Blog entry #3 (26/10/13)
It’s been another quick month in Albuquerque! Time is going by pretty quickly and it doesn’t feel like a month since writing my last post. Since the last post I have raced twice, had another solid month of training and feeling fit!
My first race in the NCAA was an 8k cross country at Notre Dame University. It was just how I imagined, a flat golf course with no mud and 80f degree heat! The race had over 200 college athletes from around America as well as a few Brits too. I saw Chris O’hare and Kris Gauson, 2 Edinburgh AC athletes who also went to the NCAA. The race set off fast and didn’t slow down. It was very physical at the start with lots of pushing and a few falls. Luckily I stayed on my feet but I found my self in about 120th place after 800 metres. I got into a rhythm and spent most of the race coming through the field. I’m the end I got 88th and 5th counter for New Mexico. At first I was very disappointed but on reflection it wasn’t too bad a result. It was my first race since July, it was 75-80% humidity! I had just had 10 days off from an injury and I managed to place 5th in the team when I was expecting to finish 7th or 8th. It showed I had work to do and I needed to be ready for Wisconsin in 2 weeks time.
My next race was the Adidas Wisconsin Invitational cross country. Again it was held on a golf course however it was a bit hillier this time. It was also freezing cold which was a big change from Notre Dame. I felt fitter and more confident going into this 8km race and was looking forward to having a good run. The course was much wider so it wasn’t as physical and I was looking for a position somewhere between 45-70th. The race started pretty steadily and I got in a good position with 3 other guys on my team. We worked together for the first half but gradually we started breaking up and gaps were appearing. I was 8th counter for New Mexico at half way and over the next 1-2 miles I got up to 5th. I was running well and on target for a good finish until at 4 miles I felt a stitch coming on. I tried to run for 200 metres but it gradually got worse. I started to slow down and before I knew it 50 people had passed, then 100 and before long I was last counter for the team and close to last out of the 300+ runners in the team. I’d gone from roughly 80th to last in the space of 600 metres and dropped out with 1km to go. I was gutted and so disappointed however it was out of my control and something I have only ever experienced in a race once or twice. The team went on to finish 5th however if I’d finished strongly and held my position we could have won a place on the podium.
This month was an introduction to the NCAA. I experienced the depth of the quality in the fields and saw how finishing 10 seconds slower can truly cost you 40+ places. At Wisconsin our 4th runner ran 24:11 (69th) and our 5th ran 24:25 (110th).
Since Wisconsin my training has gone up another level and I’m no longer feeling tired every day or have aches and pains. This is good news for my next race which is on the 1st of November at Colorado Springs. This race is a much smaller race with only 70-80 guys in the race and New Mexico have won the meet for the last 5 years in a row. The race is held at 6200ft so the altitude might make things more difficult.
University is going well too. I have scored 90+% in my last 2 tests and I’m enjoying the classes too.
I hope everyone had good runs at Stirling XC, the East District Relays and the National Relays too! And congratulations on winning Impact Club of the Year at the Scottish Athletics Annual Awards!