This season wasn’t what I expected it to be.
It wasn’t full of success and glory.
It wasn’t a step up from last year.
It wasn’t a reflection of all of my hard work
But it was a whole bunch of other things.
It was a learning experience.
It was an opportunity to grow.
It was a chance to develop new relationships and encourage and inspire my teammates.
Cross country has come and gone. The hundreds upon hundreds of miles I have run, the ice baths and healthy eating and lifting weights all led up to Saturday’s race.
It was nothing like I expected it to be. First of all, it was freezing. The day before our race, we ran the course in a blizzard/snow storm! It was sunny on Saturday, but there was still snow on the ground, and I couldn’t feel my body for the majority of the race. It was so cold, in fact, that I wore arm sleeves.
Yes, arm sleeves. I promised myself I would never wear them.
I went in to the race with the potential to win, and somehow I found myself decently far behind the first pack at the end of mile one. I was so discouraged, and I started having so many negative thoughts. Like “do I really want to do this again after I transfer?” and “I’m just not fast anymore” and “I just want to be done”. Honestly, it was miserable. My body language shifted from “attack” to “just finish”.
But then, with about four hundred meters to go, I heard my coach yelling at me that the girl in front of me was the tenth runner. That meant that I was one place away from being All American, and I had a chance to redeem myself.
So I kicked. And hard, And I passed her.
And I’m proud of myself for that… because I have a hard time with speed and kicking. And normally when I have a bad race, I don’t go hard across the finish line.
But I shook myself out of it, and I came back.
My dad told me afterword (in the nicest way possible) that I could have kicked two minutes earlier and taken fifth or something. He was right….
So 10th place. My two teammates took 8th and 9th, right in front of me. I was so happy for them, but they never beat me…. And the whole thing was a pretty humbling experience.
I went from 4th place last year to 10th this year. I ran almost a minute slower that I did last year at NWAACCS (I have been about a minute off all season).
I don’t know why this season turned out the way it did.
I think mentally I am just wrecked this year. Maybe physically I am not as strong…
But I still hold the same attitude that I did before the race – I am so thankful I made it through this season. And I can bring God glory in both victory and defeat. And not every season is the same. And how I placed at one race does not define me.
The best part of the whole day was that my parents drove all the way from Boise to watch me, and my amazing grandma and my friend Cheyenne that live near Spokane came as well!!!
I am so grateful to have such amazing support.
So now, I have the week off. And I don’t want to think about running... just for a little while.
I need a mental break (running is really all I think about during the season).
But after this week, I’m ready to come back. I’m going to keep getting stronger and put in more mileage and get myself together mentally. My coach still has not given up on me, and he was so sweet to me yesterday. I feel like I disappointed him, but he did not act like it at all.
I’m still sort of upset, and I am having a hard time working through everything… but I have learned so much this season. God has taught me so much.
This season wasn’t everything I hoped it would be.
But it was a learning experience. And that’s what life is about.
*Edited to add pictures