For me, the hardest part of Cross Country has always been the part that challenges my mental, not my physical, stamina. I have found myself in the best shape of my life yet unable to perform in races in quite the way I hoped. Not because I couldn’t, but because I’d conditioned myself to accept failure. I automatically anticipated my own defeat instead of letting myself explore the thoughts of having a successful race.
But this season I want to be a better runner. Not just by breaking my personal records, but by finding it within myself to bring positivity to my runs and to crush thoughts of self-deprecation.
I started my training with Coach Pinales this week trying to use this new attitude, and running has been an entirely new experience. It seems like for this first time I am not waking up and dreading the long miles or the sore legs, but rather, I’m excited. I’m excited to see how my training progresses, the kinds of breakthroughs that I’ll have as a runner, and the memories I’ll make with this team in my last year.
I understand we are just getting started and it’s only going to get harder from here. But if I can maintain this new outlook on my running experience, I know I will have the best season of my life, even if my times don’t show it. Because I will, for the first time, be anticipating greatness from myself as a runner and I will be proud of the things I do. This is going to be a fantastic season for all of us and I can’t wait to see the amazing work we do as a team!