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Gunner Shaw 10k Cross Country

5 December, 2009

Well, I almost didn’t make it to the start line of my first cross country race on account of heavy traffic on Broadway, so my warmup consisted of running from the bus stop to the start of the race. Fortunately the gun went off a couple of minutes late, maybe because there were so many others also behind schedule. This had the odd effect of making the start of the race anti-climatic! I almost got to the point of believing that I was too late, so when I actually got there I felt unusually relaxed.

As for the race itself, I have to admit to being a little disappointed with my result. The first 5k I completed in 19 minutes, which would be conservative for a road race. However, I think I underestimated how difficult it is running through sand. Although this was only a small part of the race, it really drained me. It seems that no amount of core strength would be too much for this particular surface. Previously, I have believed that my core strength was an advantage, but this time I found myself to be flopping around like a palm tree in a Llŷn storm. So it was that I dropped a whole minute, and perhaps one position (net) over the second lap, finishing in a little over 39 minutes.

The conditions were just right, though, with overnight frost making the course less marshy than it otherwise would have been, while the sun shone all morning. One reason for me writing this blog is so that I can identify training errors and avoid making them again. I realize now that I ran the intervals on Thursday a little too fast (albeit unwittingly), and it would have been better to run closer to target race pace, 15-20 seconds slower per lap than I did. However, it is the off season, and that sort of a workout is good for building up to the spring, so there is the trade-off and the choice I effectively (more instinctively than consciously) made.

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