Sunday, 27 December 2009

Fight or Flight: Whats that all about?

Fight or flight? Apparently this response is 'hard-wired' into our brains (whatever that means). It represents some crumb of genetic wisdom designed to protect us. Now I don't know about you, but when I'm having an 'off day' on 'the Fell' (like today, for instance), I know when I'm struggling and no amount of wiring is going to help.

The Guisborough Woods six mile fell race was a snowbound holiday delight run through a combination of trees and trail. The thermometer blindly groped its way above zero but the snow wasn't going anywhere. With a bumper crowd and 1000ft of ascent, I shouldn't have been thinking about John Rutter's latest festive choral arrangement. I shouldn't have been pondering what the Ribble 10k was like or whether I might have fitted in well at the 'Baldy Man 10k' at Wexford. My mind just wasn't on the job in hand; half a lap in and I was suffering and all for packing up (wiring-and-all) and heading home.

Now at this point my 'flight' response should have kicked in. But here's the paradox. According to the theory with the decision made to pack up I should have been able to turn tail and 'race away'. Trouble was, I was racing but all I wanted to do was stop racing.
According to the theory then my only option was to stand and 'fight'. But lets face it with a runners physique all I was going to get was snow kicked in my face (those Yorkshire squirrels are well 'ard. Have you seen their cheeks at this time of the year and their wild staring eyes - mad for nuts they are) - So on I went;

The third lap arrived and with the uphill part behind me I contrived to 'go-over-on-my-ankle' which, for me, is unknown. I ran down the hill without much speed or conviction and Knavesmire man got past comfortably near the finish.
Clearly my sequence of nerve cell firing and chemical releases are well out of sync. Perhaps I need to call in an electrician to check out my hard wiring or run a few diagnostic tests.

Anyroads, well done to the organisers, marshalls and supporters for giving us lads and lassies a run out. It was Sanderson (NFR: 40mins) from Elliot Jackson and Tom Danby (both New Markse:NMH). Cath Aspen (54mins,NMH) won the ladies race from Caroline Warrington (Knavesmire) and Sarah Rogers (NMH). NFR won the mens race, NMH the womens. Results and photos on the Esk Valley Site soon. Pass me my soldering kit.

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