RALEIGH, N.C. -- Meredith College local Caroline Diorio of Cary, North Carolina, will contribute a student-athlete blog this year chronicling her experience as a freshman cross country runner. Diorio began running in the seventh grade and competed throughout high school. Monday, Diorio earned her first USA South Rookie of the Week honor. Enjoy!
Well, the first two meets of the season have come and gone and I am already on my fourth week of the season. Wow, it felt really weird to type that.
It's been a fast-paced, amazing first month, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The early morning practices, which were something that I initially thought would take time to get used to, work perfectly with my schedule and are consistently the highlight of my day. Whether the team is running sprints on the track or endurance training on the greenway, there's nothing more beautiful than seeing the Meredith campus in the peaceful morning light.
The practices themselves change from day to day, but they've all been intense, and they've all been extremely helpful towards shaping us into a stronger team. While I myself am partial to longer, slower distances, like the six mile run we did on the American Tobacco Trail at the start of the season, I have found that the practices that help me the most are the speed workouts where we focus on pack running.
Coach Payne and Coach Gene generally group us by speed during these runs, and each group focuses on staying together for the duration of the workout. It provides each of us with accountability; the runners in the back of the pack have someone to pace themselves with, and the runners in the front of the pack always have someone to push them forward.
After our last meet, I got bumped up into a group that includes our amazing captains and a girl that does mountain biking races for fun. Needless to say, it's been a challenge. But hey, if it weren't a challenge, would it be worth doing?
Meredith recently added a meet to the fall schedule and will travel to Fayetteville Saturday, Sept. 17 for the Methodist Cross Country Classic set to begin at 9:30 a.m.