Sunday, 13 December 2009


Working in a big supermarket is hard work at this time of year as you could probably imagine! Friday night my schedule for the pet food aisle said it would take 8 hours and 6 mins to fill , only problem was taking out break times [1 hour] and 40 + min to drag all the new stock onto the shop floor from the warehouse gave me only 6 hours 40 min to fill the shelves!
i like a challenge [ maybe it was not a smart idea to volunteer to take on the pet food aisle this summer, i mean who in their right mind wants to do weight training for 7 1/2 hours 5 nights a week without steroids!]
Anyway i got my head down and
ploughed through the endless cages of stock, one cage at a time, a bit like one mile at a time in a marathon!
I finished with 10 mins to spare at 6.20 am.
I got two hours in bed then got up for the Beacon park X/C, i felt groggy and not very energetic
. I got a lift with team captain Steve James and he then picked up Gary Kenny on the way, the weather was fantastic, sunny and only a slight chill to the air. i warmed up with an easy jog round the top half of the course, the bottom section was very muddy and wet and so I avoided it to keep my feet dry before the start. 10 mins to go and i did some strides on a slope, my legs felt empty and lifeless, maybe my 2 week head cold and heavy work load had taken its toll upon my body, I'd read somewhere than when you have a cold your muscles do not absorb carbs fully, is that right ? Anyways we lined up at the start in the field and were soon on our way, straight away I got left behind, my legs felt rubbery, dam I hate this! Over a rise then down a suicide off camber descent with a shape muddy left hand hairpin at the bottom to catch runners off guard [ quite a few go flying down into the mud] then there is a long muddy section,I find the best way to tackle this is to land in other runners foot prints! The first lap is a short lap and we soon turn to climb up a very steep grassy bank before flying down the suicide descent again, we then have two long laps which include a tough muddy climb at the far end of the park. i find myself running with Neil, a very good X/C runner, but he's only training 3 x a week at the moment and i really should be way ahead of him, but i'm not able to push hard it's just a battle to keep going, this is not a good day, so to speak! Into the final lap and I'm hanging onto Neil along the bottom muddy track, up ahead i can see team mate Chris, I pull through and close on Chris just as we hit the climb at the far end of the park, as we climb chris pulls away again and Neil comes past, my legs have now gone and as i reach the hardest steepest, muddiest section I feel like I want to stop1 I slog on on empty legs and feel like I'm at standstill at the top, I recovery abit on the downhill and pick up speed again over the grass and pull close to Chris as we go up the final grassy hill, over the top and it's all downhill to the finish , i pass Chris then have a shock as the finish is diverted off the path and we have to take a sharp right onto muddy ground for the last 10 m, what a stupid finish, i hit a tree and lose a place finishing in 41 st place, a few mins latter team mate Mike crashes straight into the tree and takes a nasty fall, taking another runner down with him! i finish disappointed, looking back on past performances makes me feel even more so! In 2004 I finished in 22nd place in 34.25, in 2007 I finished in 27th place in 35.42 and yesterday i could only manage 41st in 37.12, the only positive thing is I was 30 sec faster than last year but I know I can do far better, i know my training is going well so maybe it's just my head cold that made me feel bad! well there is another X/c next week to put things right, so see you there :]
In the evening it was the club Christmas meal and afterwards we headed into town and partied on till 3 am dancing with Niz and Tracey, at least my endurance is still good!


Westley said...

Two hours' sleep following a tough night's work and still achieve a good time. I'd be chuffed just to get to the start line! And then a Christmas party! I admire your fortitude!

Grellan said...

It's the race experience that counts and I doubt if you can compare X/C's as conditions can change from year to year. Then again you couldn't have prepared better for a PW!


Thanks Wes and very true Grellan

Ewen said...

Your endurance IS good Rick! Must be the new Gatorade diet ;)

Lucky you're not on steroids or you would have ripped that tree out by the roots.

Nice going on 2 hours' sleep. The pet foot aisle is a lot bigger than it used to be! Happy Christmas and good running in 2010 :)