The left knee and quads, and the rest of the body, were sore from yesterday’s XC race, decided to simply take the day off, ice the knee, and heal. Instead went for a relaxing walk around the neighborhood.
Had time to do an honest assessment of yesterday’s race (and ‘honest’ doesn’t have to be negative). Saw some reasons for the subpar disappointing race:
- The 3 hour drive to Ithaca felt much longer than expected. I’ve driven to Ithaca many times, but never for a race. Love Ithaca, a quaint college town on the shores of the picturesque Finger Lakes and surrounded by wineries. What I’m getting at is, when I’m arriving in Ithaca, I’m conditioned to kick back and enjoy a fun-filled/restful visit. When I pulled into Ithaca yesterday morning, I was more in the mood to enjoy a nice brunch at one of the local culinary havens than running a difficult race.
- The race was the 4th in a 5 race XC series. While it was my first for the season, others have been running the series and fully in tune. I felt rusty racing on an XC terrain.
- There was a crazy hill (more like a small mountain) near the 3 mile mark that went up for ½ mile. What made it worse was that the path was only one person-wide. I’m good on hills and was primed to pass several up this one after starting conservatively. Frustratingly caught behind a runner at this bottleneck, could not pass for that half mile while those ahead were breaking away. This was where the race was blown. Was in a position to pass several up this but was blocked. Back down on the flats for the final mile, passed a couple runners but was too late to make much of a move.
- The left knee is still mending. There doesn’t seem to be any structural damage, as I’m able to race on it. But the fall over a week and a half ago scraped the tissue above the knee cap badly, and that invisible scar is still healing.
The silver lining: the knee is improving and should get stronger in a matter of weeks. Yesterday will serve as motivation to do better at the series championships, a 10k XC race in Rochester (a shorter drive!) in a few weeks. Glad to have another crack at it.