Sunday, 31 January 2010

Berwick xc

4th in the Borders XC series. This morning we drove down to Berwick for some beach and cliff-top running. It was sunny but cold as hell and down on the coast there was a good stiff breeze.

I was delighted to be racing again. I'd forgotten what an adrenaline rush the whole process is. As we made good time down the A1 in the sunshine I could feel the hair standing up on my scalp with excitement. It must be about 6 weeks or so since we raced so it was all new again.
A little loud discussion in the car on the way into Berwick and we found the race despite the maps we'd brought along.
Conditions haven't been good for doing any kind of speed training so I knew I'd be rusty and had already accepted the fact, so my plan was to not kill myself on the way out and then if I had anything left kill myself on the way back! Rachel was already ahead of me coming out of the dunes and I never made up the distance. I could see her most of the way. I thought I might make up a bit of ground on the hillier bits - but I didn't. So well done Rachel.

The running on the beach was novel in that it incorporated some interesting sandstone running. The surface of the sandstone was actually perfect and had very good traction but it was difficult to trust it. The beach was relatively firm so not the worst sand-running ever but not easy...some steps and then up a short hill and onto the cliff-tops. The ground was frozen but not particularly slippy - so again reaonable running. Probably the worst thing was that it was very pitted in places and the pits were frozen solid so it could be a real ankle twister if you were unlucky.

The way back was into the stiff wind. I tried to find someone to hide behind but I rarely have much luck at this and instead picked up a little trail of people in my wake! In a way its a compliment. I like to think its because of my leadership qualities.

The last bit through the sinky sand and the sand-dunes was the hardest.
So we managed to get a race in in January, but only just. Peter and I have done 4 of the Borders xc series so will get a final position now. We have to miss next week's xc at Galashiels as we're off to the Forfar multi-terrain race.

Tomorrow is long run day and we have a plan to do the Pentlands low level route twice. The weather forecast says sleet starting at noon so we'll have to get up and at it relatively early.
Good to see a good turn-out of Porties. James Harrison was 8th and knows he can do better. He was less out of breath on the way back than I was. I shouted him on not expecting him to speak and he gave me a very relaxed "Well done Mary". Johnny is in good form and went past Peter.
Good also to see Stuart Hay is on the road back from his injury and racing again.
Nice to see everyone but we had to get moving PDQ after the race so we didn't freeze solid.

Time for some stretching.

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