I’m happy to announce that my cross country season officially started Monday. We had a tough morning practice (5x1000m on the track) and then met up again to carpool to Ledges State Park in Boone, Iowa. We spent the afternoon and evening playing games, talking, eating, creek walking, setting goals for the season and taking lots of pictures. It was a lot of fun and a new experience for me. We didn’t do anything like this last year. This year, there have been a lot of fun activities planned (like a drive-in movie in Newton and a team slumber party) because it’s our head coach, Jacob Kaemmer’s last season at Roosevelt. We might even get a poster and have the whole team come to our only out of state- and longest distance- meet: Griak in Bloomington, Minnesota. We also might get a team manager- I’m talking about you, Sam Crowe!
Anyways, one of my favorite-and probably most nerve-racking- activity of the day was Jacob had us all find a rock while we were creek walking and then passed around a Sharpie. He told us to write down our season goal on our rock. He said our goal could be as simple as having fun, but no matter what we have to work for it. My goal is to run sub 15 minutes in the 4k this year. I have always wanted to break this time barrier and after running 15:42 mid-season last year, I feel this is the next step. It also seems to be a right of passage in the cross country world, as well. Next, we ran up a HUGE hill (Many of us were wearing sandals, including me.) and threw our rocks in the forest at the top (Hopefully, we didn’t bombarde any campers.) I assumed this was supposed to be like making a wish. It was a good idea and I think it really holds you accountable, once you write down your goals.
Some other, simplier, goals I have for the season:
- Make Varsity at time trials and stay on Varsity all season.
- Improve my Varsity spot.
- Run at the Griak meet, again.
- Improve my times vs. being consistent (I’m great at the latter, and it gets frustrating….)
- Talk to more than the same group of people at practice, meets and team dinners.
- Enjoy myself.
- Be reminded of why I love running every day.
- Have fun!!!
Some of my favorite cross country quotes that I’ll be thinking of often this season:
“Only one person and one person only will determine
how good of a runner you become…
You will become as good as you let yourself be.
That one person is you.”
– a coach
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life,
because you get out of it what you put into it.”
“A winner is someone who sets their goals, commits themselves to those goals and then pursues their goals with all the ability that is given to them. That requires someone who beleives in themselves, who will make self sacrifices, work hard, and maintain the determination to perform at the best of their ability.”
-C. Leeman Bennett
“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”
– Priscialla Welch, Olympian & NYC Marathon winner
“Cross-Country, finally, a good use of golf courses!”