Here we go …
Last Thursday, my cross country team ran at our home course for our League meet. Excuse me, the “Evergreen League Meet.” We’re getting into the more important meets that happen near the end of the season. League marks the end of the normal season and starts the time of tapering and peaking. Next Saturday is the biggest meet of the year … the “District IV Championships.” It’s the meet that determines if you move onto state. State, in my opinion, is a reward and an accomplishment for making it past districts and for being the last meet of the season. As for Districts? I consider it the most important, nerve-racking, challenging, stressful, and best race of the season. The race where you can prove yourself good enough to go onto state and race with the big kids. As the meet approaches, I’ll let you know how I feel about it. As of now I’m feeling pretty relaxed. Maybe even excited? … Weird.
As for how Thursday went … it went really well! The gal on the far left is our one senior girl. While she ran a good race, it was a bittersweet one as it was her last on our home course after running all through highschool. We still have another two weeks of season left, but I can’t imagine the team without her. A familiar face on my blog, Andrea, ran a great race as well. A medal worthy race at that.
Our boy’s team, on the other hand, is a whole other story. The three of us girls make up a pretty cool group, but the guys are awesome! Like defending League champions awesome! Each of them ran a strong race and I’m excited to see what they can do as a team at Districts. The top five teams move onto state this year. Our team last year became District champions, so I expect the desire to finish out the season strong and to defend their title will push all the boys this year to run great races next weekend. Either way, I’m proud of them for such a great season and for how close they’ve become. There’s nothing better than having a team that always gets along and includes everyone. They are the best!
As I mentioned before, League is the last meet for the junior high runners. Throughout the season they’ve become more outgoing, more in-shape, and a huge part of the team. Since there were more of them than those of us on the high school team, I can’t imagine what practice will be like without them. Definitely a lot more quiet and chaotic than we’ve gotten used to! Case in point … I’m going to miss them. We had a great (if not big) group this year and I’m so glad I got the chance to get to know them all. I already can’t wait for next year in hopes that most of them come out for another year of cross country!
My own race at League went alright. I ran a 19:45. Not great, but not bad. Again, consistent. My coach told me that he wanted me to try something different, so I changed up my race strategy a bit. Even though there was no change in my time, I felt as though I ran more relaxed, had a stronger finish, and was able to put more surges on my pace when I got tired. I plan on trying yet another strategy at Districts, so I’m crossing my fingers that I can find some racing technique that best works for me and how I run in being able to push myself. My race might’ve been different, but the support from my family was the same. Both of my parents were able to come out and cheer me on during my race. I was able to get a picture with my mom, but not with both of them. You can’t tell were related, huh? My parents are my #1 fans and support me so much in whatever I do.
Overall, League went well for our team. We had runners win the boys’ high school race, girls’ high school race, as well as the junior high girls’ race. With yet another League title and great races from our three girls, we’re off to Districts. As the season nears the end, I find myself looking back on how much we’ve been through and looking ahead to how little we have left. As I always say, I love my team. We have a great group and I’m so excited to see how we can finish the season in the next two weeks. We’re getting into the nitty and gritty of cross country races where times don’t matter anymore, and only your place does. To that I say, bring on the competition. We’re ready.
Until next time,
This weekend was Homecoming and I had the chance to go with one of my teammates and good friends. The group we went in was huge, but we ended up being with a few others from our team. At the actual dance we got a group picture, but that’s a surprise for our coach. He gave us all a talk about staying safe at the dance along with the advice of following, “What would coach do?” It was a great night and I would say that everything we did was definitely coach approved. :-)