10 Things I Think About The County Senior Cross Country
I think I still love cross country. I really love the misery. God it's great, absolute pure pain and suffering. No cash prizes, just medals, pride and beating people. It's perfect. I was trying to explain it to Mitch on the drive up. I think he understands now. Hopefully they won't cancel it like Ballycotton. That would be awful. I don't think I'd have any reason to live in the country if both were gone. I'd probably move to Spain or Germany if they did.
I think I would have beaten Mark Hanrahan if I hadn't run the Berlin Marathon two weeks ago. You're supposed to take many weeks off after a marathon. If people are right (and they normally are) then it's absolutely amazing that I was able to walk let alone run today. I have however mastered the debadification process after three marathons. Drink and eat recklessly for three days in Berlin, run 5 miles on the Thursday, 5 on the Friday, 10 on Saturday and then back to normal. Drinking definitely helps, the alcohol kills all the damaged muscle fibres.
3. Leave Before the Lights Come On
I think it's a good idea to leave Voodoo Rooms at 1am on the Friday before the county senior cross country. Any later and you might do something silly like lose your phone and want to cancel all your bank cards.
I think that it's important to do something on the Saturday before a big race to take your mind off the imminent pain and misery. A tour of the polytunnels in the gardens of UCC with John Meade, Conor and John took my mind right off the cross country. I have a new appreciation for polytunnels after it.
I don't think I've ever run badly the day after a pizza at Palmetto. It must be the healthy sourdough base. It doesn't matter if you have beer or cider with it, it's excellent fuel for running. I had San Pellegrino this time and it still worked. I still prefer Novocento though.
6. The List
I think it's important to have a list of names of people that you'd like to beat in a race. I had a nice list, some were in red, underlined. It's not a list of hate, it's a list of respect. If you want to beat someone it means that you respect them. I hope that I'm on other people's lists if they're mad enough to have a list.
I think I looked like a tool running around a farmers field in Conna with a pair of orange sunglasses on. Well Mark Walsh said I did. They didn't even match my singlet. I'm pretty sure the conservative cross country crowd didn't approve. There's probably some county board by-law against sunglasses in races. There seems to be one against everything else. I did have a reason for wearing them though as on the warm up with Michael Herlihy I noticed that the orange tinting definitely helped distinguish the cow shit from the green grass on the course. Marginal gains and all that.
I think my starting procedure for cross country is perfect. Everyone else seems to think it's mad. Someone even shouted at me to calm down this time. They're definitely right for road races but in a cross country race you need to be up the front. The places don't change much after a lap. Plus I was the only one to see that Mark Hanrahan very nearly fell and broke his ankle at the first corner. I think he was worried about me, not that I'd beat him, just worried.
9. John Meade
I was very happy to finally beat John Meade. It was more of an annihilation than a bad beating. It has been approximately 2786 days since I last beat John Meade, it was cross country then too. He tried to pass me after 3 laps but I was having none of it and immediately crushed his rebellion like a Spanish policeman in Barcelona. I think I should retire now. Although I'd like to beat him again. I really like beating John Meade because he's really really good.
10. East Bloody Cork
I think I don't like East Cork. They're very good at cross country races. We had about a million runners, they had about five and they still won. It's not fair. I don't know how they do it. It's like North Korea beating the USA in a war. That should never happen.