Home Meet!

Cross country races are fun.

Cross country races hosted by you are stressful, hectic, and ultimately a great time.

Tomorrow Widefield High School hosts our 5th annual cross country meet. We have 16 schools coming with around 400 runners competing. These are numbers I feel very good about. I get feedback from coaches and know that some teams consider our meet a must-attend for their season. This makes me feel very good.

I do feel like we put on a good meet.

A Close One

Yesterday I was changing to go back to the office for an evening meeting. As I was taking my watch off it hit me: I hadn't run.

I had gone to the office for an early meeting and stayed there until cross country practice. At practice we did some classroom work, went to the pool for a swimming workout, and lifted weights in the weight room. Then I came home, ate, and got ready to head back to the office. That was when it hit me.

Back to Racing

This past weekend my high school cross country team ran in a scrimmage. As excited as I was to see what they could do and to get them in a meet-type environment, I had to adopt the attitude that it was a practice meet. That way when things went wrong I could deal with it instead of dwelling on it.

Practicing being at a race with a bunch of semi- to unexperienced young runners helped me remember several things about racing. Some are practical, some are philosophical. All should be valuable to runners of all experience levels.

Cross Country!

Today marks the start of my 16th cross country season.

There is a reason I traditionally play "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins on this day--it really is among the best days of the year.

Not only is cross country the most fun sport I have ever been involved in, but a new season is always special.

There are the unknowns: Did anyone run more over the summer than expected? Who will come out for the team? Will we have any surprise runners? Who will have a breakout season?

Olympics!

It has been a while.

I know many of you have been checking here daily in hopes of a new blog post. I realize I disappointed you for over two weeks.

It has been a full 2 weeks in many ways. Some of the running-related things that happened may be recounted in future posts. But, for today there are big things at hand.

Specifically, track and field at the Olympics!

I love the Olympics. For 2 weeks out of every 4 years I am a huge fan of team handball, diving, beach volleyball, rowing, swimming, and gymnastics.

Coming Back!

This is the continuing saga of my injured ankle. Lasting over 4 months now, the saga has included intense pain, impressive recoveries, false hope, lots of hard work, good training, and devastating (or at least very disappointing) setbacks.

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was hoping to take things easy for a while and not have to stop running completely. While I do not feel like I am completely out of the woods, today I feel that the actions I have taken are working.

An Adventure For the Birds

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

One of the great things about running, unless one is as adventure adverse as a typical hobbit, is the potential for adventure.

Summer Doldrums

The causes could be many.

Extended periods of extreme heat, a long spring base season, lack of improvement, or simply lots of miles and time spent running could all lead one to experience the summer doldrums.

Every year at about this time I deal with the doldrums. Usually it's the heat and the miles that get to me. This year those factors are compounded by an uncooperative ankle that is forcing me to hold myself back.

Regardless of the causes, there are several things one can do to snap out of, or at least deal with the doldrums.

Here We Go Again

In March I sprained my ankle.

It was pretty bad. It swelled larger than a golfball, bruised three quarters up my calf, and hurt a fair amount. Fortunately my Physical Therapist was Johnny-on-the-spot with treatment. In a relatively short amount of time I was running without even thinking about my ankle. It still had some swelling and lacked mobility, but I expected that was just the way it was.

Then last week it started to hurt again.

Heat and Hydration: Drink to your Thirst

It is interesting to see what affect corporations and special interests can have on our collective consciousness.

I suspect that you, like me, thought that dehydration is a bad thing. I suspect we both thought it was dangerous. And I imagine we bought into the idea that it should be avoided. After all, that's what commercials for sports drinks have told us for a long time.

Over the past year I have read articles and books that have forced me to conclude this may not be the case. In fact, a hyper focus on hydration may be more dangerous than dehydration.

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