Stirling Cross Country
Back to some good sessions and some more racing. This week was more like the reverse of last week, starting slow and piling on some miles through the week.
Good track session on Tuesday, first session which has felt really good for a while rather than just struggling through. Decent group of 4-5 of us, session was 3x500, 1x1500, 5x300, 5x100. Possibly I hit the 1500 a little hard (4:51), but then as I got through the rest ok if tired, maybe it was just right.
Thursday session was 3 sets of 3 times around a ~700m grass triangle in the Meadows. Group of 3 of us, hitting what felt to me a pretty decent pace. By the last 3 (with extra recovery, meant to be faster efforts) my legs were turning to jelly. Funny how 3 repeats with exactly the same time felt like the last one was falling apart and not going to make it around in 1 piece.
On Saturday morning I woke up at 8:20. My alarm is set for 7:00 and 7:30… Fortunately I was in time to grab breakfast and hop on a bus down to parkrun, Edinburgh parkrun’s 5th anniversary event. Went around in 20 minutes, funny how feeling terrible and sluggish turns into struggling to hold back by the end.
Then it was home, bus to Waverly, Steak & Stilton pasty and black coffee (very much necessary) and off on the train to Stirling. Feeling tired.
Stirling was a plain race rather than relays, and 3 loops of a 3000m circuit. I jogged from Bridge of Allan station over through the uni to the start area, and then stood around for an hour and a quarter…
Didn’t really know what to expect from the race, there was a nasty downhill shortly after the start, and some unpleasant contouring, and a mix of some very quick hard packed trails, hills, muddy bits, etc.
After 1 lap I was thinking about passing people and the best times to do it. After 2 laps I felt ready to expire but was still passing people, and trying to make up time on the flat solid sections that were good running. Towards the end of the 3rd lap I was struggling to climb hills but pushing harder on the downs (somehow I seem to settle into it over the race). The last bump up to the finish rather finished me off, if there was anyone on my shoulder for a sprint finish it wouldn’t have happened.
Just before the 3rd lap I got the shout that I was our last (6th) counter. I’m not sure if it made a difference, in race mode I’m going to go all out anyway, in any case while feeling like death I passed a few people, and we came 2nd with only 5 places over 3rd: the effort was vindicated.
There shouldn’t be much to say in that I went out for the regular Sunday club run. But the weather was somewhat ugly, the group of 4 turned into just 2 of us at the 6 mile point as we climbed up the hill out of Balerno into the wind for the 16 mile route… and even the downhills were hard work.