I don’t do mud and I do not run off road. I don’t like getting wet or cold and I am not keen on uneven surfaces… Therefore I REALLY do not do Cross Country. Except I am on Sunday… I am weak and too easily influenced by others. Which is lucky really, else I would not have half as much fun 🙂 I blame our new ‘Cross Country Race Co-Ordinator’ she has a lot to answer for!
We all know that it is stupid to venture onto Facebook after a couple of glasses of Red. Especially when you seldom drink (yes the new reformed me <yawn>). In online banter with a couple of friends and ‘she who organises the XC events’ I stupidly got into one of those “I will if you will” type conversations. Long story short, predictable outcome, committed to have a go at cross country in early January. Idiot.
To try and salvage something positive from my drunken bravado I decided that I should invest in some off road shoes. Consumerism and accessorising my hobby being firmly at the top of my pleasure list!
Luckily for me and Natwest I stumbled across a proper bargain. A last remaining pair of Saucony trail shoes from last season. More than adequate for me and at less than £100 quite a bargain I think?
So armed with my nice new shoes I thought I ought to have a go at a bit of off road running by way of practice. I am fortunate to live quite close to Salcey Forest so that sounded like just the ticket for a little Sunday morning run… It had been raining. It’s a forest. It has a coffee shop and car park. I know how to find it. What could possibly go wrong?
It transpires that Salsey has recently benefited from some investment. The ‘trails’ through the forest are now beautifully sign posted and manicured. They drain superbly well and whilst they look like ‘trails’ I have seen more mud in Milton Keynes shopping centre car park 🙁
As I was there I did the 10k loop. But frankly I was sharing a path with people pushing buggies and young children on bicycles. I kind of felt this probably wasn’t a hardcore cross country experience.
As I sat in the cafe for post EXERCISE recovery (yes I can still binge with the best of them!) I resigned myself to the fact I would have to try find somewhere else. I think I raised my HR more from the sugar hit in the obligatory Hot Chocolate and massive slice of chocolate flap jack than I did from the actual running… This was a bad outcome and only set to get worse.
In truth I can’t really explain what happened next. I was sober and lucid. I would love to be one of ‘those’ types that could say I was determined to get the ‘School PE XC’ monkey off my back. Or it was time to face my nemesis. Or I wanted to embrace the mud. But actually I think I was just a bit bored!! Had planned to do a long bike on Sunday, not hugely committed to doing that… Noticed that several people from Olney Runners were going. Read a post from ‘she that organises XC’ at Wootton drumming up interest… And sort of just thought f**k it – I think I will go for a run with this lot on Sunday. Messaged her to ask some newbie questions… At which point I may as well have signed a legally binding contract with horrendous penalty clauses…
So I have sold my soul to ‘she that organises XC’… In seriousness, this is pure testimony to her constant enthusiasm and the energy she has put into getting people involved for the first time in running XC from our club. She has missed out on running at races herself to look after others and tirelessly made life easy for everyone. How can you say no to that for christ sake!! I think ‘she that organises XC’ might actually be running this Sunday, so if I can keep up with her (unlikely!) then I can spend 5 miles telling her what a great time I’m having…
Because invariably that is how this stuff works out for me… I spend ages finding excuses to NOT do something. I then suffer FOMO, give it a go and love it 🙂 Not been running much the last few weeks so definitely not ‘racing’ Sunday (even if I could!!) but I will participate and plod my way round at the back of the field. Then later I will write about it here!
Potentially with pictures and if you are very lucky a picture of ‘she that organises XC’ too… We will have to see what can be done!!