It didn’t make a public announcement but this weekend was my biggest cross country race of the season. In fact, it was a 6k versus a 5k but anyways-it was also a lovely 7 hours away. Good thing I don’t have class on Fridays and didn’t have to miss any of them.
Let me begin with saying, championship style races for cross country are no joke. They are NEVER flat, and they are never easy. Girls (like myself) that could run <20 5ks, are normally running 22 minute 5ks on these courses. I’m not complaining because I enjoy the courses. It was a 6k on tap and my motto is awkward distances always make for a good PR. (right…I know catchy)
So it started on Friday morning with a team shakeout run, followed a by a delicious bagel from the baglary. I am in love with these guys and the fact that it is literally about a 5 minute walk from my house does not make it any easier. But really smoked salmon + cream cheese+ bagel
Smoked salmon bagel.
Then add a 7 hour drive to New York City.
Yes, New York State is that big and we were driving from one side to other. (Don’t worry-I didn’t know either until I went to school up here lolz).
We have a team tradition where we decorate team sports bras for our big championship race. Since I’m an art major after all, I drew my entire team on the back of my bra. I also deemed it appropriate to give them all nicknames. Right on. My nicknames are pretty creative. For instance my nickname for one of our girls on our team who has firey red hair was MS Fire (MS being her initials…)
And onto to the morning. It was cold. It was snowing. The course was frozen over and it was hilly. All championesc qualities of racing. We aren’t allowed to wear long sleeves or leggings or anything that ventured away from the uniform. You could wear hats and gloves but that is about it. Team uniforms are pretty strict and the weather gets really dicey at this time in the season. We had really good luck last year with races and really poor luck this year. Eh toss up.
A great quality photo from my phone...
The race started on an open field. Decently flat. Somewhat muddy. My first mile was a 6:45. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, so I began to make my move. (Who am I to even use these terms?).
Up and up and up and freaking up we climbed. This was the steepest part of the course was between mile 1-2. It was almost straight up uphill. I wish I could tell you I didn’t enjoy it or it sucked but I run so far on my toes that uphills make me pretty happy. My second split was a 7:30 when we were climbing the entire time and I passed about 10 girls.
At the top of the hill, almost like the heavens were singing to me…I saw her.
Incase you don’t know, I have a pretty nasty grudge against a girl that spiked me last season. I also have a pretty nasty scar from it too. It makes me look intense (or so I tell myself). I don’t hold many life grudges but when you get spiked which causes you to trip, roll your ankle and bleed profusely, you get up and vow revenge on the girl. I mean calm down and wait till next season.
You can better believe I pretty much believe I powered through that third mile and left my comfort zone and flew down the down hills. These aren’t just easy inclines, these are more of-you may or may not trip and fall if you run like a chicken with it’s head cut off.
But I took that risk and I passed her. My third mile split was 6:59.
And then just powered through the nearly flat terrain that was the last .75. My teammates were located around that point cheering like it was their job. It was really is something else. I love it.
My final time was 26:39 (which averages to 7:10 pace or so). With the hills, frozen tundra, not tripping and dying, and blasting by m y grudge worthy opponent-I am happy. Very happy. I did exactly what I wanted to do with this race. I took it out a manageable pace and didn’t let anything bother me. I kept passing girls instead of dying and taking it out way to fast.
My goal for our championship race in 2 weeks is to break the 7:00 minute pace. I think I can with another nice taper and a few speed workouts (also a more flat course).
And to end…I still love running.
Question for you:
- Where does your biggest source of motivation come from?
For me it comes from a lot of places, people and things My family is very supportive, the drive to do better and the fact that I love running. My teammates are so supportive and great as well.
- Are you one to hold grudges?
I don’t have grudges against very many people in life. It’s not really my jive. I get over things pretty quickly. I normally get along with 99% of people, but I have a couple people that I just don’t jive with.