Note to self: when you run a marathon, and then you basically don't run for 3 weeks, you are not in shape to run a 6K XC race. In fact, you will probably run one of the worst times you have ever run at the distance, while cursing your coach and your existence and the existence of a certain "Bear Cage Hill" along the way.
So this was not pleasant at all. It was like 40 degrees and windy, and Tom's "plan" for me involved me trying to go out with our top 5 women (bahahahaha...yeah....) and then accepting the fact that I would die at the first hill and pretty much just run comfortably the rest of the way in. His words were something along the lines of "oh yeah, you're going to suck today, it's OK". Very comforting. And it amuses me that despite the fact that he obviously knew that I was going to fail hardcore at this race he came up with a ridiculous plan for me to run anyway, lol.
It was freezing at the start and basically as soon as we took off my legs seized up for the cold. I had a brief shining moment of about 200 meters where I thought things were going to be OK, and then my legs balled up and were like "eff you! we want to be warm!" and I could not run any faster. My first mile was 6:45, whatever, but it's obviously only going downhill from there. Then we ran up the bear cage hill, and I thought I was going to die. [Aside from said hill, I actually really like the course, and I think in the future I would actually be able to throw down a solid time on it. But definitely not today.] As we ran by the GBTC camp Tom was sort of laughing at me because I was making a face, and I just yelled "I hate you" which made everyone else start laughing...lol..if I'm going to race poorly, might as well provide some comic relief, right?
I was just mentally done after about a mile and a half, I knew my time was going to be down the crapper and I had no interest in injuring myself trying to kill myself the last mile and a half, so I won't say I didn't try, but I certainly stopped racing....surviving was more like it. I miraculously passed a couple girls during the 3rd mile but I was so far back in the field that it was pretty inconsequential to me at that point. Up the bear cage hill again, I think I would have preferred to be mauled by one of the bears than be running up that beast at that point, back down, past the GBTC camp again where Christy yelled "almost done! 400 more and you can kill Tom!" which made me laugh...summoning some sort of failure kick, and done in 27:33. Disgusting, just about my worst time at the distance, and 30 seconds slower than even my disastrous race at NIRCA 2 years ago. [Edit: I just remembered that I did run like a 27:20 at Griak, and I was in pretty good shape at that time. This makes me feel a little bit better.] I just really can't bring myself to be too angry about it. I obviously lost fitness the past 3 weeks and that's my own problem, and I think it's fine at this point to still be in a little bit of recovery mode from the marathon. If nothing else, the race was a great workout and a kick in the pants to get back to real training.
And also, because I only had the goal of run one XC race this year [with no mention of running it well...]...I achieved another 2010 goal! Hoorah. And I got a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts because they are a GBTC sponsor now. I got to hang out with/meet more girls from the team, cheer for the guys, and run a 100% stress free "race" which sometimes is a really good thing. And it seems like Tom cares to some extent about my training, which for me seems crazy because there are so many faster women in the club, so it's nice to feel like I have some potential to run fast at some point. In the end, can't really complain.
But for serious, it's time to train for real again. Indoor track approaches...