My mini XC season ended yesterday in a slightly anticlimactic 5k race. A 2 race season sure isn’t much but there aren’t any more local races and I’m not in good enough shape to justify doing a bunch of driving to far-flung grassy fields and golf courses. However, I did have a great time getting back onto the grass and hills and really enjoyed the brief taste of xc camaraderie with my former team last weekend and with the other unattached gals yesterday. Gotta love cross-country runners 🙂
Yesterday’s meet was actually pretty big – BYU hosted a combination high school and collegiate meet so there were 8 races total and hundreds of athletes and spectators milling about the course. There were 64 women in my race, most of them either on teams or on the BYU team but running unattached. The weather was gorgeous (cool and sunny), the mountains provided an awesome backdrop, and one of the high school teams had a boom-box going with the mandatory high school XC pump-up mix.
(I’m really, really glad we didn’t have to run up those mountains…)
The atmosphere was awesome but my race was less so. We went out pretty quick (for my current fitness anyhow) and I spent the first mile and a half basically hanging on for dear life. I did manage to pass a few people in the 2nd mile and the beginning of the third mile, but then absolutely died the last 600m and got caught by 4 women in the last 200 m with no kick left to fend them off. I finished 58th out of 64 – a painful little reminder of how far off I am from my collegiate fitness. However, I did manage to hold about the same pace as last weekend even with an extra kilometer and some actual uphills! I’ll take it 😉
My plan now is to take 2-4 weeks off of racing and work on incorporating longer workouts (tempos, longer repeats, etc) and gradually increase my long run in order to work on my physical and mental stamina. My speed is pretty good right now but that last kilometer reminded me that I haven’t done a single workout over 4k of actual repeats. Time to build some strength!