I was sooooo nervous about this race! I hadn't really raced in a while so had gotten a bit gun shy..when I'm racing regularly the fear goes off it a bit for me, whereas if there is a bit of a gap I'm a mess.
Anyway we didn't have enough for a team for this race due to various injuries, events and other team members not being eligible (you're not eligible for novice county if you have won anything at that level or higher in the previous three years.....I think that's how it works anyway!)
So the day dawned wet, windy and cold cold cold. What a lovely combo! There was one more girl running with me Laura V so I was really glad of the company and we mutually made the decision to trade a long warm up for staying dry inside instead. I think if we had a team then we would have thought differently but really this race was all about seeing where our training was coming out of the winter so I wasn't too pushed either way!
We were lucky to have a strong mens team from the club so they were good company while we waited to start. There is something really special about being part of a club and having that support around you at an event.
The start line for this 3k race was quite a trek away from the hall we had gathered in so we actually got a lift over......how lazy is that!! Anyway we jumped out of the car and proceeded to run up and down the road a bit. It didn't get any warmer. The good thing about this was that as we gathered at the start line I got more and more anxious for the race to start as I just wanted to get moving at this stage.....any icy shower straight into your face is not that much fun in shorts and a singlet.
Unfortunately one of the girls in front of me talking about her 5:15 1500m time at the national indoors wasn't exactly filling me with confidence!
Finally, after a wait for some latecomers we were off! I felt like I started out well but I seemed to be behind loads of people. Maybe I was going to be last? Oh no!
The first couple of kilometers were into a strong headwind with a couple of sharp rises to go over. I like hills (it's a love/hate thing) so was able to pass a few here. I concentrated on not letting anyone pass me on the straights and reeling in the girls in front of me one at a time. By this point I knew there was no way I was catching the front pack so this was a bit demoralising but I focused on not looking at my watch in case I found out there was more than 1k to go....this would have been the end of my race!
The finish was slightly downhill just past a corner. I'm pretty sure I was drooling at the mouth and and I knew if the finish was much past that corner I was goosed but pushed hard up to it and then luckily it was right there. I don't know if I would have had anything more as there wasn't anyone close enough for me to pass and nobody behind chasing me so didn't really have that adrenaline buzz of a close finish.
Result: 5th overall so I was happy with that on the day. I was a bit annoyed with myself that I didn't warm up beforehand but at best I could have been 4th...........the lead three were in a bunch all together most of the way and were cruising, only doing as much as they had to.
I was happy with my effort and had temporarily gotten over the fear of racing. Oh and someone finally got a running photo of me where I look like I'm running so totally worth the pain!