So one minute it feels like I haven't raced in ages and then all of a sudden the events are coming thick and fast!
I was feeling quite confident going into this race after my new 10k pb. Not "I'm going to win!" confident, more like "I'm not going to make a fool of myself" confident.
This race is a bit confusing as its just one race but you can be entered for both intermediate and masters categories if you are eligible. As I've won nothing in the roads at county level and am old I qualify for everything. Yay! I think.....??
Arriving in Naas to clear skies and sunshine didn't hurt either. We did a nice leisurely warm up where we spotted a bouncy castle in a nearby garden.....I fantasized about heading off for a bit of a bounce instead of going through this torture. Maybe a G&T too in the sun.
And yes I know I said I felt confident but I also didn't have amnesia and still remembered how much my last race had hurt. (Yes I'm a moany old wagon sometimes)
It wasn't long before it was time to toe the line. Before I knew it we were off and the usual stampede for the front happened. I hate this bit and really dislike a crowded field so found myself a bit of room before long. I don't remember much about the first kilometre of this race except that I didn't want to go out too slow so I tried to push the pace a bit to get past the main group. There were a few speedy ones out front but I ignored them and concentrated on passing the next three in front of me over the next couple of k and on not getting passed. For whatever reason I felt pretty good and never had the urge to quit or walk. I knew I was going fast for me as I was coming down a hill at one point and was really conscious of every little twig or stone on the road. I felt like my legs were moving too fast for me to be able to compensate if I hit anything at all and I'd end up on my face. I actually had a really vivid image in my head of me landing face first and skidding to a halt with road rash everywhere. The things that go through my head are weird sometimes!
Anyway again I was kind of in no man's land by the end of this race with nobody close enough to chase down and nobody chasing me. As I came towards the lovely downhill finishing straight i had no idea how I had done. I was fifth over the finish line but how many of those were intermediates and how many masters? I wasn't long over the line before I was joined by a teammate, followed by another and yet another. It looked like we might get a team medal anyway!
As it turned out we won masters gold and intermediate silver so that was nice. I also won gold in my age category and bronze at intermediate level so I'll take that! Not bad for a 3k race!
I gave my Garmin to a friend so don't have access to my splits but my total time was 11:56, about 30 seconds faster than my time for the same distance at novices. Happy with that but must admit I think conditions were a lot more favourable on this day than the last.
Probably the best part of this race for me was finally feeling like I was a useful part of the team. Yes we had people out with illness and injuries but despite that were able to field a medal winning team and I was part of that. Also me and the SO had sort of recruited one of the team who ran well (from the pub....shhhhhh) and she really enjoyed herself so that was great too. I love it when a plan comes together :)