Perfect weather this year - stark contrast to last year's torrential downpours. Really enjoyed this one again.
I'd ran Dave Denton's Shining Cliffs race on Sunday and I felt dreadful whilst running - legs empty, just wanting the ground to swallow me up. Sure we've all been there?? No blog post on that one as I didn't even count it as a race in the end in my head. I almost ended up walking on lap 2 of it !
Anyway, it was important that after Sunday's dismal race, I'd have a more positive race tonight. There were times on Sunday that I was thinking in my head that I'd give up racing as I clearly wasn't enjoying it any more!
Thankfully - tonight, I corrected what went wrong on Sunday. I set off slow and got faster. Sunday I set off way too fast and just regretted every minute of the race from 10 mins in. I was clinging on but more than normal - too much.
Setting off steady worked. I was very comfortable up the first big climb until it flattened out and then steepened again - I carried on steady there too. Completely out of character as I can only normally do flatout uphills - but good. After hammering it last year after the stream crossing (as I wrongly thought we were near the top !) I just went steady and as it happened took the guy in front, concentrating on making up time / ground on the flat road section ahead. Yes, the road section was a little bit disappointing as I made up perhaps 5m on the guy in front after perhaps 1 mile so nothing spectacular really but going into the final descent I still felt comfortable. Holding off the guy behind I didn't lose or gain any places on the descent so was kinda pleased.
The really surprising this is though that last year I thought I was in reasonable shape, running in 30m12. This year turns out I ran 29m12 - 1 minute faster. Yes, conditions were faster but I really can't believe conditions were 1 minute faster ? 9th out of 83. Results here