My 7th grade daughter Natalie ran her last home cross-country meet of the season yesterday. This was the first time this season that she's run twice on the same course, so she could make a direct comparison of a past performance. She had both an excellent race and a painful race. Her time was 11:42 (:24 faster than her 12:06 on the same 1.5 mile course a month ago), and she finished 5th overall (out of 22 girls) and 3rd for her team. Her finishing kick is developing into her signature move, as she once again chased down and passed 2 girls in the final 200-300 meters, and very nearly finished 4th. I'm not sure I could take her in a finishing sprint!
However, this race came with a price. Her heel has been aggravating her all season, and yesterday BOTH of her heels were hurting badly during the race. At about the halfway point in the race, she gestured to me that she was in a lot of pain. I wasn't sure if she was going to drop out or push through it. I should have known she'd push through (she's proving to be very tough), but I also cringed at the thought, since I'm still fighting a similar injury.
Last night, she alternated ice with heat on both heels. She'll take it easy until the District meet next Tuesday. Then she'll pretty much shut it down until we get her to a doctor and figure out what's going on. We do have a little 2-mile race we're running together on November 12th. Hopefully she can still run it.
Even with this injury, she's had a great season. I'm seeing signs of a potentially very good (if not great) distance runner in her. If she continues, she'll be a much better runner than I ever was...at least by comparison, but quite possibly literally! She's showing some mental toughness that I honestly wasn't sure she had until this season. I'm just hoping her heel problem is minor.
As for me, I'm still doing my usual routine of 3 runs, a bike ride and a couple of swims per week. Steady as she goes.