by Dathan Ritzenhein | Feb 08, 2013 |
I have been 1st three times at the USA XC Championships. Until last weekend I had been 3rd,4th,5th but never 2nd. I was hoping to skip right over second but congratulations to Chris Derrick on his win. It was a hard fought battle and I think it made for an exciting race.
The plan going into the race was to sit back and wait for the last two laps. It was very windy so I had planned to sit back further in the pack. However, the muddy and rough terrain made it difficult. The pace was so slow early on that it was hard to move around with so many runners in the lead pack. It basically turned into a 4k XC race. Usually cross country races string out a little faster and on such a narrow course it was pretty rough. The crowd was great and so when I pushed it with two laps to go it really helped to have all the support. With a mile to go, Chris opened up a 10m gap on the downhill of the course and I had to really hammer it to catch back up, so for the last 800m I was wrecked from that hard push. I held it together ok but I could tell I had not done the really intense workouts I needed to be doing in order to push it hard with two laps to go.
Having been my first race since the marathon, I was not sure how I would feel. I had trained well but only had been doing workouts for about seven weeks so I had not done anything really impressive leading into the race, just good solid workouts. I felt a little stale but I think the first race after a long break is always like that. Like usual having a race always wakes the system up. After a day or two of feeling a little tired, I feel ready to go now and am looking forward to getting in the really hard workouts I need for the next few weeks to be more ready for my next race.
My next race was going to be the two mile at The Millrose Games but I think the best thing for me right now is to get in a good chunk of hard training. It was going to be a bit of a push to be ready for a two mile race anyway and I haven’t been in spikes yet (I ran the XC champs in flats with a spike plate). To run a fast two mile against the likes of Bernard Lagat I would have to be really sharp! I have definitely noticed with age that my endurance comes fast but my speed takes longer to come around, not that that is an excuse, somehow Lagat does it at almost 40 which amazes me!
So time to hit it hard again and get ready for my next big race!