The Mind of a Cross Country Runner

Jack Mogen, Staff Writer

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Running Cross Country is not for the faint of heart or will, it is one of the most mentally taxing sports I have ever done. I don’t think the average person has the strength to push past every physical limit you have to keep going. Between nausea, muscle fatigue, and an overall desire to take in more air, it can be very tempting to stop and walk instead. But, that is what Cross Country runners special…we do not give up.

Now races are why we condition to run so far and so fast. A standard cross country meet is a 5000 meter run, 5000 meters of agony. The last one of these was a hell on earth called Holmdel, designed to make you give up on life halfway through. Holmdel happens to be the home of the dreaded bowl, a 200 meter pain blistering incline. All you do is trudge up the hill and question every decision you made that led to that point, while your legs quickly catch on fire. It almost makes you wish you would just collapse from exhaustion so that you can stop the pain. Then you get toward the top and it gets steeper, which makes you wanna roll right back down the hill. Of course when you finally get to the top it is level instead of downhill so you have to speed it up just after an existential crisis. Trust me it just makes you want to lie down and give up on running this race, but on the other hand the drive to finish the race and go home. So you keep going feeling every step drive you closer and closer to insanity. That is until you crest the hill and the finish line is in site. That is when you ignore your body telling you, that your organs are about to fail and come out, and you start dead sprinting to end the constant unbearable pain. Each muscle fiber tensed in complete agony tearing themselves apart for twenty-five minutes only to finally relax after the final expenditure of energy.

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