We have a very impressive group:
I am so excited! I've been hydrating all day (something that usually proves difficult as there is no food/drink allowed in the lab) and I can't wait to go home and do my little shake out "jog" (the barely justifiable time to use that word haha). Then some serious stretching, some healthy eating and a good nights sleep. I have to say I love racing in a field that is so deep. I was very blessed in high school to join a deep team. We rocked our conference. For example, often our coach sent out the JV team to win the race against a less competative team when we had several dual meets in one week. Additionally, once a season we would pair up with faster runners and race together such that the faster runner would mentor the younger, less experienced runner. I remember the first XC race at our home course and watching all of the fast upperclasswomen pack up in front simultaneously challenging each other as individuals and working together as a team. I was also reminded of this race in a mini-discussion with Laura and Elizabeth yesterday during a jog after our 200s. We were talking about being competitive and how on a team it becomes a balance between wanting to make goals for yourself (for example, I hope I can beat certain people by the end of this year) and hoping everyone else (as in the people I want to beat) has really good races so that everyone races better. This brings me to yet another thought. In high school and at Smith, my coaches always talked about how important the 6th and 7th runners were in XC even though they did not contribute point-wise to the team. With hard training, the 6th and 7th runners could challenge the 5th runner who would challenge the 4th runner and so on. I have watched this scenario happen over many seasons and its true...everyone benefits.
Anyway, while my thoughts may not necessarily be organized, I hope they provide a moment of reflection as we head into Ollie with an amazing group of talented and motivated women. I can't wait to see our pack leap off the line tomorrow!