Saturday, February 13, 2010

Williams at USA Cross Country Championships #2

This is the second entry by Josh Williams as he prepares for the USA Cross Country Championships in Spokane, Washington.

Day 2, didn’t have the pleasure of waking up as early! But considering we are still on Wisconsin time, Coach B and I woke up around 9:00 (7:00am Pacific time) and walked down to breakfast. The food was awesome!!! They had a pancake maker that make a pancake in 17 seconds! Also with breakfast we had eggs, bagels, yogurt and fruit.

After that we got in the car and went to Idaho. The sun was out and the clouds seemed to be waiting to invade until a later time. Coach Brewster and I got out of the car walking towards the trail head of a park when we saw a statue of a moose with a mouse on one of its horns. I decided that we needed to have Tato (a stuffed penguin of Alex’s) in a picture with these creatures. I took the picture and a lady walked up to us and made Coach and I take a picture of a moose with both of us in the shot. (I’ll post the pictures later). Once we got up the trail we had a wonderful view of Lake Coeur d’ Alene and the mountain range behind it. It was a very relaxing (and short because we didn’t want to waste too much energy) hike and kept my mind off of the race.

We drove back to Spokane listening to Jazz music (great stuff) and went to Gonzaga University to check out the campus. I figured the campus was going to be similar to Notre Dame with their newer buildings and great landscape, but I was wrong. It looked decent and the environment was pretty relaxed for the students. We walked over to the Athletic center to look at the basketball court. Compared to the Kohl Center, it was small, but they still get the job done.

After visiting the campus we traveled to the Riverfront Park and had lunch. Lunch consisted of Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, an apple, banana, and water (my usual routine). Following that Coach and I hopped on the Skyride that took us in the air kind of like a ski lift over the waterfall that was on the river (very pretty). We got off and went into the Spokane City Hall to go to the bathroom and we got stopped at the front desk. The receptionist made us sign in to use the restrooms even though we were 2 feet from them. It probably took us longer to sign in then actually use the bathroom (they even gave us a visitor’s pass for a 3 min. pit stop…).

We drove back to the hotel for some down time and then around 4:00 went to run the course. The course was nice and flat but squishy from all the rain in the northwest. Luckily it wasn’t as wet as the National Course but it is still soggy. It was raining while we ran the course but the sun came out and we got to see a double rainbow! By that time it was 5:30. Dinner time!!!! We went to the mall where a Boston Pizza place was located. Coach looked on the map and it showed we were on the wrong side of the mall. Thinking that the restaurant was IN the mall, I said “oh let’s just walk over and leave the car for when we get back.” Bad choice…. It turns out that we had to cross a street to get to the Restaurant. Luckily Coach and I were still in our running cloths, so we started jogging there (2 min Jog…Do we get to subtract those 2 minutes from tomorrow’s morning run Coach B??)).

A quick stop back at the hotel to change and then we were off again to the hotel headquarters. Coach thought we should listen to the guest speaker for the night…Billy Mills. Perhaps everyone would think that I would/should know who that is or had at least heard of him but I had no clue. To my surprise he was the 10,000 meter champion at the Olympic Games in 1964, the first and only (so far) USA Olympic champion at that event. His presentation was awesome and I feel I had a connection with him that is hard to put into words. There is a movie and a book about him so I think I may take a look at the movie sometime in the near future. His main point was that life is really about the journey and not the destination. He had a dream back during his junior year in college that he wanted to be an Olympic Champion and he wrote that down along with the words BELIEVE three times. He said he never really cared about most of the races he ran but he always knew when it was the right time to run hard and fast. So tomorrow I’m going to enjoy the experience and go along for the ride. I’m going to focus on the present race and the opportunity I have in front of me. I’ll let you know the results….

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