After the race last week, my body felt a little sore to say the least and I was advised to have an easy week on the training.
Monday, I warmed up with the juniors at the N.S.C. and then just walked about 5 easy laps (2k) with Andy Green who doesn't seem to have discovered the meaning of 'easy lap' yet as I really struggled to keep up with him.
Apparently, the theory is that if you work very hard in a race or training session, the next thing to do is use all the same muscle again but without the intensity and there might be a possibilty that you will regain the flexibility. I am assured that recovery is even more important than the hard work.
This time however, Sean seems to have pushed me a bit further than I am able to extend myself because despite the ice bath on Sunday and another slow 1 &1/2 hours Wednesday, my hamstrings and some muscly things behind my knees (As you may have gathered at this point I tend to glaze over when things get technical) were very tight and I was told by Mark Hempsall who gave me a sports massage that if I didn't miss my plannned pace session for Thursday night, I'd probably end up injured.
By Saturday morning, geed up by that fantastic weather (ha ha,) I could still only muster myself to do 45 minutes before Allan Callow and I decided that enough was enough and we headed off for a hot drink.
The TT access road is usually a very sheltered place to go during wind and rain but I managed to get drenched by a wagon driving along the Peel Road.
Sunday, one minute, I was serving sprouts to the Welsh Society and then twenty minutes later I was dashing from the car to the start line at Glen Lough Campsite, probably faster than at any time during the race.
Full marks to John Halligan, Kevin Loundes, Nigel, the flying dentist and the other sharp end boys because somehow they floated across the fields, through the bog and 24 times over the river whereas it all seemed to be sucking me underneath.
For the first time, I was lapped in a cross country, although I was priveleged to have a race long duel with former top athlete, Dave Newton. I think the lead swapped between us in our 'Mini Prix' about three times before I finally managed to head him by about 20 yards. Then, disaster struck. My foot was grabbed by the bog monster (I can confirm this was not Steve Partington as he was standing laughing at me 15 yards away) and I fell flat on my face. Despite this calamity, I still emerged just in front of Dave but he was breathing down my neck. However, after struggling up the next climb, we entered the final field with me just in the ascendence. Convinced, I could rely on my age advantage, I pressed for home but Dave with as tenacious as the mud, we were dead level over the last 50 yards. Surely, I would triumph; I knew I had the strength to arrive at the line first. However, my genuine lack of speed was the final counter and you really have to admire Dave who is such a great and sporting competitor. We 'dead heated' on time and Newty said that we should be placed level but everyone knew that he had just got the better of me and the results are correct.
These days there seems nothing that Murray can't do on his website and the race video, culminating with our battle is now on the front page of ManxAthletics.com (I'm the black one)