runfreeforever

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

My Goals

Hey guys! I just added a page for my goals for running. I included goals for the rest of the winter, for this upcoming track season, for the summer, for my cross country season next year, for college, and beyond. Go check it out! Since I’m making it all public and everything, I’m hoping it will add one more thing to motivate me to keep pushing myself to that next level. I don’t just want to run without a place I’m running to. I need to keep pushing forward so I can become a better runner. But not only do I need to become a better runner, I also need to continue pushing myself to become a better person. Through pushing myself in my running, I am learning to not give up and to stay strong. I learn to appreciate my legs and my body just the way they are, because they’ve gotten me through all these miles just fine so far. Running gives me confidence in myself and who I am. Running helps me sort out my thoughts and feelings. In every stage of  my life, I want to continue running if physically possible. I need the structure, its stress-relieving capabilities, the motivation, the confidence and the euphoria after a good run. So looking back at what I wrote, I think I included in every one of my goals something along the lines of “Keep Running.” Because that’s what I do. I run. And I run. And I run some more. Yet it is most definitely not everything I am; it doesn’t define me. I define it. My body is my machine that I am learning how to use most efficiently by working it day after day. And one of these days, I will reach my goals. One step at a time.

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Getting Back in Shape

Finally. I ran again today for the first time in two weeks!:( I had surgery on my wrist two weeks ago for a ganglion cyst. It looked gross, felt weird when you touched it, and hurt a lot, especially when I was writing, typing, or playing piano a lot, so I’m glad I had it taken off after having it for about three years. But since I couldn’t run for two weeks while I had to keep my brace on full-time, I think I’m getting out of shape! Terribly out of shape! I struggled far too much for only a three-mile run! Granted, we may have started out a bit too fast, but I am unbelievably disappointed by how out of shape I’ve become. My legs didn’t want to move, I was gasping breath while I was trying to talk to my running partner, and I know it’s awful but I was tempted, so tempted, to take a walk break around mile 2. Awful. Embarrassing. I know. This is exactly the opposite of what I want to happen over this winter! My goal was to try to stay in shape and to keep my fitness level at least close to what it was during my cross country season so I’m not as slow as I was last year at the beginning of track season. Last year I hardly ran at all over the winter. I’m pretty sure that I’ve run more since state cross country than I did all year last year! As a result of my little training last year, I think I was running around a 7 minute 1500, and a fourteen-or-fifteen-something 3000 in our time trials in practice. At the first meet of the year last year, I ran a 2:47 800m, and I only got down to 2:37 by the end of the year. In comparison, I ran the first 800m (half mile) of my 2.5 mile state cross country race this year in 2:46. That’s a good second faster than I ran at that first meet in track last year, and I didn’t have to run 2 more miles afterward! That absolutely must change this year. I was an alternate at state last year for my track team’s 4×8 relay. If I want to make my claim to my place on that team this year, I need to get below 2:30. I’ve set some goals for myself this upcoming track season. I need to be at least under 6 minutes for a 1500 at the beginning of the year. I need to be under 12:15 at the very very very really-bad-day slowest for my 3000m. I need to be definitely under 2:40 for my 800m at the beginning of the season, but preferably I won’t run any 800s slower than 2:35 all season! I really want to get my 800 time down to a 2:26 by the end of the season, but I guess we’ll see how that goes! For now, I need to become more regular and consistent with my winter training, get in touch with my coach, and stay focused! February is closer than it seems!

See you out running tomorrow!

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That’s the way God made them, get over it.

If you go to a cross country meet, one thing you might notice is the size of some of the girls that are up there at the front of the pack. While I know this isn’t true for all of them, there are some stick-thin girls that have thighs the size of your arms and you wonder how they can even have any muscle to run as fast as they do. I don’t understand how they can be that fast either, and I am a cross country runner! But what really gets to me is when people judge these girls based on how skinny they are. I don’t think they realize that while calling someone fat, calling them anorexic can be just as hurtful. Maybe some of them are anorexic, I don’t know. But the ones that I do know aren’t. They eat. And eat. And eat. And eat. They run cross country for heaven’s sake! They have to eat or they can’t run! But what a lot of people don’t realize is that sometimes, when you’re running so many miles so fast, you can’t control your weight. They might not be trying to lose weight, but it just happens. Some of them may even be trying to gain weight but they can’t. It’s not their fault!

I’m certainly not as small as some of those other girls, but I am happy with my weight. I eat healthy food and take care of my body.  My weight does weird things depending on what season it is. I lose weight during the summer and fall during cross country season, and then I gained weight during track season. I have no idea what’s going on with my body, it just does its own thing. I learned to be happy with my body however much I weigh because it’s how God made me. I don’t care what the scale says. I know that as long as I take care of myself, I’ll be fine.

I know a girl in cross country that has gotten so sick of people calling her skinny and anorexic that her boyfriend and some of her other friends now joke about how fat she is to make her feel better. She’s the farthest thing from being fat, but she’s definitely not anorexic either! I don’t think they should have to do that! Why can’t we all stop judging people by their weight, no matter how big or small they are?? It’s not necessarily something they can control! It’s the way they were born!

Earlier, I wrote a post about how our government is so concerned about kids weight that they limited the number of calories in school lunches to 850 calories. I don’t really want to go back to that, but maybe our government could loosen up that 850 calorie restriction on the people who are being made fun of for how skinny they are? Just a thought. In the meantime, let’s quit judging others based on their weight and be happy the way God made us! Please?

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You Know You’re a Cross Country Runner If…

I know that some other blogs and websites and even t-shirts have “you know you’re a runner if…” themes, but I feel like some of them just don’t cover everything. There are so many things that identify us cross country runners. I didn’t really give much thought to how many funny quirks and things there are associated with running until I came across some of these sites. Here’s a few lists I found: this one, or this one,  or this one too!!

It’s hilarious how true some of them can be!! Here’s a list of a few of my favorites, plus more of my own! (btw, these are in no particular order)

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER IF:

1.) You eat, and eat, and eat, and you’re still constantly hungry.

2.) You’re proud that another team has quadrupled your score.

3.) You run through puddles instead of around them.

4.) You have a watch tan.

5.) You keep all of your race numbers and hang them on your wall.

6.) You put words like: “8-miles” and “easy run” in the same sentence (and leave out the word “not,” maybe add “refreshing”).

7.) You think taking a day off will make you out of shape.

8.) It feels weird and wrong to not have shinsplints.

9.) There is no such thing as bad weather.

10.) Actually, whenever it rains, you’re dying to get your shoes on and run in it before it stops.

11.) Your running tan (i.e. sports bra/tank top/shorts/socks) tan is much more obvious than your swimsuit tan.

12.) You can’t donate blood because you never have an off-season, and if you did, you don’t weigh enough anyway.

13.) Talking about having to pee or poop during a run is normal.

14.) Having your stomach growl in the middle of a 9-miler is normal.

15.) When your legs start hurting, you think it’s because you need to run more.

16.) Your mind automatically thinks in minutes and seconds, so you forget to count past 60 in math class.

17.) You know your PR, the PR of all your friends, and the PR’s of the fastest girls from every other school you race.

18.) It drives you crazy when people don’t understand the difference between track and cross country (track you only turn left, cross country you turn both right and left)

19.) You spend more time running and calculating paces and how far you ran than on doing your homework.

20.) You crave bread. And pasta. And pancakes. And gatorade. And chicken. And popsicles. And more bread.

21.) Sometimes you can’t help but stop in the middle of the stairs to stretch your calves.

22.) You can’t remember the last time your legs weren’t sore.

23.) Some days, it feels like climing the stairs at school is harder than your workout.

24.) You regularly get comments on your calves.

25.) You actually find running to be enjoyable and couldn’t imagine life without it!

As runners, we have a lot in common! Feel free to comment if you have any more ideas!

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