Yesterday was the National Masters and Mistresses XC championship. To take part you needed to be an old git (over 35) and be a member of scottishathletics. As I am both I thought I would give it a go. No-one else from Strathearn Harriers fancied the long journey to Irvine Moor, so I was the club's sole representative. That took the pressure off a bit, and meant I could just run round and enjoy it.
Of course, it didn't work out like that. I started off at a sensible pace, but half way round the first lap I began to get a bit twitchy about a few of the people who were in front of me. That kept me working, and I'm pleased to say I caught all of them on the 3rd and final lap. To Erwin, Connell, Robert and Hugh: many thanks - you dragged me round. And I loved passing you all, even though I didn't mention it at the time :) My times for each lap were quite consistent, and my strength from some of the recent endurance work meant that I passed a lot of people on Lap 3. I finished in 99th place out of 198 finshers, scraping into the top half of the field by the skin of my teeth, in a time of 39 minutes and 53 seconds. It was a good performance. My only regret was that John K had not entered, as I think that I was running well enough to have beaten him and go further ahead in our series. Never mind - roll on the National XC at Falkirk in 2 weeks time. John, I'm ready for you :)
This afternoon I went out on my own and did the 'Tour of Strathearn'. It's supposed to be a 20 mile run from Crieff, up and along the hills to Comrie on the south side of the main road, then up and over the northern hills back to Loch Turret, and back down the hill to Crieff for the last 5 miles. I got a bit lost early on so added an extra mile, which meant I did 21 miles in total. I could have done without that extra mile with a few to go, I can assure you. Anyway it's a cracking run, and I wonder if we should do it as a WHW training run in a couple of months? Perhaps we could do it twice, making it a tough 40 miler? Guys, you would all be very welcome and I'm sure allybea would provide us all with coffee at the end (as well as a pair of stripy socks for Debbie). Just accept that you might have a bit of a wait for the shower :)