Just as no runner is exactly the same no cross country race is the same. With each meet, course layout, weather conditions, competition, and the pace of the race varies making the sport all the more interesting. For two consecutive weeks I have run on wet, muddy, and slippery cross country courses that have made racing all the more difficult, but with the tougher courses I am convinced that I improve as a runner. Although these running conditions do not provide the atmosphere for the "ideal" race they provide me with opportunity to grow as an athlete both mentally and physically.
On dryer (less muddy) and less hilly courses runners naturally expect faster times, so going into a race with less than perfect conditions requires a shift in a runner's race mentality. Rather than focusing on PRing the focus is to run your absolute hardest, even if the finishing time is slower. The less than ideal meets allows runners to push themselves, challenge themselves and improve on strategy and endurance.
As I get ready to run Pre-State, I Iook forward to a dry course, fast times, and good competition.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss.