Words of wisdom for championship season

I'm Seattle bound this weekend for the biggest race of my fall season, the USATF National Cross Country Club Championships, where the best club teams in the nation will battle it out over 6 kilometers of grassy hills. This race is the culmination of months of training, hundreds of miles, 6 pairs of running shoes, and countless hours spent doing all the "little things" that help you transition from a good to great runner.

I plan on heading here this weekend: Seattle Starbucks (the first one ever!)
It's like the Mother Ship is calling me home! :)
As the race approaches and I've looked at the start list, I've found myself growing anxious when I see big names among the entries. Saturday's field will be a talented one, with some of the best post-collegiate women in the country. Between a strong pool of individuals and a large field of talented teams, this race is in a way akin to the NCAA Championships for collegians. Leading up to NCAA's, the USF women's team was a bit intimidated by their first time at "the big dance." As a coach, I tried to provide counsel and guidance to the ladies. Now, I'm working on taking my own advice and repeating to myself the words of wisdom I dished out, which include:

You belong here - you've earned it! The USF Lady Dons punched their ticket to NCAA's through determination and hard work. Similarly, after a strong fall campaign, I've earned my place on the starting line (I just need to believe that!).

You're in the best shape of your life - have faith in your training. Between 15 mile long runs, 80 mile weeks, and 3 weeks at altitude, I'm fitter than I've ever been, and healthy to boot. That's an accomplishment in itself, and something to derive confidence from.

Sure way to get in great shape? Spend 3 weeks running on scenic trails at 6800 feet!

GET EXCITED to test your fitness among the top women in the country. The challenge of competition is thrilling, not scary or intimidating. Competing against the best is a great opportunity. Yes, many have stellar credentials, but come race day, all that goes out the window and past performances hold no traction - what matters is who competes the best on that given day.
Toeing the line at USA XC Championships with some of the top runners in the nation

Don't be nervous, GET EXCITED! Talking with my brother and jumping for joy after running a 5k road PR at the SV Turkey Trot
Dream big - don't just be content with making it this far. Set ambitious goals and go after them!  

On that note, here are some dream quotes to get all those racing this weekend fired up. Good luck everyone!

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..."  - T.S. Eliot.

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney 

And lastly, my personal mantra for the weekend:
"Dream more than others you think is practical."

And as always, run joyfully! <3