runfreeforever

Live. Love. Run. It's what I do.

Horizontal Running

I absolutely love the movie Pitch Perfect. Its hilarious and aca-awesome!! ūüėČ I’m in the show choir at my high school (we sing and dance, I might post one of our videos sometime!), so I love the music in it too! Anyways, also being a runner, I love the scene where they’re trying to get in shape for their show…while all of the other girls are running laps on the risers, Fat Amy has another idea of exercise… just watch!!

Now if you don’t go watch the rest of this movie, you’re missing out! I literally laughed out loud watching it…and then I laugh aloud when I think about it or talk about it. Fat Amy cracks me up. I think it’s great that she’s comfortable with being herself; she actually calls herself Fat Amy. She does her own thing, she doesn’t mind sticking out, and she is confident in what she believes to be her talents and abilities. Not that the way she acted was always socially acceptable, but it was pretty funny in the movie!

But for real, if I could get away with “horizontal running” during track season, that would be awesome. If only we could have a horizontal running track event, I think everyone would join track! Maybe I can bring it up with my coach lol! ūüėČ

Anyways, I’d better go do some vertical running until we get the horizontal running event started!

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Why Don’t I Wanna Run???

Looking at the side of my blog, I was reminded¬†that the start of my track season is a shockingly short fourteen days away. FOURTEEN DAYS!!!! as in ONLY TWO WEEKS!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!¬†D:¬†I am so unprepared, feel so out of shape, and lack the motivation to change that. I think back to July, in the weeks leading up to my cross country season. I was so motivated, I ran every single day, and I was determined¬†to have a good season. But I look at myself now, wish I was faster and more in shape, but I don’t really feel like getting my shoes on to do anything about it. We had a track meeting with our coach on Friday, and it shocked me how close we are to the start of our season. It was kind of like a cold slap in the face. But with the disgustingly freezing cold weather that we have right now¬†and the ice covering the streets and sidewalks, running outside would likely literally slap me cold in the face. Why am I lacking the motivation and excitement for the upcoming season that I had back in July?? Why don’t I feel that same urge to get my shoes on and run? Why don’t I care that I’m not in the best shape or ready to kick some butt¬†in a few weeks? Why don’t I care that I’m probably not going to start my season out at the top of the team and run varsity right away? It’s true that I prefer cross country over track, but that’s all just a mental thing. I know that if I don’t do the right things, I’m not going to get to go to state like I want so badly. I know that I’m not going to get the varsity letter that I’ve been dreaming¬†of since last year. I know that my body takes a long time to get back in shape. I know that in May, I’m going to regret my lack of preseason training. But it is so much easier to stay inside, sit on the couch, watch some quality High School Musical or The Amazing Spiderman¬†or How I Met Your Mother, or look at Pinterest¬†and all of its inspirational and motivational quotes and ideas that are supposed to make you want to get up and get active. Like these:

Need to say this every morning.... .  40 Things to Try When You Don't Want to Work Out. I NEED these!  You will never regret at workout

I especially need to listen to this one:

But no. I ran once this past week, five miles on Friday. That’s it. I should probably go running after school today. After all, track season starts in fourteen days and the more out of shape I am now, the harder those first few weeks are going to be. So my goal for this week? Twenty miles. I’ll keep you posted on how close I get to that goal. It’s quite a big leap up from the five miles this week. Pretty wimpy compared to my cross country preseason training. But like Pinterest¬†told me, the difference between my body this week and next week is what I do for the next seven days. I can’t make up for my insufficient running for the past few months. But I can start running more now, I guess it’s better late than never!

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to wear or not to wear…

I wore this Chicago Marathon shirt to school today:…but I haven’t actually run the Chicago Marathon. I haven’t run the Chicago half marathon. I haven’t even watched the Chicago Marathon. If this shirt didn’t have the date on it, I probably wouldn’t even know when the Chicago Marathon was. I just got the shirt at the Nike store because it was cute, comfy, and on clearance. So I’m wondering, is this acceptable to wear in public?¬† Every time I wear this shirt, people ask if I’ve run Chicago and I have to tell them no. People know that I’m a runner, but I don’t want to look like I’m making some sort of false claims to have run this marathon when I really haven’t. I’d love to run the Chicago Marathon one day, or some other marathon, but my problem with the Chicago marathon is that it’s in October, right in the middle of cross country season. I don’t want to sacrifice my cross country times and let my team down by running a marathon or even a half marathon that close to districts and state. It’s hard to find races that aren’t conflicting with either cross country or track seasons, and that aren’t in the freezing-cold dead of winter or that will be 80 degrees and miserable in the middle of the summer. One day, I am determined that I will run a half marathon and hopefully get up to a full marathon or maybe an ultra! But until that day comes, I’ve got this shirt in my closet that says I’ve run Chicago… It irks me a little bit when other people wear, say, a club soccer shirt when they really have never played for that club, or a shirt from a different high school, when they have never attended that school. Maybe that’s just one of my pet peeves, I don’t know. So what’s your opinion? Is wearing this Chicago Marathon like my other examples? Am I being hypocritical? Is it kinda like lying or cheating a little bit, claiming that I’ve done something that I really haven’t, or is it really no big deal?

To wear or not to wear, that is the question.

Okay, I guess maybe my clothing choices aren’t that big of a deal, and maybe it isn’t worthy of a whole post. But your input would still be appreciated:)

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Vitamin C is Overrated

I think I’ve come down with the flu or something. I’m achy, have a killer headache, a runny nose, and a cough, and I feel pretty miserable in general. We didn’t have school today since it’s Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, which makes it suck even more that I don’t even get to skip school for this. I couldn’t go running today and had to cancel plans with some friends that I haven’t seen in forever. I know that the flu has been going around lately, and a bunch of people in my show choir have been sick. It probably doesn’t help that I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep lately, either.

But it makes me think, in the midst of this flu season, is there a way to prevent getting sick?? I have a friend who takes a vitamin C supplement all the time and says it helps her not get sick, but I don’t think it really works. She gave me one on Saturday and look¬† at how far that got me. According to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, vitamin C supplements really don’t reduce the risk of getting sick or the duration or severity for most people. However, if you are a marathon runner, it can cut your risk of catching a cold by 1/2! But if you eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, you are likely to get more than enough vitamin C already. Almost every fruit and vegetable contains at least a little vitamin C. So if you’re at the store looking at vitamin C supplements, you would probably do better to leave it on the shelf and don’t look back twice. Instead, head over to the produce section and pick up some oranges. Or any of the following fruits or vegetables that all contain high amounts of vitamin C:

  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, along with their juices
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Green and red peppers
  • Spinach and other leafy greens
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Winter squash

Then go home, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet, and you’ll be doing your best to prevent getting sick!

I’m gonna go take a nap now, hope you all stay healthy!

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Why Risk It??

Being in high school, I see and hear all about the crazy wild side to teenage life. It’s not like it isn’t obvious to the rest of us when people are coming to class high, hungover, or whatever. You hear about who is-or-isn’t¬†going to so-and-so’s party on Friday night, who is-or-isn’t¬†“getting it on” with the hot college guy or that girl in your second hour. You talk about it with your friends, you gossip during class when you’re supposed to be¬†starting on your homework, you tell your running buddies/bffs¬†the gossip you heard because after all, your coach did say you were supposed¬†to be running at conversational pace today.

My point of view on all of this sex, drinking, and drugs?? Why risk it. Why would you voluntarily put yourself in a situation that could ruin the rest of your life? Misusing drugs is scary. Smoking is gross, I quite enjoy being able to breathe. Overdosing is deadly. Driving while intoxicated can be¬†fatal for yourself and everyone around you. Not to mention getting your license suspended or revoked, and then what are you gonna do? And is the hell of a hangover really worth it?¬†Getting pregnant in high school would be one of the most embarrassing, time-consuming, life-changing, life-ruining things that can happen. I don’t even know what I would do if that ever happened to me. I couldn’t take the humiliation. Even if everyone wasn’t judging me, I would still feel a million condescending laser eyes on me, and a million imaginary condemning whispers, calling me out for being a slut and for how I did this to myself and ruined my own life. I love babies, but I DO NOT want one of my own for another fifteen years! And there’s no way I could get an abortion and kill my own kid, punish my baby for my own mistakes, without feeling that much more guilt for the rest of my life.

And if I were to get caught drinking or doing drugs? There goes my potential scholarship. There goes my high school running career, and any colleges who would have considered me for their team. Out the window, gone, bye-bye to my life and everything that matters in my life. Even once I’m actually in college, if I have a scholarship for academics or for my running, if I get caught doing anything dangerous and illegal like that, there goes my money, my college, and my future. I don’t think that kind of a¬†trade-off is worth it, for a few nights of fun.

baby=no running, no life

drinking=no running, no life

drugs=no running, no life

If you do this stuff, I’m most definitely not judging you for it, I’m sure that all of us do things that we probably shouldn’t. I just encourage you to think about it. Think about the risks you’re taking, the consequences that your actions could have. Yeah, maybe drinking with my friends would be fun for a night. Maybe the college parties do sound fun, exciting, and inviting. But I don’t think it’s worth it. It’s a risk I don’t want to take. It’s perfectly possible to have plenty of awesome friends without putting myself in a situation that could destroy my life. Maybe I’ll change my mind sometime. But I certainly hope not, I value my life too much for that.

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My Future

I’m a junior in high school this year, so I’ve started to think about college more and more often. As I think about my future, I’m excited but completely terrified. Who do I want to be, where do I want to go, what do I want to do? I’m not ready for these kinds of decisions yet! How am I, a girl of sixteen years, supposed to try to figure out her life and make life-changing decisions when I can’t even decide what to wear or what to have for lunch most days?? I swear I am one of the most indecisive people in the whole world!

We have to register for classes for senior year next week, and of course I never thought much about it until this week, putting it off to the last minute as always. I know I don’t want to slack off senior year, but I still don’t know where my limits are. I am planning on taking three AP courses, a Human Anatomy and Physiology class at the community college, and then two more “easier” classes. And on top of that, I have cross country, track, out-of-season running, church, potentially show choir, piano lessons, college applications to fill out, my future to worry about, my boyfriend and other friends to hang out with before we graduate, my parents and three little siblings to spend time with before I move out, a job to get to save money for college, volunteer work to look good on resumes and applications, my list never ends. I have an awful tendency to overload myself and keep myself ridiculously busy. Sleep goes on the back burner. I don’t have the time to hang out with the friends I promised to hang out with, I don’t have time for homework, I don’t have time for anything. How am I supposed to find a balance in my crazy life? I hold on too tightly to all the things that consume my entire life, and I don’t know how I could choose anything to leave out. I love doing the things I do, and I don’t want to give anything up.

So as I try to plan my future, look into colleges, and figure out what I want to do with my life, I’m having a tough time thinking rationally and choosing what’s most important to me. I know that I want to go into health/medicine, and I’m thinking about being a physician’s assistant or physical therapist, but that’s subject to change. So the academic aspect of a college is really important to me. I want a school that’s at least medium-sized, because I want options in the friends I make, and I want the wider range of opportunities and options that come along with a larger school. But how big is the right size for me? Do I want to run for my college? Do I have what it takes to handle the stress of being a student-athlete in college? Do I want to go to a private Christian school or do I want to go to a huge state university? Do I want to stay in-state or do I want to graduate and get out of here? I don’t know. I don’t have any answers. I have no idea how to choose a school.

I have so many uncertainties in my life, and I don’t think I’m ready to find an answer to any of them. The future is scary. And it’s creeping closer and closer each and every day. I’ll be a senior before I know it. My high school career will be over in the blink of an eye. I’m not ready for that yet!

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27, 34

That verse came to mind, and in reflection, maybe I need to try to focus more on the here and now. Maybe I need to stop worrying about my future and pray about it rather than giving myself premature wrinkles. Maybe I need to shift my focus from what I can’t control to what I can control, here and now; live my life and enjoy every precious second of it while it lasts. Here I am freaking about my future, and it’s distracting me from making the most of my life right now. That needs to stop! Maybe if I run more, it’ll help relieve some of this stress and worry I’m feeling!

 

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i want abs

I’ve been thinking, for quite¬†some time actually, that I really need to work on my core strength. I keep saying to myself that I’m going to do an ab workout, but it never happens. I go running with my friend and we always say we’re going to work on our abs after we run…but then we get done running and are tired, hot, cold, sweaty, and we never actually do anything. I really want to be¬†good this year in track, and I think that having a strong core would help my running and my form and efficiency, but I’m so lazy! Doing an ab workout is so hard, and my abs are so weak! I love it when my abs are sore, because it makes me feel like I worked hard (I know, I’m weird). But I hate doing the actual¬†workouts to make them sore and to make them strong. When it starts hurting a lot, all too often, I just give up rather than¬†pushing myself further to make me stronger. My abs often get¬†sore after I run a really hard race or after some hard, fast speedwork on the track. Running uses not only your leg muscles but your whole body, including your core. If I worked more on improving my core strength, I think that I would become a better, faster, stronger runner.¬† (plus it’ll make my stomach flatter and more beach-ready in the summer! ūüôā

I’ve looked (probably not hard enough) for core workout ideas, but a lot of them involve all of this fancy equipment that I don’t have. Most of the time, I just end up doing a few crunches and 30 seconds to a minute of planks and I call it good enough, but really I should do more if I truly want a strong core.

I’ve recently found this ab workout video on YouTube, and I really like it because it’s easy, doesn’t necessarily require¬†extra equipment, and it’s a break from the ordinary crunches and planks that I would normally do.¬†I think another¬†reason¬†I am lacking in core strength is because I get sick of the monotony of my core exercises¬†I’ve also been trying to focus more on my form when I’m doing crunches, because it makes a world of difference when you’re doing them wrong to when you’re doing them right. Here’s the how-to from Livestrong.com. I hope it helps!

Begin flat on your back with your knees bent and the heels of your feet only a  few inches from your buttocks.  Bring your hands to your temples with palms out,  and elbows out from the body at about thirty to forty-five degrees.  While  exhaling, bring your shoulder blades off the ground fairly quickly, until you  feel an intense pressure in the rectus abdominus muscles.  Hold for a one to two  second count, then slowly release, beginning the next repetition when the head  and shoulders are just about to touch the ground.

If you have any other good ab workouts that you like, let me know!!

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The importance of good running shoes

I think a lot of non-runners have the misconception that running is unlike other sports because they think¬†there are no rules and you have no equipment. They think it’s inexpensive because you don’t have to spend the money on the cleats, rackets, balls, nets, etc. A lot of people overlook one of the most important parts of running – your shoes!

YOU NEED GOOD RUNNING SHOES!!!!!

Having proper running shoes is so¬†important! I cannot stress to you enough how incredibly crucial¬†your shoes are to the benefit of your whole entire body. I’m not kidding. I recommend going to a specialty running store where the workers will watch the way you walk or run and help you find the best fit for your feet and your running style.¬†Everyone is different and¬†has different shoe needs.¬†There are shoes that will correct overpronation¬†(when your feet roll¬†inward),¬†and¬†supination¬†(when your feet roll¬†outward). There are minimalist shoes and performance shoes and stability shoes, and the list of possibilities are endless.¬†There’s¬†a perfect pair of shoes out¬†just waiting for you to discover them and make them your¬†new best friend!¬†But not only do you need one really good pair of running shoes, but¬†you need to make sure that you replace them often enough. According to therunnersguide.com, how often your shoes need to be¬†replaced is based¬†mostly on your mileage (about 300 to 500 miles), but also other contributing factors, such as your weight and your running style. To track how many miles you’ve run in your shoes, they¬†suggest keeping a running log, which I will probably write a post on later.

For me, I can usually feel when I need a new pair of running shoes, and I am much more prone to injury, aches, and pains. I get shinsplints, I¬†get ankle problems, knee problems, back problems, you name it. I am in desperate need of a new pair of running shoes right now! The pair I have now are Mizuno¬†Wave Inspire¬†8¬†(see below), and I’ve had them since July. They have moderate stability, perfect for my¬†overpronation.¬†The shoe’s arch¬†fits mine perfectly, and they’re considerably lighter than my previous pair of Saucony¬†Progrid¬†Guide¬†4 shoes, which were about 10.1 oz!¬†My¬†current shoes are only 8.9 oz, over an ounce less than the pair¬†before. I know an ounce doesn’t sound like a lot, but I can feel the difference¬†and I like it. But¬†it’s high¬†time¬†for me to get a new pair of shoes!¬†I ran almost 200 miles in July alone, then my entire cross country season, and all of my winter training so far. I’m sure I have at least 600 miles on those shoes, if not more! And I can tell too; my knees have been killing¬†me like no other! I could hardly walk in to school yesterday because they hurt so badly! I’m afraid I’m just gonna start limping down the hallways of my high school pretty soon and I’ll need a wheelchair or a walker or something, like an old lady with arthritis! It’s pretty bad! But thankfully, I know that this is my fault and it’s easily fixable with some ice and a new pair of shoes! It gets annoying to buy new running shoes¬†(and also pricey, as they¬†often are in the hundred-dollar-range)¬†twice or more¬†per year, but its worth it and¬†will save¬†you so much pain while¬†you run! I went to¬†my local running¬†shoe store yesterday, Running Wild,¬†to get some new shoes for my painful legs. I’m just going to get another pair of the same kind of shoes, but I’m going to have to wait a week until they get my size in. They also updated my shoes, but I don’t think that much has changed other than their color, which is now gray and my favorite shade of blue. It’s never ever ever¬†a good idea to pick running shoes just by their color or how they look! But if you can get some shoes that fit your feet, your arch, and your running perfectly and you can get them in your favorite color, its a bonus!

Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 8 Running Shoe - Dick's Sporting Goods<—-my¬†current¬†shoes, until I get my new ones!

<—-the new and improved Mizuno¬†Wave Inspire 9 shoes that I should be getting next week! ūüôā

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Trying to Train for Track (and rude drivers)

Today I ran about 7.2 miles and I forgot my watch, but I’m sure it was somewhere between an hour and five and ten minutes. Yesterday I ran about 4.5 miles in about 38 minutes. Last Thursday I ran about 5.5 miles in a little under 46 minutes. Tuesday I ran 2 miles in 16 minutes on the Dreadmill (that wasn’t a typo). I think that’s all the running I’ve done since the new year. And TRACK SEASON STARTS IN A MONTH AND FOUR DAYS!!!! This is ridiculous. I’ve only run 19.2 miles this year so far! I’ve got to pick it up or there’s no way I’m going to be able to compete on the same level as all the other girls. While I was out running, my friend and I crossed paths with a girl we know from another school who is also in cross country and track. She was out getting some speed work in, but she had already run much further than my friend and I had! I feel like such a slacker – that girl from the other school is going to beat me. A girl from my team that I’ve seen running every single day this winter is going to kick my butt. I don’t have the natural ability to go out and be automatically in shape like some girls I know. I have to spend months working up to it, or I will be minutes and miles behind the girls who are at the level I want to be at so badly. I want that varsity letter this season in track with every ounce of desire in me, but for some reason I’m not feeling the motivation to actually do the work I need to do to get there, like I had in the summer before cross country season. I guess part of it might just be because I don’t like track as much as I like cross country, or maybe I lose my urge to run because of the cold. I need to drop the excuses because I desperately need to work these legs of mine back into shape! Like this awesome Nike ad says below, it’s up to me to make myself who I want to be!

http://bowrag.net/crazy-running-legs-hits-a-home-run/

But today while I was running (the longest run in over a month, maybe even a month and a half!), we were about to cross a street when two cars in a row rudely drove through a huge puddle on the side of the road, drenching both my friend and I. We could see them laughing as they drove away. Really? Do they have to be that inconsiderate that they would go out of their way to drive directly through the puddle, rather than going around it like everyone else? Just because I can beat your butt in a race does not give you any excuse to make me freeze on my already-cold-enough run around the lake today, thank you very much. Sorry for this rant, but could drivers be a bit more considerate of us runners? I know that cross country runners in general have a bad tendency to cross the roads at less-than-convenient, and sometimes dangerous or fatal times, and we need to work on that. I’ve seen the stories on the news of the runners that didn’t run fast enough and had their seasons ended by a run-in with a moving vehicle. That’s our fault and we need to work on it. But it doesn’t give others an excuse to be rude and mean and spray us with frigid water from the dirty melted snow while we’re trying to trying to have a nice, peaceful run!

I’ll be out tomorrow running some 400s, making my body how I want it to be, getting back in shape, and hopefully not soaked!

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I Just Wanna Run

One of my friends recently showed me this song called “I Just Wanna Run” by Downtown Fiction, and I love it! It’s got a good beat and it would definitely be a good song to listen to while you run or workout or to pump you up before a race! I’ve had it stuck in my head all day, which is annoying with most songs but this song was okay just because I like it so much! It does tend to get repetitive after a while though. Just from some of the comments I saw on YouTube, I think they played it on Jersey Shore sometime, but since I don’t watch that show I wouldn’t know! Anyways, if you’re not a fan of Jersey Shore, don’t let it turn you away because it’s a great song and it makes me want to dance and run!

I JUST WANNA RUN!!!

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