10 Things I Think About The National Senior XC
1. The Hay and the Barn
It causes me great great great pain to say it, but I think Lizzie Lee was right on Thursday. She said the "Hay was in the Barn". She was probably right, sometimes you have to know when you've enough hay. I just like the process of collecting hay a lot.
2. Grudge Match
I think I'll have to pick my targets for these races more carefully. I think they're actually using it as motivation and thriving off it. Conor and Mark Walsh were my targets today. I was confident, I don't know why. Andrew Hobbs found the whole thing so funny he came to watch. Comedy cross country.
3. Bertie Bowl
I think that it's just as well they didn't build the Bertie Bowl in Abbotstown. It can barely cope with a few hundred cross country runners. Imagine if there was actually an event on there. It would make Pairc Ui Caoimh look like it was planned by the Germans. There were cars everywhere.
I really hate the cold. It's terrible. It makes men buy tights on a Saturday evening when they should be doing other things.
5. Ned Flanders
I don't think I'll wear those tights again. There were lots of wandering eyes. The lads just laughed at me, I might take them back to the shop.
6. All Duck or No Dinner
I think the only way to approach the start of this race is to go all in. It's terribly intimidating at the start to see that everyone is way lighter, much fitter and look like they live in the gym. The only way to combat the fear is to pretend that you're just as good, confidence overcomes a lot of problems, it also causes a lot of problems.
7. I Really Shouldn't Be Here
I really enjoyed being up in the top 20 or 30 after about 1 km, it was so so fast, it really really hurt. It was absolutely epic. I really felt out of place, I was right.
8. Don't Look Back in Anger
I thought I was having a great race after 3 laps, Mark Walsh had annoyingly just passed me but I was able to stay with him. There was no sign of Conor and I couldn't hear anyone calling his name behind me. I could have just looked back but that's illegal in cross country. Then I got very tired.
The fourth lap of a cross country race is I imagine what it's like to be on your deathbed. It's horrendously painful, you're running out of oxygen, you've lots of regrets, you wish you'd taken more drugs and you wish that you'd tapered, well maybe not the tapering. The last lap is probably like childbirth.
10. Ralph Wiggum
I don't think I've ever been so heartbroken at the end of a race. I was certain that I had beaten Conor badly, then coming into the home straight he appeared over my tall tanned left shoulder. It was really annoying to see that all too familiar sight of his ridiculously perfect running form sprinting away. I bet if there's a video of it you'll be able to see the point where my heart breaks. Ah well at least he didn't gloat...yet.