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 4 (August 21 - August 27)

Monday, August 21 - 7.30 Miles

This morning I woke up at 6:30 am and got ready very quickly. I had some breakfast on the go and got to school at 7:10 for the weight room. During this school year, we are doing weights twice a week before school. I love our weight training and it is something I think has really helped me get a lot stronger as well as prevent injuries. Weights took about an hour, and after that I got ready quickly in the locker room and went straight to class starting at 8:30.

School went by slowly, but I was productive and got some things done during my free time.

After school, we had a cross country team meeting before practice. We talked about some things that were coming up as well as the workout. Today was one of our harder workouts, but one of my all-time favorites.

We had a 20-minute tempo on a loop we call North Ranch Loop. The loop is about 8.5 miles long, which is a longer day for us, and it climbs up some hills as well as has some long down hills. About 4 miles in we started the tempo, which means we had to start on a pretty steep hill. However, it was short and after that and we had a nice downhill. The tempo went really well and I ran at about 6 minute pace the whole time and covered 3.30 miles in 20 minutes. It was a good day considering it was my first longer tempo this season. I am looking forward to the future long tempos so I can improve. 

Tuesday, August 22 - 9 Miles 

Today was a normal day of school for me. My first class was 8:30, and I ended at 3:15 and had a solid day at school. Sometimes it can be rough transitioning from a 7 hour day of school to a hard run, but having such good teammates always gets me excited for practice.

Today we had 2 mile tempo repeats at a local park we call the Green Belt. We run about 1.5 miles for warm up from school to the park. There we did some drills and activation before starting. The park is a large loop of thick grass and uneven surfaces. It is a super challenging run, so our paces were a lot slower than usual, but we got to work on stability which is good for cross country. I averaged just under 7 minute pace for all 3 miles, and felt under control. Then we ran the 1.5 back for cooldown so my total was 9 miles. It was another high mileage day, so our mileage later on in the week might be a little lower. When I got home I was feeling a little tight, so I stretched and did extra foam rolling. 

Wednesday, August 23 - 7 Miles

This morning I got up early so that I could go to the hospital and have my blood drawn before school. This way my doctor can check my iron and vitamin D levels. This is something I have been consistently doing for about 4 years now ever since I had low iron levels. I am making sure that I have good levels right before the season starts.

At school, I had a very chill day with some lighter classes so I was able to get some work done for the days ahead.

We had a super simple day at practice. We did some hurdle drills to get warmed up, then had an easy 7 mile recovery run from school. Because of where we are located, there is not a lot of variety when it comes to base runs. Today was a simple out and back to a local elementary school. I ran with a couple of the girls and kept it super smooth. I felt a lot better after the run than before, which is always the goal for days like today. 

Thursday, August 24 - 8.5 Miles

This morning we had weight room again at 7:15 am. Getting up extra early for this can be rough, but soon I will get into a rhythm again and it won't be so bad. After weights, I had a normal day at school.

For practice today, we had a fartlek on Lake Loop which is a loop we do a lot from school. The workout was 5, 3, 1, 1, 3, 5, 5, 3, 1 minutes of tempo. Basically 1.5 sets of a ladder. The recovery in between was half the time of the previous rep, so after the 5 min we had 2.5 min of easy. It was a longer workout and I found myself stuck between the boys and girls so I definitely had a rough one today. I still got some solid work in, but I was not quite as fast as I would've liked.

My total mileage on the day was 8.5 with warm up and cool down. 

Friday, August 25 - 4 Miles

This morning I had a free period first, so I slept in later than usual. I then went on my easy recovery run from my house since our coach made practice on your own. I ran a super easy 4 miles from my house in Chesebro Trails. It was really nice out and I saw some coyotes at the turnaround point. I felt decent but was a little tired. This is expected considering how much volume of training we put in this week. After my run, I got ready and went to school. I had a light day of classes and after school, I got some of my homework out of the way so that I could enjoy my weekend a little bit more. 

Saturday, August 26 - 7 Miles

Unfortunately, I had to take the SAT this morning, so I was unable to go to my team's practice. I already took the SAT once, but because I am competitive, I took it again to see if I could get a higher score than my brother and my cousins for bragging rights. I thought it went better than last time so hopefully I will get a better score.

After the SAT I went home, relaxed, ate, and waited for it to cool off so I could go for my run. My mom was kind enough to join me and we decided to drive down to Zuma Beach since it would be a lot nicer weather there.

It was super busy out since it was Saturday night, but the vibes were great. Everyone was enjoying the beach, and I had a lot of fun on my run. I ran an easy 7 out and back just in time before the sunset. After my run I stretched as I watched the sunset, then I went home with my mom, and we had dinner together. It was definitely not a typical Saturday night for me, but I honestly really enjoyed my afternoon run and might start running at that time more. 

Sunday, August 27 - 6 Miles

One last one!

This morning I slept in pretty late, so I had a slow start to the day. I had plans to meet up with my former teammate, Ethan, to catch up and run, but we had some difficulty planning out a good time. Because of this, we ended up meeting right around noon, during the hottest part of the day. It was a little unfortunate, but I am very glad we got to meet up otherwise I would have run alone during the worst part of the day. We met at a park in between where we both live and ran an easy 6 miles out and back. It was pretty hot, so we had a nice stop at a water fountain which saved us. It was super great to be able to catch up with him and hear about his college life. After my run, I went home and got some homework done before going to Church later on. It was a good weekend. 

A special note from Godsey:

Unfortunately, this is the last run that I am sharing with everyone. I can't believe how fast this whole month went by and how much happened in such a short time. I know that this season is going to be one to remember and I am super excited to see how everything plays out. I have my first race in two weeks, and the Woodbridge Invitational in about 2.5 weeks. I know the season is long, but I also know it is going to fly by, so I am going to take in everything and enjoy all the highs and lows of training and racing since it is my last high school season. But for now, thank you for following along! I can't wait to get on the course and put some of this training to the test. 

Total Mileage: 43 Miles

This is the fourth 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.