NEHL number 2 today (29th October) and it was not enjoyable!
I have had a good week training, 2 rep sessions at the club and a couple of easy runs. I was all set and looking forward to the cross country. I was already aware that I had been promoted to the medium pack after finishing 24th at Cramlington. This didn't really worry me as I knew I'd be chasing rather than being chased!
This was my first visit to the Farringdon course and once we arrived we set off to do a partial lap to get a feel for it. My first thoughts were "it's bloody narrow"! There were a few challenging climbs too but they were going to be the least of my worries.
I got prepared for the race and reached the start line at 1:15pm as instructed. The slow pack lined up and I was amazed by the mass of runners in one group! Then the penny dropped..... it's going to be hell trying to overtake the stragglers on such a narrow path. The slow pack set off and the medium group stepped forward, a little thin on the ground.
Half way through the first lap I began picking off the slow club runners meandering about the course having conversations with their club mates and blocking the path. This infuriated me so much I just barged through one couple. As I progressed through the field the crowd became more dense and I was really struggling to get into any sort of rhythm, leaping over the verges and getting nettled on numerous occasions.
This continued up to lap 3 and by this time I had given up hope of notching up any sort of decent time and even thought to myself that I was wasting my time. This was confounded by the look on my face when I crossed the finish line and a club mate said "god you look pissed off!". He was right. I wish you could demote yourself to the slow group!
Nevertheless, I have done my bit for the club and will now focus on the Derwentwater 10 next week. I have been looking forward to for some time now.
NEHL number 3 can wait...