The girls Cross Country team had an amazing season this year. At the NEPSAC D2 Cross Country Championships, the team placed fourth overall. Additionally, Coco Arcand, one of the fastest runners on the team, had an outstanding race and placed first. Coco is a senior this year, and has been on the girls Cross Country team for 4 years. She has won many awards for her excellence in long distance running; (she is also very important here at The Vig because she is the owner of our advice column, “Dear, Coco”). The Vigornia had the opportunity to interview Coco after her fantastic win. Here is what she had to say:
The Vigornia: How long have you been running for?
Coco: I have been running for about six years. I started track during the spring of sixth grade, and I did not do cross country until seventh grade. When I first started, running was more of just a hobby, and I did not really start taking it seriously until a couple years later, when I began to run more consistently.
The Vig: When did you realize that you loved running?
Coco: Honestly, I can’t really pin down a specific time when I fell in love with running because I think it was a gradual progression that occurred over the years. I have always loved the way running challenges me, but I don’t know if there was ever a specific time when it changed from something I did to something I love. Personally, I love running because it’s a great way for me to get my mind off things such as school or other stresses, and I always feel better after I finish a run.
The Vig: How often do you run?
Coco: I run about 6 times a week. I do a mixture of different distances and routes in order to keep things interesting.
The Vig: How was the race? What was going through your mind during the race? And at the ceremony?
Coco: During the race, my main focus was honestly just trying to finish and do the best that I could. I was running with a group of two other girls for almost the entirety of the race, so I really just focused on staying with them and not going out too fast. When I had a mile left, I started to try to separate myself from the rest of the group because I knew I did not have much time to make a move if I wanted to. During the awards ceremony, I was so excited because we had not known until the announcement that we had placed as a team. The majority of our varsity runners (six out of seven) were seniors, so placing was a really exciting way to end our high school cross country experience.
The Vig: What do you do to motivate yourself to keep running and keep improving?
Coco: I think my motivation comes from truly enjoying what I do. I don’t run because I feel like I have to, but I genuinely enjoy the process of going and trying to improve every day. I also try not to focus on the results too much, because this can cause me to feel discouraged when things don’t always end in my favor.
The Vig: Do you have any advice/tips for beginners or those who want to improve?
Coco: My suggestion to beginners would be to gradually build up how much and how long you run. Do not put pressure on yourself to run certain times or distances, because everybody has to start somewhere. If you put too much pressure on yourself from the beginning, you will not give yourself the time to truly enjoy the sport, which is the most important part. Also, I always try to change up my routes in order to keep things interesting. If you just do the exact same run every day, not only will you get bored, but you also will not improve as much as if you change it up. At the end of the day, running should be something that you do because you enjoy it, not just something you do because you feel like you should.