The Final Stretch

We only have two more meets left: CHLs and Districts. This may seem a little pessimistic, and I should be “hoping for regionals”. But if you have seen the size of the girls team you know as well as I do that our season is about to end. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little excited about that…

It’s not that I hate track. Really, I don’t. It’s just that the end of track means that I can once again go home right after school, take naps, and eat. And being the lazy person I am… well that just sounds much more appealing to me than running.

The end of track also means that school is almost over (there are 19 days left… I started counting down in January…) and cross country conditioning is about to start. I am really excited for the upcoming cross country season, because I feel like the girls team actually has a good chance of making it to State this year (knock on wood). And at the beginning of this season, T is going to take us up to the State course and let us practice on it, which I think will help us be motivated throughout the season.

I’m also worried about the upcoming cross country season. I really want to improve this year, and I’m scared I won’t be able to go under 22:00. Also, this year I’m going on a trip to Austria from July 22 to August 12, and while I am extremely excited, I’m upset about missing the first few weeks of practice and am nervous how this will affect me in the first meet…

But overall, I am ready for track to end and cross country (and summer) to begin.

My First 400

Last weekend’s meet was plagued by typical April weather: cold wind and rain. We left at 8:00, a time  I have not seen on a Saturday morning since cross country, and I did not get home until 3:30.

I was signed up to run the 4X800 and the 1600 as usual. However, two of my teammates were out of town, so we ended up scratching the 4X800. Although I was disappointed at the cancellation of my favorite event, I decided that I would just focus all my energy on the mile.

However, I soon discovered that I would be taking someone else’s spot in the the 4X400.

I am not a sprinter. I have never run a 400 before.

Needless to say I was extremely nervous. The other girls in my relay were much faster than me, and I was scared of disappointing them. And, since the 4×400 is the last race of track meets, I had all day for my uneasiness to grow.

Finally it was time to race, I was the third runner and I watched as the two girls infront of me got amazing times. Then I was up. As I ran, I felt pretty good, but it was also apparent that I am not a sprinter. I got passed by one of the teams we were infront of earlier. When I finished I learned that my time was 7 seconds slower than the second slowest runner. And to make things worse, if I had run faster we may have had a chance at winning. Instead we got second.

But despite my failure, I actually think I like the 400 better than either the 800 or the 1600. What is wrong with me?

First Meet

Yesterday was our first official track meet. It was at Indian Hill, and some of the other schools there included McNick and Maderia. It was a pretty laid back meet, but I was glad because it gave me a chance to get used to racing again.

The first event I ran was the 4X800. This is my favorite event, of the ones I compete in anyway, because it is a group effort and it takes off some of the pressure. Also, I really like the batons, and this time ours was bright pink! I did pretty well, getting a time of 2:57. I’m really hoping by the end of the year I can get into the 2:40’s or maybe even lower than that. The rest of my team did really well, and we got second. Well… we got second out of only three teams but I don’t think that’s really necessary information.

Then after that event came the long waiting period. The next event I had to run was the individual 800, so I had about an hour and a half to kill before then. And this is the worst part of track meets. Just sitting there. For hours. Luckily I had some money that I used to purchase some fuel food: a Milky Way. But once the carmely chocolate was gone, I had nothing to do but wait. Wait, and occasionally get rained on.

Finally, it was time for me to run again. This time I was pretty nervous because I no longer had my teammates to help me. Also, to be honest I’m not completely in shape yet, so I was tired and didn’t feel like racing. Again, I did ok, only a few seconds lower than my time in the 4X800. However, I forgot to break into the first lane after the second turn, so that slowed me down a little. Not my best race…

The most important thing this meet did for me is it got me excited for our 4X800 team. I think we have a chance to get a lot better, and do really well in future meets.

Track Begins…

So it’s official. Track began last Monday.

And just incase I ever forget that I have a tough practice waiting for me after every terribly boring day of school, my legs are constantly reminding me as they ache in pain. Yes, I am extremely sore. It has gotten so bad that I can’t sit, walk, or even cross my legs with out wincing.

But besides the soreness, it hasn’t been all that bad. I feel a lot better actually doing something after school rather than going home, watching tv, and adding to the winter weight I have accumulated.

However, this year the team has run into a bit of a problem: we have very few runners. In mid-distance, we only have about 5 girls who are going to race, and 4 different events. Not sure how we are going to accomplish that. Also, T informed me that I may have to run in the most loathed and dreaded event of all the track events: the two mile.

If I wanted to run that long of a distance I would be running cross country.

Oh wait…

We Got Spirit, How ‘Bout You?

For those of you who follow my blog, basically the 15 or so of you who have to follow it for a grade, you may be expecting an update on track season. But, since practice doesn’t start until Monday, I really have nothing to write about track. Instead, I’m going to do more of a general topic: team spirit (which you probably gathered from my lame and extremely cliche title).

My hair tie decorated with ribbon, a must have for spirited lady warriors.

Out of all the schools I’ve come into contact with, Mariemont is by far the most spirited when it comes to sports. At football games the stands are decorated by a mass of blue and gold, bead necklaces reflecting the stadium lights. At basketball games there is usually some highly unusual theme (beach, red, etc.). I myself have aquired more blue and gold attire in the last five years than I have had my whole life. This endless amount of spirit extends itself to most sports, but I think it reaches a whole new level at cross country meets.

 

For instance, you can’t just plop down on a set of bleachers or pull out a folding chair at a xc meet. From the bang of the gun, spectators become a part of the race as well, running from one place to the next to get a view of the runners before they have already sped past any point of visibility.

Also, at xc meets, you cheer much more than you do at other sporting events. Each runner that passess by is individually cheered for and encouraged by viewers, and all the excitement of running usually makes them scream out the cheers louder than the normally do.

Me and Sarah cheering on the boys team last year at Regionals.

And then of course there is the end of the race. At the end of a xc meet, runners are supposed to sprint their hardest. And spectators are supposed to cheer their loudest, directing the racers to pass another runner or open their stride.

School spirit at Mariemont is amazing, and is in its best element at a cross country course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mariemont scarf, owned by all XC runners.

Track Season Begins!

For those of you that have been reading my blog posts lately, you have probably noticed that I have been a little low on any new information concerning my running career. That is because, since early November, running and I have not been on speaking terms. But now, all that is about to change because the first track meeting of the year is taking place.  Tomorrow.

This year, I really don’t know what track has in store for me. We didn’t really lose many seniors, but I’m pretty sure there are a bunch of freshman coming in (oh joy). So, basically I have no idea what events I’m going to run this season. Last year I was a part of the 4×8 relay team and I also ran the 800. But with Stacy, the only girl brave enough to tackle the mile, gone I fear that I will be taking her spot in that position. Now you may think that after cross country, a mile should be no big deal for me. But for track, you have to run it fast. It’s not about a steady pace so much as it is about speed. And I am not fast, not to mention my reaction time is slow so I am literally behind from the fire of the gun.

Something else that is going to be new this year is the effort I put in. Last track season, I didn’t being a part of the team seriously, and I didn’t try that hard during practices. But this year, I’m going to put all my effort into it. That way I can be proud and know I did the best I could. And it will make it that much less difficult to get into shape for cross country.

Top Five Pet Peeves

Running is hard. No matter who you are, you can agree to that. While the amount of distance it takes to get hard may vary from person to person, at some point it becomes challenging for everyone. And as I am pushing though the pain, there are certain things that annoy me tremendously…

Top 3 Most Annoying Things While Running:

3.) When your shoe comes untied: This is not the worst thing that could happen, but it’s still troublesome. For those of you who are runners, you know that once you get a steady momentum, you have to maintain it or it is nearly impossible to find it again. And almost always, right when you find this momentum, that is when your shoelaces decide to split up. Then of course you have to stop and tie it because, as much as you would like to ignore it, you always think up the worst case senario and end up tying it such as

“What if I trip on it and fall into oncoming traffic?!”

2.) When your hair comes out of your ponytail: This stinks because when you are running, you are sweaty. Then your hair falls out and it sticks to your neck. Gross. And it is also almost impossible to fix without stopping or at least slowing down, again ruining your momentum.

1.) When your socks slip down: This sounds kind of weird and stupid, but it is the absolute worst. When your socks slip down and are no longer covering your heels, the back of your shoes start to rub against them. This hurts and leads to blisters. Terrible.