From the Archives: First XC Championships Nov. 2010

From the archives.

It’s always great to look back at old posts and see where I’ve come via running and life.  I started this blog at the very beginning of my running career, when I first decided to run cross country in college and the summer before.  When I was balancing swimming and running (both collegiately) and struggling to do so.    I thought it would be pretty cool to reintroduce readers to some of my very first races.  I didn’t have a lot of readers back then (do I now…who knows) but it’s pretty cool for me personally to see where I came from.

starting the race...
starting the race…

So this will be the first of a few meaningful races for me (First collegiate championship cross country race, first half marathon…I’m not sure any other oldies that stick out.  Oh probably when I got my stress fracture too).

Let’s take a time travel back to November 2010 shall we?

With many college cross country races (especially championships) you get there the day before and we did.  I had no idea what to expect…I had never done a race with over 300 females or a championship style running race.  I had begged my swim coach to let me take a few days off from swimming and he allowed it. So that was taper.  In this period of my running career, I was running about 40 miles a week.  That was a lot for me and I was still really new into running.  To this day I have done a hard taper for any race mainly because I have either been injured during cross country, every race I PR in isn’t a goal race…had I known Nike would turn out so well with a 2 day taper, I probably would have tapered.  (No I won’t be running 10 miles before the New York City marathon…).

2010_1113(099)

We arrived at the race to realize we were in box 1 (out of 40).  This really meant we had to cut over the airfield in the first 400 meters a lot more then say…box 39.  This was also a period before garmins really had taken off as well as (I believe) timing in the bib.

Last 100 meters.  I think not.
Last 100 meters. I think not.

Since it’s been a few years I obviously don’t remember every single pain, sweat and emotion felt during the 6k but I do remember one simple thing that will always stick in my mind.  This race is meaningful for me to one sole reason.  I learned more about my pacing in this single race then most others.  I took this race out too fast and I died.  I died hard.  I positive splitted like no tomorrow.  I was riding the pain train after mile 1.  I realized taking out races fast was not my thing and it helped shape every single race I do now…why?  Because I have the biggest fear of dying like I did in that race.

So with that I ended my first college cross country season and began getting into serious swimming.  I never regretted joining cross country (obviously) and I remember being pretty sad it was over.

Questions for you: Most memorable early sport of your choice memory?