Monday, September 13, 2010

Cross Country

There is always that smell in the air right before the gun fires at a cross country meet. Its a mix is a mix but it is dominated by the scent of the freshly cut grass. You can sense the tension in runners, the nervousness that twists their guts. But we special few who know what they are about to endure can pat them on the back and promise them its worth every step to the finish line. Others though have no clue. What these others I think don't realize, as they lean over and scream for you to surge over the hill, is that its really sucks to surge up hills. Or that it hurts like nothing else to kick it in that last half mile, or to just get one more guy. They don't realize what they ask of us poor runners, but the amazing thing is, we listen. When running cross country you experience a sense of freeness, a feeling that nothing can hold you back and that each hill is just a minor thing in your way of conquering another course. I believe that cross country is the most mentally challenging sport out there. Along with the physical requirements, but the sad thing is, no matter how hard you train, or how much you run, that feeling in your legs down the homestretch is going to hurt. Just like it has and always will. Thats why any one daring enough to take this sport on is a man in my book.
Zac Wiemers
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Photos by Doug Wells

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Bond

There is something that forms between teammates that no one can really understand completely. It is formed in-season during those grueling workouts or in those tough races but, it is seen whenever times get tough. For example, right before the last repeat, or right after a tough loss. It also helps in the summer during those long runs that no one wants to be one. To look at that person in the eye, you can just feel what they expect from you. The expectation? You may ask, "if they have such a close bond, why should there be expectations?" Really though, the answer is simple. When you have that bond you expect the person to stick with you. To suck it up on the days when they feel the weakest, and the surprising thing is that they do. And the reason for it? They know that you will do the same for them. It's amazing to see how strong these bonds can get and how they can make you react. I believe that there is no bond stronger than one formed between teammates, nothing, not even the word impossible can come and break it. Cause if a bond this strong believes that it can be done, then whatever is in the way better step aside, because believe me. It will get done.

Zac Wiemers
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My Run

In these dark lonely streets,
Avoiding this restless wind,
Fighting that endless hill,
Is where you will find me.
To myself.
About what could be,
Will be,
Or has been.
Reliving times that have long passed.
Longing for times that are yet to be.
Wanting to retry that one thing,
That i did that one time.
Cause i know,
I can do better.
I really do believe,
That is why I'm out here.
Doing what I'm doing.
So that I might,
Will win,
At the next chance I see.
But until that time,
You will find me here.
On these dark lonely streets,
Avoiding this restless wind.
Fighting that endless hill,
Just dreaming,
Just wanting,
Just longing,
Just Running.

Zac Wiemers
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Will To Prepare...

“It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.” - Bear Bryant

One thing that I have always found very difficult is off-season training. To wake up every morning bright and early to go run nine miles does not sound to intriguing to the normal person. As you all know it can be hard to double not your shoes and take off out the door but, it must be done. As I read this quote I always think of the early mornings I spend to prepare for a great season. As the well known book Once a Runner states, "Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials". Even though we may regret every step of the run that morning, and wish only to be back in bed, you must remember that every mile is a trial that you will have to overcome to have a great season. So now, every time you hear your alarm go off don't role over and slam the snooze or just plain turn it off. Instead repeat to yourself this quote and slip on your shoes and head out the door. Remember, every mile is a trial, and you must prepare to beat these trials early so that when your race comes, you can use that will to win properly.
Zac Wiemers
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


A solid teammate is a runners best friend. Its someone you can talk to about your pre race nerves, someone to push you in your workouts, even someone to collapse on after a race. A good teammate can bring out the best in you on your worst days, and even more on your best. A solid teammate keeps you humble, but keeps you proud. To be able to walk off the track with a teammate who just ran the same race you did, feeling the same way you are can be very comforting, especially in our moments of failure. I believe a good thanks is appropriate to all teammates who stick by your side.

Picture by Doug Wells
Zac Wiemers
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The 3200

The frustrating thing about track that I think many people encounter is how much a race can change from day to day. One day your race can take off slow and then make the last lap an all out sprint. But yet others can take off really fast and stay that way. You can see/feel the change most in the 3200 meter dash. (Or run, whatever you prefer.) It takes skill to be able to adjust on the move. Not knowing what kind of race you are about to start can take its toll in the mental aspect of it all. Of course, if you try and guess how the race take off you could get screwed over! For example, if you think its going to take off fast, and you take off fast you could find yourself alone. In which case the field could easily catch up and pass you. On the other hand though, if you take off too slow you have the potential to find yourself in the back of the race and may struggle to regain position up front. It takes a lot of strain to try and maneuver in a 3200 meter race so this all just adds to it. Being stuck in the middle of a large pack can really kill you mind as you try and guess what the other competitors are thinking and when they are going to make their move. To add on to that there are a lot of thrown elbows that you must try and avoid. O, and I almost forgot, during all these mind battles of guessing and strategy, you are also running pretty fast! So that adds to the strain a little bit.

Picture by Nathan Wiemers
Zac Wiemers
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Monday, May 17, 2010


By far, in my personal opinion, the greatest advantage to being an active runner is the amount of calories your body burns. Plus, the amount of calories your body needs to function. In simpler terms, we runners can eat whatever we lay our eyes on, but still not see the difference in our weight. It's almost magical. It has become a routine of one of my team-ate (Ben Anderson) and I to drive to Krispy Kreme after we finish our longer runs. Our mission? To eat a dozen donuts as fast as possible. The great thing about that is you won't feel guilty! No matter how many I eat. I just keep thinking of all the miles i ran before and all guilt melts away like the donuts in my mouth. O, and don't let me forget about Zebra Cakes! Just one package and all the troubles of the world disappear. Yup, I believe almost every runner would agree that the greatest thing is being able eat up whatever is laid in front of you without counting the calories!

Zac Wiemers
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Friday, April 30, 2010

Down to the kick

We all love watching a race go down to a kick. Honestly, there is nothing better then watching competitors go at it and see who actually wants it more. You see the people who let up the last hundred and enjoy their last steps but their are always those brave ones who gut it out and really go at it. Tuesday, April 27th, Kevin Lewis, Ryne Murphy, and Jonathon Hutchinson gave the stadium a show. Murphy led it all the way down to the homestretch where he and Lewis battled out till Lewis pulled away with a 4:32. Its amazing to think that 5 minutes before those two were seen flying threw the last hundred meters, they were standing on a starting line calmly shaking hands. Congratulations Kevin for the strong finish.
Zac Wiemers
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Weird? Or Lucky?

Do you have your weird quirks? I have mine. I believe that i will not run good unless I'm wearing my lucky socks, there is a hole in both heals and holes forming in the arches. Could i still run with out them? Probably, but i don't want to find out if thats wrong. I have worn these socks since 7th grade cross country.And i plan on wearing them till I graduate. I believe that distance running is mental, which is why i think most runners have their traditions, as weird as they may be.
Zac Wiemers
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Fellowship of the runners

One thing thats great about distance running is the community. In the race you will notice some thrown elbows, some shoving, or even a little trash talk. But after the race everyone forgives and forgets, well for the most part! After the race a good 'ol high five or hug is not uncommon. And before the race a 'good luck' is passed around without thinking. Some of my best friends are also my greatest competitors. This has been proven several times when I see my own teammate Jonathon Hutchinson pass me in the last 200 meters in a race. When i thought i had nothing left he always seems to bring out my best.
Zac Wiemers
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Picture by Doug Wells