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

Take the Burn

I love feeling sore. During track and cross country season, I feel like I’m not working hard enough if nothing is hurting every day. I feel like being sore is my body telling me that I did work hard and that I’m getting stronger. I¬†enjoy that pain the next day, like a reward, an affirmation of how hard I worked the day before. When I do ab workouts, I feel like I didn’t do enough reps if they’re not sore the next day. If I do a bunch of squats and my butt’s not sore the next day, I think that I didn’t do enough. If I don’t have some kind of pain somewhere after a really intense workout or a hard race, I feel like I didn’t work hard enough and go all out. But I hate when it hurts in the moment. I hate staying strong through whatever I’m doing, when my legs burn, when it’s too hot or too cold outside, when I’m shaking while trying to do some new exercise. But at the same time, I know that if I back off and I don’t take the burn today, I’m going to regret it tomorrow when I’m not sore. It’s the opposite of what you’d expect. But it’s so true.

So take the burn. Don’t give up today. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow when you’re sore and you know that you’ve pushed yourself. You’ll thank yourself a month or a year from now when you’re so much stronger than you are today. It’ll be worth it, I promise!


Run With No Regrets (attempt #3)

I have no idea what is wrong with wordpress, but this is the third time that I have written a blog along these lines. The previous two posted as blank posts with nothing but some tags and a title. And then since I still haven’t been able to say what I wanted to say, I’ve gotta rewrite it YET AGAIN. UGHH!!! I am so frustrated with wordpress! If wordpress had a face, I’d like to punch it. If it was a small animal I’d have it get eaten by a shark. Or a starving lion. Does anyone else have this problem???? This is ridiculous!!!!!!

Sorry. Anyways.

This past week we finally had our first and second outdoor track meets on Thursday and Saturday! And I set new PR’s at both of them!! ūüôā Getting a PR is the best part of running in my mind. I mean it’s always nice to place well, but I am always the most satisfied and excited about my races when I get a PR and beat my old times!

On Thursday I ran the 4x800m relay and the 800m stretch of the distance medley (two 200m legs, a 400, and an 800). I ran the first leg of the 4×800 in 2:32, so I got a PR by three seconds from our indoor meet. There were only two races between the 800 and the distance medley, so I had very little time to recover. I let myself think negatively rather than positively, and I let myself lose sight of my goals. I ended up running the second 800 in an awful time of 2:40-something, and I was very unhappy with it. I know that I didn’t try my hardest and I could’ve and should’ve been able to run it so much faster.

On Saturday, I ran the 4×8 again. I ran it in 2:35, which was slower than I had hoped for but not unbearable. It was really windy coming down the front straightaway which made it especially hard when I was trying to finish strong. My second event was the 800m run, over two hours later. I love having plenty of time to relax and recover so I’m not rushed between events. If only that happened every time!! I kept my thoughts positive and I stayed motivated between events. I was mentally prepared to give it everything in that second 800. I started in one of the outside lanes, which is good so I didn’t get boxed in at the start. I felt good and strong throughout the entire race. Even in the middle to end, when I usually start thinking that I want to give up, all I could think was “No regrets. Have no regrets. Stay tall. I am strong. I can do this. No regrets. No regrets. No regrets.” I finished in 8th place, and without even knowing my time I could tell that I had given it my all and that I’d had an amazing race. I ran a 2:30! I got a new PR by two more seconds!! I only hope that I can keep up this progress and keep getting more PR’s!! ūüôā

I just gotta stay positive. I can’t start doubting myself. I can’t give up before I’ve even started. I can’t let myself settle for less than what I’m really capable of. I need to stay strong, tall, relaxed, and fast. I can do it. I know that I can. I need to run without regrets!

run with no regrets


Just keep running, running, running!

When I’m running in track or cross country, whether it be at a meet or at practice, there are always those days when I just feel like giving up. I think that mental strength is the hardest part of running. I start¬†races strong, confident, and motivated, but then in the middle when it starts to get hard and my legs are burning but I can’t see the finish line yet, it’s so tempting to give up a bit. It’s always the hardest to stay¬†strong through the third quarter of a hard workout, when you’re tired but you’re not¬†close enough to the end yet. I keep running, but I’m not all there mentally and I’m not giving all the¬†effort that I could be giving. I start thinking things like “why am I doing this, it doesn’t really matter” or “I pushed hard at the beginning, I don’t have to go quite¬†as hard now” or¬†“Ahhhh¬†my legs are killing, this hurts so bad, I just wanna trip over a tree so I can have an excuse to have a bad time!” I know it’s bad to let my mind wander so much that I’m trying to figure out how to get myself spiked or something so I can quit, but it’s so hard to stay focused the whole¬†time. On monday, we ran five miles at a faster¬†pace than usual,¬†between a 7:25-7:50¬†minute/mile pace. It was freezing and snowing a bit that day,¬†and my legs were numb from the cold but at the same time they were burning from the effort. On the way back of our out-and-back route, we slowed down so much more than we should have, to run the second 2.5 miles¬†over a¬†minute slower than the first 2.5 miles. We should’ve¬†been able to keep up our pace, but it was so¬†hard to stay strong all the way through. If that only happened at one practice, maybe it would be okay, but it happens every single time. Every race, every practice,¬†I can’t seem to keep my pace even and keep it up through the middle and last half. Or if I could run negative splits and get faster as I go on, it would be even better. But my motivation and effort always drops off and I can’t do it. I start to doubt myself and think that I can’t do it, and I give up. I need to be¬†more like Dory in Finding Nemo rather than being like Marlin!

Just pretend like she’s singing about running – when my legs want me to give up and feel like a Mister Grumpy Gills, I gotta just keep running, just keep¬†running, just keep running, running,¬†running! Cuz what do I do? I Run, run, run! Ha ha ho ho ho ho¬†I love to RUN! And when you waaant to run, you gotta run!

If Dory can do it, so can you and I, right??


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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My frenemy the treadmill

Eww. I hate treadmills. Or do I love them in disguise? A disguise where I am a really really really good actor, so good that I even almost start believing that it’s true? I was in the school play the past two years, maybe some of my acting skills carried over? Maybe?

Anyways, it’s winter….which unfortunately means cold, snow, ice, painful breathing in the frigid air and numb¬†extremities (aka I CAN’T FEEL MY NOSE OR MY FINGERS OR MY LEGS ANYMORE!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!!) But I still gotta get my miles in! I can’t let myself get so out of shape like last year! So what do I do? Do I take the constant runny nose and the icky cough? Or do I embrace my dreaded treadmill and stay inside for a few miles? My running buddy wants me to get a membership at the gym, where about 10.5 laps is the equivalent of a mile. None of these sound like ideal choices to me, but what else can I do? Decisions. Ugh. I’m the worst decision-maker in the world.

I ran about 3.5 miles today, just around my neighborhood. The weather wasn’t great, but with a few layers, the wind didn’t bite quite so much and I stayed relatively warm enough. But then tonight the snow started falling and we’re right in line for a blizzard to bring the Christmas spirit in. School has already been cancelled for tomorrow – PARTY!!:) but really, this just means it’s gonna get harder to find a place to run and the motivation to get me to subject my poor unwilling body into submission to run longer than four miles.

I have a treadmill at my house, which is nice once in a while, so I can get in a mile or maybe two at night or on those -20 degrees with wind chill days when a run outside is impossible without getting frostbite or hypothermia or something like that (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, I could probably run outside without dying). But when I try to do a whole, for-real, quality treadmill workout involving more than a mile or two, I just can’t do it. I get so bored. I was running on the treadmill yesterday, and after half a mile, I just kept pushing the faster button. Faster. Faster. Get me off this thing because I’m so bored and I’m getting nowhere. Faster. Faster. I’m running at a 6:30 minute-per-mile pace. Faster. Ugh. Finally I gave up. I quit after a mile and a half. It’s embarrassing, I know. I’ve looked for ways to run good treadmill workouts. I haven’t yet found anything that can keep me going. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

On the other hand, if I didn’t get so bored out of my mind, treadmills are great. You can stay out of the cold. You don’t have to go anywhere. If you’re not feeling it, you can stop anytime without worrying about being five miles away from your car. There are pros, there are cons. Maybe they work for some people. I’m just not so sure that my dear friend Treadmill and I were meant for each other.

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Just Drew It

I just wanted to share a huge inspiration in my life, Drew Wall, a sophomore at my school who passed away a few weeks ago on November 26 after a five-year battle with cancer. He went to my school and I didn’t really know him personally, but I had heard a lot about him. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 at the age of eleven. He went through chemo, a leg amputation, and much more with more optimism and positivity than I think I ever could have. Before I wrote this blog, I decided I should check out his caringbridge website¬†and other articles on this amazing young man. I bawled. I cried my eyes out until I was shaking and had no more tears left to cry. I wasn’t necessarily just crying over his loss of life, but more because of how much life he did live while he had the chance. It was convicting. I’ve learned so much from Drew. He has inspired me to appreciate life more, to enjoy it, make the most of it, and to appreciate the lives of the people I know and love. Drew didn’t let anything stop him from doing everything he wanted to do. He was on the golf team, he was a brown belt in taekwando, and he made sure to not only keep up with his schoolwork but to get extraordinary grades, even when he was missing a lot of school because of his health.

I want to live like that. I want my passion for life to show through the way I treat my family and friends, the way I do my homework, the way I give my all in every run, the energy I have in show choir, and everything else I do. I want to make the most of my life. You know the saying YOLO¬†– You Only Live Once. It’s so overused and clich√©, but so true. I don’t think it¬† gives me any excuses to try crazy or dangerous things, like the way some people use the acronym. On the contrast, I do believe it takes away any and every lame excuse I have to not give 110% in everything I do or to not keep a positive outlook on life no matter what. If Drew could make the most of every situation life threw at him, why can’t we all? If we all could only have half the faith, hope, and passion for life that Drew had, the world would be such a better place.

It’s amazing how comforting it is to know that with Christ, I will always overcome every obstacle somehow or someway. I don’t know what that way is, but I know it will be the best because it’s part of God’s perfect plan.
~ Living Strong by Joshua 1:9, Drew Wall

Drew, you inspired so many through your life and your optimism. Thank you.


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Running: Mind over Matter

Running is a mental test. Who will win? Your mind or your body?

Running is not a sport for anyone who is mentally weak. If you think you’re gonna run fast, then you probably will. If you think you’re gonna run slow, there’s a good chance that that will happen too. You are likely to have a fun, easy workout if you think it’s gonna be fun and easy. On the other hand, if you’re expecting the worst and you think that it’s gonna feel like crap, then it probably will.

Its important to be mentally strong in a race or you could get bored and give up. I think that one of the reasons that I am running faster this year is because I put my mind to it and I think that I can run faster this year. I want to win, to help my team, and to put in a good time so badly. I can’t stand the feeling that I haven’t given everything in a race. I tell myself that it doesn’t hurt, and that I can quit and never run another step when I’m done, but of course, I am even more eager to go run after I get done with a great race or workout. Its funny how that works!

When I’m running an intense workout, I try to mentally prepare myself for the workout to be harder or longer than I know it really will be. Then, when I’m actually running, it’s easier than I anticipated. It’s all relative. In my races, I’ve been doing a better job at keeping my mind focused on my goals. I keep my eyes and head up and consciously focus on staying relaxed and keeping my pace swift and steady. I concentrate on the girls ahead of me and try to figure out when the best time is to make my move and pass them. I can’t just zone out and go along for the ride in a race when every second and every person passed makes a difference! I try to remind myself that it doesn’t hurt to run and that I can run faster. Unless I think that I can run faster, I will never actually become faster. Learning how to think while you’re running takes practice. I know I haven’t gotten it down perfectly yet, but I’m practicing!

So who’s the champion of this race gonna be? Your mind or your legs??

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Julie Yip-Williams

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