Women's XC Blog from ZAP Fitness
Sept. 12, 2011
Members of the women's cross country team will take their turns blogging during their annual trip to ZAP Fitness in North Carolina as they train and prep for the 2011 season.
Day 9 - Nicole Hilton
TODAY WAS RACE DAY!!!! We woke up to the chilliest day all week excited and looking forward to our first meet of the 2011 cross country season. At 9:00 a.m. we did a little shake out run on the path that encircles Zap. Afterwards we stretched, boarded the van and made our way into town to get our caffeine fix for the day. Lunch was shortly after as the afternoon slowly but surely inched closer to race time.
Around 3:15 Coach Neal arrived to take us to the Appalachian State University cross country course. When we arrived we had some time to kill before warm ups so we went to the bathroom…multiple times. We completed warm ups with a two mile run, drills, stretches and striders. All laced up in our new spikes (despite my many attempts to get Coach Neal to allow me to run in my trainers), we toed the line in box five and waited for the little old man to shoot the gun, but not before I exclaimed to some of my teammates that I felt naked in my uniform.
The race went out quickly, with the Buckeyes keeping a pack of six together and in the lead for the first mile and running hard. Jordan Jennewine and Mallory Kreider set a good pace early on with Molly Jacobson, me (Nicole Hilton), Tori Brink, and Michelle Thomas sticking close behind. The second mile was the uphill portion, but we attacked it as a team and made a smooth transition into the third mile. Jordan would end up taking first, followed by me, Michelle, Tori, and Mallory for a top five sweep and perfect score. Sarah Lowe, Molly, Melissa Meade, and Katie Borchers were not far behind. After the race, Coach Neal told us he was happy with our performance and was proud of the way we ran today; however, he still made us do 10 minutes of core.
The boy’s race was after ours and it was time to cheer them on while running our cool down. We did a very impressive O-H-I-O chant twice, led exceptionally by Melissa. After all of the excitement we went to Applebee’s for a nice dinner with thoughts of delicious ice cream (the much anticipated ice cream that’s been talked about and promised for over a week now) dancing in our heads. The ice cream was delectable and we devoured it, a perfect way to finish off our first race day.
But…the day was not complete. Adam Green’s birthday was today and brownies were baked for the occasion, candles and all. So as traditions go, we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him…while he took a shower.
Day 8 - Melissa Meade
The days are dwindling down here at Zap in good ol' Blowing Rock, N.C. (some of us are more happy than others to see the time pass). This morning was glorious because we did not meet until 10 a.m. to go run the course at Appalachian State. Coach Neal, chipper as usual, drove us to the course and conveniently parked as far away as possible. He wanted to make sure we got in our pre-run morning stroll (thanks Coach Neal...always trying to make us better). We set off to run the 5k course, which seemed to go by relatively quick....hopefully it feels the same on race day. Once we were done with our run, we went through our competition warm-up drills and laced up our fresh new spikes for some strides. Just as we were ready to pack up and head to lunch, Coach Cari could not let us forget about core. In fact, she likes us so much that she ended our core exercises with everyone's favorite, BIG TENS! (10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 9 push-ups, 9 sit ups......etc).
Now it was lunch time in Boone, N.C. We all stopped at Panera Bread. Jordan "forgot" her wallet, so as per usual I spotted her. Next stop was an afternoon movie in Boone, and the men's team met us there as well. It's always an enjoyable time when the men and women's teams collaborate for social outings here at Zap. Although we don't interact much (picture a middle school dance), the company is still nice. After the movies we headed back to Zap for some naps before dinner. Dinner was served promptly at 5:30 and it was the perfect pre-race meal of spaghetti and meatballs. The night was wrapped up with some four-sqaure, corn-hole, bracelet-making and mafia.
Day 7 - Sarah Lowe
Today, while the men's team slept in, the girls woke up early to get in our recovery run at the Cone Manor. We did our standard 7 to 8 mile recovery run, followed by stretching and a core session.
We returned back to camp and waited "patiently" for several hours for Coach Neal to return and take us to lunch. Coach Neal clearly does not understand how much our appetite influences our mood or else he would have arrived much earlier.
After a quick stop at Subway, we scarfed down our food and made our way to what would become a superb hiking adventure at Grandfather Mountain. Driving up the winding road to the top of the mountain I felt like I was in a cool car commercial except for the fact that I was in an oversized 12-passenger van.
The first thing we did was walk across the mile high swinging bridge. After being assured that no one has ever died or fallen off, I braved my intense fear of heights and made my way across. It probably would have been a much more pleasant experience had Melissa Meade and Jordan Jennewine not shaken the bridge the entire walk down. After shedding a few tears, I made it across only to find out that I would have to walk back across it again. This hiking trip was already off to a great start.
We then decided it would be enjoyable to hike up to the top of the mountain. Tori Brink really became one with nature as she adventured across the rocks in a Bear Grylls like fashion. She was not shy about sharing her wilderness abilities to the men's and women's team. I've asked her to speak on a couple points about it:
Me: Tori, you are usually terrified of small and harmless creatures that roam the woodlands here. What gave you the courage to climb up these big rocks? Tori: All the animals were in cages.
Me: How do you feel about falling to your death from atop the mountain? Is this something you have ever even thought about? Tori: Hmmm let me think about this for a second. (A few seconds later) I think it would cross my mind after the fact like "Oh crap, I just died."
After the decent we spent our time in the gift shop which had a wide assortment of candies including Moon Pies, which is Coach Neal's favorite. There was also a fudge shop located nearby, but sadly we were quickly shooed out so we could see the wildlife. The animals which included black bears, otters, bald eagles and a cougar were in their somewhat natural habitats.
We arrived back at camp to resume the standard dinner and mafia games before bedtime.
Day 6 - Jordan Jennewine
Melissa Meade, Sarah Lowe and I passed the time on the ride back to Zap quoting our favorite movie, Stepbrothers. Coach Neal tried to join in but it was just awkward for everyone involved. Back at camp, all of the girls made friendship bracelets and played games outside to pass the time until our second run. The boys took naps and were pretty much no fun at all. At 4pm, we headed for our shakeout run around camp. The highlight of the run was the enormous snake we came across in the path. Of course, we all screamed which drew a lot of attention and winded me for the rest of the run.
Finally, we all quickly got ready for dinner. Some of us showered (I won't name names). Dinner was at a restaurant named "Canyon" which had a beautiful view overlooking the mountains. After dinner, we watched as the boys left to get ice cream. We were promised we would get some `later this week'. I guess we'll see. Back at Zap, we finished the night with a campfire and s'mores. Despite all of his bragging about being an experienced camper, it took Coach Neal quite awhile to get the fire going. All 10 of us sat patiently as he made several trips into the forest to collect wood. He was pleased that we gave him the opportunity to complete the task himself. We got our fill of marshmallows and headed inside for the evening.
Day 5 - Tori Brink
Day 4 - Michelle Thomas
Day 3 - Mallory Kreider
When we were finally done exercising we headed back to ZAP, but not before we stopped for some hot coffee and tea at a local coffee shop. When we got back to ZAP we soothed our aching muscles in the cold creek.
Later this afternoon we went to Boone to do a pool workout. When we arrived the pool manager informed us that the pool was only open 5 more minutes. So instead of doing a pool workout we went to a field across the street and played a variety of team bonding games. These games included red rover, the human knot and tag. The human knot eventually failed, but not before we nearly broke everyone's arms! We finished off our fun with another core workout. This time it included the infamous "Big Tens" routine!
After our busy day we returned to ZAP to get cleaned up and eat quick dinner before we went back to the Boone, except this time we went to the movie theatre. It was a nice relaxing evening!
Day 2 - Molly Jacobson
Day 1 - Molly Jacobson