It's always nice to win a race, but sometimes it is almost as hard to lose a title, especially when it is not due to an injury or a lack of fitness.
This past weekend featured 2 races for which I was the reigning champion - one a 5 mile road race, and the other a 10.5 mile "fell" race (lI remember last year's race as being part road, part trail, and lots of sheet ice) - both of which I have mentioned in previous posts. Although it was very tempting to go and defend my title on each day, I realised that I would not be doing myself any favours. With a rare use of my "sensible head", I realise that too much racing doesn't help you with your longterm goals, and indeed can leave you with injuries, both physical and mental. I am trying to make sure there is a reason for me entering races (and yes....because I want to....is sometimes a valid reason) as you can only get yourself in the right mindset so often, and racing does interrupt training - unless you factor it in with a specific purpose. Last time the 5 mile race was at a perfect time in my pre-marathon taper, and the fell race was in a "fun running" spell and I had to drive past it on the way home from my parents' house.
It was not a dull weekend even though I didn't race, as I did suffer from a nasty dog-related incident. An out of control dog was "just playing" a long way away from its owner, and managed to trip me up and wind me - how scary is it being curled up on a path unable to catch your breath, while people just walk by? I soon recovered from that, and found myself sneakily checking the winning times of the 2 races. The mens' times were quicker in both races - and hats off to Ricky Lightfoot for setting in a new course record at the "Hobble" - but just quietly, it was nice to see my times from the last events were not pipped!!!