If you have never ran in a national race it is something to experience. It is very intimidating to be surrounded by hundreds of the best runners in the country. When the race starts there is a mass of people running next to you the entire way. For 3.1 miles you are never alone. There is always someone next to you pushing you to the finish line.
The week of Thanksgiving, the boys and I headed off to Wisconsin to experience the Midwest regional Footlocker championships. Both runners had new experiences and a chance to learn more about the runners they are becoming.
Andrew had been suffering with colds and mild sicknesses during the weeks concluding his high school cross country season. Going into Footlocker we were hoping he would run like his old self. I was ecstatic to see him running focused and relaxed as he passed the one mile mark. He looked in control of himself, crossing the finish line in 16:33 finishing in 152nd place. I was excited to see him beat guys he raced all year. Andrew even beat a few State Champions. In February he will have one last cross country race as a high school runner, the USA Jr. Cross Country race in St. Louis, Missouri. Over the past year, Andrew has been able to experience and become comfortable racing in larger races. His first experience a year ago was an eye opener. However, you have to have that first experience in order to develop into a more successful runner, which he is definitely in the process of becoming.
Seth is only a sophomore with more ambition than I know what to do with. Footlocker was his first attempt at a National race. I believe what got Seth was the intensity of the race. It was something he has ever experienced. I can try to prepare him, or anyone for a national race. But in reality you just have to go out there and experience it yourself. Although the race did not go as planned for Seth, he learned so much about himself. He knows what he needs to do differently. Seth will have a second chance to redeem himself at the USA Jr. Cross Country race with Andrew in February. With his first national experience under his belt, I am confident to say in February we will see a different runner. Plus Seth still has 2 more shots at Footlocker.
Over the past week both runners took off to recover from the long season. Next week is the first week back. Winter Training is about to begin and it will be in full force. Lots of miles and strengthening exercise to look forward too!!