That said, I can't remember a lot of details for the week of 8/20--8/26. The tables below show the miles I ran, but things all run together after this much time has passed. So I'll give details on the runs from this week.
Monday started with a 6 mile run on one of our regular routes for the high school cross country team. It's a route with 205 feet of elevation change, including one pretty serious hill. Early in the summer when I began working with the cross country team, I had to stop and walk part of the way up. Now I hang back with the kids having a rough time, even turning back and running parts of the hill twice to help encourage them up. God really can move mountains, especially when we're willing to put forth a little effort along with our faith!
We ran the route named the Hill Run with the cross country team on Tuesday, then a lap around the school campus to finish off a 6 mile run. The Hill Run includes three pretty serious hills with the one mentioned above being the easiest of the three. The first is a short but super-steep climb, the second a long, more gradual ascent, then the third described earlier. I took up my usual position toward the rear of our column, encouraging those toward the back. This day I had the opportunity to run with a junior high girl who wanted to run with the high school kids. We stayed together as she made her way to the top of all three peaks and finished the run. These are the things that make this job so enjoyable!
As great as Tuesday was, Wednesday went the other way as far as running went. I'd been feeling some soreness in my right calf and ankle for a few days. After Wednesday morning's mile workout it was worse than ever before. I decided to call it quits on running for the day, figuring the planned speed work ladder workout would cause more problems for me than it would solve. I stayed on the track and walked around encouraging the kids, but only got in a mile of running this day.
Thursday is our "kids run on their own day," so I had the opportunity to join my old Tuesday/Thursday morning group. Three of the four of us who've been running together since I started were there. The fourth was away on business. I enjoy the company on Thursdays and am grateful for this opportunity to keep in touch with my old running friends. :)
On Friday, practice was called because of the storms created by Tropical Storm Isaac's path through Arkansas. I took the opportunity to get 6 miles on my own in the rain that came from the former hurricane.
Our team's first cross country meet was Saturday so I didn't log any miles there. I ran a little warm up with the junior high girls before their race kicked off the event, and ran to and from various points on the course during the four races to encourage our runners. But that was nothing like a normal training run so I decided not to log any of it. So the week ended with my lowest mileage in a long, long time--25 miles total for the week--but I thought I needed to rest the right leg before something went bad wrong.
Training Week: August 20 - August 26
Training Week: August 27 - September 2
The cross country meet went better than we could have hoped for! All four teams--junior high boys and girls, senior high boys and girls--took 1st place in the 4A/5A division at the meet. Our three-hour, one way bus ride was well worth the trip as we came home laden with the four trophies marking the kids' successful efforts.
This was the first cross country meet I've ever attended and it was more enjoyable than I even expected. I had a blast! I am so very blessed to have the opportunity to work with these great kids, parents and coaches. This is going to be a great year!
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -- Galations 6:9
We began practice for cross country right after school let out last May, three days a week at 7 AM through the summer. The kids had a training schedule for running on the other days of the week as well. Even through the hottest weeks of the year, we probably averaged 40 or more in attendance at our summer practices. This is a hard-working bunch of kids!
This weekend, at their first meet, that effort was rewarded. Many of the schools there had only begun to practice as a team in recent weeks. Though our kids may have felt weary at times in the heat of summer, they stuck with it while friends and classmates lounged in the air conditioning. They didn't quit. They ran when it hurt. They ran it wasn't comfortable. They ran when others wouldn't.
They didn't give up and Saturday they reaped the harvest from their perseverance! I am so very proud of them all! And I thank God for giving me the opportunity to work with them.
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