This is a bit of a delayed report about my first XC race of the spring. I'm sure I've talking about running xc in Van Cortlandt before. It's great to have such a great course so close to home. I like xc because I ran it in HS and that was my first foray into any kind of distance running. Funny, these days I think of 5k as very very short. Also, it's like trail running light and it takes me out of my usual routes and routines. The gang at VCTC who put on the races are really nice and it's a laid back evening. Oh except for the running. The course has changed a bit this year due to construction in the park. I like the change, it takes us away from a very long flat start that I always run too fast and pay for later. Once in the woods, we have about 1.5 miles of hills, up and down. It's challenging, but gets easier the more you run it.
I had a good start, I marked a woman who looked to be a bit older than me and decided to run with her. Then I looked down at my Garmin and saw yes, in fact, I was going too fast, so I eased off. Normally I wear xc spikes on this course but with my PF problems of late, I opted for racing flats that have a hair more support. It was dry so I didn't think the spikes were needed.
Well low and behold once in the woods my shoe came untied. At the bottom of a hill. I was so pissed. Honestly, I do not remember the last time this happened. A quick stop to retie, but that costs time, esp. in such a short race. I didn't want to risk leaving it and going ass over teakettle while barreling down hill.
I made up time lost someone, or position anyway.
Coming down the final down hill and out of the park, the guy directing people told me I was 6th woman. It's a deceptive 700m or so to the finish from here. Woman #7 came right up on me. We sized each other up. I looked at her and said "I'm not going" and she chuckled. We really pushed each other. A glance down at my garmin told me I was going sub 7. The course finishes on a long straightaway which seems endless. With in the last 100m, she went and I couldn't hold on.
23:24. 3 seconds slower than I ran last year. Stupid shoelace.
I did finish 7th woman and won my age group, so I took home a nice carrot muffin.
Luckily, they do this every 2 weeks so I can try again. I hope to get under 23 on this course this year.
In other news, since I was so close to a 10k PR right before Boston, I've been going out and doing speed work on sections of the 10k course for the Mini 10k. It's a course they only use for this race and there are sections that traditionally slow me down. I'm hoping to avoid that this year.
I'm also relearning to balance working out in 3 sports for my upcoming triathlons. And ya know what? I'm finding myself just wanting to run.
On that note, I have a beautiful new road bike that was just built up and keeps whispering to me when I walk by "ride me", so that's what I'm going to do.