We did this same little race last year, because it's close to where I grew up and - sadly - because there was a tiny bit of money awarded to the winners. And I mean a tiny bit. I think the sign-up fee was $10 and the first prize was either $20 or $30.
The route is really cool, however, with lots of steep hills so we decided to run it at 90% as a tempo run. I had told myself repeatedly that no matter what happened, I would stay with other runners. I have told myself this same thing multiple times before but it never works. 200 meters into the race, I took the lead gingerly, trying not to gap the 2nd place guy. He passed me on a muddy, technical downhill and I caught him shortly afterwards.
For some reason, I accelerated a little and gapped him and because we were in a headwind, I convinced myself that I shouldn't let him get back "on my wheel" so I accelerated some more. The problem was that this guy was going almost my pace, so he stayed maybe 50 yards back for much of the race. I ran scared and completely blew the 90% effort plan. While it wasn't exactly all out, I went way above 90%. Hopefully, this won't ruin tomorrow's planned long run.
I am on a roll, though. My intervals are faster than this time last year. I am significantly lighter (weighing in at 65.2kg Friday morning) and - knock wood - completely uninjured. Or at least as uninjured as one can be when doing 2 fast interval sessions, a tempo and a long run a week.
My time was 30:06, 11 seconds faster than last year, which was also a near-100% effort.
Next weekend brings the second race in the cross country series. Should be fun.
The Girl won the women's race without much competition. Her time was a few seconds slower than last year, but she has been training really hard and didn't taper at all. She is on her third intense week; she has done an interval and a tempo every week - in addition to her multiple "anorexic long runs" and 3-4 miles of swimming a week.