Denise not happy about her shoes
Apparently there's a resurgence of measles happening in Europe and now the UK. Its thought to be due to low uptake of MMR vaccine due to fears of a link with autism and also global migration so that the percentage of people with immunity to measles in the populace is down. As a defender of you the public's health I magnanimously acceded to having my first MMR jag yesterday even though I'm not a baby. The work linking MMR and autism is apparently now discredited and I think the most convincing argument being that since the introduction of MMR vaccine in the 80s, the incidence of measles has gone way down while the incidence of autism has stayed the same. I find this slightly surprising because as autism only started to receive much attention in the last couple of decades you might have expected an increased number of cases diagnosed even if the incidence remained the same....
But I digress. While there is no evidence to show that the MMR jag is performance enhancing, there's also no evidence to show that its not. I clung to the hope that it might somehow give me an edge at last night's HBT RLF Red Moss Revolution.
The PRC championship series is a hell of a thing if you're an LV these days. That's where most of the fast ladies are, and where I used to routinely be the only lady turning up for championship races, thus winning my category for four years, there is now predictably a good turn out.
I used to say that it would be great if more women came along but I realise now that that was a lie. I still turn out routinely for my dose of having my butt kicked, because I like a race, but its demoralising. I'm looking forwards to getting to 45. Last night, unusually, there wasn't much of a showing of the LVs. Emily and Jim had got stuck in traffic and I guess maybe Shery was put off by the rain. Amanda was in America. Ruth would apparently rather go and run with a 35lb pack in the rain than go to another hill race! Maybe this was my night? Maybe it would be 10 points at last? But no, there was Denise Muir announcing that she'd never done a proper hill race before and would she get her new shoes dirty? To my surprise I'd beaten Denise on Sunday at the 7 Hills Race but she'd said she hadn't been feeling that great and knowing that she can roast me over the shorter distances (and probably the longer distances, having a 3.09 marathon to her credit) I knew that victory was unlikely. Still, she might not take to the hills...
Due to the chatter in the assembled crowd on the road and having to slap midges I missed the pre-race talk and was therefore a little mystified when Jamie Thin started singing a song about the reds and the greens or something. Peter tells me that he'd asked that people sing a song as they crossed the finish line. Its a great idea. Maybe next year.
Anyway - off we jolly well went and it was good to be moving and away from the midges. I'd promised myself I'd keep it even as its mostly uphill for the first 2 miles. Last year I went off as fast as I could only to develop a crushing stitch as I summited Hare Hill and get passed by everyone I'd been trying so hard to keep behind me. This year the ground was very wet and Hare Hill was at its most taxing. I struggle on the lumpy ankle-twisting surface and wonder how on earth people can keep their speed up and not end up injured. There were a couple of twisted ankles though and neither of them were mine. I just tried to be patient until I could get onto an easier surface.
Denise had passed me shortly after we came off the top of the road and set off up the Drove Road - and although she wasn't going much faster she was pulling away convincingly. I wasn't going to be going forward to meet her so it was up to her whether she was going to come backwards towards me! I "let her go", and didn't see her again until after I'd finished.
On the way up onto the side of Black Hill I passed Derek Elms who was walking at this point. The damp seemed to have improved the path here. Its been getting more and more rutted of late but seemed relatively flattened out. I kept a nice steady pace down here and found myself thinking about other things, work things. It was exactly a year yesterday since I left my last job and it had been quite a year. I had to pull my mind back from this fascinating review in case I unthinkingly slowed to a comfortable jog. There was no-one around me and it would have been easy to forget that I was in a race.
Towards the end of this path, at the reservoir, a couple of men came past - one a Carnethy. Last year at this point I still had a stitch and had particularly hated getting onto the flat and having to run the last mile and a half into a head-wind. I had been passed here last year by more club mates and had felt unable to respond at all. This year there was a gentle following wind and I felt a whole lot better. I had no strong feelings about trying to beat the men who had just come past me, but I was aware of danger from behind. Gillian would be there and Fiona Mayfield and I didn't dare slacken. Running at a pace that felt right I found I was gaining on the men. I passed one, in a green shirt, just going into the wooded area. I passed the next one - the Carnethy, in sight of the green hut that signals you're very nearly finished. A moment of complete panic when I found the kissing gate at the side of the main gate was locked, only to find the actual gate was open! At the next gate there was no sign of an obvious way through so it was over the top of the gate. At the last gate there was a side gate which I went through - at which point I could see Derek Elms coming back determinedly for me! A final sprint for the line on unhelpful gravel - I knew I was done for really but kept going as best I could. Pipped to the line by Derek Elms. It was almost worth it to see the big grin on his face.
So. There was Denise looking woefully at her shoes. They would never be the same. They had been Green Cleughed. The off-roadyness didn't seem to have given her much trouble though...
As usual at the RMR the midges were out amongst the trees in the car-park so the desire for post-race analysis was off-set by the need to stop getting bitten. Gareth Green had come in 3rd. Kate Jenkins ran after winning the WHW again on Saturday. I won't really know what else happened til the results come out. Eilidh Wardlaw was running even though she also won Glen Rosa Horseshoe last Saturday and turned out for the 7 hills on Sunday. I had taken a minute off last year's time so was pleased with that. I enjoyed it a whole lot more too.
Not sure what the next raciness might be. I'm contemplating a Park Run on Saturday morning but not sure if I can really force myself to get up early on a Saturday morning just for the pleasure of getting roundly spanked. I haven't done a single park run since they lengthened the course to 5K. (conformists).
Photos all by PB except for the Denise and her shoes taken by her sister.