Sunday, December 27, 2015

Statebound, my Final Round

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Getting to go to the state cross country meet all four years in high school is a blessing!  Very few kids can say that they got to do that, but for my team, it's an expectation. We are lucky to have so many talented runners all go to one school--a public school at that. No one gets in because of who they are. We are just who we are and where we are!  You could consider it "a God thing."
Each year has been totally different, but it's a great experience!

Tradition
We always get an animal. 
I learned this year where that actually came from. Farmer's first state trip was a long time ago with only 7 boys. While they were at a gas station, he saw a bun full of stuffed animal 7 dwarfs and thought it was hilarious, so he bought them each one. Ever since then, he's given the runners who go to state an animal to keep up with all week leading up to race day!
It kinda gets annoying at times to be honest. When I said we have to keep up with it all week I mean literally within reach at all times. Caught without it, we have to do push-ups, starting with 10 and doubling each time after that.
Luckily we don't have to run with them except for during warm ups and cool downs on speed days. Farmer used to make us always run with them, but we eventually talked him out of that because "it messed with our form."

It was an interesting week.  Monday the weather was an absolute downpour and pretty cold.  I knew that was going to happen.  Farmer is one of those people, though, who is determined to make us run no matter what.  He never hears thunder nor sees lightning.  More like no rain, no gain with him.  He won't put us on the road in the rain because it's "too dangerous," but the trails are just as dangerous if not more in my opinion.  At least on the road you have level footing and can better see where you are stepping.  If something happens, we are easily located and can be picked up in the truck.  Not so with a trail!  We run so slow, get so muddy, slip and slide everywhere and usually fall multiple times.  It is not fun.  Praise the Lord this time I talked him into letting us cross train.  I was angry because it took almost two hours for him to decide, but he finallly gave in after considering that state was on Saturday, and we already had enough people sick and hurt.  We didn't have very much luck with health this year.  After standing in the bathroom forever, he finally let us go.  Now here's the "long story" part after all of that.
My plan was to go to Workout Anytime and bike.  However, when I got in the Jeep, so excited to finally leave, I wasn't going anywhere.  My battery was dead.  Farmer tried to jumpstart me with Katlyn's jumper cables, and that still didn't work.  Then I was really worried that it was something worse than a dead battery.  After a couple phone calls, I ended up getting a ride from Miss Bailiff to Chantal and Cherie's house!  They weren't home, of course, since they're in college at UT Martin, but they do have a treadmill, bike, and weights at their house, within walking distance of mine.  So I called up Connie and asked if I could come borrow it and would explain the situation later!  It worked out!  By a little after 5:00, I finally got to do a bit of a workout!  I was Cherie for the evening.  I sent this picture to the girls, and they thought it was hilarious to hear all that crazy story.  They're lifesavers even when they're 6 hours away.

You can't tell from this picture, but the sky in that background here was absolutely beautiful!  This was our last day of practice, and I thought it was necessary to commemorate it with the beautiful scenery. 
We always get a picture before boarding the bus. 
This became one of my favorite pictures of Emily, Katlyn, and me!  We've taken lots of pictures of us three this season, always lining up with me in the middle, Emily on my right and Katlyn on my left so we could compare each picture!
Jessica made each of us a pretty little note with our name and a Bible verse written on the other side!
Cheddar's in Cookeville is the usual lunch stop on the way to Nashville. I tried something new, and it was delicious!  Fish, shrimp, mango salsa, and broccoli are all some of my favorites.
Poor Farmer was having some issues. He kept forgetting stuff and not driving the best (even for him), and was totally exhausted. When we walked back to the bus, he had gone back early after eating, and this is how we found him. 
People probably think we're weird for carrying stuffed animals around everywhere, so we embrace it.
The next stop is the course so Farmer can pick up our race packet and we can jog the course and "strategize." While we were running, we let the animals guard our starting box. Other teams thought this was so cute and took pictures too!
 
Here's my Oscar, ready to take off.
Farmer's birthday made this trip especially memorable!  Everywhere we went we would randomly break out in singing happy birthday. He hated it. We loved it. He was so embarrassed, but it was hilarious!  We sang to him everywhere. At Olive Garden, we also told them that it was his birthday, so they brought him free cake and got the whole section of the restaurant to help us sing to him!

In previous years we would go to the mall and walk and shop after dinner, but since we were staying in a different hotel this year, we went to an outlet place instead. Another change up!  My store of choice was Target.
I've sadly become one to be late to most things, but I'm really trying to work on that. This morning, I was determined not to be the last one downstairs to breakfast or on the bus!  I gathered up all my things before going downstairs, had plenty of time to relax while eating, and didn't even have to go back to the room. I was even early. It was rather surprising.
I follow milesplit and dyestat on snapchat so that I can see races and events across the country, and I was totally shocked get excited to see my friend Karina (left) on one of them that morning!  This was from pre-race stuff the day before state races in Illinois.
We were nasty-muddy after the race, so we made a pitstop in McDonald's so I could change and wash off and mom could get a coffee. We weren't very perky, but seeing these Snoopy toys brightened my day a bit. I was seriously tempted to buy a kids meal so I could have one!
I love Miss Bailiff!
She also likes to take pictures with us. I'm so glad that she joined us this year.  It's been a major blessing to all of us.
She also gets start line pictures with us!  Again, not the most memorable day, but some of the best group pictures. (This one and the one of us seniors)
 

Ya see how there are no race pictures here?  There's a reason for that. We did not enjoy that race a bit. No one. I felt awful, as did most of us. Times were slow all around, but especially for our team. We didn't place. No all-state runners. But that happens. Sometimes things just stink. This was one of those times. I must say though, Maggie and Emily did race pretty well!  

That afternoon and the next day, we stayed in Nashville to visit the store at Lipscomb to get some shirts then to go shopping!  That helped us have a better time too. 

We hate it when things go like this, but it could've been worse. I'm not happy with the race, but I'm happy with all the lessons learned and friendships built and strengthened this season. My college decision is done, and there are so many better things ahead!

Luckily, too, I still had footlocker to run. And that was better anyways!