This week started on a rainy Tuesday. And we all know what happens on a rainy day during the Mascenic Cross Country season. The infamous Beaver. Deep in the woods near the high school lies a big, disgusting, muddy pond that’s covered in lily pads and scum. And what do we do when we come across it? Swim through it, of course. This has become tradition throughout the years and it’s always exciting to take new teammates out there. I feel like The Beaver encapsulates the spirit of cross country. Wild and gross, definitely painful and long, and created to be run in the most treacherous weather.
Workout Wednesday we had 800s. This is the second time we’ve run this workout which usually doesn’t happen but with a short week, and season Smith figured it would be smart just what the doctor ordered. We set out for the same amount we ran the last time at the pace we were running. With a bit of struggling the workout was done.
Thursday was our long run and race prep. After me and another teammate were pulled aside for a little “heart to heart” with Coach, I had a lot of thinking to do while running. I realized why I really ran and why I was even here. I’m here because I want to run. I don’t go out to win championships, or to get a spot on a college team (not that I don’t want that too) but I’m here to have fun. As silly as it sounds, I love to run when it’s fun. After being told this isn’t all fun and games and I need to start focusing on what’s important, I suddenly knew what was important to me. It’s important that I’m enjoying running. When I’m not, I am not fast, I am not motivated. To be enjoying running is far more important than being fast.
Friday was supposed to be a meet against Conant. It ended up being canceled. While we were all bummed to miss a racing opportunity, absolutely nothing can ever compare to the sadness we felt for Conant and their devastating loss of Trevor Pierce. I didn’t know him personally but I’ve had conversations, and I remember cheering for him. I know that Trevor was a wonderful member of the team, and we all know he was off for great things at Syracuse University. He will be missed and my heart goes out to his friends and family.
– Maya Callahan
This week starts the countdown until States, so we returned to our 500 workout. This time we had a shorter recovery this time, intensifying the workout without increasing the pace.
Tuesday was an unexpected day off but some of the team met after school and went out for a short run.
Wednesday some of the team headed up to Derryfield Park to get a feel of the course. We took Wednesday as an easy long run day. All the freshman girls were there, which is really good because having it be their first year and need to get a vision of what parts of the course they can go fast and where they can pass people. After running the course we went out for another 20 minutes and saw places on the course that were muddy and soggy. After the run everyone’s shoes were soaking wet.
Thursday was a tempo day, and our coach uncharacteristically gave us two choices. We could either do it as 30 seconds on/ 30 seconds off or 3 min on/ 3 min off. Some athletes elected to run the 1.1 mile loop around Mascenic and High Bridge and some chose the cross country course. Everyone did either their own thing,ran with a buddy to pace off of, or just ran with them for the company. Overall the run felt strong and smooth, just like we wanted.
Friday was another easy day, with some focused starts before the “Blue Moon” Championships for the middle school. Winchester, JRMS, Monadnock and Boynton got together for an end of season wrap up meet and our MS team did pretty well. The boys having lost to Monadnock by a bunch earlier in the season lost a close one with eighth grader Isaac Carver taking the individual win in a photo finish! Another eighth grader making his mark before joining the HS program!
Next week is championship week, with some of our traditional workouts/fitness reveals so that will be enlightening for sure. As both excitement and expectation grow, so does the shadow of great opportunity. We’ll find out in a week!
– Victoria Smith