6 races down, every weekend, only two more to go. This was supposed to be the fastest course, the course with the least hills and the course that many gals PR'd on last year. Alas, this wasn't to be my day for the sub 20 min. PR at the 5k. I knew it the minute I woke up. That's not to say that I woke up with a negative attitude. Nope. I love this fun stuff too much. I just have been DEALING with real LIFE this week and it pretty much pooped me out. On Saturday morning, I wanted to wake up, put on the team jersey and run my heart out. Actually, I was just hoping to survive this race.
Basically this is how it went down>>>
Our masters women team started off with the OPEN team in a "team box." What? Suddenly, at this race, we're mushed in with about 15 women and two other teams on either side of us.
"Expect elbowing." was sort of mentioned at this point. Women elbowing? College girls or the old ladies like me? Couldn't see myself using "the elbows" as running tools. Of course, that changed as we started to the firing of a gun. I felt myself listening to the words of a porta potty coach who told her girls NOT to run by feel. Heck no, make up your mind in the first few strides whether you're going to go for it at mile 1, 2 or 3. Oh, by the way, she wasn't coaching the porta potty users, she was actually coaching her team girls while they waited in line for the potty.
Suffice to say, my mental focus wasn't on for this race and I spent the 3 + miles waiting for my poop cramps to go away, grabbing my side, rolling my eyes at BS and taking the turns wide enough that if I "decided" to quit the race, I'd be in the right spot.
People told me they thought I would quit the race several times. I must have looked radiant and thrilled.
But I didn't quit. Close to the hill near the finish, I sucked it up. Once I hit the track for the finish lap, I realized the clock read 18 something and if I tried to run the track in one minute, I'd PR.
Ha, ha, ha.
I must have been delirious or on crack at that time.
I just kept running and crossed the finish at 21:01.
Well, I didn't quit.
I am new to xc racing this year so everything I've learned has come from MAKING STUPID mistakes right down to eavesdropping on a coach and her college students while we were in line at the porta potty.
I didn't race xc in high school. Heck, I just started racing 6 years ago. SOMEONE should have told me the rules before I got started. There is strategy, there are rules, you just can't run and run and hang on.
But, it's worked for me so far.
AND, I'm loving it.
Great women ran today. Some fast, some took their time, most gave it their all. That's all that matters.
Did I tell you I'm just grateful to be a member of this awesome group of girls...I mean, women?