9 years since i last did any hill running. Last time involved hypothermia. That was not the most fun moment of my childhood.
Large turn out at the first race of the year in Howth. Louis, Waggers and Mike came out too. First time trail run for any of them. Main reason for going was that it was close, an excuse not to study, and i was having a fat week. However i forgot just how much fun it was to run down a mud covered trail at full speed balancing on the edge of staying vertical. Now i remember why i used to do this sport.
Two laps of the course, 8.5km altogether. How hard can it be...hahah oh i remember how much pain this sport can result in. Lap of the GAA pitches then into the trail itself. Straight away into the first climb after a slog through the waterlogged forest at the base of the hill. Walk/run a bit, then walk, then remember to breath! On the top of the hill and the first little decent. Get the legs turning, ignore the HRM beeping at you, 95% of your HRmax is fine...ignore it it'll go away. Few more ups and downs, then the first major down. Narrow quick mud covered slope with some serious gradient in sections. Pretend you are made of rubber, i'll be fine. Bottom of the trail and right back into the uphill, that evil climb! Another lap, back down the gauntlet, and run into the finish!
First lap hurt. i haven't been able to do much training recently cause of these exams, and with my ankle sore before New Years i haven't even had a run in the last month. Feels fine now, we will see later. Second lap was better, was able to keep my HR up on the climbs and keep it working on the descents, felt allot faster and was picking up places. Managed to faceplant a gorse bush on one of the corners, but quick recovery and got back on the heels of the guy i was chasing. Had him on the last decent, but a little slip saw him get me at the turn into the GAA pitches. Ahh well that's racing!
What i am happy is that my knees held up fine! I'll be sore tomorrow but that's understandable. Finished the race in an ok position, not sure where yet but don't mind to much.
However i do need to get my trail shoes back if i'm going to do the rest of the winter season.
Next race 3rd Feb!
139 days to go....