Andy here. First i want to congratulate the team on the 7th place finish at nationals. with such tough competition - it's a sure sign that they are a force to be reckoned with and deserve a spot on the list of elite AR squads out there. make's me nervous and excited as i start looking at the 2009 calendar and considering which races i might be able to with them.
I also got to do my own race this last tuesday - and although it was a 'bit' shorter (8 km cross country run) it was the first chance to test my mettle i've had in a LONG time, so i was pretty anxious before hand. It's always interesting psychologically speaking, showing up to race if you don't race often - seeing all the fit people clad in lycra, game faces on. It was a surprisingly big field for grand forks - over 50 people. i'd been training hard, but only 3 times a week (only one of which is a run) for less than 3 total hours a week, so i wasn't sure how i'd fare. The course was over frozen turf - a bit slick and uneven, but much funner than the asphalt that i usually pound. it was also about 20 degree's fahrenheit, so it took a bit to get the body moving once the gun went off. I managed a 6th place - coming in behind 5 guys wearing spikes who were all college or former college runners. I probably ran the technical sections (few though they were) faster than anyone - i moved into 5th with only a mile left after some steep hills and rocky bits - but lost it in the last half mile which was mostly open turf.
I ran a 33:30 - slower than i'd wanted to, but then my goal was based on times i'd been running on the road and the course, which had several steep hills (including one i had to crawl up because of the angle and ice). I also thought i'd mention (since it seems to be the thing to do) that i wore the inov-8 f-lite 230's, which are my absolute favorite running shoes - even when it's cold and icy, a prana snake-bite fleece. (ok, i also wore tights, in case you were wondering).