Had an ace race at Bath this afternoon. Amazingly I finished in exactly the same position this year as last year, 153. How consistent is that! But my time was over three and a half minutes quicker though (that's about a 9% improvement which is pretty damn fine). Just outside forty minutes in 40:30. I'm really pleased because I've felt really tired over the last couple of days. Resting up obviously did the trick. Conditions this year were pretty similar to last so I think the time comparison to last is fair and I'm chuffed with the big improvement.
I wanted to go off steady and increase the pace on each lap and I executed the plan with military precision. I took it easy on the first (short) lap, 4:07 min/km pace (possible slightly too easy but who's to say). Then increased to 4:02 min/km pace on the second lap. Increased it again to 4:01 on the third before letting rip (oh er) on the final one to hit 3:57 min/km pace.
In terms of racing, the bath course suits me well because my killing ground comes towards the end of the lap on the long uphill section. After the initial few hundred meters nobody came past me during the race, and the hill was were I gained places voraciously. My tactic was to make sure I closed down any nearby large groups before the hill and then gather myself before taking it away up the hill.
I don't normally enjoy cross country - I guess because usually it's all boggy and soggy (and I'm a bit namby pamby after all). With it being a bit firmer it was excellent and I had a real buzz at the end. Whoo hoo....