Reason #8: Why I Like Cross Country


It always redeems itself.

On Thursday we ran a 50-minute tempo run. I was on top of the clouds after that run.

And today I ran at an invitational and placed 8th in the Frosh/Soph race.

And because I got six hours of sleep last night and was up at six this morning and have been running (pun intended) since then, that’s all I’m going to write for now because I am very very tired and need some sleep!

 

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?

 

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 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.

 

 

Pre-race Excitement


How can you tell when the race you are running in is coordinated by a church?

When there’s a devotional in the running swag bag.

As if I didn’t already know that Run for the Stars 5K is organized by my old church, the running devotional pretty much sealed the fact ! 🙂 It’s actually really awesome to think about the fact that over 900 participants will be receiving a devotional in their goodie bags. Anyways, if you haven’t already figured it out, I picked up my race packet today for the race on Saturday! I am #409! Yay. I don’t understand why that’s a “yay” but whatever… Anyways, I also went on a run this afternoon. It was HOT! I was dripping buckets by the first mile. It was hard. But I ran 3.1 miles.

It wasn’t my best run ever. I had to keep stopping for water breaks. But it will do considering I got up at 6:30 to swim for an hour. And then I babysat for two hours which included biking to the park. And I feel amazing right now.

Getting my race packet got me all excited about the race! I love race packets. They are awesome. In fact, if for no other reason, run a race for the packet! You are bound to get at the least an awesome t-shirt and a bunch of brochures concerning other races. But often there are other things like free samples of various sports items and coupons for athletic stores. And after the race, there is always free food and water or gatorade! And pictures and sometimes medals!! 🙂

I was thinking about what I would write about in this post and I was thinking, “I’ll say that the only reason I run races is for the packet!” Cause that is partially true. The goodie bag is awesome. I always look forward to it. But that’s really not the only reason. I also run it for the satisfaction. I run it for the competition. I run it cause it’s fun to cross a finish line, accomplish something, and have tons of people cheering for you! Even if it’s only three miles which I run practically every TIME I run (except yesterday, that was an exception).

I like races.

They are totally worth the money.

Me and my exercising!!! ;)


So, today was a Wednesday.

Which is usually a running day.

BUT NOT TODAY!

“Why?”, do you ask?

Because today swimming started!

I am doing a summer swim team with my awesome friend Mary! Today was (as I already said…) our first practice and I was super excited all day. Okay, actually I have been excited about swim team starting since I signed up for it like three months ago! See, when I was younger I was on swim team with Abby and I was actually pretty good. Of course that was like three+ years ago but I was good, so I was excited/nervous to see how my swimming skills are/will improve.

I am OUT of shape.

But that’s okay.

I’m super competitive so being on a team is good for me! I refused to let anyone pass me and I actually passed about half of the team so by the end of the 75-minute practice I had established myself as, at the least, a fighter. 😉

We did a bunch of drills for freestyle and it was so hard. By the end of it, I was SO sore. But, it was the good kind of sore.  The “I-just-kicked-butt” kind of sore. 😉 (sorry Mom…) Running is a really good workout but swimming? Swimming is by far the best sport in the world. If you want to get in shape, swim. Okay?

I LOVEEE to swim. I do! And it’s only been the first practice. And I already remember why I loved it. Well, I never really forgot.

Don’t worry. I’m not ditching running!! I was itching to get out there all day, but Mary had warned me that the first day is always a big workout (mostly cause you are out of shape ;P) so I decided to conserve my energy and just chill out at home.

Chill out: to eat food and tan. And go on walks with your little brothers.

That’s what I did. All day. It was fun. I was feeling lazy. Obviously. 😉 I was also coming down off of my high from last night’s party. No. Not a real high. Just an excitement, I-love-people high. 🙂 Just clearing that up. MY POINT IS, I am very glad that I conserved my energy cause I definitely needed all of it!

Have I mentioned that I love to exercise? I feel like I have….

Person: You want to go on  a 20-mile bike ride?

Me: YESSSSSS!!!!!

 

Person: You want to go on a 7-mile run?

Me: I’m game!!

 

Person: You want to go practice with Michael Phelps for five hours?

Me: Duh!!!

 

Person: You want to go work out at the gym?

Me: Can you get me in?

 

Person: You want to play a game of 1-on-1 street ball??

Me: (How can you answer NO to that question!?!? 😉 )

 

Okaaay. You get the picture? Yes? Good?

 

 

 

Winning Spiel


I just wanted to show you all something that came in the mail for me yesterday! 🙂

Yes! 🙂 You see how it’s all crumpled? That’s because I read it and jumped up and started screaming and jumping around! 🙂 And as if that’s not awesome ENOUGH:

It’s a medal! For fourth place! And it’s personalized! This is like my biggest achievement in my entire life! 🙂 I feel like I have finally accomplished something that I can really be proud of! 🙂 I am just so excited about this! 🙂

And the other awesome thing is that this medal makes me look back and realize how much I have improved in my own PERSONAL running. Also, it gives me momentum to keep striving for better! I truly hope that at some point in each of your lives, you can win a medal for something that you truly care about, be it a race, or a speech tournament, or a basketball game! Winning is awesome. But it’s even better when it really means something to you and when it’s something you’ve worked for! 🙂

Okay. I’m done with that little spiel! 🙂

Today I did 10 100-meter sprints with my brother and a friend. It was awesome. When I do sprints by myself I don’t run as fast, but when I’m doing sprints with a 5′ 10″ guy as my competition? That’s when I actually SPRINT! So I definitely got my workout for the day! 🙂 I love working out with guys cause they are super tough and fast and athletic and when I work out with them I get BETTER! 🙂

 

So what’s the thing you are most proud of at this point in your life?