Why am I in such a giddy, happy mood? It could have something to do with the delicious breakfast of lemon coconut bites and a frozen grape and banana green smoothie I enjoyed for breakfast this morning outside, under cover watching the rain crash down (oddly calming- anyone else agree?), or the fact that today was a lazy, lie-in, complete rest day that let my body just reeeelax (haven't had a rest day in a while and felt like the body could do with a little stress reduction... feeling a cold coming on!)
Anywho, it could have something to do with all of those things but that's not why I am so utterly and absolutely elated.
The actual reason?
You're reading (was going to say looking but then I realised you can't actually see me :P) the words of the open girls cross country champion for my school! So stoked right now!
You may remember from last year me doing a post on winning the year 11 cross country race.. but I feel like this is an even bigger deal and I'm not going to lie I'm pretty proud of myself. You see I've been in and out of almost falling into my old-friend ITB syndrome and runners knee injury for the past month or so, struggling to maintain good posture and running style and ensuring that I was stretching and foam roller-ing (you should see the bruises on my leg from my spike-y roller- ouch!) every night, combined with the nerves of knowing I was definitely doing a heck of a lot less training than I wanted to be for preparation for this race. I got to the point where I was doing multiple Blogilates cardio videos to last for a good 30 mins to get that same heart rate and breathing that I would from a tough run to increase my lung capacity and stamina!
I hadn't run since Sunday and the race was on Friday. This was due to the fact that after a longer than planned run on Sunday (around 6.5km) my leg became quite stiff indeed and I felt the niggling pain in the outside part of my left knee starting to return. Dang it, Steph, I thought- why'd you have to go out and run for longer than needed?
Come Friday, I was nervous. This is something I truly wanted. This was a big goal for me. This added immensely to the nerves. To put it in perspective? I had two of my school services to attend where I was speaking in both as head girl and the one thing I was truly nervous about was running those 3km!
Better yet? The girls were the very last runners to be let out of the gates (it went social walkers in the middle school, then senior school, then the boys running the 4km and then when every single person was back, the girls running the 3km! Hello butterflies! I couldn't even eat all of my lunch- cous cous salad with veggies and 4 beans- because I was just starting to feel sick)
Should have told myself this to get me through!!
I jogged on the spot, not because I felt I needed to but mainly just to calm the nerves of not moving and my competitor being right behind me and suddenly in view. As soon as I saw her round the corner, I was let off and began an even quicker sprint/ run up that dreaded hill.
And then I saw the gates. Lungs not filling with oxygen, eyes cast down, feeling like I was going to throw up the entire contents of food in my belly... and then I was through. just half an oval before I would win. I saw a girl from another year in front of me, maybe 4-6 meters or so. She was fast but she didn't have anything left in the tank. And I did. Somehow I had the remaining energy to sprint my heart out, straight past her and through the finish line, finishing stronger than I ever had before.
I had done it. I had won champion girl. And I felt like I was going to puke! Alas, I did not, instead I got my name taken down, tried to drink (wasn't breathing properly yet) hugged the runner up (we're really close and have been running cross country together for a few years now) and tried to stretch out my throbbing legs (they hadn't worked that hard in a long time!). I was utterly bewildered how I managed the win after such a reduction in training and shaky legs. And just so so so happy as well.
In my smart ways of mine, I had agreed to go to a party that night too- which just felt so good on my legs! Not! But it was still fun, even though I woke up super early Friday morning (too nervous to sleep!) and so was ready for bed at around 9:30pm at the party! :D Ahh, life of a runner :P.
So that is my race recap for my school's 2016 cross country qualifying race! And guess what, there's going to be another race recap coming up soon after I run the 12km HBF Run for a Reason coming up later this month (22nd)! So get excited for that one (an actual distance I like to run!! :)
Today my legs feel tight, sore and like they've been cramping, but a few epsom salt baths, stretching and foam rolling should bring em' right back to their glorious selves!
What's the most recent race you've run? Any marathoners out there? My ultimate goal!!
Anyone currently injured at the moment? What did you do?
Tips fro feeling before an afternoon race? I never usually run any time other than before breakfast (with zero food in ma belly) so it was quite strange to eat around an hour before starting and I did feel quite sick during the run!)
The trophy :)
Happy, slightly exhausted, slightly dazed Steph after race!