Matt Lawder, a Junior cross country runner at Butler University, is the Men's Cross Country correspondent for the HLN Blog.
It's Saturday, and I just got back from "the run" after a long, LONG morning. Our team was up at 6:45 to volunteer for the annual Dick Lugar 10k/5k Run that takes place on Butler's campus, so we had to hold off our run until after the race. It wouldn't have been such an early morning, but we also had our second meet of the year, the Indiana Intercollegiates, on Friday and didn't get back to campus until around 10:30.
The meet was held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, the same course that will be used later this year to host the National Championship meet in Terre Haute. It was our last chance to tune up before the big races of the season. We ran a nearly full squad on the women's side and ended up in 3rd place with Katie Clark posting our team's fastest time. She finished in 17:45, good enough for 5th place overall.
On the men's side we held out about half the squad, but still had a solid showing. We finished in 4th place...not bad when you consider that other teams were running full squads. Rob Mullet took home the individual title and Madison Roeder finished 7th with a huge personal best of 25:05. I was the next Butler runner to finish...20th overall. It was the season opener for many of us on the team, as we prepare to run our full squad at the Notre Dame Invitational in two weeks.
School is in full swing now so people are starting to get a bit busier, and everyone is falling into their regular routines for the year. I can't believe we've been on campus for almost six weeks now, they're really starting to fly by! I've found time to keep tabs on how my St. Louis Cardinals are doing. They are dominating the National League Central if you didn't know, and I'm confident they have this year's MVP and Cy Young Award winners. Sorry, Mr. Lincecum.
Football is also occupying a lot of my time on weekends that aren't taken up by our two hour runs. My next door neighbor, Andy Baker, likes to think that he knows a lot about American football (he went to the Notre Dame-Nevada game with Kris Gauson and now thinks he's an expert on the topic). Most of his knowledge only comes from watching Hard Knocks on HBO (Season 5), so I have to listen to him tell me how great Felix Jones is every weekend.
For now, its back to solid training...trying to stay consistent and avoiding injuries. The team has added some new circuit routines to keep our flexibility up, and core strong. And, while we officially ended morning practices last week, these sessions are usually at 7am. Strange how that works, isn't it? With big races coming up soon, it will be nice to start moving our hard workouts to some faster and shorter intervals. The school has repaired our 1-mile loop which was paved over in the spring to add more outdoor tennis courts to the intramural fields...so we've got a good course to train on, along with some other loops.
With basically everyone on both the men's and women's squad still healthy (knock on wood) the team looks ready to have some good runs and pick up some points in our next event. Hopefully we can live up to our #20 national ranking that came out in the polls last week. But, preseason polls don't matter at the end of the year, so we'll have a better idea of how our team stacks up nationally after the Notre Dame Invitational.