Our first week of classes is complete and so is our first race of the season!
This trip back to North Carolina required rain gear and much warmer clothing because it was quite chilly for these Florida girls! After a much shorter travel to Boone than two weeks ago, we headed to the cross country course last Thursday for a pre-race shakeout run. Boone certainly gave us a warm welcome as it started pouring rain at our arrival. With soaked clothes and lots of goosebumps, hot showers and hot chocolate were definitely calling our names back at the hotel We quickly wrapped up our first night with a team meeting, dinner, and headed to bundle up in our beds.
Race days are finally back and now is the time for everyone to return to their pre-race rituals. We all have similar routines, but each of us have our own unique habits. Our team has one race day requirement, however, and that is lunch at Panera. No matter what part of the country we are in, a Panera must be found! We have traveled to Boone enough times to know exactly where the Panera is, and so planning was not too difficult.
The race was slowly approaching, and old race day patterns naturally began. It’s definitely an extensive process to get ready to toe the line, but after a few times around the block you get pretty efficient with completing your personal routine.
Probably one of the most important pieces on race day is the hair. Whether it’s braided, straightened, curled, put in a bun, or whatever other hair style our team conjures up, there is definitely a specific way it must be done for each individual to feel race-ready. But always the finishing touch is the garnet or gold ribbon to add a little Seminole flair. Leading up to our departure, bags get double-, triple- and quadruple-checked to ensure uniforms, racing shoes, and all other essentials are secured. We then pile into the vans, earbuds are put in, and the race day playlists are started.
You can check out all the results and race details online, but I’ll give you the quick summary- your lady Seminoles took first place! It was a solid season opener, but we are definitely looking ahead and already focusing on the next race at Virginia Tech (Sept. 15).
With the race completed early in the trip, we had the next couple to days to enjoy Boone yet again. Saturday consisted of a run in the morning, homework in the afternoon, and the first FSU football game of the season at night. Our men’s and women’s team joined together in the hotel lobby to cheer on our school against the team that shall not be named. Despite an unfortunate end result, we have our first home game to look forward to this weekend.
Our athletic trainer, Armand Daigle, and I got to spend our birthdays for the second year in a row in Boone. We returned to Melanie’s for another fantastic breakfast, and I treated myself to some delicious French Toast. The rest of the day was filled with leg treatment, birthday cake, shopping, and games with the team. It definitely was not a bad way to spend the day!
Monday morning was our final day in Boone until next cross country season, and our coaches were kind enough to let us run up Fire Tower again! In case you forgot, it is that lovely 4.5-mile uphill trek that I mentioned before from our pre-season camp. On the plus side, we didn’t have to spend 10 hours in the vans afterward and we were given time to shower.
As fun as it is to spend time in Boone, our team is definitely looking forward to a little time at home.
Hailey Hendry is a sophomore business major from Brentwood, Tennessee. A fixture in the cross country lineup’s top seven throughout her freshman year, she hopes to build on that experience in her second season with the Noles. Hendry will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the FSU women’s cross country team team throughout the season.