Race Report – Cross Country Nationals 2017 in Bend, OR
It has been two weeks post-race, and perspective has set in. The race was tough, no doubt about it, and disappointing. I have been thinking about this race since I did it last year. It really makes you realize that all of the little things count in preparing. I wasn’t up to par with nutrition or training, and it showed in the race. I sort of half-a**ed my preparation.
Granted, I did better than I did last year and conditions this year were much worse. However, last year I was one year out from having Alta, and this year I wanted to do better.
There was a lot of anticipation and stress coming into this race. Most of my stress centered around having recently opened a business called Fizio, and I am in the process of launching a new high-level running program called Nature’s Bakery Elite. My biggest concern heading to Bend was connecting well with Nature’s Bakery Owner, Dave Marson, who was traveling with us to the race, and on our athlete, Wade Meddles, running well at Cross Country Nationals.
I didn’t know Dave very well prior to this trip. However, I learned really quick that he is a great all-around guy with a good heart. It is rare to find a CEO of a multi-million dollar company as one of the nicer guys you’ll meet. He is going through a lot right now. He has taken a LOCAL company to the national stage with a presence in Sam’s Club, Costco and Wal-Mart. He has struggled with production issues and is coming out with a brand new line. Not to mention, he is now unfairly being sued for $31 million from NASCAR for something that isn’t the company’s fault. So…he has a lot going on. Yet, he loves running. He sponsored a group of us to go up there. I was the only Sierra Endurance Sports person on the team, but I fit right in.
Dave and I are coaching Wade Meddles, who is from Smith Valley, south of Carson City. Wade just started running again after taking 18 months off to work in a landscaping job. He quickly got in shape, then got injured, before I started working with him. He was able to get in 2 x 45 mile weeks before getting to the race. I was nervous for him, but he proved that he is a true racer by finishing top-25 in a stacked field.
For my race, I was more concerned with getting through it. I started out fine for the first 2 laps of a 5 loop course. I knew I needed to get going on the third lap and to push that middle section of the race. That is when it came on… super weird, but I swear a stomach virus came on right in that middle lap. I knew the race was over from there and it became just about surviving. I thought about dropping out, but I didn’t want to let the sponsors, Nature’s Bakery, Altra, and Sierra Endurance Sports down. I finished the last two laps but felt that I couldn’t race them.
Yes, I finished faster than last year on a tougher course. (I’ve since described the course as running on a plowed hilly cornfield super-soaked with slush, water, and mud for 6 miles….Make that 6.2 miles.) But… when you feel that you can’t “race,” you don’t get that satisfaction. Post-race I was up all of that night with a trash can as a bed partner instead of my husband, Ryan. But, that lack of satisfaction since I couldn’t race it leaves me to want to do the little things to get better next time