North Staffs Cross Country, Race Three - Stafford

A few days after the OMM I experienced a pain on the underside of my right foot in the bones that link to my small toes. Its fine when I don't put pressure on the foot but quite uncomfortable whilst walking. The pain was getting progressively worse during the week, partly because I have a short walk to and from the train station when getting to work which was aggravating things. The more I think about it I am beginning to wonder whether its some form of minor hairline fracture as there is no swelling and don't feel any pain when prodding it either. As a result I've only been out for one run since the OMM (the run was before the foot pain developed). Its now been two weeks since the event and the foot doesn't feel any better.

Today was the third race of the North Staffs Cross Country League held at Stafford Common. The race is my least favourite of the season and after all the trouble over the last two weeks I really wasn't mentally up for it. My body was also feeling really sluggish for some reason, perhaps because I haven't really done any training worth writing about for the last few weeks because of all of the events and injuries.

The course today was 9.3km involving one 'small' lap and two large laps. I set off at an easy pace and let loads of people overtake me. After the short lap had passed I was about 35th and feeling ok. I then tried to open my legs and there was nothing there and was like that for the whole race. Generally feeling alright but just couldn't step on it. As a result I lost a lot of positions hand over fist and ended up finishing 51st which was really disappointing.

I think the course didn't suit me as its really fast rather than slow and technical and I just don't have the pace that's required. I really struggled with the uneven surface and I kept tripping up and didn't get into a rhythm. I was also not mentally prepared for this and to be honest I just didn't have the motivation to give my all for some reason. As I'm writing this I've got an upset stomach so I don't know whether something is disagreeing with me - maybe this as well might have something to do with being off form.

As for the positives, well I finished a lot higher than I did last year so its not all bad, plus my foot didn't give me any trouble at all during the race. I'll see how it feels on Monday before deciding whether to resume training.

The only event I have planned is the final cross country race of the season in a months time and after that I don't intend to do any more races until February, so I can get some decent training in before deciding whether to do the 54 mile Thames Meander race.


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