After spending SO much time at Shiloh this year, whether it was at workouts or meets, it was only fitting that our last dual meet of the season would be at home. Our Varsity 9 looked so sharp at Lakes, and our remaining bees looked fresh and peppy on Monday, so I anticipated a great meet. I felt that linked spirit on Monday,too, as the underclass peeps brought poster after poster to honor our seniors.
So it was no surprise to me when I felt that positive vibe on Tuesday, too. It started with our guys swarming the course with senior posters and hammers, discussing how well the girls were going to do. And it continued when we talked about 62 before the warm up. And when we circled up after strides? Welp, I could just feel that you were ready!
So when I saw you all working hard around the first loop by the parking lot, already catching people and working together, I was ecstatic! When I caught you again by the duck pond, the boys were going nuts, and you were all feeding off their energy. They swarmed the woods, pushing you on and watching you shine. It was so fun to see you work with one another and overcome the warmer temps--together.
There were so many impressive races tonight:
Audrey's intensity as she worked to beat her previous best on the course, despite the warmer conditions. Kelsey's grit as she worked through some true discomfort in the last mile due to her calf and hip. Marisa's continued growth as a varsity runner--allowing her to earn a new PR over her previous best from only days before. Natalie working through her knee pain to step up and lead her pack, complete with an impressive kick! Riley's continued grit and fantastic kick! Lesly's hard work in the last mile. Jenna's consistently positive mindset. Katelin's gutsy first mile. Karen's breakthrough for an impressive season PR. Julien's huge breakthrough for a sweet season PR. Delilah's gutsy performance on an angry ankle. The impressive pack work of Marleth, Illyana, Mia, and Jenni that led to FOUR LIFETIME PRS. These women worked so well with each other--holding each other accountable and feeding of one another's energy. Marleth dropped nearly two minutes; Illyana dropped almost a minute; Mia dropped 45 seconds; and Jenni dropped 30 seconds. This group continues to amaze! Blanca's return to her incredible mindset from Deerfield that helped her earn a new LPR. Belen's fighting spirit as she matched her LPR despite the heat. Ashley's gritty race that returned her to the 28s. Bianca's huge race--despite her achilles irritation--where she dropped a minute to earn a new SPR. Ixa's fantastic breakthrough that earned her a huge new SPR. Aubrianna's second-half focus and fantastic kick that led to a big SPR. And Nataly's strong race, including a sweet kick, that got her within seconds of her SPR.
What I enjoyed most was that on Wednesday, you brought the same energy to the boys. You willed them to run fast, and you covered the course with your encouragement. In a time of uncertainty, you controlled what you could: your positivity and generosity.
I was happy, of course, to learn that we pulled off a win over Mundelein by one point, despite Maya's absence (it will be nice to get her back from spy school in New Zealand). I was more happy to see as the week went on that you are ready to run even faster. The tempo on Thursday and the incredible work on Saturday's pyramid sboth show that you are ready to race faaaaaaaaaassssst at Conference. I simply cannot wait to see you shine at Warren. Our mission this week is this: taper a bit, and sharpen our minds. If you remember back to our post-race talk at Deerfield...I need you to embrace your greatness and know your strength. This week, I want you to walk around KNOWING how hard you have worked and embracing your power. And then on race day, simply run it into existence. Let's go! :)