Hey again guys!
I'm finally home and I just took a nice hot shower after waiting in the airport for so long and boarding two planes. We flew from Boston to Cincinnati, only to find out that our next flight to Knoxville had been canceled due to mechanical problems. Luckily, they were able to snatch another plane and pilot so we could continue our destination, about an hour delayed.
I must say, right now I am extremely sad. What an awesome experience! I really wanna thank Jasen Parks for letting me, and all the other Tennessee NIN athletes, write in this journal. I think it's really neat idea and I feel honored to even be asked to write on Tennesseerunner.com. Today has been such a long and exciting day. I woke up at 5 a.m. and left for the Reggie Lewis Center with Coach, John, and his family at 5:45. We were the very first athletes at the track! We looked around for about 20 minutes and then, extremely nervous, I began warming up and getting ready for the big race. I ran an 11.32 2 mile, which means it was about an 11.29 3200. Am I happy? Yes.. Am I satisfied? No. I know i'm sort of contradicting myself, but I know I can do much, much better than that and this whole experience made me realize just that: I can do much better than what i've been running. 11.29 for a 3200 is what I ran at sectionals last year and is also about what I ran at our footlocker/NXN time trial we had at the end of cross country. It is way off of my PR, but I believe it's an ok spot to be in for early March. I know I am not 100% yet and I also knew I had more to compete with today, so I feel very optimistic about my future running career. This meet made me realize just how badly I love to run! While honored at having the opportunity to compete at a national level and watch these AMAZING athletes compete, it truly made me realize how badly I want to be good, and I mean really good. I want so badly for my name to be recognized just like all those other already-famous athletes that I compete with and watch so many times. Not only did I have such a great and awesome time at NIN, but it opened my eyes to a wall of opportunities. In a couple of years, I know my name will be out there, because i'm going to work harder that I have ever worked to be as good as I possibly can. I have been really hard on myself this year because, unlike my other years, I have been so inconsistent and, in some races, have even run slower than last year, which I cannot STAND! I just get so disappointed when I don't race well and i'm not satisfied, even if I have a logical explanation why I ran so terribly. Today, after my teammate John Sharpe finished his 3200 which I thought was very good, he was talking with coach about all these things he should have done and how he ran "bad". I then asked him how he can "have a bad race" (as he said) and then not dread on it for a while. He was over it so quickly! He laughed and was his normal self the second he moved on from it! He then told me that he uses his bad races as motivation, which is the best racing advice anyone could ever give. Now I realize how hard I can work and push myself, along with my teammates right there beside me, and become a better racer. I have never been so excited for races before. I am going to run faster, breathe harder, sweat more to do whatever it takes for me to run fast!
Once again, I just want to stress the importance of my teammates. I love them so much and I would definitely not have been able to make it to nationals without them. This morning, at 5 a.m, I looked at my phone and had about 10 text messages and 4 voicemails, all from my teammates wishing me luck and saying all the hope they had in me. I truly believe that you need more than speed to be a successful athlete, and that is: great teammates who motivate and encourage you along the way. I love all you Oak Ridgers!!!!
Also, great job to John, Clint, Jordan, and Matt. It was fun hanging out with them and all of them have so much potential.
SORRY THIS IS SO LONG!!
I hope everyone has an amazing season and just have fun out there! High school is all about the fun :)