It’s all a matter of perception.
I don’t usually do races and there are a number of reasons why:- I’m too tight to pay the entry fee, means more time away from home than a normal from house run, I have a perception of the time I would like to do it in and then get disheartened when I fall short of it. However my VLM plan asked for two races and as my Dad would tell you I always do as I am told! (well when it comes to training plans anyway) Today was the first of those races.
Last night I slept terribly, running the whole brief time I was asleep and had nightmares about getting lost or taking the wrong turning! On dragging my body out from under the duvet I was really beginning to question my sanity, not for the first time.
The Slay the Dragon 10K is billed as ‘It is a good undulating six mile course of multi-terrain with country lanes, rough tracks, stiles, gates, fields, hills and breathtaking country views!’, now if you are a south westerner and used to the hills then you might well describe this run as undulating. For me a new resident of the south-west I would refer to the run as ###### hilly.
I got to the venue with an hour to spare but fortunately was able to shelter from the cold wind, in my car as I was parked on the same field as the start and finish. Perfect. Five minutes before the start I crept out in to the elements, it was so cold that even my bum cheeks were chattering! Really they had a life of their own and with a bum the size of mine I would say this was quite dangerous.
The run started with a lovely downhill and I knew this needed to be enjoyed and used while it lasted so I tried to make up the time I would lose later when the ‘undulation‘ went against me, it was a good tactic. We soon turned off the road in to a field with MUD and a HILL. On we went through fields, gates, over stiles and bridges. I was pleased with my pace (Garmin worn for a change normally he is left at home for races) until the 5 mile mark when we hit 4 stiles in quick succession, followed by a narrow wooden bridge and fences that had to be lept over, (mmmmm) this was proper cross country. THEN we hit a steep hill, followed by a kissing gate (if madam was there kissing would have taken place but fortunately for the guy ahead of me I did not snog his face off!), this was followed by STEPS! If I had any breathe in me I would have sworn but instead pulled myself up with the help of the handrail. Really at the end of a run you do not need this at all. I knew the end was nigh and managed to pick up a bit of pace towards the finish. I was rewarded with a flapjack!
YUMMY. The time was longer than I wanted it to be (normal service) but quite pleased with it really given the course. Surprisingly I enjoyed it and guess that is the main thing. Well marshalled, well signposted, well organised.
Now anyone want to clean these for me?