Lasswade....ah the joy of being back in the competition...and lessons in patience.
The Lasswade Athletics 10 Mile Road Race was intended to be my second of 2011, after Carnethy Five Hills in February, but given the frustrating ligament issue I managed to inflict on myself two days before Carnethy, attempting a fell race would have been insanity, though it was considered. Lucky the race hadn't been a road as I may have attempted it.
So waiting until Lassade in March allowed my attention-seeking and still-swollen ankle some decent recovery time. We arrived in Rosewell on Sunday 6th for the start of the race in what felt like freezing conditions. One of those days where you just feel chilled to the bone (although supposedly it was 3 degrees; temperate compared with the arctic sub-zero running conditions I'd been out in throughout winter).
I have some fond memories of running Lasswade two years ago, particularly the sense of elation that came from running my first 10-mile race, and really improving the distance I could comfortably run in prep for my first marathon. I remember a challenging but expected steep climb up Roslin Glen in mile 2...then some miles of undulation before a literal sprint of energy downhill to find the finish line back in Rosewell.
Unfortunately my happy experience wasn't repeated this year. I remained cold for miles following the start, despite setting out far too fast. A mistake again to start at the front - I've done this before - as from the word go I was continually passed. Looking forward to using the new Garmin, the damn thing gave out at mile 2, right ahead of the Glen. Death by meagre battery-power. This negativity was persisted by a growing lack of confidence in my race speed and fitness. The course was also considerably more undulating than in my rose-tinted memory, and the final downhill I recalled was no longer part of the route. I finished in 1.09, frustrated. A fairly decent time, but one which - in true form of setting myself up with an unobtainable goal of a couple of minutes faster - I wasn't happy with.
Some good races were run by Katie, Gregg, Lisa and Karl, well done all.
Note to self: don't set unrealistic goals for the first race of the season and after injury. Not all races should be about the racing. Some should be a controlled and patient venture back into regaining speed, fitness and confidence.
I don't want to jinx myself, but I predict this race will remain the one I found the hardest throughout 2011 and ironically, it is the lowest mileage.
4am in a freezing park in Sausalito, Marin County, 12 hours after stepping off a plane in San Francisco, two days after running a work event...
Trudging up a steep trail of mud and slick rock, head bowed against driving rain and hemmed in between male runners continually surging ...
"Running is how I renew my soul. I come back a new woman, a better mother, a better wife and a better friend. It gives me confidence, ...