Monday, November 23, 2009

Josh Williams' NCAA Championship journal #3

Saturday: I woke up at 8:30 and blended my usual breakfast beverage. After that I went down to the breakfast area where all my friends, family and coaches were and talked with them for a little while. I went back to my room and gathered my racing gear. At 10:15 I hopped in the van and off to the course we go! Once we got there the parking lot the crew told us that the lot was full and had to park down the street even though we saw open parking spots in the upper parking lot.

The course was filled with tons of runners and a lot more spectators. It felt like state cross country last year because there were mobs of people from different teams wearing little clothes but a lot of paint and screaming at the top of their lungs trying to be the top cheering teams. But since there were more racers, more spectators were there.

After the womens race started, I went on my warm-up and inspected the new and beaten up course. The mud seemed to have gotten muddier and the possible sloppy areas turned in to definite sloppy areas where you could see racers feet sink in around their ankles. I got back to the big heated tent and Coach B helped me put my bibs (4 bibs, 16 safety pins and 2 chip timers) I think they went a little overboard with the chips and hip numbers/bibs.

I started doing a few strides before the race and was watching everyone from both starting lines. The idea of a double starting line is crazy because everyone crashes into each other about 400 meters into the race but I really enjoyed it!

Race started and everyone sprinted off to the front, trying to claim the lead and getting into a good position for the next 4.8 miles. I got out ok and my first mile was where it was at regionals last week. My mind was going all over the place because the spectators were screaming soooooo loud and the mud was just incredible! Every 400 meters or so my feet would sink into the muddy slop that would murder any momentum that I had to really make moves at crucial parts of the race. I got a cramp in the middle of the race that effected me a little bit but I finished kind of strong even though my time was a lot slower than my recent times. Oh well, I went into this race going for the experience and having fun. And even though I didn’t think I raced too well I had a blast!

Once I passed the finish line, I found Coach Chris and we talked to the Lynchburg coach who’s male individual won the race. We congratulated him and I talked to the two women from their team who I met at the banquet before asking how they raced and such. We got back to the tent and met up with Andrew, Connor, Alex and Annie who cheered me on the whole race. Following my cool down I went to lunch with them and they were on their way for the long trip back to Madison.

I got back to my room, threw on my swim suit and walked over to the hot-tub! I met a girl from New Jersey who was very nice. She was a spectator for her sister who was next to her. They left the hot tub and I talked with the parents of the winner of the men’s race which was funny because I didn’t know who he was until like 10 min. into our conversation.

For dinner we went to a really good pizza restaurant that my mom and sister looked up and we all went to it. The pizza was amazing! I ate a ton and was stuffed! We drove back to the hotel and I packed my things, checked my email, and played some computer games then went to sleep.

Its morning now and I’m in the car over half way home! I can’t wait to get home!

Side note: when I was looking at the course on Friday I had the biggest blond moment ever! I was walking back to the car with Coach Chris when I saw an Ohio license plate. Right there I said “OH LOOK! An Ohio license plate!!!” and Coach Chris then informed me that we were in Ohio.

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