Preparations for Middle School Cross Country

elspeth1So.. I totally meant to get a picture of my daughter last night to go in this post..  In her blue matching colored outfit (this is notable, as I had blue shoes, red socks, green shorts and a bright yellow shirt.. I was the very antithesis of matching.)  (Note: The included image is actually drawn by myself in paint.. Its not a photo.)

This is a big year for Elspeth.  My daughter started her last year at Augusta Raa Middle school in Tallahassee, walking through those doors as an eighth-grader on Monday.  Despite knowing her classes will be more difficult, the partying will be harder and her at-home chore list will grow as her age does – the big, bad eighth-grader has decided to run cross country again.  She will be returning to the sport after a brief hiatus, covering the winter, spring and summer.  In her infinite wisdom she approached me, and asked if she could get a head start on running, so that try outs would be easier (ok, so really I pushed her out the door to go run.)   After her thoughtful request – I agreed that it would be an excellent idea for her to start early adapting to the 90 degrees (with matching humidity.)

elspeth2She started the week off running running a mile on her own, simply to remind her body what it felt like.  For the rest of the week she was joined by her personal cheerleader, Dad!  In order to make the team,she has to run 2 miles in 24 minutes on one day next week – any day Monday to Friday.  Once she meets it, the rest of the week just becomes normal practice.   Since that is the time/distance to beat – that was our goal for Wednesday.  After dropping behind time for the first mile – Elspeth made it up and she was on point to hit her goal.. rigut up until she twisted her ankle (no lasting damage.)  SHE wanted to run through it and make her goal, but I removed my cheerleader hat – and put my dad hat on – and I made her walk. Said in a “dad” voice –  “Its better to not over stress it and miss tryouts!”Reluctant (very reluctant) agreement came from girl, and we walked it in.

Last night, there was no ankle pain (just muscle soreness) so we went for more distance, less speed.  Three miles down, in a run/walk combo to help her body adapt to breathing the humid Forida air.. We ran for 3 (sometimes 2) minutes, walked for 1 (sometimes 2.)  No complaints from her until we were breathing the three mile point – not bad at all for a 13 year old just getting back in to it.
I’m a proud dad, I admit it.  Two great kids and both of them are runners. How did I get so lucky?

As a reminder, I am an ambassador for the St. Michaels Running Festival on May 19th. Its in the beautiful eastern shore in Maryland – and you can register 3 weeks early, with a discount! Just click this link, and use the code AMBNEID


I run, because I am a runner. Having realized that I have always "been a runner" - even when I went years with out running, I am learning how it has integrated itself in all aspects of my life. When I started running in highschool, my perspective on life changed. Funny that I didn't realize how much it had affected it until just recently.

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Posted in Florida, running, Teenager Running

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The Once and Future Runner
Once and Future Runner

2013 Was an amazing year, for me, So I am really looking forward to 2014!

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