Sunday, December 07, 2014

Another One Slower Than The Last..

Yes, despite a brief moment of hesitation this morning, as I peered through the curtains at the ensuing monsoon, I made it to sunny, then cloudy, then rainy, then sunny again, Shropshire for the 9miles and 2600feet of ascent that is the Cardington Cracker. It's always worth the travel - even when you're out of shape - at the moment I'm an irregular trapezium.

I didn't have any intention of pushing hard from the start, as I discussed tactics with the Niki and Andy before the race got under way - that and admiring the double rainbow.

I'm not ready to race something like the CC all out from the gun just yet. I didn't take it too easy though, although I was perhaps a little over cautious on the ascent of Lawley. After that I started to increase the effort although it was a bit of a battle with the wind - weather conditions, not the beans. Both of the main ridge runs and the ascent of Caradoc were into really strong head-cross winds. At several points I was running at a thirty degree angle into it.

That took a toll and by the final climb I was a bit knackered so I took it steady to have something left for the final, overly long run in. That final stretch is probably the most character building bit of all. You're knackered, breathing like an asthmatic donkey on the way to glue factory and all you really want to do is ease off down to the finish but by then you're full on racing and every pointless place gained or lost is like the difference between winning the 10,000m Olympic final or coming last. It doesn't matter one iota in the grand scheme of things - but I'll give away an easy place over my dead body... Happy to say I managed to pick up three places on the run in so I'm happy with that.

Feeling it now though. The legs are beginning to ache. My time was a couple of minutes down but I'll blame that on the wet underfoot conditions and the ninety mile an hour typhoon winds. Be interesting to see how my positional percentage compares to last time.

Anyway, on a final note, my family keep enquiring as to what I'd like for Christmas. At the moment I'm thinking walking stick or zimmer frame...