And with Sunday’s race, I have earned my first medal of 2013! More akin to a fun run medal, it does not do the brutality of the 6 mile cross country race series justice! Admittedly I only earned 2/3 of the medal. You see, the second race had to be rescheduled, but it just so happened that it was rescheduled for the same day as the Forfar multi terrain half marathon, and it made more sense to run 13 miles than 6 seeing as I have a marathon coming up (very soon).
So how did I take home the series medal, I hear you ask with genuine interest? Simple. Ishbel, who features quite regularly here, took my bib for the XC race, while I suffered through mud, ice, and an unhappy stomach. And she demolished the course, leaving me as the 4th overall senior woman in the entire series. I can’t even begin to describe how relieved I was that I didn’t have to go up for the 3rd place prize in front of human gazelles.
Anyway, back to Sunday’s race. The original plan was to get a lift to the race, run it, get a lift home, and relax. But then I realized how close the actual race was – a mere 4 miles from my front door. So why not just jog there to warm up? After a brief conversation with my fellow runners, we decided to make a day of it, and run there, race, and run back, banking a cool 14 miles. The conversation went something like this:
Claudia: It isn’t that far to the playing fields, I was thinking of running there.
Me: Excellent idea. Ronnie?
Ronnie: If we must.
As if that doesn’t sound delightful enough, it is uphill to the playing fields, and Ronnie had decided to take us on a scenic and undulating route resulting in a lot of huffing, puffing, and swearing on the way there. Ronnie has been banned from choosing the route in the immediate future. At least, for the first time in ages, the sun was out and the skies were blue.
Upon arrival at the playing fields, we met up with a few other runners [picture is not being used because I resemble a whale – no word of a lie], and then, because I had an arbitrary number in my head, decided to run laps on the track outside the pavilion to add on a couple of extra miles so my total for the day would hit 16. Claudia (also lacking good judgement) joined me.
To recap, I decided to run a moderately tiring 6.34 miles BEFORE a 6 mile cross country race that ended just over 4 miles from my home. Needless to say the actual race sucked hard, and I felt like puking/giving up/having stern words with myself when I got home/collapsing several times. The race was one short lap, followed by what I thought was 3, but what turned out to be 4 horrendous laps around playing fields, with a horrible uphill stretch at the end of the lap. Obviously I was panting from about 20 feet in. Although we had agreed to stick together, my shittiness at being a team player outshone everyone else’s, because once I realized I was out in front, I decided I’d rather just be done with the whole painful experience than wait for everyone to catch up.
If you were expecting details, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. The entire race is a blur of pain, and unfortunately it was so relentless that Ronnie had to pull out, resulting in his first DNF. I was surprised to see him waiting at the finish as I came in, and he seemed pretty disappointed, but he did the right thing judging by his description of how he was feeling. Shortly afterwards, Susan, who has decided on a whim to join us, came into the finisher’s chute:
And then Claudia:
Since Ronnie was feeling a bit better, we headed back to the pavilion and had some light refreshments while the awards ceremony went on, and then collected after finishers’ medals and treated ourselves to a cheeky massage (good afternoon calves). It felt good.
Once everyone had filtered back outside, we resigned ourselves to the brutal fact that we now had no choice but to run home. We took the same undulating route, but opted to walk the big inclines. I will admit, the idea of a hot chocolate was again enough to keep up going, though Ronnie broke off near the end to go home and have a sit down. Spolier: The hot chocolate was gorgeous.
Just so you know, the pace at the bottom is not the overall pace of the run, but the pace I was running when I stopped my Garmin – keen to finish! I also ran home after the hot chocolate, bringing my Sunday long run (plus cross country race) to just over 16.5 miles.