I guess that's not strictly true as I've no base flat speed but the strength and endurance is coming along nicely. I'm so glad the weather was kaksters yesterday such that I bottled the run and rested - with only 90 minutes on the bike. Today's race was fan - wait for it, wait for it - tastic.
I had a bit of a lie in - but not too much. On with the coffee maker - max strength java - while cooking breakfast - OK, so there's not actually a lot of cooking to be done to Weetabix. Then, with the couple cups of coffee's downed, the days news read, it was time to head over to Huntley and the May Hill Massacre. I decided to do my bit for the environment, left the car on the drive and jogged over to the start - a nice warmup in anyone's book, weighing in just under three miles.
I was wearing my skin tight kit - I like to scare the laaaadies. I arrived with fifteen minutes to spare so timed that pretty well. And then before we all knew it, we were off on the eight and a half mile race, that is the May Hill Massacre.
I started near the front - I was going for it. After the first hill section I was lying in 26th place - I was happy with that and would have gladly taken that as my finishing position in a field of 400+ (or at least 400+ entries).
Then as we headed on the second climb up to the top of May Hill I gained a few more places. I was feeling strong as I blew my competitors away with my powerful display of hill climbing - well, some of them anyway.
Then over the top of May Hill I was net even as I gained a couple but lost a couple on the muddy descent - I knew the hills to come and wanted something left in the tank. I ran steady through Newent Wood before switching up a gear on the now gently ascending part of the course before the final major climb. I gained a few more and was up to fifteenth.
The final climb went well. I gained another couple of places as I ran the hill, slipping and sliding in the mud as oft you do in the Massacre.
With the last of my strength waning a little I was controlled on the two mile descent to the finish as two runners came past. By then I had no more left to give and was settled to let them go.
So I finished in a respectable 15th place from a strong field of maybe 400+. Each year the competition at the front seems to get stronger and 15th is a big improvement over last years 29th place and I was over four minutes quicker to boot. But the best part, the part that sees me well and truly back, is the fact I was over two minutes quicker than my fastest ever time over the course. A time set way back in 2007. I am made up. I knew things were headed in the right direction but now I know how quick they're moving there.
Well there it is. 1 hour, 1 minute and 32 seconds for the eight and a half mile route with somewhere around 1,500 feet ascent that is the May Hill Massacre. I'm so chuffed I could crush a grape. Oh, and then there was the little matter of the three mile run back home...