I was at the starting line after a bit of warming up with good intentions: it was my last race of the year, so I had to keep my legs going for sure. I got out at a somewhat-good pace, despite a sloppy start, but I found myself about 2/3 of the way back in the middle of the first lap, which just dragged. Tons of bottlenecking with very little room to make any progress, but towards the end of the lap, the pace was picking up, and I knew I was in for a butt-whooping.
The next couple laps didn't provide anything too crazy except some terrible lung burning, and a desperate attempt to keep a good pace. And it was about then that the fun started.
I got a mild second wind, and started to really get going into the fourth lap, though I am sure I was looking more like I was giving a high-five to Death himself. I found myself climbing up the ranks, albeit very slowly with my sluggish legs.
A wee bit later I was coming around into the eighth and final lap, of which I was reminded just a minute later by Steve:
"What are you doing?! It's the LAST lap, of the LAST race of the YEAR!!"
Yeah, he had a point.
I burned up every ounce of whatever I had left on that final lap, made a bit more progress in the ranks - and found myself rolling across the line in 25th of 58 or so... and not a lap behind. A bit psyched.
The worst part? It is over! The season has come to an end, but I am really looking forward to next year's cross. I've got plans to put in some work this winter so, hopefully, I can keep up a bit better. But that is a long ways, and a TON of work away...