So after it was all said and done I finished 4th. This placing has always been considered the worst position. The first runner up, the first person to not make the rostrum, the forgotten finisher. But for me it is none of the above. It is another step in the right direction. Lets spell it out. 6 months ago I retired from running and vowed never to commit to serious running ever again. Enough was enough. Now I am disappointed at finishing 4th in a competitive xc race in my home town. Basically and very simply put, I am thrilled. Had I another month of training under my belt I would have won the race. Everything about today was fantastic. I lead most of the race, pushing the pace, and feeding off the home crowd. The course was in great shape, easily held in sharp contrast to last week when we were told it would be a mud bath. And I ran hard to finish 4th, a place I would not have expected given the competition. The Irish team won too, with Carroler and Vinny right behind me. Back in the days of fast finishes I would have kicked with the top 3 but I am missing a little thump, a little turnover that only comes with workouts and racing. However, November is a long way away. With such a good buzz I endeavored to enjoy a few pints. Nationals is next week but tonight is good times.
I met Jimmy (from NYC fame) and Ged up at the Black Bull and evenings like this are extremely emotional for me. I have been friends with Ged and Jimmy for 20 years and we sat at the bar supping pints of the black, talking about Liverpool, Life, Politics and Good times. This simple evening gives me as much inspiration as anything. Perhaps I should have gone to bed to recover from today but a few pints with my brothers lifts me to levels of motivation unmatched by any rest. Right now I can't wait for next Sunday.
Vinny picked me up today and we listened to Bizzarr Love Triangle by New Order. What an amazing song. It got me really fired up and to be honest there is nothing like good sounds to lift spirits and encourage a positive attitude. The goal is to maintain this attitude over the next 7 days before nationals. I have a lot to deal with regarding work and life so music and friends are all that matter to me. On Sunday we run 12k XC in Santry and it will be emotional. My first senior xc race, running against friends, and running on energy fueled by great people and great sounds. Should be amazing. The dream is still alive.