On Monday, the first day of the fourth week of Mascenic cross country, we ran another hill workout. I like, or maybe dislike the least is a better word, this particular set of hills the most. We call them “Dipsea Hills”. It’s a set of rolling hills of River Rd. It’s effort based and we take a longer cool down in the middle of our set. I was really feeling it during this workout, but the beautiful fall weather definitely made it easier. The rest of the team did pretty good. I could tell the hills were hurting some legs, but all in all I’d say it was a solid workout.
Tuesday was our long run of the week with 70 minutes, give or take. This is our longest scheduled run of the season, and it was a great way to shake out our legs after Dipsea hills. We split into groups, making sure to stay as socially distant and COVID safe as possible, and went out into the trails out back of the school.
For Workout Wednesday, we had 500s. We do this workout twice a season. The first time we have a 500 meter cool down and the second time it’s cut by two thirds. From what I saw, the team had a good workout. It’s been nice to get some speed work in since we have such a short season, and D3s are right around the corner. I’m really excited to see how we do this year. I think we have a strong girl’s team. Our freshmen have been improving and practice is setting us up for a promising end of the season. 500s just reinforced this.
Thursday was a race prep day. We had our homecoming meet tomorrow so we ran our typical warm up, starts, and cool down. Afterwards some of us stuck around to watch a middle school meet. It’s funny to see how much you can grow as a runner in just a few short years.
And finally Friday! Race day! The team was excited to get going. Meets, especially now, seem to have a different energy to them. I think we can chalk that up to missing a track season, gaining the biggest group of newbies that I can remember, and the short season. I feel like I’ve been trying to run every meet like it’s the most important one. We had a lot of great races on the girls side. A number of them had season bests and overall PRs. We’ve always been neck and neck with Monadnock so it was really great to race against them. I didn’t have my best race, but finding out my teammates having amazing ones improved my mood. Our boys did pretty okay too. They didn’t win, but sometimes that’s gotta happen. Growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum. While I wouldn’t say the boys were satisfied with the results but nobody was all that upset, as the only win that actually matters is on the 31st.
I have to say Covid-19 has not stopped the Mascenic Cross Country team from working hard and getting things done.
We started off this week with a speed workout which got everyone’s legs turning. This workout was 300’s. 300 meters up tempo, then a lap around the infield for recovery. The goal should be 8-16 repeats, with those doing 16 getting 5 miles of work just in the workout. Before they got started, everyone did the warm-up, dynamic flexibility and then started their wheels. Seems everyone had a good performance, and for me it was good because my head was in it and I blocked some things around me out and focused on what needed to be done.
Tuesday was a sort of a shake out run, which meant we did a 30 minutes warm-up, 5 starts, and after getting our legs turning it was time to do some core. The team has two main core workouts and they are 15 minute abs and “The Benoit”. For me “The Benoit” is the most torturing ab workout, but afterwards you abs feel the burn which lets you know that you did the workout right. So after core either workout it is time to cool the body down and head out on a 10-15 minute jog.
Wednesday was a wet and cold day for one of our signature workouts we call “The Grinder”. The Grinder is a 1.3 mile on a dirt road and you are mostly going up a hill. Each runner should be struggling, working their way up to the top because when a runner is struggling through a workout that means that they are working hard. In the beginning of this workout I was thinking too much about the time and then in the middle of the workout I got my head on straight and pushed myself until I finished.
Thursday was a relaxing day for the legs. We headed out into the woods for a long run. Some of my teammates and I headed out on the trails out behind the elementary school. After we were done, we headed to the front of the school to do strides and yoga walks.
Friday being a professional development day for the teachers, the students didn’t have to come in. The XC team with a meet on Saturday had 30 minutes easy, 7 strides and injury prevention. I went with some of my teammates and did a couple loops around the elementary school and the high school.
Saturday was race day and we headed up to race Monadnock. Without Josh Movsessian and Connor and Drew Traffie both teams had solid performances. The girls team had a strong finish, while the boys while missing 3 had a strong comeback. I was really focused on the first half and then started to pick people off the second half. I have to say the Monadnock course felt like an additional 2+ miles more than what we ran.
With Division 3’s only 3 weeks, time will tell if the Mascenic XC team has what it takes.