Cross Country doesn’t end because the seasons over…
Just over a week ago I ran my last high school cross country race. My first 3 years I ran varsity at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana. Just over a week ago I ran my last varsity race with Golden Senior High School in Golden, Colorado. Here are some things I’ve learned during Cross:
1.) The team is not a team. What I mean by this is cross country ISN’T a team sport. It’s a FAMILY sport. The teammates are actually your family and they support you after bad races, during hard times and push you to be the best you can be.
2.) Perseverance- it’s not about how many personal records you have or how fast you run. It’s about not giving up on yourself and to keep pushing even when things aren’t going your way.
3.) Level-Headed. Cross makes its participants level headed athletes in a way I’ve never seen any other sport do. Cross constantly tears down your ego and rebuilds it. One race you could run a minute personal record and the next race just not feel it and run 2 minutes slower. Cross teaches you to be humble because you never know how you will feel the next race.
4.) Competitive Drive- nobody wants to be last. Cross is you against yourself. This type of competitive drive is different from other sports because you stop looking at other players and their numbers and states but rather you look at your times, how you felt running those times and then figuring out how to beat yourself in the next race. Always striving to be better than you were yesterday.
5.) Acceptance- Yes… cross runners are weird in the eyes of others but that’s okay because only crazy people would be willing to go run for sport right? Cross runners are one of the most accepting kinds of people in a sense that we are all weird in our own way (considering we decided to go run for sport). That’s what makes us a family though. We are all accepting of each other and whether or not we have any common interests the one thing we do have in common is cross country and that will always be a connection.
6.) The cross community is the most supportive community I’ve ever seen. No matter your team, race, gender, age or skill everyone supports everyone. You can be running a race and have complete strangers cheering for you. And that is a true supportive community.
This Cross Country season had a lot of ups and downs, but personally was my best season for running! I managed to break the 17:30 wall that I failed to break freshman and sophomore year no matter how close I came. I got my new personal record set at 17:09 for a 5 kilometer run (3.1 miles). The season looked bright during the summer at Springmill Camp with the teams. We set large goals and hoped to achieve them. We didn’t win county, sectional or regional, we also didn’t make it passed semi-state. Winning county was our ultimate goal but we didn’t achieve it. This year was more or less a rebuilding year considering we lost 5 of our top 7 runners from last season. We rebuilt and worked hard. Next season we lose one runner whom we can try to replace fast. We are all looking forward to next season and achieving all our goals.
Currently i am writing this as my season is coming to an end. The team is moving onto semi state next week where we hope to run well. This season has had its ups and downs. I Have run varsity all season as the teams consistent number six runner. This year Coach Harrell also selected me to be team captain as a Junior. He rarely selects captains to be juniors, I believe he sees something in me that I have not found yet. This season I have run well, this is actually my best season of Cross Country to date. i have improved my Personal Record to a time of 17:09. 7 for a 5K race. I have also been under 18 minutes in all races excluding the 5K time trial and the Flashrock course, which was flooded, cold, and still raining during the race.
My high school cross country practices un officially started the first week into summer. I ran every day (excluding sunday) through out the summer. I started off with low miles and increased miles each week. By the time summer was coming to an end I was running upwards of 12 miles on my long run day. once the season for cross country started and we had official practices I got to know my teammates well, and my coach. I made varsity For the first race! I was so excited felt on top of the world. As the season went on I continually ran varsity every race. during this season early on I had been running with slower times than I should have been running. For the 5k (3.2 miles) I was running a constant 18 minute 30 second race. Which isn’t bad but I knew I should be running Faster. I went to see a doctor who told me I had walking pneumonia. I had run almost 5 races with this! After taking medicine and getting back into the grind my time dropped. I started running 18 minutes 10 seconds then 5 second. I was working on at least breaking the 18 minute mark. At the regional race I read up on running tips and was going to make myself break 18 minutes. At this race not only did I break 18 minutes but I felt like I shattered it, I ran a 17 minute 32 second race! I was very proud of myself. It was a very rewarding season! At the end of the season I was talking to coach and telling him thanks for the great season. He told me that I was the first Freshman runner he has ever let run in every race. He has been coaching for nearly 15 years! My cross country season was spectacular I got my first Varsity letter as a freshman. I hope to get more as the year goes on in track!
Basketball, Track, and Cross Country are my favorite sports!