Monday, October 21, 2013

Running Forward

I can hardly believe that October is nearly over. The large trees on my campus have taken on brilliant hues of burgundy and orange and gold. Each morning greets me with a slight frost, and the scent of winter lingers in the air. Seasonal coffee beverages are trendy as ever, and pumpkins are everywhere. 

It sounds lovely, right?

But somehow I am still lost in summer. I am clinging to the rays of warm sunshine and the lazy afternoons. Without me quite realizing it, 
time has gotten away from me.

I am already at midterms. 
And I am already nearly done with my junior season of cross-country.

While I feel satisfied with my work so far academically, 
it is the near end of my cross-country season that worries me.

The thing is, I do not feel like I have accomplished much of anything yet. I have had some great practices. I have run up to sixteen miles in a day. I have developed speed on the track. I have gotten stronger in the weight room. I have even had some decent races. And yet, I have yet to accomplish a single race goal I have set this season. 
And I don’t feel like I have had much opportunity to do it.

Perhaps that is why I treasure cross-country season so much.
 Compared to track, it is incredibly short.

This upcoming weekend is our conference meet. 
It is the first 6k I will have ever run competitively, 
but I am told that the extra 1000 meters makes little difference. 
I am a 10k runner on the track, so I am not too worried about the distance.

We ran our last 5k this past weekend, and I think it was a good way to finish up the regular season. Almost everyone on my team ran their lifetime best times… and though I didn’t quite do that, 
I came the closest I have come to 
my freshman year PRs that I have in two years.

I have such high expectations for myself and know that I am capable of blowing those times out of the water… but the reality is, I have to take one step at a time. I have to be happy with myself for running a season best time and finally dropping down into my freshman year times.
 So I am going to take the positives and move straight ahead to conference.

For those of you who don’t understand what I’m talking about or know my running journey, it is pretty well documented on this blog. 
I am not interested in the past right now, however. 
I am interested in moving forward.

I am stronger and fit than I have ever been. I have put in miles and miles of summer training. I have iced and stretched and went to bed early when everyone else was out having fun. I have dedicated so much to this sport, but none of that matters if I don’t perform on race day. So what’s holding me back?

This weekend, I plan on breaking out of the weird slump that I have been in the past two years. I feel like I did a pretty good job this last Saturday,
 but I know that there is more I can dig out. 

Regardless, however, I refuse to allow negative emotions to dictate my attitude or my running. I am grateful for what I have been able to accomplish this season. I am grateful for being healthy. I am grateful for the progress I have made. And I am grateful that I even get the opportunity to compete. 
I am so blessed, and I am so excited to see what's in store. 

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