“Great job Aspen. You have ran a smart race use the flat and catch those girls!” my coach cheered at the two mile mark of my very first cross country race. Followed shortly by “Are you smiling? If your smiling you need to run faster!!!”. Every race and workout since then I have had a smile on my face and a big bow in my hair. I have fallen in love with running and smiling makes me run faster!
On my team I am known as a hill climber and strong finisher. I excel at courses with hills. My coach relies on me to have strong races on hilly courses and to push my team as I do. I have a tendency to start out slower than most the first mile. Instead of pushing at the gun I like to run at a consistent pace and gradually pick up speed my third mile. I always finish with a “Tolman finish” strong and all out. The last few hundred yards and into the chute my mind shuts down, my legs take over, I’m told I am totally focused and just picking off girls. This has helped my team more than just getting us points but has also made my teammates faster. One of my friends/fellow teammates told me at the end of last year, her goal was not to let me pass her at the finish anymore. To do this she shaved off over thirty seconds of her PR, to guarantee that I was not close to her at the finish.
Over the last three years I have fallen in love with running and cannot go thru college without it. I will continue to work hard to not only make myself better but also the team I am part of!