Training Blog: Payton Godsey

Oaks Christian senior (CA) Payton Godsey won her first CIF State Division 4 Cross Country Championship title last season. She set a new 5K personal best of 17:00.06 on the Woodward Park course. The following week, she claimed a national title at the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships with a performance of 17:28.

As the calendar turned to 2023, she finished second in the 3,200m at the CIF State Outdoor Championships. Godsey posted career bests of 2:11.90 in the 800m, 4:44.13 in the mile, and 9:57.77 in the 3,200m, all ranked among the top performances in the country. She later committed to Northern Arizona University. 

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Week 2 (August 6 - August 12)

Monday, August 7 - 7.5 miles

Now that Mammoth training camp has ended, we are back to a more normal training schedule.

Today we met at 7:15 a.m. and did our workout at a park. We did 2x10 minute tempo reps with warm up and cool down. Afterward, we did six strides across the grass. After the run, we had weights back at school, so we grabbed a quick snack between workouts. The weight room, as well as our training load, is toned back this week because last week was so intense at camp. It felt good to be back in a routine again at home. 

For the rest of the day, I got some work done and spent time with my family. 

Tuesday, August 8 - 6 miles

Today was my last-ever summer morning practice. We met at a local park called Sapwi Trails (in Thousand Oaks) at 7:15 a.m.

Our league hosts a race here during the regular season for the JV teams. We meet here every week during the cross country season because we can replicate any workout we need. Our current block is 2-mile repeats on the course. The first mile of the course is flat, the second is rolling hills, and the third has one very long and steep hill. We do 3x2 miles and go through the course twice. Our coach told us to stay under control today and not push too hard since this week is a bit of a down week coming off of camp. The repeats felt solid and I felt like I had a lot left which is good. 

After our run, we grabbed some food and headed to the weight room. For the rest of the day, I got some more of my summer work done. 

Wednesday, August 9 - Recovery Run, 7 miles

Because today was the first day of afternoon practice, I finally had the chance to sleep in for the first time in practically a month. It was really nice to not worry about waking up before 7 a.m. I took the day to be lazy for one of the last times of the summer. I watched Breaking Bad with my brother and chilled around the house until practice at 3:30 p.m. 

We met at a trail in the area and had a recovery run. The whole point of us running in the afternoon a week out from school starting is to acclimate to the heat before we have to get used to a full day of school too. I was preparing all day for a really hot run so I was super hydrated and ready to go.

But it rained.

I don't know how or why but when we got to the trail it was cloudy and windy and on the way back of the run it started to drizzle. But I also have zero complaints. I honestly loved it and had a great run. 

Thursday, August 10 - 7 miles

This morning I woke up pretty early and spent the morning golfing with my brother, dad and grandpa. I am actually terrible, I can't lie, but at least I had a good time laughing with my family.

After golfing, I spent some time with my teammates because it was Delaney's birthday. We celebrated her 16th together before going to practice at Lang Ranch.

Today's run was just seven miles, only we ran an extra hilly route nearby. The route goes through some neighborhoods and climbs up some hills on the loop. It was quite hot and I definitely could feel it, but we made it through the hills and I felt good. Afterward, we had a nice little picnic with some fruit, chips and guacamole.

Friday, August 11 - 7 miles

Today was another slow day for me.

I slept in a lot and hung around the house getting some work done, eating and drinking water.

The highlight of my day was getting to talk to my teammate, Sarah, who just finished up her plebe summer at the Naval Academy. She FaceTimed our girls cross country group chat and we all got to catch up with her after six weeks of no contact. Seeing her again after some time gave all of us a boost right before practice.

We met at Moorpark Road Trails and it was another warm one. We just had a base run today so we did an out-and-back and I ran with a few of the girls. We had a lot of good laughs and the run went by pretty fast. It was also my last run with one of my best friends, Gianna, because she is leaving for college next week. I am definitely going to feel her absence this year and I can't believe all the seniors are actually leaving us. 

Saturday, August 12 - 7 miles

Today we had a morning practice because it is Saturday, so I got up around 6:30 a.m. I got ready at my house and drove to Sapwi trails for practice at 7:15.

During the cross season we are able to do a lot of different workouts at Sapwi because there is an entire cross country course as well as a somewhat flat dirt loop that we use similar to a track.

Today we did some 500s at mile effort to start getting our bodies back into some speed. We warmed up, did some activation drills, then had 3x500, and I felt pretty good during it. Afterward, we had an extended cooldown or recovery run since the workout had such a low volume.

Cool downs are by far my least favorite part of running despite them being one of the most important parts. Today's cooldown was one of those never-ending runs that make you question everything, but of course, the second I finished it I was all good again. Even though it was a long cooldown it was still a good day and I got a lot out of it.

After practice, I drove home, did a bit of strength training and had breakfast. For the rest of the day, I got some school supplies and watched Breaking Bad with my brother. I then went out with two friends for dinner and had a great time! 

Sunday, August 13 - 7 miles

Today was my last summer run as a high schooler. It's not actually that deep, but it does feel weird that my next summer run will be as a graduate.

Usually, my Sundays are either an off day or just an easy couple miles, but tomorrow I am actually having my wisdom teeth removed, so for the next week or so I will be pretty limited.

With that in mind, I ran seven miles to round off my last week of miles this summer. My dad was kind enough to go out and bike with me so I wasn't alone. We went straight from my house and ran through the neighborhood to Chesebro Trail just a couple miles from my house. Everyone was out walking their dogs or jogging this morning. The run went very smoothly and it was a great way to end my summer.

I am feeling very strong, and even though I am not ready for the homework and tests part of school, I am really looking forward to seeing all of my friends again and being in a normal routine. I actually find myself feeling stronger during workouts and runs when I am going to school on a regular basis.

After my run, my family and I drove up to Santa Barbara to help my brother move into his new house for his second year of college. Saying goodbye was pretty hard since I am so close to him, but I know he isn't too far away. 

Total Mileage: 48.5 miles

This is the second of several training blogs written by various athletes as the 2023 cross country season begins to ramp up. Check out our training blog series page for more content.