This past week was a good training week; low in miles but high in energy. Saturday was the first cross-country meet of the season. I met up with Adrienne and Ali Kirsch for a shorter long run (next week is an 18 miler). This proved to be a great start to the day. The junior high kids ran really well; none of the girls walked up the last hill!
The Run with Carl was this morning and I PR-ed in the 5-mile run. My PR before was 42 minutes and some odd seconds, so my goal was below 42 minutes. I started quite quickly and saw Phil Pancrazio ahead of me. I decided to keep him in my line of sight for the first mile and then picked up my pace a bit. My legs were feeling fine and my breathing was steady. It wasn't until mile 2.5 that I felt myself not able to talk comfortably (not that I was talking...). At mile 3.5, I wanted to stop and walk. My legs were tired and I hadn't run this fast in a 5-miler before. However, I knew my training. I had run up Devil's Glen Road quite a few times and felt confident.
---You know, there is something to knowing the course. On Saturday, I yelled at our runners as they began up the last hill at Crow Creek to use their training. They know that hill. They have run it before and know how to get up. They know when they're halfway there and, by the time they got there, Coach Kirsch was there to encourage them the rest of the way. The end of a race is all mental. You have to tell yourself to keep going. You hurt. Everyone hurts. It's your mental strength that overcomes that pain and helps you finish strong. ---
David M., Adrienne, Kyle, and Kelli ran the 5k. Jessica and Brother Dave walked the 5k. Will, David Z., and I ran the 5 mile. Ben ran the 1/2 mile. Overall, it was a great race which led to a great family get-together at our house afterward.
This week proved to me that I am mentally and physically stronger than I tend to think I am. I don't feel stronger from day to day, but it's hard days and race days that show me just what I can do.