Team Blogs: Merrimack Valley & Mascenic

Merrimack Valley XC – Week 4

With the season now in full swing, our girls team is starting to fall imvblog2nto a daily routine and workout regimen. Last week, although uncomfortably hot for running, each girl stuck it out through the long runs, our meet on Tuesday at Portsmouth, and our workout on Thursday.

As for the meet, each runner ran well through the hot, muggy weather, with even for some drastically improving their time from last year’s race on this course. Thursdays have been designated as workout days and this week we did mile repeats on our course in preparation for the home meet the following week. Delayed due to thunderstorms, when we were finally able to get outside, every girl gave a thorough effort and displayed great times, each accomplishing their set goals for the workout.

Despite the holiday weekend, we managed to complete a hill workout on our own on Saturday and a long run on Sunday. Then, we all regrouped on Monday, and took advantage of one of the few hot days left of the summer to do some “river running.” Although we must have looked ridiculous in our life jackets, we had a blast. At the end of our “run”, we even spent some time jumping, or more accurately put for some, falling, off a nearby rope swing with funny videos and pictures to show Coach Irving the next day. On Tuesday, we had our third meet of the season on our home course. Although it was another scorching hot day, we still managed to enjoy ourselves with a makeshift sprinkler set up on the course and popsicles at the end to cool everyone off. We hope that the other teams enjoyed themselves, too!

We are all hoping this next week is as fun as the last!

Abby Davis MVXC senior captain

Mascenic Cross Country: Week 4

After a three day weekend, Mascenic went up to Sanborn on Tuesday

Photo by Andrea Sbona
Photo by Andrea Sbona

for the Jamie Martin Invitational. With the extreme heat, there is no arguing it was a tough day all around. When all was said and done, the boy’s team secured a first place win and the girl’s team placed seventh, second Division III team by 5 points. This was certainly a highlight of the week, but there were several other memorable moments.

On one of the hot days, we took the opportunity to run to a different and more refreshing swimming location. After about a twenty-five minute run through some trails that had the freshmen rather confused about our location, we were approaching the spring. The spring is located in a nature area that the team has spent a great deal of time exploring. To get to the spring, a bit of bush whacking and climbing over rocks is required. After this, run just a bit farther and soon a good sized, incredibly clear, body of water will be visible about eleven feet beneath the rock face you’re standing on.

To get in, you can climb down and around to walk in, or you can jump. Almost everybody chooses the second option. You just need a bit of a running start from a few feet back. The water is typically cold, usually to the point where as soon as you get in you have to get out. But not today, it was hot enough that you could swim around without the cold being painful. Getting out of the water can be a bit tricky; it requires climbing up the rock face you jumped off of. There are plenty of places to grab ahold of, but usually you get dirty by the time you get to the top and have to jump in again to clean off. When everyone was finished cooling off with sneakers laced up, we finished the run by exploring the nature area a bit more and then finishing the loop. Some of the freshmen who hadn’t explored this area were a bit surprised to figure out how close we were to where we started. We just made a large circle.

The day after this run, we did a workout up on the track. This workout is named, rather appropriately, “Torture 1200s”. It involves running at 5K pace for 800 meters, then picking up the pace for the final 400 meters; not a very easy thing to do. Overall, the workout ran smoothly. People were hitting their numbers, and for me, it was the best I’ve ever felt doing this workout. The fact that the heat wasn’t brutal that day certainly helped. While the team loves the easy run days and swimming opportunities, everyone is more than willing to put in the hard work too. We know it’s the hard work that builds the strength we need to do what we expect for the end of the season. Hopefully when we do this work out again later in the season, the signs will start to show that the hard work is paying off.

Coming up is the first of our two home meets, and while we obviously want to run well at home, we know these are the just the small steps towards our overall goals for the end of October. We need to resist the urge to show everyone what we can do until it really matters.

And that’s six weeks from now.


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