|March 21, 2012||Posted by Sweet Tooth Runner under Race Recap, Races|
Sorry for being such an unintentional tease in my last post! I did mean to write a full recap then, but after writing about two lines, I started nodding off, so I cut it short! But now time for the whole story…
It started on Friday morning, with my usual last minute packing rush. Someday I’ll get organised and actually pack things in advance, rather than running around in the morning in a complete panic when I can’t find my running tights.
It was a long journey down to the west country, but I loved meeting and getting to know all my teammates! After hours of travelling, we finally arrived at our hotel!
We went for a group shakeout jog to a restaurant for dinner. The other diners sure got a surprise when 30 hungry teenagers ran in through the door and proceeded to eat their way through the place;) Straight after, we headed back for a team meeting where I was presented with my team uniform, and then to bed for a good night’s sleep!
I woke up in the morning excited to RACE!
Breakfast was a few giant bowls of cereal, since my race wasn’t for another five hours. The hotel kindly provided me with my own carton of milk too!
Over breakfast, I was warned by the others (I was the only newbie on the team!) about the pens…
In all my previous races, we just had to line up and go on the gun. But because of the number of competitors in this race, we had to be in pens! Each team was assigned a pen and had to line up in single file in it. So getting a good start was even more important than usual…and we all know how bad I am at those haha!
Walking the course, it was clear that unlike almost all the other XC races I’ve done, there was almost no hills! A couple of small inclines and a lot of twists and turns in the woods, but nothing like most of the races I’ve done! So we knew this race would be a flat and fast one. However, it was pretty muddy, and we knew that by the time my race came around (it was the penultimate one), conditions would be even worse! This called for some major duct taping:
Despite duct taping my shoes to my feet, halfway through the race I still lost a shoe! It was so boggy at one point that the mud took hold of one of my shoes and my heel came out of it! Next time, I will tape it to my ankle as well.
The race start was tough. The first 400m was in around 70 seconds (and that’s on GRASS!), mostly because after the short first lap, the course really narrowed, so all 300+ of us were trying to get the best start to avoid being squished in the narrow.
The problem was that our race was delayed by 20 minutes! We had all fully warmed up, and were waiting in our pens ready to race, but an accident on the course in the previous race meant that we had to wait. So our legs weren’t too happy with the sudden all-out sprint after standing around for so long! My start was much better than it normally was, but not quite good enough to avoid being squished out when the course narrowed. That delay meant I had to make up some places on the second lap, which I just about managed! I noticed that I had overtaken at least two of my teammates in that lap, so I was hoping that that had put me in a scoring position.
Going into races, I usually do the ABC goal thing, but for this race, I only had two goals:
- Score for my team. This meant top six in the team…and seeing as I was the only one who was new to the team, I knew this would be a challenge in itself!
- Enjoy myself. As it was my first major race, I simply wanted to do as well as I good and enjoy the experience! And of course size up the competition for when I take it by storm in my final year in 2013;)
I achieved my goals. I scored for my team in a time of 19.59 (I think the distance was 5250m). And I DEFINITELY enjoyed myself! P.S. I know I look insane in the photo below but really I am just on a major runner’s high! And to explain the hair, it was seriously windy…
That singlet is like a tent on me. They only had it in a medium, so I had to pin it up to avoid exposing myself!
It wasn’t personally my best race, and running half of it with only one shoe on didn’t help haha! I couldn’t find it afterwards, so it’s a good thing I won’t need some XC spikes for a while! But I really loved it and enjoyed the whole experience so much! I trained through this race, because my first track race is in less than two weeks, so I wasn’t rested like I would be for races where I would be hoping to place or PR. I was still proud of my performance, and so happy that I managed to score!!
Straight after I crossed the finish line, I was randomly selected and taken off for my drug test. I wonder if when Olympic athletes are tested they get a free frisbee too?
I also loved being able to cheer on my teammates! Everyone did amazingly!
It was a great end to my first cross country season! I’ll be doing a post on that soon:)
After a quick cooldown, it was time to head back home! I slept for almost the whole journey, and people took about 10000 photos of me sleeping. So flattering…
We made a motorway stop for dinner, but I wasn’t really hungry, so I just went with soup and a couscous+wheatberry salad:
LOVED that salad! Definitely getting that again!
And I arrived home to a package from my Foodie Blog Swap, organised by Jemma! My swap buddy is Yinkee, and she sent me these goodies:
Yum!! Unfortunately those bars above weren’t vegan, but Yinkee got me spot on by throwing in my favourite one, which I demolished right away:
My appetite was starting to come back in full force! I had a big bowl of my favourite cereal as well before hitting the sack.
When is your next race? In ten days! Although I might be pacing my friend for a sub-21 5k this weekend! I was sposed to do it last month, but I had the flu so couldn’t run! Hopefully I’ll be able to make it up to her now though:)
What is your favourite cereal? I think the one above is my favourite, but I also love Nature’s Path Maple Sunrise, Peanut Butter Puffins, and Kashi cereals!
Hope you’re having a great week so far friends! <3