Men's Track and Field's Gonzales enjoying the process
Jan. 28, 2010
Ryan Graney, Texas Media Relations
Leaving the competition behind en route to a first-place finish is any runner's dream. Junior Logan Gonzales was able to accomplish that feat last Saturday for the first time in his collegiate career thanks to a personal-best performance in the mile.
The third-year runner, who has been described as "a competitor" by teammates and coaches has taken a different approach to the season than in years past. A year ago, Gonzales' competitive nature told him that finishing first meant everything. This year, however, he has realized the importance of growing as a runner, so winning can happen more frequently.
"This is all a process," Gonzales said. "That's the big thing that I'm starting to focus on this year. Our plans are stepping stones all the way up so that I'm at top shape and running as fast as I can at the end of the season."
It took a disappointing close to his sophomore campaign and a month-long trip through the wilderness of Colorado that consisted of high-altitude training and sleeping on a mountain side in near freezing temperatures for Gonzales to embrace the process of improving as a runner.
"Coming back from Colorado, my whole attitude was changed," Gonzales said. "I wanted to really work hard this year. I didn't want to waste that trip by staying up late and eating unhealthy. I've really been trying since I came back to focus on living a good student-athlete life. It definitely energized me."
Throughout the fall semester of training with the Longhorn cross country team to the beginning of the indoor season, the junior admits that he is gaining confidence with every workout. His new-found understanding of growing step-by-step to a more mature runner has allowed Gonzales to appreciate his progression.
"I feel like I have a lot more confidence," Gonzales said. "This whole year, I've been setting personal records every single workout. I can't think of one workout that I didn't run better than I did the week before. I'm just continuously getting better and my confidence is building."
Assistant coach John Hayes has observed a difference in Gonzales this season, as well.
"Logan has been a lot more consistent in his training," Hayes noted. "It's going to allow him at the end of the indoor and outdoor seasons to make some big jumps in what he's done in the past. He's shown a lot of consistency in the last two months."
The Boone, Iowa native admits that in the past competing and finishing in the highest position possible was his ultimate goal. Taking his new approach to the track, the two-time All-Big 12 selection understands that improved results will accompany the process.
"Before I was running because I liked to race," Gonzales said. "I liked to compete. Now, it's turning into me asking how far I can push my body to be as good as I can possibly be."
Gonzales' altered outlook on the track has already begun to make itself evident in his performances. His teammates are looking forward to seeing Gonzales grow this season and realize his potential.
"I was excited to see him win the mile," teammate and training partner Patrick Todd said. "He's been in a lot of good races and a lot of close races. He said he'd never won an individual race at Texas, which I was surprised to hear. It was great to see him walk that guy down at the end. Just to see that kick at the end showed he's going to have a really good season."
The competitor in Gonzales has set goals that he hopes to achieve in his final two years as a Longhorn. However, he understands that each day is simply a step in his continued growth to being the runner he hopes to become. Contrary to the past, Gonzales now embraces the process.
"If I had kept that attitude from the last two years, I may never have known how fast I can run," Gonzales admitted. "Hopefully, in these next two years, I'll keep progressing with these baby steps and something big can happen in the future."