Posts Tagged cross country running

Things That Are Not Conducive To A Good 5 Mile Cross Country Race

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Waiting to start... wondering if my trousers are going to stay up

Being stood facing into the breeze at the speedway track the evening before watching banger racing when 60 bangers start racing round smashing bits off each other, burning up tyres and kicking up so much dust that you stand for 2 minutes wondering if you still have eyes positioned in your face. Turns out I did but they were filled up with particles of black crap that has taken a day to work it’s way out leaving black streaks from the corners of my eyes to the bottom of my cheeks, not unlike a Cheetah.

Breathing in the petrolly exhaust fumes from said bangers for 5 hours. Lungs like a miner you say?

Standing up on concrete steps because the 4 million other people there decided ‘WHY SIT DOWN?’. Obviously viewing position is different for the World Series Final Banger Racing than it is for Bank Holiday Bangers and Demolition Derby. 5 hours stood in cold weather on cold concrete is rubbish on legs. Especially legs that need to run the following day.

Eating only 2 bits of toast, a bowl of Ready Brek and a polystyrene tray of the best chips the banger racing vendors have to offer, for my entire caloric intake all day.

Bed at 23:00. I’m rubbish if I go to bed at 10:15, let alone 45 minutes later. Awoke at 07:00 feeling lethargic.

Eating too early this morning. By the time I got to the race venue I was starving again.

Not taking a flask of tea – Pre race cuppa always seems to go down quite well.

Using new insoles inside my shoes which I had not done a trial run in. Did my high arches the world of good but following the advice on the packet of removing the insoles already in the shoes before inserting the new ones would have been kinder on my poor toes which were now crammed in half of the space they’d had previously. Guess I deserve all 5 blisters now stinging at the end of my toes for that school boy error.

Rabbit Warrens – you fuckers. By the 2nd from last lap (I think there were 4 or 5 laps in total) I’d rolled my left foot twice badly in holes dug by rabbits and was left limping from the pain for 2 more laps. As far as I have read with regards to pain while running – you can run through pains that do not cause you to run differently. Unfortunately this one did and stubbornly trying to ignore it for the final 2 laps only served to give me knee pain in the same leg and a hellishly sore hamstring leading up into my right arse cheek. Still I made it dragging what felt like a 4 ton arse and concrete legs across the finish line with me. In opposites to my eyes – Very much unlike a cheetah.

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First of the Suffolk Winter XC Series – Nowton Park

Marie and Renée waiting to start

Marie and Renée waiting to start

Even though Parcelnet neglected to deliver my new cross country spikes in time the good old British weather didn’t disappoint as it blew and rained as hard as it possibly could for the hours leading up to the first race around Nowton Park in Bury. For nearly an hour we stood around under umbrellas only serving to delay the inevitable soaking we were in for, waiting for our start time of 11:10. Despite the sogginess the true hardcore turned out for I suppose the very thing that mad people like me enjoy about running cross country – mud. That and a fantastic couple of laps through pretty autumnal trees (that you don’t get to look at for fear of turning your ankle in a pot hole or tripping over the plentiful molehills).

I think the organisers broke us in gently for this first race as it was on a flat course with only a couple of very slight inclines, the gradients of which were only noticeable from a distance or by the fact my breathing speed increased as I ran up them. Only one slope at the end of the course had become sufficiently battered enough that my feet started to slip a little as I pushed up it. Akin to running on a deep layer of shingle stones.

On the last 100 meters or so I became aware of the finish coming up and felt a surge of energy to push me

At the finish

At the finish

to the finish at a little faster pace. My club mate Marie always manages these incredible sprint finishes when we run together on club nights so I didn’t feel too bad about leaving her a short way back as felt I’d soon see her rip past me in the last 5 meters to leave me chewing on mud. Just as I knew she would she made up some of the short distance I’d put between us to come in seconds after me and we finished feeling pretty good around the 51 minute mark.

Next Sunday it won’t be a little 5 mile jaunt around a flat park – it’s our debut in The Whole Hog race in Wantisden, 8 mile adventure race with obstacle courses! Marie, Melissa and myself have entered as a team of 3 and called ourselves ‘Crouching Runner Hidden Van’.

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Video from the XC Race at Nowton Park

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