I felt like a right miserable bastard on the drive across to the Elan Valley - two hours - doh. Had things swirling through my mind but that's enough of the wallowing - pull myself together man.
Didn't feel like socialising with the mass of Chepstow Harriers before the race but my Facebook chums worked their magic and come race time I was feeling much more chipper.
As to the race, just standing on the start line I realised it wasn't going to be a quick, flat one. There be mountains! The Mayoress of Rhayader got us under way and I moved towards the front on the initial downhill section. The first climb struck after mile one and went on for about two miles in differing degrees of steep and not so steep - I was puffing but digging in with a couple of fellow runners.
The pain of the race blanked all other thoughts and for a short while I was happy of a sort. I was on the limit and working just about as hard as I could. Mile five/six was another steep climb and the pain of battle was intense. Then it flattened till mile eight before climbing a bit and then the dropping to the flattish run in. I was fully wiped out across the line but managed not to be sick - you needed to know that didn't you? Go on, admit it.
I don't know my exact finishing position but I'm pretty sure I was top twenty of a big field well in excess of one hundred. My time was 66:30 which, despite being run on a slow course on account of the hills, is probably still my fastest 10 miler since 2007.
It was cold but it didn't rain and for an hour I was happy. I felt a bit more social after the race and went inside for the prize giving and a bit of socialising with the Cheppers. And talking of Cheppers, finishing fourth Chepstow man means I can drop a 90 for 97, gaining 7 points and, providing I've done the math correct, move from 9th to 7th overall in the Chepstow Championships. I'm not sure I can improve any further in the champs, needing an improvement of eight or more points I would pretty much have to win the last race - not gonna happen.