Volume 4 Week 4
The week got off to a pretty hectic start with our team heading up to Sanborn for their invitational meet. The girls seemed to overcome the intense heat at the meet and all run really well, especially Maya and Quinn. The girls ended up finishing third out of D3 teams, which is a very solid outing for a group so young dealing with not-so-preferable conditions. On the boys side, we were without one of our top guys and we definitely felt the effects, as it was not a very good day for the team, except for Sam and Connor. Obviously not every race is going to be a great one, but I think as a whole we expected a little more. It was a good reminder that in order for us to repeat, we have a long ways to go.
The week continued with a hill workout on Wednesday and a long run on Thursday, but the real highlight of the week was our meet on Friday up at Kearsarge. There were only a few teams attending the race, and as rivals for the state title for the last four years, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, the meet turned out to be completely unorthodox, and an absolute blast. Rather than running 5k, our teams decided to make the meet a two-man relay race, with pairings to make the race even, and much more fair and exciting. Each person on the relay duo had to run two 1.5 mile loops with our guys alternating one after the other. Needless to say the whole race was an absolute blast for us, Kearsarge, and everyone there. Josh and Jethro claimed the victory after Josh cooked his final lap (however, their team name was super lame, so did their victory really count?). Both of our teams can’t wait to do the meet next year with the intent of making it even more lively than it was this past week.
While week 4 was pretty ugly for the most part, the team seemed to find its stride again and hopefully we can keep that momentum for the rest of the season. It also showed just how friendly the teams are in this sport, with squads that in other sports might be bitter rivals turn out to show great camaraderie towards each other. Thank you to Kearsarge for the hospitality, we can’t wait to do it again next year!
Throughout the week, Smith spent a lot of time talking about a single word: focus. Focus is one of those intangible things that as a runner you need to have if you want to be good at this sport. Focus can be what separates good from great, and a tough day to a PR. With that being said, Smith was sure to do his best to test our focus throughout the week.
Monday began with a quick video on this year’s 5th Avenue Mile, a road race in New York City that Landen ran in over the weekend. From there, we tried out a new hill workout behind our local ambulance shed on a day that was notably cold and pouring rain. Our first test on focus was a success.
Week 5 continued with a long run on Tuesday, and then a 500’s workout on Wednesday. Unfortunately, our lovely dirt track was too soft to do the workout on, so we did our repeats on the XC course instead. It was soggy, humid, and gruesome, but for the most part our team powered through it really well. Our second focus test was complete.
The week finished up on Friday with our much-anticipated homecoming meet. The course was not in ideal condition due to the weird weather that we had all week, but that wasn’t going to stop us from trying to negative split the race. The girls got the meet started, with Quinn and Sophie getting out quick and Victoria, Maya, and Kylie working off of each other to power through the race. Quinn and Sophie both placed in the top five, and the team brought home a win overall.
The boys race also got out quick, so much so that there was a bit of commotion at the front, causing me to do a mixture of falling, stumbling, and crawling for about 20 meters. The crowd, Smith, and even I had to laugh about it due to the fact that I’ve sort of built up a reputation for falling down in races. But hey, at least I’m known for something! As far as how the rest of the race went, our guys killed it as we put five guys in the top six in a great team performance all around. Landen and I were able to sneak under the 17 minute mark, recording the #2 and #3 marks on the course. (Course record is by 2017 alum Jake Movsessian in 16:48.) Consider our third focus test of the week complete.
Over the coming weeks we are going to get to continue to check our focus. We need to hone this skill so that as the end of the season is upon us we no longer have to ask ourselves to focus. Hopefully by this time it will be our natural instinct, just as running our best race will become instinct as well.
On a more melancholy note, Friday’s meet was the last race for one of our seniors, Sam. Sam will be competing in an automotive national tournament and because of that, he was no longer able to continue running with us. As a teammate of his in both middle and high school, I can honestly say that this is a pretty disheartening blow for our team. And while he’s never been a natural at running (I mean the kid is built like a Mack truck!) Sam was in constant contention for a varsity spot every year that he ran, and was one of those glue guys that held the team together. We will all certainly miss him, and wish him the best of luck.
In conclusion, focus was certainly the focal point of week 5, and I’m happy to report that as a team we were able to pretty much do that. We’ll look to keep that focus up next weekend at the Manchester Invite.