SHOCK & DENIAL
Flock sake this is harder than it should be, why the hell do I feel so drained already? Must just be a rough patch, lost a few places on that last climb but I’ll make them up on the descent.

PAIN & GUILT
Why the hell did we go to the pub after the meal, I knew I needed an early night. And the last couple of weeks – that cold was just an excuse for being a wimp and not training.

ANGER AND BARGAINING
F**k sake they shouldn’t be in front of me! What the f**k do they think they’re doing! Right, come on, just need one good line and I can reel them back.

REFLECTION AND LONLINESS
What a disaster – to come all this way to mess up a British Champs race, absolutely pathetic. So many people passing, no-one says hello. (Though a few yell ‘Come on Mercia!’)

THE UPWARD TURN
At least Niall’s not here to beat me.

RECONSTRUCTION AND WORKING THROUGH
Cracking day for it though – amazing cloud inversion across the Irish Sea the mist-shrouded crags of the nearby peaks are beautiful and the final mile through the forest trail is idyllic. And the Frank Sinatraimpersonator in the Italian place last night was pretty good. Let’s just  jot this down as a training on a nice day.

ACCEPTANCE AND HOPE
OK, it’s just a training run and that’s fine. You can let people past on the single track, no need to ruin their race. Ignore the shouts from Sam & Gregor, overtaking a slower runner on the last 100M after you’ve given up on the race would just be puerile. Get in some decent miles before Stuc a Chroin and I’ll be fine.

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