PERSEVERANCE is the word I would use to describe Emma’s race at Garmin Running Lane XC Championships in Huntsville, Alabama. She came into the race sick. She was coughing, had a sore throat, and was very congested. It was already not an ideal situation, but she was still positive about being able to push herself despite that deficit. We picked up her race day kit (which included a cool hat, sunglasses, and backpack), bought a few fun things at the Expo, and then she did her shakeout run with some of her club-mates that were also there to run in the Gold Division. Coach Lisa was there and gave the girls a great pep talk about the course and strategy for the race. After their shakeout run, Emma and I headed back to the hotel for a relaxing day of rest and stretching. We headed out later that night to eat at an Italian restaurant called Mazzara’s to carbo load before race day. It was already slightly raining but what we weren't expecting was the overnight downpour. The course that is normally a fast course where most girls get their PRs, was a hot mess with mud and lots of water. The girls had to tape their spikes so they wouldn’t come off in the mud. And yet, she went to the starting line without one complaint. Since she was running unattached from a team or club, she just did her strides and warm up drills on her own. Never wavering. She knew what to do. She started and finished that race with her head held high. She didn’t PR, nor did she get close to what she is used to getting, but she came away with the knowledge that she can do hard things and what a character-building moment that was for her. I am prouder of her for what she did in this race than I have been for any other race she has competed in. It takes real guts to run a race like that feeling the way she did. When the race was over, we just looked at each other and smiled even though we were both covered in mud…her more than me. What a crazy experience this race was for the both of us and a memory we will never forget.
Traveling and being able to hang out in the Centurion Lounge is pretty awesome. They still were making Thanksgiving type sides which we loved!
This race had awesome swag...especially for those running in the highest Gold Division which Emma was entered into. The backpack was especially cool and also the winter running hat!
Coach Lisa from Emma's club team was there with the Coronado boys team but she took the time to talk with Emma and some of the other club girls from Palmer HS. She gave them a great pep talk and talked about strategy and told me to grab 3/4 inch spikes which I did immediately at the Expo.
Carbo loading at Marazzas
One of my favorite all time photos of Emma running