Hi everyone! It’s that time of year again: cross country season! The Astros girls are coming into the season strong and we’re definitely ready to make some waves. We had a successful summer of training and were really pleased with the amount of newcomers that joined us on our team runs. We had running and weightlifting sessions twice a week throughout the summer and I can definitely say that we’re all the better for it.
Besides all the running, we did a lot of fun stuff as well. We frequently made trips to Beaver Lake for our runs, finishing out the last mile with sopping shorts and sports bras. We had a team campout which involved Just Dance, nighttime swimming, s’mores, a movie, and a lot of laughs. For those of you who have never seen cross country girls try and put up a tent, let’s just say that it’s definitely a team bonding activity.
Another fun team get-together was for our annual Ice Cream Mile. The Ice Cream Mile is a Pinkerton girls cross country tradition that’s been around for a number of years. The rules are simple: you must complete four laps around the track and eat a pint of ice cream. You must carry your spoon and carton lid with you at all times. Spilled ice cream results in a penalty lap, and any puking may result in disqualification; although fortunately we haven’t had that problem. We all have our methods at completing the mile: some run the four laps then eat, some eat while running/walking, but it seems that no one chooses to eat then run, which is probably some good thinking. We take our Ice Cream Mile very seriously. In the past, people have come with spare spoons, and mini coolers have been brought to ensure that the ice cream is kept frozen as long as possible. This year’s mile saw an assortment of flavors from simple vanilla (a good strategic choice) to coffee toffee crunch (a bad strategic choice, but also a yummy one). The top spot went to Taylor Lacey for her impressive time of around 7: 46 (yes everyone—that’s completing a mile and eating a pint of ice cream). By the end we were feeling quite full and sticky with the melted ice cream all over us. Thanks to cell phone cameras we have some gross yet funny pictures that we will be able to laugh about for a long time.
Tryouts week, although having to be pushed back a week later than usual, provided some very promising results. The highlight of our first day was a timed mile on the track, and we had a lot of girls run significantly faster than they had the year before; a sign of good training. The next day we had an easy run on the course in preparation for the next day’s tryout race. Although it certainly wasn’t ideal to have the tryout race coincide with the first day of school, we certainly made the best of it. We’re so excited to welcome nine newcomers to our family. We capped off the week with a trip to Whirlaway Sports Center in Methuen, Mass. So, despite two ankle injuries, some heat exhaustion, and a lot of sweat, we pushed on into week two.
This past week, although hot, gave us a solid week of training. On Tuesday, we had our first official workout of the season which consisted of 2×1 mile repeats and then two sets of running the last 600ish meters of our course. Wednesday was our first official “runba run” of the season! (More to come on this later). We hosted our annual Alumni Race on Thursday and there were already some PRs from the previous week. We finished out the week with a gorgeous long run on the Derry Rail Trail. We’re so excited for the upcoming season and wish everyone the best of luck. See you on the trails!
Morgan Sansing – Pinkerton Senior