It has been an interesting last several months, and while I am not a big believer in counting my chickens before they hatch, sometimes you've got to be an optimist and I think that the roller coaster ride of, "Um, I guess that run was pretty good" to "Um, did I really just drop like 10 minute miles for an hour and feel that bad?! Seriously? WTF." With no in between at all, might just be coming to an end! After a not-so-great chunk of training after the CC meet, the Rocky Mountain Shootout was a total wash (I'll spare everyone another self-deprecating story, it was really rough though). Excited as I had been to compete there, once the gun went off I was never even in that race. Well no, the brain was in it, but the body apparently not so much for whatever reason...maybe someone sent me some bad juju...I dunno. In any case, I finished a pretty dismal 20th. Prior to that day, I'd never thought of myself as a "choker" before, but that race left me wondering. But you can only accomplish so much by beating yourself up, and a race or two does not a season make. So I got back at it and thanks to some helpful advice along the way, I mixed up the training over the following couple of weeks and also quit doing most everything solo on the same routes. Okay, I still did most of the same routes--kind of a creature of habit like that--but sometimes I did them backwards or with no watch or at a different time of day or whatever. I guess that was just what the doctor ordered because the next week plus of training felt terriffic and my long run the following weekend was the best one I'd had in a couple of years, and at the Metro State Invite last weekend I actually competed instead of just survived. Even though I got out-kicked and it wasn't a "victory" on the results sheet, it was a huge confidence booster for a huge number of reasons and I felt more comfortable racing than I have in forever so I was extremely thankful for that. You have to enjoy all of the good races when you have them, not just the big ones. The meet was a smallish 6k collegiate race, but there was some very good competition there as with just about anywhere in the state, I really liked the course, it was a perfect day for an XC race, and the crowd support was awesome. Cross country meets are hard to beat.
Rocky Mountain Shootout
With any luck and a lot of work things will keep getting better from here. I think that they will. I feel like I have a ton of momentum right now and kind of just want to keep rolling out races every weekend, but also think I need a decent block of training to get things to the next level. I may jump into a Turkey Trot up in Denver or Fort Collins in a few weeks, but outside of that Club XC is the primary goal with USA XC couple months after, but one step at a time.
Anyways, great job to everyone who raced Chicago (Tera, Adrian, Robbie, Art, Paul, Greg, Tommy, Jason, and sorry to anyone I missed), Cow Harbor, and Tufts (Ali, Cassie, Amanda, and Wendy), keep up the good work. Happy trails.