In Her Own Words: Three Pieces of Advice

Lila Gaudrault a junior from Cape Elizabeth won the Class B State title in 2018, she's back to defend her title in 2019.

Hi everyone!

My name is Lila, and I am a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School. I am super excited to be blogging for Milesplit throughout this XC season. Admittedly, I am completely new to writing a blog, so if anyone has any ideas, questions, or thoughts concerning future entries, feel free to contact me! 

As we head into this season, I wanted to share 3 pieces of advice I've acquired recently that have really resonated with me. Hopefully they can help you too, or at least give you something to think about.

  1. A bad race can be a fluke. But a good race is never a fluke. Throughout the dozen-or-so races you'll probably run this season, a few of them are bound to be bad. Maybe even terrible. But it's important to remember that not every race demonstrates what you're truly capable of. Injuries, illnesses, or just feeling "off" can cause you to finish far behind your goals. I'm definitely not saying you should go around looking for excuses, but we all have bad days for no good reason at all!

On the other hand, it's possible you'll have an amazing, breakthrough performance. After my own best races, I've always found myself thinking, "the course was probably short," or, "I'll never be able to repeat this." Don't think that way (do as I say, not as I do:))!! You ran a PR or placed well because you're capable of doing so. It wasn't a "lucky" performance, but instead proof that you can accomplish greater things.

2. Consistency. I recently read Meb Keflezighi's book, "26 Marathons," and he talked a lot about the training that allowed him to be a top marathoner for over a decade. Overall, it was based on having consistent, "solid" workouts, and accomplishing what he needed to each day. It wasn't about going out and running insane, record-breaking track sessions, but instead training in a way that was sustainable and allowed him to improve while not overdoing it. 

Sometimes, in the weeks before a race, I'll set a really big goal for myself. My logic goes, "well, if I want to run this time, I'll have to train at this pace," even if the pace is much faster than I've ever run before. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received is this: "let your races, not your goals, prove when you're ready to train faster." Just being consistent and trusting the process is the best way to improve, I've found. 

3. Enjoy it!! In a sport filled with type-A personalities, it's easy to get caught up in all the pressure we put on ourselves and forget what makes cross country so special. Sometimes, on race day, I get so nervous that I don't realize how much fun it was until the event is over. It's so cliche, but seriously, embrace every run with your teammates, every bit of improvement, every step of even the worst races. Overall, that's my goal for the season, because if you don't enjoy it, why do it al all?! A quote to sum this up is, "the process is the goal." In the end, the race is really just a celebration of all the hard work you've put in.

Well, good luck to everyone as we head into the first meets of the season! Cape XC had a 2-mile scrimmage on Friday, and next week we head to Freeport for a 4k.

- Lila Gaudrault