We had the luxury of a week of training without an NSC meet on Tuesday, and we took full advantage. I was so impressed by how everyone handled the 1000s plus time trial mile. I know that workout is no joke, and you all rose to the occasion--awesome work!
Saturday @ JT Invite: Perfect, cool weather. Excellent competition. Firm course. What else could we ask for?
F/S Women: Most of our bees competed in this race today. Fia ran in this race today, and she did a great job of racing! She finished in 8th and earned a medal today. She got out well in 6:53--an impressive split considering this mile requires you to attack "the hill" twice. More importantly, I like that she had positive body language today, and she actually smiled after her race. Let's face it: our sport is HARD. It's important to find enjoyment in racing! Aniya was our second finisher with a sweet new LPR. She dropped 27 seconds on this more challenging course by really focusing on racing hard. Every time I saw her, she was working on passing someone or using the course to her advantage. So fun to watch! Lil Sophie was our third finisher. She moved up considerably mid race, as evidenced by her really strong second mile: 8:49, 8:48, 9:01. Nice work, Sofie! Janalise was not too far behind, running a strong race despite her shins acting up a bit. She looked focused throughout the race and really did a nice job using the downhill sections of the course. Nice work, Jana! Nathaly had a big breakthrough today. Not only is she out of the 30s, but she also had the right mindset today. Positive, working the course, and pulling her teammates along, Nathaly really stepped into racin! She did a great job of getting out hard (9:16), maintaining (10:35), and pushing in the last mile (9:54). Awesome work, and congrats on the new LPR of 29:47! Eva worked with Nat for a good part of the race, also getting out faster than usual in 9:17--impressive! She dropped 1:18 to earn a new LPR of 30:12. She is only seconds away from joining Eva in the sub-30 club! :) Nice racing, Eva! Emily was our next bee, running tough despite a sore knee. Like her sis, she dropped some significant time (1:35) to earn a new LPR, too! She also had a great kick today--way to go, Em! Anahi was with her for a good chunk of the race and also earned a new LPR of 31:31. Proud of you, Ani! Mel had a strong race today, getting out strong and working on keeping her stride open. She earned a new season PR by 3:35--proud of your progress, Mel! Cici had a great race today, too. Not only did she drop 2:17 for a new LPR, but she also had a great kick. Great work, Cici! Our final racer was Ashley. This was her first race, and she overcame her nerves in order to face this course. I am proud of her for her perseverance this season--I know that she is going to continue to improve! Overall, this group is making great progress. Keep believing in yourselves, newbees!
Varsity Women: We did not have a full team for this race, but that's ok. This is the point in the season where we need to be mindful of the messages our bodies are sending. since Varsity has a longer season, we have to take good care of little issues before they become big. Kate, Rachel, and Brionne made smart choices and let their bodies rest so that they are ready to help the team in the second half of the season. That left Audrey, Riley, and Lauren to represent us on the line today. I asked these bees to use the opportunity to feel like they owned the course since we will be back at Grant for the regional. These three took that task seriously and had a fantastic day! They all got out well and wasted no time competing. Audrey looked good emerging from the woods the first time, sitting in 3rd. She did a great job of staying patient and working on the Lake Forest runner ahead of her. Rather than being satisfied with 3rd, she kept working and caught LF in the woods of the final lap, then extended her lead in her kick. This was a huge moment! Audrey has always been tough, but being mentally keyed in during the hardest part of the race requires hard work, and today, she really showed her grit. SO PROUD of your work today, Audge! Riley had the same kind of tough race today. She got out a bit harder than usual, and she swapped spots with a runner from Grant as well as Carmel several times. Rather than roll over, Riley stayed patient and made moves in the last mile, pushing ahead of these two in the final 400 despite their best efforts. Riley's kick looked gorgeous as usual. I'm really excited to see her racing so well and looking so confident! Awesome work, Ricat! Finally, Lauren's race was simply beautiful today! Like Riley, she worked hard to stay closer to Ri, and she ran very even. More importantly, Lauren RACED HARD today. I can't even name how many times she changed the lead with the Carmel and LF runners around her. What's important is that she never gave up on herself--she kept fighting to stay as close to Riley as possible. Her strength today was cycling quickly up those hills--she looked so strong each time! Proud of you, Lauren! These three were so much fun to watch--proud of all of your efforts today! Congrats to all three of you for earning medals, too!
Although all of today was fun, two moments stand out the most. First, after cheering during the Varsity race, I headed back to the tent, and NO ONE was there. Everyone was out cheering and having fun with each other. That's what XC is all about! Second, we had some time before awards since we did not have anyone in the open race today. It was good to see everyone talking and goofing around while we waited. Of course running is our focus, but seeing those bonds being created is so important.
Special shout out to Rachel and Estrella for grabbing splits today. And thanks to Cheyenne for parking in the woods during the Frosh/Soph race. Not many fans hang out back there, and having a friendly voice helped everyone stay focused. Also, shout out to Chey for asking to do links this coming week. Plan on Thursday so that we can celebrate the race on Wednesday, too.
Before I go, I'd like to invite you to check out a couple of items:
1. Saturday, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya broke his own world record in the marathon in Berlin. He ran 2:01.9 for 26.2 miles. For you math nerds, that's an average of 4:37 PER MILE. People used to think that the 2-hour barrier was impossible, but Kipchoge is such an inspiration. His slogan IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING is such an important concept to consider as we head into the second half of the season. What I love about him is his mindset. He thinks about what is possible rather than clouding his mind with negativity. You can check out the last 10 minutes of his race here. Watch his form, his body language, and his facial expressions!
2. I want to continue the conversation about fueling for better running and a happier body. Here are few principles that are important for happy eating: