On whim, and at bequest of one of our club team captains, I stepped up to take part in the final match of the local Cross Country league in Milton Keynes.
It. Was. Painful.
Not quite as painful as watching Wales throw away the first of the Six Nations matches last night and get beaten by England at home but painful nonetheless and in it’s own ubiquitous way.
I’m quite pleased about it really.
I can’t say Milton Keynes is an especially enticing venue to run in and it’s certainly not the first place that springs to mind when you say “Cross Country” but two of this seasons matches were held there in different locations. Despite the whole concrete cows things, there are a lot of runnable off-road areas. Today’s race venue was Tear Drop Lakes, so called because there are three lakes that, well, look like tear drops. Imaginative. The area isn’t that big so the full mens race was three laps around the park, mostly flat but with two short inclines.
With all the rain we’ve had recently, the course was quite muddy and even though I was wearing my fell shoes, I found it so sticky that it made everything hard going. Luckily I had no goals other than finish the race. I had no target pace but I wanted to push as hard as I could to get a gauge of my fitness after 6 weeks. It’s looking good – 5.8 miles in 49:35, an average pace of 8:31 min/mi and looking at the graphs, very consistent all the way through (with a sprint finish at the end). I’m very happy with that at this point.
Even better news is that my club finished top of the table so we are promoted to Division One next year so a good result all around – and it eases the disappointment of Wales performance last night.