm…and I ate breakfast at 8.30am! By this point I knew what I had eaten wasn’t sticking with me well, so I didn’t want to risk anything else. So I raced feeling nauseous, hungry and slightly low on energy, which is why I really need to work it out so I don’t have to go through this again!
Anyway, after a couple of hours in the car en route to the race, we arrived at the course with three hours of waiting in the freezing cold (-9C!) ahead of us. We walked the course, and it was beautiful!
The first of many hills, and the easiest one! Easy being relative of course…the last one was INSANE!
As we were walking around, absolutely FREEZING, it began to snow. Oh joy. It was all the more joyful when it was time to peel off all my layers (two hoodies and a ski coat…and I was still cold!) and change into my race singlet and shorts. I borrowed a county singlet, and it was really big on me, which didn’t help with keeping me warm!
At the start line, we were all wearing as many layers as possible, and our team managers were holding bin bags ready for us to strip and throw as the gun went off. As soon as we saw the gun being raised, we stripped down, turned into icicles, and got ready to run. I’ve never been so thankful for hearing that starting shot! We were off!
I’m pretty sure I am riiiight over the other side of this photo! Compared to my normal shockingly slow reaction times, my start wasn’t too bad!
It was the toughest course I have ever run without a doubt. Four massive hills made it a course to remember for sure! The last one was so steep and muddy that we were sliding down it trying to get up! It didn’t help that I hadn’t cleaned out my spikes from the last race so they were already caked in mud and therefore useless on the hills…woops! Cue attractive “I cannot get up this hill” face:
The aim of this race for me was simply to finish in the top eight in my county. If I did that, then I could qualify for the National finals. For the whole race bar the last hill, I was behind a girl from my county that I was convinced was the one I had to beat to qualify (I thought I was in ninth position at the time). My coach was waiting at the top of the last hill, shouting encouragement to me to overtake her, and I just about managed to as we neared the top. But she took the lead back on the downhill, which lead into the final 800m before the finish. As soon as the course levelled out for the last part though, I could see that she had nothing left. So I made a decisive break and took the lead for the final time:
That elbow on the left hand side is my rival’s!
The official results still aren’t up yet, so I don’t know the details, but I finished 4th in my county, which means that I am through to the National finals!! It was a bit of a shock, considering I thought I was in eighth or ninth position at the time! SO HAPPY!!
I genuinely did not expect it at all. In fact, on the way there I was thinking up all the excuses I could give and thinking of ways to make myself feel better when I didn’t make it. After I had finished walking the course, I found my coach and freaked out on him. I was scared about the hills (we both know that hills are not my forte…yet!) and was convinced that there was no way I could qualify. I felt like I would not only let myself down, but let him down too. Even with his calming words and advice, I was still having doubts on the start line. But as soon as I started running, I immediately felt at ease. Sure, my stomach was churning and half the race was spent battling severe nausea, but I felt strong and sure and knew that I would give it everything I had, and if that wasn’t enough, then I would be okay with that. Running always makes me feel better
I celebrated afterwards with friends, an Indian takeout, and a movie. Refuelling the healthy way obviously
My last two races are both Nationals ones, and I have a fortnight till the first one! I am excited!! Bring it on:)