Mid-length and slow runs I can manage. Short and fast - not so much. On Wednesday I ran a 10k urban trail race in Carlisle. I don't think I have been less-committed to a race in a very long time. I haven't even raced that short in a very long time. I couldn't muster up any sort of fire to push myself, to run eye-balls-out, I couldn't force my legs to work harder or faster; I just didn't want to do it. I was only there to basically see my club friends and to get Grand Prix points (however few that may be). I knew I hadn't a chance of keeping up with the other ladies, even if I had felt like racing, so I my only target was to hold onto 5th DRC lady position and get some trail points in the bag.
I haven't complete a series of DRC Grand Prix competition races since before the kids came along so I really wanted to make that a target for this year. For the Hill and Trail Grand Prix I need to run 4 races in the series, with at least one hill race and one trail one. The dates of the races mean my best options are to do more hill races and so I needed to make sure I did the Carlisle Urban Trail race to ensure I fulfilled the trail part of the Grand Prix. I have already raced at the Screel Hill Race, so that's one hill and one trail done. Now I just have to complete two more races, before the end of the year. I am planning on running the Blencathra Fell Race in early June as a mid-week 'hill-session' ;-) which means I have only one more race to do before the end of the year.
I rarely get to club sessions these days (of which there are 3 or 4 per week) because my runs have to revolve around work, the kids (and hubby's schedule too) so I often feel isolated from the club and my running friends. So this year I really wanted to make sure I took part in one of the series competitions so I could feel more a part of the club again. The Hill and Trail Grand Prix appealed to me more than the Road Grand Prix because I haven't raced on the road in a scarily LONG time, and attempting the Lakeland 100 is enough scary for this year.
My run at Carlisle was pretty poor really if you just look at the time/result, but I finished 5th DRC lady which is all i could have hoped for on the day, and I got my GP points. Job done really. So why do I have this lingering feeling of disappointment? I wonder if I miss racing the short fast stuff. I know I certainly miss feeling fit and strong - that's something I have not felt since before I had kids. I miss feeling like I can still improve my times. I miss having a non-mummy tummy!! I miss not feeling exhausted all the time. I miss not being able to run whenever I want. I don't know if I will return to focusing on short and fast, rather than the adventure of ultras. Later this year my life is going to change dramatically again, so in all honesty I don't know where running is going to take me at all right now. The balls are all up in the air right now so I just need to focus on the 3 specific targets I have set myself - L100, HTGP and BGR (next year). That's more than enough for any crazy runner.