Monday, 19 February 2007

Welsh XC Champs

Well Saterday came and went and so did any notions i had of actually putting in a decent race. Despite the wonky Hamstring i've had for the last few weeks i felt training was going well - Tuesday and Thursday on the track felt good - I couldn't really push or accelerate too fast but if i took it easy i could build up to top speed easily enough without any real pain from the muscles. Wasn't enough though, Saterdays race was in Ruthin, a great course, arouns 3 flat fields to begin with then out onto 3 more, slightly hilly fields. Ground was reasonable underfoot, nothing major, a bit claggy in places but nothing really bad. I was feeling grand for the flat, just like i had during the week on the track - i was begining to feel quietly confident that if i just kept things on the boil i might put in a decent race and start to pick off a few plodders as the race progressed. It was not to be - the minute i hit the first downhill and my stride lengthened, Ouch! the Hamstring played hell! then again on even the slightest uphill, and AGAIN through the Claggy Mud that kinda sucked your feet in, just providing enough resistance to each stride that it pulled against a nearly-healed injury - Feck!!

One interesting thing was that this was the first XC race in which i tried to race in my Fell runners. The Advantage of the Fells is that i can fit my orthotics and Heel-lift into the shoes which greatly helps in keeping my sciatica at bay! The downside is that after one lap I've collected about a kg of mud and corruption on each foot! Also making the grip next to uselss...Haa!! No worries, i had to try them out at some point and at least my Hip feels reasonably ok after the race... normally after a race like that in my spikes i'd be limping for nearly a week on account of not being able to fit in the Heel-lift! So swings and roundabouts and lots to think about.

I finished the race in a foul mood! I hate that competitive side of me but i tend not to bottle things up too much (or at all!) so it was pretty obvious i was pissed off. Not at the fact that people beat me or that i finished lower in the rankings than i had expected - none of that! It's just that i hate not representing myself (and the people i train with) to the best of my abilities - That was not ME running, that was me just finishing the race... I need to deal with setbacks like that better... By the time i got home i was determined - Yes, even more determined than before!! - to improve through every aspect of my daily routine - not increasing the training, but focusing it. Concentrating on getting the most out of each mile! Diet, time wasting - everything has to be examined and made work towards improving some aspect of something. What will help my running will help my climbing aswell - there are goals out there that need achieving. Taking the positive out of failures and recycling setbacks into pure distilled, motivation is an essential step towards where i have to be...

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