I have been having some spike issues in recent weeks. It all came to a head a couple of Saturdays ago. The first two local cross country league fixtures were cancelled a month or two back, due to flooding and car park issues. It just didn't stop raining in November.
With my recent renaissance (is a renaissance not always recent?) in running, I had pushed the boat out and ordered a new pair of fell shoes (see the previous Tinto entry) and doubled up with a pair of Puma spikes. When the spikes arrived they were a little too snug and I needed a half a size up. As the rain teamed down on Saturday morning (for a change), I dropped into the shop in Newcastle to buy a larger pair. I left with a larger pair and a set of 15mm spikes. I wanted 12mm but the staff advised that the sockets were recessed so longer ones would be needed to have the same effect. Long story short, the spikes wouldn’t fully go into one shoe. As I sat flustered in the car in Durham watching the omni-present rain making small streams down the windscreen against a backdrop of a sky that has, in recent months, been nothing other than an anonymous grey, I realised it was going to be my fell shoes. The alternative was to borrow Chef Lindseys. I knew the shoes were neat, but the course was a quagmire and I didn’t think fell shoes would keep me upright, never mind give me enough traction to plough my way ahead. She’s coming on leaps and bounds and with a squeeze, her shoes might just fit the bill. In the event, I had them off her before she'd crossed the line and even as her socks were still steaming, I laced them up. She had finished 6th in the womens race. Speedy Joe, making a trip south for the weekend was 2nd fastest on the day. She’s also going well.
Around 500 started. Its a handicap event and I started in the slow group.
I applied myself throughout the 3 lap affair, slipping around 15 places on the last lap as the faster runners came through. The mud on the low ground was as bad as I remember the Lasswade XC to be all those years ago when I ran that event. I passed one or two runners who I’d never beaten before and eventually finished in 82nd place. I was a team counter and chuffed when I finished. We needed to finish 6 in a team, and we only had 6 runners on the course, so that was a result. I was in the red for much of the race, but recovered without any drama and with assistance of a towel and a hot tea 10 minutes later from the mobile canteen in the car park.
I realise that I failed to put my name down for Decembers North East cross country champs, but the daughters are all flying so I can kick back abit and fulfil my role as main driver and jacket holder. The dark destroyer has been giving a masterclass in breaststroke in the army championships, a change from running. She appears to be living the life of a professional athlete.
In the last three weeks training, I have clocked up around 140 miles, so as long as behave myself, I should be up for another race in a few weeks. Races are a bit sparse at this time of year, but after a 21 mile plod on Wednesday just gone, I might have a wee look at the longer races. Maybe somewhere exotic….like Falkirk or Rotterdam! The Morpeth 11k race has been cancelled due to a combination of Council bullsh*~ery and risk aversion, so it could be a wee trip to Portobello if that event is on at New Year. Long way to go for 4k, but if I get a car-load it could be a hoot.