Arizona CC Journal #3 - Rex Woodbury

Milesplit Arizona Cross Country Journals  



Journal Entry #1

Journal Entry #2




Rex Woodbury

(Sr., Catalina Foothills)


Journal Entry #3  (November 2, 2010)            




Hey there Milesplit! It's hard to believe that State and the national meets are already just around the corner. I hope everyone is happy about how their season has gone so far and is looking forward to the big races yet to come!


            My team and I recently ventured out to California for the Mt. Sac Invitational. This is definitely one of my favorite meets to run and I always look forward to an awesome trip with the team. Because of a district rule that we have to go to half of our classes, we went to school Friday morning before departing Tucson around noon. After around ten million stops for bathroom breaks, gas, and snacks, we had a fun little expedition looking for somewhere to have dinner around 9:30 p.m. (all of the Olive Gardens and Macaroni Grills had hour plus waits). Our trusty "smart" phones failed us and we were able to get quite a thorough tour of several Southern California towns and neighborhoods before successfully locating a drive-through Pizza Hut! After dinner, we arrived at our hotel and immediately hit the sack.


            Saturday morning we woke up around 5 and got ready for the day before hitting the continental breakfast when it (finally) opened. We then proceeded to drive to the course and warm up for our 8 a.m. race. The cool morning offered a welcome respite from racing in the blazing Arizona heat, and the Mt. Sac course is probably my favorite course to run. I didn't feel great during the race and had some bad stomach problems (possibly from eating too soon before my race), but I was proud of myself for toughing it out and finishing in 2nd place. I try to maintain effort on the uphills and then really focus on flying on the downhills, and although I certainly wasn't happy with my time, I think that I probably ran the course as best I could on that particular day. I was ecstatic to learn that my team won the race and that we averaged almost exactly the same average as our team did last year. We also know that each of us still has room for improvement and we're all excited for the rest of the season! I'm proud of everyone for shaking off the bad showing at Twilight and putting our name back out there. Also, it was great to see some fellow Arizona runners represent! Daniel Wong and Kylee Kieser ran great in the Individual Sweepstakes races and Sarah Fakler led the Xavier girls to an awesome showing in the Team Sweepstakes. Also, Terrance Salazar from Sunnyside, the Xavier JV team, the Hopi boys and girls, and the Ironwood Ridge team ran really well! It's great to see our state's individuals and teams being competitive with athletes from all over the West.


            After the race was over, we all relaxed and enjoyed our remaining time in California! Some highlights included the go-carts at an arcade (the kind you need a driver's license for!) and the Third Street Promenade on Santa Monica pier. It was a great weekend of team-bonding and interaction leading into the weeks of Sectionals and State!



After Mt. Sac, we had our Sectional meet at Marana High School on Saturday. There was definitely strong competition individually and team-wise and the new format made the state qualifying race much more competitive than it had been in previous years. Daniel Wong and I ran side by side for much of the race, with Lucas Ruiz right on our heels, but I was able to pull away in the last mile and get the win. I broke the course record Jose Luis Munoz set last year by 13 seconds, but in the very next race I watched “the Alejandros” battle to the finish and break that record! I’m not sure if the course is 3.2 or 3.3 miles (the newspaper said 3.2 but I’ve mostly heard it’s 3.3) but I was very happy with my time and 55 second improvement over last year. Most importantly, our team pulled off the win and everyone looks great heading into the week of State!



            I've been trying to focus on enjoying each race I run as I approach my final few races of high school cross country. A lot of times high school athletes put way too much unnecessary pressure on themselves and sometimes that can get in the way of their love for running and competing. It's really important to remember that this is supposed to be fun and go into each race only worrying about doing the best you can on that day. I'm a very competitive person and am definitely one to get nervous before races; however, I try my best to relax before a big meet, focus on the game plan, and just tell myself I'll go out there and be tough. I also think it's critical to mentally prepare yourself for the pain that's going to come and to not be afraid of it. Running is painful, plain and simple. This physical and mental difficulty is one of the sport's most alluring qualities, but also one of its most daunting. Having confidence and knowing you're going to be tough and push yourself through that pain all the way to the finish line goes a long way.


          Good luck if you're racing at State this upcoming weekend and don't forget that this is what all of those hard workouts and miles are for! Have faith in your training and listen to your body. I was pretty sore after Mt. Sac, and having missed a lot of training after being sick I naturally didn't want to back off and let my body recover. However, I knew that taking a few days really easy would do more for me than further taxing my body would and I was rewarded with a strong race at Sectionals. I've over-trained or "burned out" far too many times in past seasons, so I know better than anyone getting enough sleep and listening to one's body is more important than ever come November! Have fun out there and run your heart out! 


~Rex Woodbury