Being part of the Women’s Open Team for the San Diego Track club meant that I would be partaking in a cross-country race series. I had never done any sort of racing off road before, but I gave it a whirl. I ended up liking it better than I thought I would. The races were competitive, small, and simple (and also pretty cheap). Ranging from 5k to 8k, I completed six of the seven races. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the championships.
Marathon training conflicted with several of the races and I ended up having the run them the day after a long run, but I figured as long as I wasn’t injured, it would be good training. I like to stay marathon minded anyway. In the end, I think these races actually aided my marathon training and I became a stronger runner.
Running through meadows, up and down rutted hills, jumping over hay bales, sinking into wet ground, and avoiding broken ankles was a new challenge. Racing with a team was also something new to me, and it made the series much more fun. I’m not sure I would have done more than one without my teammates.
I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to at least try cross country. I had a lot of fun, and I’m not saying never again, but these legs belong on the road. I love the speed and the endless supply of competition. Call me a sissy, but I don’t like the higher injury risk of off road racing. Call me a princess, but I don’t like getting my stripes dirty.