Saturday, November 1, 2008

Deep breaths and quiet porchs.

At the end of every season Hope College has athletes fill out coaching evaluations. The survey questions mostly asks the Coach's coaching technique and your interaction with him or her. I can recall my freshman year when I filled in mostly 4's [on a scale of 1-5] because I wasn't exactly thrilled with how my arrival on the team was handled, but didn't have any constructive criticism. My sophomore year I had figured out more of what training and supportive needs were not met and responded to the questions accordingly. This year it is a whole new response. I have felt more supported by my head cross country course now than ever. I thought of many reasons why it could be- excuses for good behavior- if you will, but none of them really fit. I do not know if he took some women-communication class, but it's been a great season for that part of things. Today was the day to fill out the evaluations and I was at a meeting, but I will try to make an effort to fill out the survey anyway.

If the survey gave lots of room for examples, Saturday would have been a paragraph in itself. Let's be honest: I did not have the best last race of the season. My season goal had been to finish high enough on the team to at least travel with the team to Regionals. Ideally I would have ran at regionals, but I wanted to at least travel down to Otterbein on November 15th for the D3 Cross Country Regionals. Alas, I was 11th. While this year was different, the expected number to travel was 10 girls. So in my mind, I was one away... the story of my life*.
Even if I had finished in the top 9, today was still somewhat discouraging. I finished much further behind the St. Mary's girls than I did at the Jamboree (when I finished 6th on the team). At the Jamboree I outkicked their number one. Today I'm not positive, but I think their top 4 (maybe 5) beat me. sigh. Of course, I can blame this race on the "metal spike" being rammed through my hamstrings and into my connectors with my pelvis. Or I could blame it on this bronchial mess I've been having. The suppressant syrup, pills and inhaler are apparently-- not working. But, no one will put a little star* next to my name reminding everyone that "Sara wasn't feeling well". You race with everything you have and at the end of the day, if that's not as much as the next person, she beats you. That's how the sport works.
So I finished the race and sat down and tried to not cough up half of my lung. I then walked over to the camp and sat for a little bit attempting to motivate myself to put on my shoes for the cool down (it didn't work that well). Coach came over to me and talked for a bit and said exactly what I needed to be reminded of... most of all, that I have a lot to be grateful for. Often people say that suggesting that you should stop complaining or whining about whatever is making you unhappy, but it was not that sort of grateful at all. Rather, it was a reminder that the season has been in a success in many other ways. I didn't run the 5k time I wanted, but the 6k time at Manchester was okay (and I was in pain then too). I can't remember my 6k times from any other years so I'm assuming 24:50 is my best and it doesn't sound too, too shabby. That's 4:08 ks. That's the same pace as my 5k for the season-- still not sub20 5k pace, but still nearly solid-- maybe like glass... a cooled liquid? haha. The reality of the situation is that while I don't want to settle, but I have to accept what I've done. I ran what I ran. I know I should have done a few more core exercises (it is terribly weak) or maybe I should have had a few less adventures that deprived me of sleep (but there weren't that many of those). But I made my choices and can be proud of my girls who ran solid races to qualify for Regionals. They put in the effort and did well.

Now I just need to work on getting rid of this cough that makes it so difficult to breathe. The other day I started dying just walking up to the cats in the theatre-- and I wasn't even going that quickly. Today I had to run to Tuffy's (2 miles away) to pick up my car which was having work done on it because I could not find anyone to drive me out there. I got there alright, but as soon as I stopped moderating my breath the coughing too over. I am quite glad to have my car back and not making scary noises though. I love my car.

I also love being on my porch. It was beautiful outside today and so even though it's a little chilly this evening, I can still sit outside. Even sickly days are good days when you can walk outside in a knee-length skirt and a t-shirt. Yay!

*Last race I was technically one way from top 25. However I was top 25 of attached runners so I still received a t-shirt.

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