Hung over Cross Country

Hung over Cross Country
5 December 2015 Janine

Bristol & West XC race  | 05 December 2015  | Blaise Castle, Bristol

Spikes + Mud = Fun. Unless your preparation goes awry that is. Ok, you heard it here first. My extra secret tip for amazing success at cross country racing over the Christmas season is DO NOT DRINK THE NIGHT BEFORE even though it feels like a wonderfully clever idea at the time.

Last night I went to my tri club drinks, where Christmas jumpers were mandatory. Hm. Let us just say that there is more commitment to lycra and wetsuits with this lot, probably even to shaving ones manly legs than to Christmas jumpers. Since I spend most of my spare time covered in sweat and bits of mud, grimace firmly fixed to face, I take every opportunity to glam it up, and therefore purchased the fluffiest xmas pully I could find and paired it with pleggings and heels, and then proceeded to cycle in this attire on my MTB up Park Street.
Dress code aside, I decided to drink exactly 2.5 pints of beer. I do not drink beer. Due to this error in judgement, racing 200 fast women at Blaise Estate at lunchtime today was extremely challenging of epic physical and mental proprtions, the sick feeling set in at the first hill, and lasted for the entire race. I felt extremely slow and did not even enjoy my usual sprint to the finish line, which is saying something.
I didn’t own any spikes until an hour before the race today, given the heavy rain over the last few days, I really thought it would be wise to purchase some. So I called Easy Runner, half asleep at 9am this morning and grunted ‘do you have any spikes, I am racing in three hours’. They thought this was amusing (can’t imagine why). They were extremely helpful, and helped me find the perfect pair in no time at all.

Spiking it up

So many young people are at these league races. And I cannot help but feel that I just started so late. Today, I purchased my very first studded racing delights, a pair of blue Brooks beauties, at the tender age of 34 and a half. Brooks claim that these shoes will help you run ‘at supersonic speeds’. Grunt.
It was sad that the hang over minimised the pure joy of running in these things. They held snugly to my feet, felt light and fun to run in, plus they come in bright colours and are cheaper than usual trainers. I used 12mm spikes today. The whole size of spikes and distance and purpose is still a bit of a mystery to me.
I got more muddy than possibly necessary thanks to my fun-maximsing rule, which means going right through the middle of bogs. The feeling of mud splattering up your calves as your jostling elbows on tight turns and avoiding scraggly branches is yet another one of the feelings that I have in my book of hard to describe sport induced fun stuff. It’s in there alongside trying not to get a fist to the face in a mass start swim.
I was position 82 today. I don’t have a time yet because I decided not to wear my Garmin after a chat with a tri coach in training last night who suggested I run without it and go with feel not time. This made absolutely no difference whatsoever, and now I have nothing to upload to Strava, which as we all know is really annoying.
Cleaning my new blue beauts was an affair with hilarious consequences, and I can say is I really hope that my housemate doesn’t want a bath tonight because I think she’ll be disappointed.
Love, love, love my new spikes. Jury still out on XC. Next time, no beer.
Placed 37% within the field this time. 10% lower than last XC race. Heaven knows why!

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