Running Through a Race
By Valerie Del Real
Clouds of dust rise as her feet hit the dirt track, her skin glistens with sweat. The sound of feet hitting the track around her fills her ears as she steadies her gait, preserving her stamina for the rest of the race. Between school, friends, hobbies, and extracurriculars, her days are filled to the brim and most of her weekday afternoons and weekend mornings are spent practicing for SRLA or Cross Country.
Although many high school students may hate running,
Lilyrose Rodriguez, a freshman in the Tech & Media Magnet, loves it. The rush of adrenaline, the wind through her hair, and the satisfaction from beating her record are some of the few reasons she loves the sport. Her fellow teammates are an added bonus as well.
Lilyrose has nothing but good things to say. “It’s a really great experience. The team is fun and everyone is very open and friendly. It feels like an actual team, which it is,” Lilyrose said. The feeling of being an actual team helps her continue running during races and practice. “I really love running, so I love having to spend time with both teams before a big race. Someone is always doing something funny that helps me push through my runs,” she added.
The feelings that arise before a race are no stranger to Lilyrose. “Before the race you feel nervous, but you also get this burst of energy and excitement,” she explains. Though she may feel a bit nervous, she has her teammates to share the experience with. Waiting for the signal to start, she listens to the man shouting encouraging words to motivate them before he begins the countdown. The countdown brings forth a rush of adrenaline as she prepares her body to run.
The run itself is a whole other experience. A multitude of feet pad on the track as runners surround her, each trying to reach the end. “During the run, it’s everyone at their own pace. You feel like the floor that you’re running on is yours, no one else knows it better than you do,” she said. When she runs, she makes the track her own. “When you run, it’s like a test that you set for yourself every time on how you can do better and when you achieve it; it’s the best feeling in the world,” she explains.
The after effects of the race may be taxing on the competitor, but brings feelings of triumph as well. Fellow team members pant in exhaustion, shoulders slumped forward. “After any race I feel accomplished and happy, a little crabby as well because of how tired and hungry I get,” she said. Though she may be a bit crabby after a race, the smile on her face does not fade.