The One Thing That Bugs Me


I needed some time to cool my temper before I could write today.

I’ve been in a very grumpy mood.

But now I’ve calmed down slightly (the dinner time rant helped a bit) so here’s what I have to say to you all.

If you are training for a new time for your 5k, don’t run  only 3.1 miles during your practice runs. Do us all a favor and run FOUR miles! Or FIVE! Or even more than that! Because then! When you get to the actual race, it will seem like a piece of cake! Brilliant thoughts guys!

If you are training for a 10k, then run more than 6.2 miles. Guys, this is elementary stuff but it’s so insanely clever! Because the more miles you are logging the better you are getting. It’s just the way it is.

So run more miles.

That’s the one and ONLY thing that I don’t like about cross country. Yes we are running every day, but we only run about three miles every day. Which is actually less than I used to run.

I’m not done ranting about this. But I need to go now.

 

 

 

Reason #7: Why I Like Cross Country


You have to keep going.

Even when you don’t want to.

I think we all know where this is going! 😉

We had a meet today. That is the worst day to not feel like running.

I slogged through our warm-up run and our pick-up run and our strides and I knew that today wouldn’t be the best race ever.

It was not the best race ever.

It wasn’t even a good race.

I’m pretty sure that was my worst race ever.

I don’t even know what my time was on it. But I do know that I felt horrible the whole time. My legs are so so tight and I need to roll them out but I haven’t gotten around to it. I wanted to lay down and cry. Or sleep. Either would have worked.

But I kept running. Cause I had to.

That’s the great thing about running on a team or even just in a group. You can’t stop. You can’t slow down. You have to keep going. You gotta stay with the pack. If this had been one of my own runs by myself? I would NOT have finished it. I would have just stopped after two miles when I couldn’t bear to go on for one more second, but obviously I had to keep going! It’s a race! You can’t stop. So I kept going. Even though I didn’t want to. And I finished. Even though it was hard.

And now I’m all fine! =)

Can you find me?

 

Reason #5: Why I Like Cross Country


Everyone is so encouraging.

Today was NOT a good running day.

I was incredibly tired. It wasn’t only just being tired cause I’m pretty much used to that but also because it was one of those days where I really Really REALLY felt that tiredness.

I didn’t feel like rolling out of bed. I didn’t feel like getting dressed. I didn’t feel like biking to the high school. I got tired during the WARM-UP run! That was when I knew that it was gonna be a death workout. If you get winded during the warm-up run, then you know you’re in for it during the ACTUAL workout!

And today was intervals.

I thought I was going to die.

Or cry.

Or just fall over.

Or just stop.

Or even slow down!

But no. Coach told me to stay at the front of my pack. Then, I had to speed up to stay with the girls at the front! Last week, I was the one breezing through the 600’s. This week, I felt like a turtle that was about to keel over. Yet I still managed to hold my pace (just sticking that in there for a little bit of glorification….) constant and relatively fast.

At this point in the story, you are probably wondering how me feeling like I’m gonna die makes me like cross country. Well, I haven’t gotten to that yet.

See, the fantastic part is that I have all these girls around me, cheering me on! One of the varsity girls came and ran the last 600 next to me and pushed me to keep up with the front of the pack. She knew my name! How did she know my name? I have no idea. I don’t know who she was! But she was my saving grace.

And then there’s Kathleen. We are each other’s personal cheerleaders. When one of us needs it, the other one is there pushing us to give it our best and last shots. It’s awesome. I would be so much slower without her.

And those are just two! All the girls are so encouraging. The older ones give me tips which is nice! And when I say “Bye” I’m greeted by a chorus of “Bye Claire!” and “Great job today!” and “Way to stick with it”! And all those sweet little things! It’s so awesome. Cause I know they really mean it. Cause they’re nice like that. And they really care. And words of encouragement is so my love language!

Night y’all!

The Hard Parts (so far…)


The first week of cross country has been awesome.

And surprisingly easy. Our hardest day was hardly hard because it was the minimum of what I do any day I run. I have to say, so far the hardest parts of cross country have been getting up so early and running EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Geez.

I am NOT a morning person. I am a night person. And it does not make me happy to have to go to bed so early. Two nights ago, I went to bed at 9:30 and I actually FELL asleep! I am thankful that I could fall asleep so I wasn’t AS tired on Friday but still, 9:30? What am I: a 10 year old? I love staying up late. Last night, I knew I didn’t have to wake up early today so I actually stayed up late just cause I could! I’m such a little rebel! 😉

The other hard part is running every day. I’m not used to that. My muscles are soooooore. But I do like getting the exercise every day! I definitely need it! My six-pack is closer to disappearing then it has been for a long time. So, I need the exercise but I also need to get my “healthy eating” back on track! Initiate: Natural Food Week. I’m going to try to eat only natural foods this week. See, during the school year I eat quite healthily but over the summer I kinda went crazy on the sugar. Now that we are on the countdown back to the school year I need to get my healthy ways back on track. Wish me luck, people! I sure will need it!

As I already said, the hardest day of practice so far was a three mile interval run. It was hard cause we had to hold the same pace the whole time but I did that, I beat out some of the girls, I impressed the coaches. It was awesome. I was proud of myself for that and I was also thankful that my previous coach (being myself) insisted that I always run a minimum of 3 miles. It made that interval run a heck of a lot easier.

So as a random side note:

I know I have been very unfaithful to blogging over the summer but now that school is coming back and I’m online more (and running), I hopefully will get back to blogging at the very very least, once a week. But probably more than that. Also, hopefully I will get some awesome running pictures to post… we’ll see! 🙂

The end for now!

 

And She’s Back!


I’ve been tired.

I’ve been busy.

It’s been one of those weeks. Or two of those weeks, I suppose. Also, I feel as though I don’t have much to write about at the moment, because I haven’t been running. Or I hadn’t been running. This week has been different.

Okay, firstly I ran three miles on Saturday with my brother. We were slow. But it was a good run that was definitely worth the time it took. When you don’t run for awhile, you want to run again, but you’re also kind of scared to go back. Once you run again though, your determination is renewed and you’re back in the game.

 

I ran with my brother and my friend this Tuesday. We ran four miles. They were slow. Slow, but glorious. Because running is glorious. After that run I had so much energy. I cleaned my room, I folded my clothes and I did school. I even made my bed which I never do, even when I have energy. =) I was so glad to have running partners though, because 1) they got me out there in the first place and 2) they kept me going at a pretty good pace.

 

 

Those splits were very encouraging because my average pace was about ten seconds faster than the previous run. Even though I killed myself to go that pace, it was so worth it.

Then there was today. I wasn’t planning on running. I was tired. I was bored. And, okay, I’d just eaten a bowl of chocolate frosting. I was wearing running clothes so I figured I might as well run.

 

I don’t even know what to say. When I looked at my Garmin during the first mile and saw that my time was a 7 minute mile, I wanted to leap for joy. I knew that I couldn’t hold that pace for the whole run, but getting at least one sub-8 minute mile under my belt was good. Getting two was even better! And before long, I will be back on track! Cross country, which starts in less than a month, will only get me faster!

On a rather sour side note, after today’s run, my lower right shin was killing me. I walked around and stretched it out. But it still really hurt. I stretched it more and took an ice cold shower. It’s okay now but I’m kind of dreading waking up tomorrow. This isn’t the first time that’s happened. It hurt after Tuesday’s run. And Saturday’s. I’m really hoping it’s just cause I haven’t stretched it out enough and that if I just keep stretching that it will go away. But do any runners out there have any suggestions as to stretches I could do or other remedies for my sore shin?

One last thing:

Due to my laziness and lack of interesting things to write about running, we missed a very important date! July 28, 2011: my first-ever blog post. Man, I have changed a lot since that day. Thank God. I like reading my old blog posts though. They are entertaining in a kind of embarrassing sort of way. I used to post more pictures though. I should start posting more. Now, where is my camera?

Any other ideas on how I can further improve my blog?

Pretty Predictable


Guess what!

I actually ran today.

Truth be told, I was more surprised it happened than you all probably are. You probably just thought, if you thought of me at all, something like, “Well yesterday she said she was going to run today, so she probably will!”  No, see I like to think that I am a resolved person. If I make up my mind to do something, then I will do it. And that is mostly true. But there is one exception. And that’s when I’m tired. I’m the worst tired person in the world. I’m crabby and lazy and emotional. It’s not fun to be around.

But you already know that from past tired posts…

I’m going to be honest: When I got back from my job I had no plans of running today. I figured I’d just do it tomorrow (famous last words). But something happened. I don’t really know what it is, just like this urge or craving to go run. So I did.

It was really hard. Like insanely hard. It was a beautiful day for running though. It’s about 80 degrees but really breezy and altogether beautiful. But still. I hadn’t run for almost a week. And I haven’t really been cross-training unless we’re counting freezing in a pool for 3 hours as some sort of exercise…which I suppose that is pretty good fat burn (nah, I’m just kidding about that last part… 😉 ). I was a little out of shape to say the least.

At first, I was all like, “I love this! I love running! Wow, look at that: I’m running a 7:30 mile even though I haven’t run for 6 days! Well, aren’t I just Little Miss Athletic!”

That’s the first mile.

The second mile, I was thinking, “Okay Claire you can do this. Just listen to your music and zone out. Oh wow, look at you still holding that 7:30 pace. Well well well, aren’t we impressed!! Yes, we are.”

The third mile, I’m like, “So I think I should run four miles. If I don’t run four miles, I’m going to be mad at myself. I’ve got to run four miles. I’m almost halfway through my third mile anyways! I should just do this. I can do this. I can. I totally can. I’ve run farther…

OH MY GOSH I’M GOING TO DIE!!!”

Fourth mile, “Almost there. Almost there. Breathe. Run. Just run. It doesn’t matter if you look like a grandma runner (no offense, people), just keep running. Gonna die. Wait half a mile left. Turn on my pump-up song (Pretty Girl Rock)! I can do this. Heyy and do the pretty girl rock… okay point-one-five of a mile to go.”

And then there’s this hill I have to run up at the end of my route. It is not steep. But at this point, it is a killer. I feel that burn of an empty stomach. Running running running.

And done.

And I can barely breathe but WHO CARES? Cause I just finished four miles! That’s one extra mile than required by my coach during every run.

And now, I feel fantastic. As I always do.

And I’m so glad I went. As I always am.

Pretty predictable.

WHO CARES?

😉

I’m Back on the Trail


I ran today!

For the first time in (I looked) TWO WEEKS!

I thought I would be horrendous.

Also, I couldn’t stretch very much before hand because I have all the blisters on the back of my feet from shoes. Like, what the HECK! I thought summer shoes were supposed to be comfortable?! Anyways.

I ran. A LOT faster than I had expected. AND! I didn’t even run only the required three miles! I ran four. It was fantastic. -Ly hot. But also just fantastic!

Today was a cool day. It was like 88 degrees or something when I went running and I kid you not, it felt cool! It’s crazy what a change ten degrees can make! We all kept saying, “Oh this weather is so nice! How relieving!” even though normally this would qualify as hhhotttt! So, despite the fact that generally I wouldn’t leave my nice air-conditioned room in this heat, I went for a run cause it felt cool! And I ran a sub-8 minute mile also!!! 7:49 minute mile, which I think is PRETTY good for my first day back after that looooong break!

So, needless to say, despite my sore muscles, I am in a VERY happy mood! And hopefully this “cool” weather will last so I can get some more runs in and get my abs back in shape! 😉

Have a good night you all!

Short and Sweet! :)


I know that I haven’t written in a long time and this is why:

This is a running blog. And I haven’t been running lately. Well, I hadn’t been running lately.

Today I went on a run and felt rejuvenated and energized. So I decided to post.

Of course, now I feel like I’m about to fall over dead cause I’m so tired. But I think that’s because I really haven’t had anything to eat yet today. Besides 6 ounces of a smoothie. So I’m starving.

I ran three miles. It was hard but nice. I kept my pace at eight minutes. I listened to my music. It’s windy and hot out today. But it’s the kind of hot where you don’t really notice it unless you’re in direct sunlight or you’re exercising. Of which I was both. So, by the end I was also very sweaty. But glad that I went on a run. Also, I’m not really sore apart from the usual post-exercise aches, so that’s really nice! No strained muscles or twisted ankles or disjointed hips. Sweet!

But the BEST part of the run (besides the whole “working off my weekend” fun) was that I got to run with my LRF or LRB or whatever I used to call her! 😉 LISA! She agreed to run with me after my three miles. Even though, we only ran 1/2 of a mile it was really awesome  that she came with and we walked after that so it still counts as “exercise”! 😉 She is awesome.

So, I am going to be gone on vacation from tomorrow until Thursday, but when I get back I will be relaxed and have MANY pictures to share with you all from Door County!!

I’m Coming Back!


Today I was so tired.

I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up at 1, at 3, at 5, and then at 6:20 I was like, “FINE I WILL JUST GET UP!”

I was super thankful that we didn’t actually swim today. It was picture day so we just stood around for an hour and got a picture taken. I don’t think I would have had the energy to swim. I came home and crashed. I read and napped. I actually fell asleep while I was reading. That’s how tired I was. Peter took the book off my face while I was asleep. So kind! 🙂

Anyways,  I went out for coffee and ice cream with friends…and shopping! That perked me up until I got home and kind of crashed again from the caffeine. The only thing I could think of that I wanted to do was run.

So I went after dinner.

MOST. BEAUTIFUL. RUN. EVER!

Firstly, it was a lot cooler today than it has been the past couple of days. I had a WONDERFUL break from full-out sweating after the first half-mile. I was still drenched by the end but still…

I ran a new route. It wasn’t completely new; there were parts I run frequently and parts I recognized but it was a new order and a couple new blocks and it was really beautiful! I felt really relaxed. I wasn’t PLANNING on going fast.

I wasn’t really even pushing myself at the start. I was just going at a relaxed pace. Or should I say “relaxed” pace. Cause my first mile was 7 minutes! My average was 7:29 per mile. That is a minute faster than Monday! My overall run was four minutes faster than my run of the same distance on Monday. And I’m not even that sore right now. After my Monday run, my hip felt like it was pushed out of place and I was limping. But today, after my run, I wasn’t limping and I’m barely sore at all! So awesome!
I thought of another reason why I run! It’s the only sport I’ve never tired of. I get bored of all other sports. Except running. And I like to run even when I’m tired.

So yeah.

Running is cool!

Oh by the way, anyone know of any upcoming races they may be running in the Chicagoland area? I have remembered why I love racing so much and am looking for races in the area. Fun ones, preferably. And cheap. And if one of you are running it all the better cause then I will have a friend! 🙂

More Running-ness


Okay I think I now understand why I run.

It’s not solely for exercise. It’s cause I love it. I realized this last night when after an exhausting hour of swimming and day, in general, I went for a run. I wanted too. I was tired and sore from swimming. But I had to go. So I ran four miles. They were by far, the slowest I have run in a long, long time. The last time I ran an 8:30 mile was in March. But whatever. I’m actually just proud that I even ran four miles. So, at this point I don’t really care about the time (I was running 8:20’s) cause I’m just proud that I ran at all. I know. I’m such a  tough coach. 😉

Anyways, after my run of awesomeness, John lent me his compression socks. I’m not the athlete who has like all that fancy post-run stuff like a foam roller or those stretchy things (yeah, I don’t even know what they’re called) or compression socks. Although, compression socks are for when you are running. Well, all through my run and when I got home (and actually all  day), my calves were killing me, so I saw James wearing compression socks and I thought maybe that would help my calves, so I asked John if I could borrow his. I was quite the sight last night in my short shorts and long socks. I thought of taking a picture but decided that would not be the wisest decision!! 😉 But today, my calves were fine! They weren’t sore at all! Now the rest of me is sore. My shoulders, my arms, my back, my hip. I’m falling apart. But it’s okay. Cause once I get used to swimming, I should be okay.

Okay I want to tell you all about my race on Saturday. Thanks for the many well-wishers, both online and in real life! 🙂 That, in itself, made it fantastic! 🙂 It was hot. I was slow. But that’s okay. I ran a minute faster than last year at that race. I had to walk for like 10 seconds (that was all I allowed myself) and I thought I would die. But in the end, it was three miles, and I run that all the time. I was a little disappointed by the results but I hadn’t exactly trained for it. Actually, I hadn’t trained for it at all. It was just fun to actually run in the race! And I started out with two of my friends. They both finished before me, but it was nice to start out with people that I knew and have them there for me at the finish line! 🙂

Who's that half-dead girl about to cross the finish line? ;)

Who’s that half-dead girl about to cross the finish line?? 😉

Victorious!!!!

Haha. I love how I look like I’m dying. Or about to cry. Or something.

I love races. They are so fun. I am planning on doing at least one more this summer. I think I am going to start training for another half marathon. But not now. I have started training for a half marathon like ten times this past year. I’m going to wait until…august? September, maybe. I’m a wimp and I hate running far when it’s super hot out. When I am training for something and I have a schedule and the schedule is like:

-~-Saturday- run 10 miles.

And then it’s Saturday and it’s 80 degrees out and humid. What idiot would run 10 miles in 80- degree weather? Well actually I can think of plenty of people that would do that but I WOULD NOT. So then I get off track and it’s all annoying and messed-up.

Of course, I’ve decided that now that I am a “veteran-half-marathoner” (wow, that’s a mouthful), I no longer need a schedule. But still. I have one in my head. So I’m waiting until it gets cooler before I start. But I’m going to try to at least get my mileage up to six miles over the summer. Six is a good distance.