The races began to start. i warmed up alone. got the course in my head. then i was on the starting line again not sure if i was ready to do this so soon after the race just two days before. "there's more to running than just being fast" is what should have been said. then the gun goes off. a familiar sound not heard for a while. i find my self in the midst of a stampede, rubbing elbows with the beastess next to me. we both end up giggling because of it. i got an aggressive, good start. after it, i settled in. but not to comfortably. i re-focused. all the sudden i was passing the first mile marker. the time 7:03 was shouted at me. it couldn't be? another big loop around the field finishing 2 miles, about 15 minutes had ticked by. coming up on the last 1,000 meters i was ready to be done, but i pushed through. until the final sprint to the finish. my time 23:02. realizing that was a minute and a half faster than two days ago. i crossed the line starting to cry maybe even a little hyperventilating. realizing i didn't even come close to this time last season. this season and last season are like night and day. already. i can do this. i did do this. i am doing this. i am a cross country runner. i recieve a pleasantly unusual praise from my coaches. "this race was yours. it didn't matter about who else was running it. you pushed yourself. your hard work is paying off. you're Trusting in your Training, and i'm lovin this new runner."