|This won't happen very often, so I might as well enjoy it!|
Yesterday was Tinto Hill Race, last in the Porty championship series. None of the other ladies in my category had entered this, as it turned out, so the only pressure on me was internal. That fool in your head that thinks it knows where you should be in a race. I remembered not much liking Tinto when I did it in 2011. I'd done Glenogle the weekend before so I was a bit lack-lustre and there were people ahead of me who shouldn't be. I've had this experience over and over in the last few years. At the time I wasn't that pleased because I only ran 50 minutes. Yesterday I think I did okay and I came in in 53 minutes. That's a large section of humble pie I've been eating for quite a long time now. You'd think I'd be full up.
The weather was looking like it would be horrific but it was actually all right. There was a bit of snow up the top and a coldish wind, but nothing to write home about. It's quite a rocky path, especially on the upper reaches, and I was super careful not to fall over, break anything or twist a stupid ankle. I enjoyed the lower section a bit more because it was possible to push. I thought that Helen F, who is coming back from injury and a lay off, was behind me, but I wasn't exactly sure. I was expecting her to come past me, and wondered where she was. Plenty of other people were coming past. I 'let' them.
At the kissing gate near the very end I looked behind me and I saw to my horror that Helen was right behind the woman right behind me. It was so late in the race I didn't want to just concede it without a fight, so I gave it everything that I could find. So much so that I actually have sore abs today...not usual after a race. I dug deep, nearly died, and held it to the end.
After the race everyone was all happy as usual. Well except the Stave who had had a tussle at the line with some other bloke and was feeling incensed. There was a bit of talk about how I should be going to Dunbar tomorrow. I like to think my foolish racing days are over and the days of squeezing two races into a weekend are behind me. I've got books to read. I got a new guitar for my birthday that I'm working out some tunes on. If I got desperate there is even house-work I could be doing. I dismissed the idea of a second race and when I went to bed last night I was quite convinced that that wouldn't be happening. However, something happened this morning and I found myself rolling my legs with the trigger point roller and putting on my spare Porty top. I was headed for the Dunbar XC...
I think it's just drugs really. That surge of adrenaline and whatever courses through your system and keeps you buoyed up after a race. I told myself it was a short race and there'd be time for doing other things in the afternoon and evening. (as if). Peter and I went for a warm up and tried to ease off some of the terrible aches left over from the race yesterday. Unusual places were hurting. My abs, as I mentioned, and my lower back, and the inner side of my knees. After a mile or so warm up it was all loosening off nicely. It was pleasantly mild and the rain was holding off.
Stuart Hay had us have a minute's silence for the people in Paris before the race start. It was impressive to witness the large, cheery crowd quieten immediately and hold the silence perfectly. You could hear a child shout in the distance "Daddy!", but there was no noise coming from the crowd. After a minute there was a round of spontaneous applause.
And then we were off. My 'tactic' was to hold back for the first wee while. To save it - whatever I had - for later on. Then, bizarrely, and I've no idea how, I went right over on my ankle on the perfectly flat and smooth sand. It was a sore one. I took a few limpy steps and then it seemed to pull itself together. I was thinking maybe I should drop out when I came back up off the beach, but I got cheered on by Bert Logan who is 59 today and was out spectating as he's injured. That made it impossible to drop out somehow. It doesn't come easy. So I was just a bit careful for the rest of the race. I felt like I'd got away with it largely, and I was planning, after I'd finished, to go for a warm down. As soon as I stopped racing, however, I could feel it, and the warm down was cancelled.
So that's a bummer. It's not that bad. I can weight bear fine, it just isn't flexing well, and should hopefully be fixed in a few days. But how the hell am I going to burn calories over the next few days? Especially as the freakish winds are supposed to be coming back tomorrow. It won't be any good for cycling. Sigh. Do I have to go swimming tomorrow? Maybe that would be good...
As ever, it's Sunday night. There is a mound of dishes to be done in the kitchen. There is a mound of wet and muddy running kit to be washed and hung up. There is a shower that I should be having...and I can't figure out whether race madness is a good thing or a bad thing.