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Cross Country

by Meghann on September 17, 2009

Lately I have been living vicariously through one of my co-worker’s daughters. She is on her school’s cross country team and he could not be more proud.

After each meet he’ll discuss her stats with me and what she is doing to work on improving her speed. We swap race stories and strategies. He’ll talk about how he feels like she’s not giving it all she’s got and I am beyond jealous that she has this outlet to run in.

Honestly, back in high school I was never sure what cross country was. I knew it was a sport where you ran long distances, but that’s about it. To me track and cross country were one in the same and both sports I never saw myself doing.

If you were to walk up to my old high schooler self and told me to run I would have laughed in your face. If you would have told me that one day I would be running so many miles a day and even running marathons, I would not have believed you for a second. The high schooler me was stubborn, had no discipline and was very much stuck in her ways.

After listening to my co-worker’s stories the past couple of weeks, I wish I could transfer the mind I have now to my high schooler self then. I can only imagine the possibilities.

I would start to run every morning before school. I would join the cross country team. I would improve my times and I would have so much fun.

I also wouldn’t care what anyone else thought. I would stop crying over old boyfriends who really mean nothing now. And I would ride my bike to school instead of driving, because seriously it was 1.8 miles away. How lazy was I? Oh I guess I would need to go out and buy a bike too.

Unfortunately, you only get one shot at high school and one shot to run on the school’s cross country team. Lucky for me, I did eventually discover my love for running and participate in races and with time came discipline that I never had before. For me its all for fun and I would haven’t it any other way. 🙂

Did you run cross country? If you could go back to your high school self would you do anything differently?

Today’s Mid- Morning Snack


I really liked this flavor. It was very grainy and filling.




Massaged Kale Salad with

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Raisins
  • Mushrooms
  • Left Over Chicken Nuggets
  • Feta
  • Garlic Stuffed Olives



Some Kashi Crackers on the side for crunch and TJ’s Peach Salsa for dipping.


Great lunch!

Alright enough of trying to live in the past. Its now time for the future. 🙂

1 Maggie September 17, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Hehe… I did track in HS for one year and couldn’t run a single race due to stress fractures. Xcountry would have been very intense – I couldn’t imagine doing more than a mile back then! Bobby was on xcountry and he loved it. He was the kid who would run so hard he’d puke. Now my sister is that kid.

I meant to comment earlier about the trampolining – it’s no wonder you’re not sore – I think something about trampolining stretches as it exercises/tones, and it’s the perfect way of stretching to prevent soreness. At least I think that’s what happens. I’m not usually sore after rebounding.

2 Robyn September 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I actually ran cross country for my middle school and high school. I loved it! I have 4 brothers and they all ran cross country so I followed. My freshman year of high school our team got 3rd at the state meet, one of my proudest moments!! ha. Now I am in college and don’t run for Indiana University but still run road races and love running more than ever. Man I do miss a huge pack to keep you accountable!!

3 Julie @savvyeats September 17, 2009 at 1:44 pm

i knew what cross-country was, but only because I was one of the only people in my group of friends who wasn’t on the team!

There was no way I would have been on the team; back then, I was proud when I managed to finish a mile-long run/walk in less than 20 minutes!

I’d definitely convince myself to run more if I could go back though– it would have helped my tennis playing and overall fitness so much!

4 Allison September 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I was on the swim team all through High school so I never ran XC though all my friends did. I ran XC my freshman year of college and had a great time, but I also got shin splints so bad it hurt to walk. All those years of low impact exercise left me very susceptible to running injury. I was really glad I participated though because it gave me a love for running I didn’t know that I had. I didn’t rejoin the team, but I’ve been working on building up mileage slowly instead of jumping into 30-40 miles a week. I haven’t had shin problems since!

5 Ally September 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm

I did track my first two years of high school–I was NEVER fast, and I did it because as you know, you need a sport on your college application, blah, blah. I actually then liked the running aspect of it, but, we had a TERRIBLE coach–he was not encouraging at all–except to the few “stars” we had (um, one was his daughter), so, he was actually rather mean and hurtful to the rest of it and it really turned me off from running for a long time.

I’m still not fast at all, but, I do run. I compete in races and I’ve come a long way from those track and field days–I’d love for my coach to see me now–the girl he picked on for those years–ha!

Man, high school is such a trip!! Such a weird experience…

6 jentrinque September 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Meghann, have you ever considered being a mentor to younger women (or men) and inspiring them to take better care of themselves? You’re still young enough that teenagers wouldn’t think, “This woman is way too old, she doesn’t get it!” and your story of weight loss and fitness is really inspiring – I bet you could convince some kids to change their ways and take great care of themselves!

Either way, I’m so glad you’re doing what you’re doing!

7 Amanda September 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm

My high school self never would have believed that I am a runner!! I can remember doing a fitness test in school that required me to run a mile. At my school, one mile was 4 laps around the track. I can remember going around 3 times and then finishing and swearing that I had completed the full mile. Looking back it was just pitiful!! It’s amazing the changes that we make!

8 megan September 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I ran track all through high school and hated it! Don’t ask me why i kept doing it. it didn’t help that i am a really slow runner… oh well. i run now for fun, and never long than 3 miles. 🙂

9 Kat September 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Hey Meghann,
How exactly do you “massage” the kale?
Weird question- but I’m curious. Ive seen it on lots of blogs and would love to make it at home. Thanks!

10 Kristine September 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I did winter track in high school but only as a way to stay in shape for lacrosse in the spring. I never took it seriously and never ran competitively. I wish more than anything I could go back and TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! I now run a lot more then I used to and I am in much better shape then I was in HS. I would have been a much better athlete if I could go back now. But, you are right, we can’t live in the past! I think a lot of it has to do with immaturity in high school and trying so hard to “fit in.”

11 Riss September 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

MMMmmmm. Muffin-tops! The BEST part of a muffin!

12 Lauren September 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Love your perspective on high school – I totally agree! Funny how things can change in five years…I love how for people in their mid-20’s suddenly running is a cool hobby and lifestyle.

13 Gillian September 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I ran track in 8-10th grade. (Winter & Spring) but I was always to afraid to run cross country. Boy do I regret it though. I talked my little brother who is his high school track team’s star sprinter to do it this year-his senior year and he is loving it.

I would have warned myself how easy it is to get out of shape in college. And after. I also was more disciplined in high school than I am now at 22. Ugh.

I know you are jealous of the high school cross country teams camaraderie but I am envious of all you girls who run together and write fitness blogs. =)

14 haya September 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

i did cross country and track in high school. now i look back and laugh at how huge of a thing i thought doing a 4 or 5k at my meets was 😉

i think aside from being too wrapped up in some drama, i am pretty happy with how i lived high school. in fact, i think it’s because of high school that i have so much discipline now!

15 Morgan September 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I didn’t run cross country. It’s a winter sport in NJ, and it’s too cold out for me!
I would never go back to high school. I wish I wasn’t such a drama queen, and didn’t get so hurt over boys. I guess it made me a stronger person, but in the end, it’s just not worth it!

16 Leah September 17, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I ran XC in HS one season, only as a way to stay in shape for soccer. I hated it but I suck at running. But I loved how small the group was and we were so close to each other! I went to HS at a DODDS school in Germany so we would race all over Europe! We’d spend weekends in Italy, Amsterdam, Belguim, France. And we usually had a huge tour bus just for the 10 of us. The trails we ran were always really challenging: very hilly, woodsy, and muddy. We suffered a lot of turned ankles! I *wish* I could do a High School do-over and stick with Xc the whole 4 years. It would have been good for me even though I sucked. I’m much more of a soccer girl.

17 runnerskitchen September 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I ran track and cross-country all through high school and college (8 years!), but I didn’t start taking it very seriously until Sophomore year of college. I wish I realized my potential during those early years, but then again, maybe if I ran harder then I would be burnt out by now. Fortunately, it’s 10 years later and I still love running!

A story of what NOT to do when you’re on a cross country team – when I was 16, my friend Lisa and I stuffed oreos in our sports bras and ate them during a race. We thought it would be funny, but it just gave me a tummy ache!

18 ohsnapitsMegan September 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm


It’s the muffin top that can help me lose mine 😉

19 Danielle C. September 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Wow you summed up my high school life to a T. Ironically I did run a little X Country my freshman year but lost interest because I decided I hated running….I think I would have come around to it if I didn’t have my first real boyfriend around that time….

Oh to go back in time and change things…but it is the decisions we make when we are young that shape the adults we are now. Maybe you would have burned out on running after high school (my husband was a big time runner in HS and now his knees bother him too much at 36 to run).

20 Andrea September 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I was exact the same way as you in high school Meghann. I wish I could’ve done alot of things differently in my life. I definitely wish I would’ve jumped on the fitness bandwagon alot sooner but I can’t be happier now and that’s all that matters! Thanks for sharing!

21 Catherine September 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I ran XC & track all four years in high school & college. Those four years of running in high school were the absolute best. I not only had a good time, but I was pretty darn fast! I wish I could find that speed & determination again 🙂

22 foodieinthecity September 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm

It’s easy to live in the past for us all, but the future is so bright 🙂

I love Vitatops, I have a slight addiction… I ordered the CranBran and BlueBran which are delicious with some almond butter smeared on top. But my favorite is by far the chocolate.

Have a great afternoon!

23 Betsy September 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm

I ran XC my senior year of HS – I had been a runner for awhile and if I could tell my high school self to do something different, it would have been to join earlier. I loved the sport (but i had and still have terrible race anxiety) and our sweatshirts “Our sport is your sport’s punishment” – always made me feel proud.

I talked my lil sis up to our coach, at the time she was in middle school and pretty much keeping up with me. Sure enough, when she came to our HS she joined X-country and became the first freshman girl from our school to make it to our state competition. She ran really well all throughout HS (I sort of lived vicariously through her) and now runs XC and track for Linfield.

Running is awesome.

24 Anne September 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm

I ran XC my senior year of high school, but I wish I had pushed myself harder! Looking at how well I run now I wish I’d realized I wasn’t going to die during the 2.5 mile races and gone faster!

25 Mellissa September 17, 2009 at 3:01 pm

I laugh when I think about my high school self, I was not a runner at all but was involved in lots of activities.

I would go back and not care so much about what people think! I know that is easier said then done, but now who cares what the person who called me whatever name said. I have done a lot with my life and have a lot to be proud of.

26 Kate September 17, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I was very INactive in high school., but lost a lot of weight and started exercising towards the end. Mostly, I don’t have regrets- maybe sports would have distracted me from choir and academics, which I excelled at. Maybe I’d have burned out and wouldn;t get the pleasure I get from running now. Who knows?

One thing I do wish is that I’d done rowing- but at my school the rowers were the cool kids, and I… wasn’t. It’s still my dream!

27 krittie September 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Hi Meghann! When I was in high school, I did not participate in cross country. Sometimes I wish I did, but I was pretty active in other sports.

The multibran vita top is my favorite. It has just the right amount of sweetness and keeps me full for a while!


28 Matt September 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm

If you had told me in high school that I would be a runner I would have laughed in your face. Seriously. I played tennis and I was on varsity, but I hated running. I was beat after running a mile!

If I could go back, I would totally join the XC team. I would probably be faster now if I had started earlier!

29 Ada September 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm

That’s funny, if I were to return to high school I would do the exact opposite as you. I swam competitively in highschool and would usually practice four hours a day, which meant waking up before 4:30AM. I was always working so hard at swimming that I didn’t get to experience some of the fun aspects of high school, such as going to parties or simply hanging out. I wish I could visit my high school self and tell her to have more fun!

30 Sheri September 17, 2009 at 3:31 pm

In high school I did not run cross country but I did track I was a sprinter. Pretty good at it too. I did not love running back then like I do now. But if I could do it again I probably would have joined XC that way I would be better at it then I am today.

31 Krista September 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm

My daughter runs on her cross country team and I think that’s a direct result in her seeing me run all the time! Makes me a proud mama!

32 Bree September 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I ran CC from 7-9th grade, and ran mid-long distance track 7-12th grade. I gave up CC when my school finally got girls soccer because they were in the same season. At the time, I didn’t like CC as much as track, and today I think I still would rather race an 800 then a longer race. But, the comradarie (sp?) and bonding us long distance girls had was like no other sport I participated in.

If I could go back, athletically I would have started playing soccer younger, and would tell my 17 year old self to have more confidence in my appearance and abilities.

33 Rose September 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I ran Cross Country! It was the best experience of my life (one of the best, anyway). I was always one of the slowest runners, but by my senior year I had earned a couple letters and was co-captain with my two best friends.

I made lifelong friends through running – I’ll never forget those times (I get weepy just thinking about it now).

34 Evan Thomas September 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm

That’s my favorite salsa ever. I’m definitely going to pick some up for my dorm next time I go to a Trader Joe’s, which there are none near by

I actually cofounded the cross country team in my senior year. It was a little thrown together, but a ton of fun, and I came in first for our school and 15th overall in the division championships

35 Samantha September 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I would have never even considered joining the cross country team. I was very overweight and very lazy. I am working towards being in your shoes – dedicated, hard working, and love running. Thanks for the inspiration!!

36 katie September 17, 2009 at 4:24 pm

i was on the cross country ski team in high school [still not sure why i initially joined since i had never skied before – peer pressure i guess] and my coach was always bugging me to join the cross country and track teams. i always told him “maybe next year” and “i’m not a runner” [i did swimming in the fall during the x-c season so that was also my excuse] but he kept telling me i had a body shape similar to a girl at another school who was quite good.

i’m sure he’d be shocked now, but very happy to hear, that i’m running / training a half marathon [which is on sunday!]. my dad was actually going to tell him how i’m running now next time i saw him. amazing how 10 years or so can change your perspective on sports.

37 JHunt September 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm

I don’t think I even knew what cross country was in high school! At first I though it had to do with skiing! Oops!
-Jessica @

38 Kara September 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm

You should be a XC coach! You’d be great for it 🙂

39 Jenna September 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm

yummy salsa! and no i did not do XC or track in high school. i played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse all four years of high school and i loved them all 🙂

40 Susan September 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I didn’t do a lick of activity in highschool. I’ve never played on a sports team in my life!! I sometimes forget about how much lost time I’m catching up on!

41 MarathonVal September 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm

I was the same way in h.s. – I HATED running and honestly would have fainted if you told me I had to run just 4 miles, let alone 26.2! So funny how far we come.

And I completely agree, running has given me so much in terms of my confidence in my own abilities and I wish so much that I had that that back then, when I really needed it!

42 Julia September 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I did my first year of track last year and did pretty well. I really started getting into running and i was convinced to do cross country this year. it’s my senior year and i’m the number one varsity girl. it’s one of the best decisions i’ve made!

43 Stephanie September 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Man, do I love those Vita-Tops. They are so delicious! Plus, I accidentally hit the wrong button on my order and ended up with OOODLES of that flavor.

44 Tammy Eros September 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

I thought the same thing as I read your post…my experience and yours could be interchanged…and I would definately, if given the chance, go abck and tell my high school self to do ALOT of things differently, especially when it comes to exercise and running!

45 Melissa S. September 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm

You totally know I ran Cross Country in HS…you’re looking at the TEAM CAPTAIN BABY!! Hahaha…it was seriously the best part of my high school years; i couldn’t have made better friends.

46 Steph September 17, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I enjoyed myself in high school. I played 3 sports and was involved in everything! I don’t want to go back there, but I wouldn’t change a thing either 🙂

47 Amy C. September 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I ran cross country, track, and indoor track in high school and LOVED it! Some of the best memories I have are from meets and practices. I remember sitting in history class so excited to get out and go for a run in the woods after school. It was awesome! As far as other things in high school, I wish my high school self had more confidence. I was so worried about feeling fat or about the boy who didn’t like me back that sometimes I wasn’t the best advocate for myself. Like you, I’d like to put my current mind in my then high school self to do a few things differently. But you can’t go back, right? I had a great time in h.s. overall so I guess that’s what counts. 🙂

48 Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats September 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Have you ever thought about coaching cross country at a local high school or jr high??

49 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) September 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm

I actually think about that a lot and wish I could go back in time. But at the same time, my love for running developed on it’s own. Had I forced it, I probably wouldn’t be as enamored by it 🙂 Glad we’ve discovered the joys of running NOW rather than at 60…

50 Danielle Lowe September 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I ran crosscountry in middle school and highschool. I acutally was offered scholarships to run CC in college, but turned them down. I quit running after HS and regret it so much. I got busy with college and haven’t ran since. I wish I had your self control to get back into running!

51 catruns September 17, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I wouldn’t bother trying to hang out with the popular kids. I was so depressed that year and once I started hanging out with kids who accepted me (even if they were rather dorky) I was so so so much happier. I’d also be less horrible to my mother!

52 Katherine September 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I ran for the track team in HS and also played field hockey all four years, I was in great shape and loved it. But when I stated college I stopped running and I went to the gym maybe once a week. The only thing I regret was not doing track and field in college, I thought it would be conflict too much with my studies. Now I am slowly gaining back my endurance and trying to loose a little of the weight I gained during college. You are a huge inspiration to me and I hope to run a marathon one day.

53 wnk505 September 17, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I ran cross country my junior year in high school for about a good 2 months maybe a little longer. I trained with the team over the summer and then practice up until our first race. I was able to run the first 5k but suffered from horrible leg pains. Come to find out I had multiple stress fractures in my tibia & fibula and had to wear THE BOOT for a good while. It sucked! I am not going to lie though I loved high school years except freshman year

54 Nicci@NIftyEats September 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm

I never ran cross country but I applauded my friends who did. I was a sprinter and never thought I’d even consider running more than a mile.

55 bobbi September 18, 2009 at 1:51 am

Yep I ran cross country 4 years!!! Didnt get seroiouse again until after College, and now I get to coach cross country which is my DREAM JOB!!!!

Love the puppy training tooooo cute!

56 Brea September 18, 2009 at 8:11 am

I did not run cross country in high school. I was not much of a runner in high school period. But I did play volleyball and tennis all 4 years and even was part of the indoor track team for 1 winter. That was hard but very fulfilling, but obviously not enough because I tried out the next year and left during the warm-ups of the first day thinking…why am I doing this, I don’t like running, lol!

I don’t think I would change anything in high school. I’m a true believer that who we are today (how we’ve evolved) comes from who we were in the prior years. Just shows how much you have learned, changed, discovered who you are it molds you into who you are today!!

57 Wendy September 18, 2009 at 9:02 am

I ran XC all four years and my first year of college. If I could go back, I would push myself more than I did. BUT, then again, I had so much fun!

I think being a XC coach would be awesome!

58 caitlin September 18, 2009 at 10:01 am

i wanted to tell you how cute this post was 🙂

59 Stephanie September 18, 2009 at 10:31 am

I ran Cross Country 3 years in High School. I have a million things I would tell my high school self! One of which: try harder! I never really pushed myself with Cross Country. I could’ve been ALOT better if I would’ve just pushed myself.

60 Hangry Pants September 19, 2009 at 9:22 am

I was the same way as you. I hated running and was convinced I could not do it. You should check out whether you could volunteer to help out with the high school or middle school team in your area. I think you would love it!

61 Mallory @ It's Only Life October 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

hi meghann! i know this post is super old, but i was exploring your blog (i’m a regular reader) and noticed you liked vitatops. im having a vitatop giveaway on my blog- a 24 pack sampler if youre interested in entering! 🙂 just thought id let you know.
Mallory @ It’s Only Life recently posted..Vitalicious Giveaway!

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