Finally, the last weekend of the domestic season and the WOC selections are out.
On reflection, the weekend in the Lakes went as well as I could have hoped. I have worked hard on getting better in the Lake District terrain but I still am not able to "race" it. I'm very hesistant, I have to be very stop-start to make sure I'm in the right place.
The middle race at Bigland didn't start very well. I think my head was rushing too much and I wasn't really focusing. After losing a lot of time in the first 6 controls I managed to find a good rhythm and I was quite good from then on. I felt like things were flowing nicely. I knew I had lost a lot of time but was maybe a little surprised (arrogantly so) to be so far down as I thought my second half was good enough to pull up places. Either way, it reminded still what needs to be done.
The long race at Holme Fell was fantastic. Again arrogantly I had thought it might be a little short. This was because I had thought the 600m of climb stated might get near to 300m and that the terrain might be a bit faster. I was proved wrong. Claire Ward stormed round in 74, Helen Palmer in 77 and me in 79. It was a great race, both physically and technically challenging. I did a "join-the-dots" strategy, where I hopped from point to point. This worked well and I was going nicely through the first 7 controls through the open top. I then lost time on 8 and 9 which were two controls on a semi wooded slope. I got back into things through the butterfly but totally changed tempo so that I found the controls but also went to the right ones. I'm just not at the stage to be able to run hard in this terrain. I was happy to hear I'd come in 3rd. I felt my run was good enough to deserve a spot in the WOC team although I realise its not world class at all.
After a nervous wait I found out this morning that I will be going to run the long in France. I still have a chance of running the sprint as the final spot is decided after the Nordic Tour.
I will try and put up maps soon - and for the British Champs, but its all a bit busy as we're off to France on Friday so may be much later.