2017-2018 Distance Blog

We are going to post a monthy blog, about training/racing/team, written by a different coach or senior, each month, throughout the year. 
This blog will cover the writer’s thoughts and observations as they compete and train throughout the year.

July/August  Jim Schlentz 

When I think of July and August, it reminds me that it is a new beginning.  A new year of hopes and dreams.  A new year of training and competing,
believing in the possibilities that a new year can bring.  It is a time where we don’t have school but we do have to get up early or push back dinner
so we can get our run in.  It’s a time of battling the heat, extreme sweating, constant thirst, with the simple question, why am I doing this to myself? 
We are driven by all the dreams that a new year can bring.  Always beginning with the word If.  If I train as hard as possible, can I run ____?  If I stay
healthy can I___?  We run, knowing that it can all end in sickness or injury, but still we believe in all that is possible.

Let’s look at some words for a second.

Conviction – a fixed or strong belief

Belief – The mental act, condition or habit of placing trust or confidence in a person or thing, faith

Faith – A confident belief in the truth, value or trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing

Heart – Inner strength or character; fortitude

Fortitude – Strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage

Courage – The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger with self-possession, confidence and resolution

Resolution – Firm determination

Determination – The quality of being resolute or firm in purpose


Are these just words or are they something to live by?  Maybe they are tenets for success!


I love July and August because it is the start of the journey.  The journey of 2018 – 2019.  Where will it lead us to?   Will it lead us to what we dream of? 
Nobody knows the answer.  What we do know is that it starts with the conviction and belief that all the hard work we are doing and plan to do will pay off. 
Combine that with heart, fortitude, the courage to face our doubts and be resolute and determined in the worst of days, and finally having the faith that it
will end with something real special.  When you do have the inevitable moments of weakness, focus on the sacrifices you’ve made to get all those training
runs completed, the time at XCU Camp, the hundreds of miles run in the summer and then lean on your teammates, your brothers and sisters in this journey,
and find your way back to the words defined above.

Remember what is written on our results page:

It is a world of the individual against himself,
it is his aspirations challenging the capacity of his body. 
There is no enemy but the straining of every muscle. 
It is not a sport, it is a life of work and precision and sometimes
it is rewarded by a cheer or a press clipping. 
But when the press clipping turns yellow,
there will still be the memory of that time,
perhaps only a moment,
when the crowd faded to nothing and the only sound was breathing
and the only feeling was the ache of endurance and pushing,
pushing until the body soared with the mind,
and no one else knew what it was to strive.

July and the first half of August can be lonely months with so many miles run alone.  You have only your convictions and your dreams.  Then, finally, you are
joined by your team in daily practices.  That brings us to September, the next stop on the journey.  And a special journey it is, life!  😊