It's certainly bittersweet, but at least for this week, I'm doing my very best to make it more sweet than bitter :) I'm absolutely focused on staying positive... and of course on all those little things - lots of rest, good nutrition, getting a massage, and taking time to mentally visualize my race plan.
I've decided I'm going to save the reflection time for after the big meet. I'll be more ready to look back on an amazing four years at that point. Right now, my sole focus is on having my best race... EVER... on Saturday.
I have put in the miles... 80 per week for most of this season. I have put in the strength work, I have pushed through tough workouts, I have gotten up early (6 am practices twice a week, baby!) I know I'm in the best shape I have ever been in. Now, with mental preparation, it's time to go out, run my race, and accomplish a goal that has been on my mind for so very long.
I am ready to push myself beyond where I ever have before. It's going to take that to reach my goal; and I guess, no matter what happens on Saturday, I want to be satisfied knowing I left absolutely everything I had out on the Max Cross Country Course in Waverly, Iowa... because there are no more NCAA races for me. This is it. It's now or never! A quote from one of my favorite Youtube videos (a little cheesy at times, but I love it!)) which, to me, represents the opportunity that lies before me this weekend:
There’s no second chances. There’s only this moment, and then the next one. A test you can only take ONE time. And ONLY one time. If you see an opening, TEAR in to it. If you get a shot at victory, make DAMN sure you take it. Seize that moment. That moment is a crossroads. Everything you want will collide with everything standing in your way. The only difference between making history and being history, the ONLY thing you can count on at any given moment is…. YOU. It’s You vs. Them. It’s You vs. No. You vs. Can’t. You vs. Last Year. You vs. Statistics, You vs. the Odds. You vs. History. You vs. 2nd Place. The clock is ticking… let’s see what you got.
Have I dealt with plenty of setbacks in my career? Sure. Was it tough losing last weekend's race by 5 measly seconds? Very. Do I still have plenty of doubters? Of course. But none of that matters now. This week is about focusing on the here and now. "Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted-One moment-would you capture it or just let it slip?" (thank you, Eminem)
"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster woman, but sooner or later, the woman who wins, is the woman who thinks she can."
Here's to a phenomenal last week as a KnightRunner. There will be plenty of laughter, plenty of tears. I get to share it with an amazing coach, and an amazing teammate - Mandy Whipple - who qualified for the meet as a sophomore! My parents will be there to cheer me on no matter the outcome. My amazing friend, Steve, is even coming all the way from Boston, and I will finally get to meet SteeplCreepr. And I will walk (or maybe crawl?) away from the course in Iowa with a smile on my face.
Don't worry, Eminem, I plan on capturing this moment for all it's worth. I'm not gonna let this one slip.
"Sure I am as this day, we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not about over strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us." -Winston Churchill
“….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” –Vince Lombardi
Bring it on, Iowa. This KnightRunner is more than ready for ya. :)