Sunday, 13 January 2013

Paxton XC

I think this is how you hurdle isn't it?

Bill Gauld, Man of Steel.

It was a cold, grey morning and no-one was too exuberant. I realised I'd formed the classic defence - if you think you're not going to do too well, get your excuses in early, go a long run the day before...that kind of thing. We got ready in near silence and went to pick up Tony en route. Even the always ebullient Tony was a little quiet. It was a nice drive down though - a good day for staring out the window at the sea.

The roads were pretty much empty and not at all icy despite all the warnings on MetCheck and Traffic Scotland. I couldn't remember the way but did remember that it had been very easy the last 2 times I drove there, and right enough there was a big, clear sign from the A1 saying "Paxton House". No problems navigating today.

When we got there Peter and I went for a warm-up. It seemed really cold when we arrived so I ran in tights and a fleece and my duvet jacket and half way into the warm up was very warm indeed. I realised after a while that we were committed to quite a long warm up and even thought I might not make it back to the start in time. Was there a spark of hope in there? Anyway, we made it back in the nick of time. Just time to strip off the layers and we were off.

The organisers had made more than sure that we would be going through some deep mud this year. Do they own shares in Persil? It was thick, deep and unavoidable and I'm still wearing some of it. They had also gone to some effort to keep it interesting which was much appreciated.

On the first proper uphill coming up from the river I was overtaken by Bill Gauld after which he gradually but steadily pulled away. Tony tells me he's going to be 80 just after the next Carnethy. I was doing all I could. I didn't really know why I was racing except it forces me to push myself. I did think longingly about dropping out before the 2nd lap but then had a word with myself. For god's sake just relax and see what you can do!

I was glad when it was over though.

On the way back into Edinburgh sleet was blowing around the car and Arthur's Seat was white so I reckon we got very lucky with the weather.

Time to get ready for the week ahead and maybe try to clean my filthy shoes. Tempted to just bin them.

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