Thursday, 26 September 2013

1st night of the Winter League

Thursday night consisted of a cross country race in Charleville, the distance was 5 km, and there was a decent turnout(somewhere between 60 and 70 runners, I'd guess).  I'd missed another training session last Tue as I was at the National Ploughing Championships, and didn't get home in time. Adding this to the other missed sessions, left me struggling more than I could have believed. Maybe it was that, or maybe it was my poor preparation for the race. I'd forgotten all about the winter league, until Bubbles rang me at 5:30pm, as I was driving home from College. I still hadn't had any dinner, or much water during the day, and once I got home, I had to get my gear and get out the door. I'd also got my first semester results on Wednesday, which were quite good (78.6% average), and I went out with the rest of the class to celebrate. Or maybe it was the fact that I went off at the same pace as Bubbles, which left me with a stitch from early in the race. Whatever the reason, I was disappointed with my run. I came in a little bit under the 30 minute mark, having been uncomfortable for most of the race. The race was won by Jason Donegan, he finished the race(5 laps), when I still had 2 laps left, and by the time I got around to my last lap, most of the others had finished.  I suppose, when you run on the road, you just don't see how far the others are ahead of you. You know of course that they're a good bit ahead, but when you're running around a field, it brings it home, how big the gap is, in terms of distance. I did manage to finish well though, just holding off a late challenge, when I could have easily given up.

On the positive side though, running a cross country race, brought me back to my youth. There used to be a time when I loved cross country running, and the smells of the autumnal fields brought that memory back. I used to run in my bare feet, and I'm thinking of doing that again. I'm a bit worried about two things though. First - I weighed a lot less then than I do now, and I wonder how important is it to have the support of a good running shoe? and secondly - One of the last times I ran in my bare feet, we ran over a ploughed field, and my feet were in ribbons after it. I wasn't able to walk for a week, after all the stones had been pulled out of my soles. So I'm wondering how long will it take to toughen up the skin?

My two Sons are running in the National Schools cross country today, and I'm looking forward to watching them. they've been training for a few weeks, and they're really excited about today, although there's a good chance they're more excited about getting out of school early, than any prospect of picking up a prize. I'm also looking forward to bringing them to cross country race meetings where we'll all be competing on the same day. Now, if I can just get Margaret to start running, it'll be a nice family affair. I hope to go for a run on Saturday, as I'm refereeing my first rugby match of the season on Sunday. Until then, Slán.

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