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

Just give me a new song!

My track team has a few girls who like to sing. Occasionally we try to do an acapella thing while we run, like singing “Don’t Stop Believing” like they do on Glee, or songs from Pitch Perfect, or we sing “Thrift shop.” It’s slightly embarrassing, but kinda cool! LOL ūüėõ But mostly it’s just one girl who sings constantly, and then she gets the song stuck in the rest of our heads so we all start singing. All the time. When we’re running, she sings. When we’re doing our dynamic stretches, she sings. When we’re getting dressed in the locker room, she sings. No matter what we’re doing. I love her. The only thing that I have a problem with is that it’s always the same song. Every. Single. Time. She’s been singing “Just Give Me a Reason” by Pink! pretty much every day since the beginning of track. I cannot stand that song anymore!! We try to think of new songs to sing and never can come up with anything! We just need to find her a new song to sing! We need to ‘Just give her a reason’ to stop singing it every single day!

So finally I decided to find some more songs that are good to run to! Maybe I can start singing one of these tomorrow at practice before my friend starts up with “Just Give Me a Reason” again! ūüôā

Alive by Krewella

#thatPower by Will I Am with Justin Bieber

Thriftshop by Mackelmore

Feel This Moment by Pitbull with Christina Aguilera

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Drake Relays Recap

I ran at the Drake Relays yesterday in the 4×8 and it was amazing! The whole experience was incredible, with so much competition between so many talented athletes all weekend. Thursday afternoon my friend ran the 3000m and ran a great race, despite what she thinks. I am so proud of her! Friday was another intense day, with people from my school running in several more events. That night, we also got to watch the women’s 1500 with world-class athletes including Jenny Simpson, Morgan Uceny, Shannon Rowbury, Sheila Reid, and the 16-year-old Mary Cain. I want to be like them! Jenny Simpson won in 4:03, and broke the Drake record. If only I could be that fast and make it look so effortless! Mary Cain got 6th in a time of 4:10.7. She’s as old as I am and she runs over a minute faster than I do! I don’t even think I could keep up with her for 200m without falling behind!

The women’s 1500 at the bell lap – Simpson is leading, followed by Reid, Grace, Rowbury, Anderson, and Cain.

After Simpson won, she got to do a victory lap. We were sitting in the first row so I got to go up and high-five her! My friend who qualified in the 1500 wanted her autograph but was too shy to go ask for it. I offered to, so I GOT TO TALK TO JENNY SIMPSON!!!!! SO EXCITING!!!!!!!! ūüôā Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Can you sign this please?

Simpson: Sure!

Other people: Can you sign this?

Simpson (to me): Can I use your pen?

Me: Go ahead!

Simpson (after signing more autographs): Is this somebody’s pen?

Me: It’s mine!

So basically it was a good start and we’re probably gonna be best friends sometime. A girl can wish can’t she??

Saturday morning was our 4×8. I was kinda disappointed that we had to run early Saturday so we couldn’t just get it over with sooner and we had to wake up early, but hey, I can’t complain, I just thankful that we got to go and run! Plus, the weather was gorgeous and it couldn’t have been any better. It was the nicest meet we’ve had all season. It wasn’t too hot or too cold, and there was hardly any wind.

We warmed up a bit, did our dynamic stretching, ran a few strides. My coach wanted us to get in some longer buildups and strides (like 200m) but we couldn’t find room. Looking back, I wonder if it would have helped to do longer buildups instead of just doing more 50m ones. They took us out to the track and wait for it to be our turn to run. Just standing out there on the edge of the blue oval got my adrenaline pumping and the butterflies in my stomach again. I’d been nervous all morning and had hardly been able to eat, and it only got worse as the time for us to run got nearer. Finally, we were told to line up and take our sweats off. Since we’d qualified in the 16th out of 16, we were in the very outside lane of the second waterfall. They ran all of us together in one heat. The gun went off. Our first leg girl is our fastest 800m runner, so she got to the front of the pack and took a decent lead. She ran a 2:20 split; not a 2:17 like she’d wanted, but still good enough to start us in first place. As she came down the last stretch, I was so nervous. I knew I wasn’t as fast as the other second leg girls and that many of them would pass me. But I kept my head up and kept the lead for the first 300 meters. After that, several girls caught up and began passing me one by one. I did my best to keep up, but I couldn’t compete. I held on for as long as I could and I’m happy that I didn’t let myself get too discouraged about getting passed. But as I finished the last 100 meters, where I would normally kick it in and speed up, all I was worried about was finding my 3rd place girl. The girls running ahead of me were all spread out across the track, and I didn’t know where to go. And good hand-offs are so important! When I successfully handed off my baton our third leg girl, I was disappointed in myself. I thought I had run slowly since I didn’t feel like collapsing at the end. I cheered on our 3rd leg girl, who ran a season PR by 7 seconds and an all-time PR by one second in 2:23. Our last girl ran in 2:32, which wasn’t her best. She felt so bad about it at the end and we tried to cheer her up. It could’ve happened to any of us. I still felt bad about my race, but when I went to talk to my coach, she said I’d run a 2:28!! A PR!!! It was only a second faster than I’d run last Thursday, but it was much better than I’d thought I ran! I’d had no reason to be upset with myself after all! Our team took 13th out of 16 in a time of 9:45. We can only hope to keep improving through the last few weeks of the season!


I almost won…

I had one of the best track meets ever yesterday!!:) I took the ACT in the morning then had to rush to get over to the meet in time for my first race. Thankfully, it was at home so it wasn’t too far away. Since so many girls on my team were busy with the ACT and a music contest yesterday, my coach had a hard time filling up the lineup for the meet. So my best friend and I decided to help him out. Even though both of us are distance runners, we volunteered to run the 4x200m relay and the 4x100m relay!! It was so much fun to do something new like that!

Last year at a JV meet, two of my distance friends and I wanted to run a 4×100 but couldn’t find a fourth girl to run it with us. We were all surprised that our coaches agreed to it, but they let us run the relay with three girls from my school and a girl from a different school! I don’t think they counted it officially, but it was super fun and we didn’t even get last place!! At some meets they have a throwers 4x100m relay, so why can’t they have a distance relay like that too?!

But back to my recap on yesterday’s meet, I got there just in time to briefly learn how to use blocks, jog a few laps, and do a few high knees, butt-kicks, etc. to warm up for the 4×200. Despite botching my start from the blocks (it’s a lot harder than you’d expect!), I ran the first leg in a splendid time of 29-some seconds. Not bad for a distance runner’s first 200 ever! And I don’t even think I went as fast as I could; I ran it more like a buildup or a stride. It was super fun though!!!:) My coach was pretty impressed with the way we distance girls ran and he said he might even put us in another JV 4×2 again sometime! I’m so excited!!:)

I ran the 1500m race a few hours after my 4×2. I’ve never run a 1500 before in a meet. I think my previous fastest 1500 was in a time trial at the end of the cross country season, with a 5:30-something. I ran the JV 1500, and from looking at seed times and from advice from my coach, I got my sights set on two girls that I needed to keep up with. Their seed times were in the 5:25ish range, and I was just hoping to be somewhere close behind them. I made small talk with the girl next to me when we were lining up before we started, and told her about how nervous I was about my first 15 and how I didn’t think I was gonna do very well….but then when the gun went off and I led the race for the first 3 laps, I felt bad about telling her that I doubted myself. True, I had no idea how to pace myself. But I had quite a bit of a lead for the majority of the race. But I couldn’t do it. I don’t have that internal motivation to run fast when there’s no one ahead of me to try to catch up to. I didn’t pick up my pace at the end like I should have, or like I know that I could’ve. I was so close to winning a race by a lot, but in the last 150 meters, a girl caught up and passed me at the last second. If only almost was good enough! If only almost let me win that race! I could’ve had it! I know that I had it in me. But no. I still finished in 5:18, which is a PR and not bad for my first time, not really knowing how to pace myself. I almost felt like I was jogging or at least striding the middle, and I had too much left when I crossed the finish line. Oh well! Next time will hopefully be better, especially if I have someone to push me! I listened to this song by Bowling for Soup this morning and thought of my race and how close I was to winning. If they had a verse talking about how “I almost won but I guess that doesn’t cut it,” it would describe my life perfectly!

My best friend, however, ran the varsity 1500 and broke 5 minutes for the first time!!!! I’m so proud of her:)

The 4×100 was right after our 1500s, so I didn’t even have time to get tape to mark my steps after watching and cheering for our two varsity 1500 girls. I jogged over to the start for my third leg of the 4×1, got some brief instruction on where to get the baton (I was so confused), and the race took off. We came in last place, but that’s okay because it was fun!!:) I think the other teams should’ve been jealous that they didn’t get to have a distance 4×1 or 4×2 team like we did!

To celebrate post-meet, I went to Panera with my boyfriend and my best friend and got one of these delicious cinnamon crunch bagels! I love my carbs! Delicious:)

My next meet is on Tuesday. I’ve gotten a new PR at every meet so far this season, and hopefully I can keep it up!!:)

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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


Run With No Regrets

Sorry guys! I tried posting this last night and then when I tried to publish it, it completely deleted. I have no idea why. I had saved it and everything, and then it all disappeared without warning. I am not very happy with WordPress right now!!

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My Best Friend, the Roller Massager

I’d like to introduce y’all to my bestie, Pro-Tec Athletics’ Roller Massager!


If you ever have tightness or soreness or pain ANYWHERE before or after a hard run or any other time, THIS WILL BE YOU’RE BEST FRIEND TOO!!! It’s a massage roller with four foam sections that feel like angels kissing your legs when you use it. According to their website, “The Roller Massager stretches muscles and tendons, breaks down soft tissue adhesion, and soothes tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues. Deep tissue stimulation and massage maximizes muscle performance and flexibility!” I use it to roll out tightness from my muscles before and after races and tough workouts. At one track meet last year, my quad inexplicably cramped up while I was warming up for an 800. Without one of these, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to run my race with as much pain as I had before I used it. My calves are always so tight and it’s led to worse problems like shin splints and Achilles problems. But when I use the roller massager, it helps release the tension and it feels so much better! There’s also this thing that happens more often after a shorter distance race, like a 400m race or shorter, where your butt cramps up. It’s commonly known among the girls on my team as “booty-lock,” and, let me tell you, it is one booty-kicker. It hurts so bad and you can hardly walk until it’s stretched out. This roller massager helps with that too! And if you’ve got a huge knot in your back, the roller massager has you covered there too. The difference it can make is like magic. From calves to backs to butts to IT bands, this roller is a life saver! It helps reduce soreness and tightness like no other! Here’s a video on how it works:

I’ve also tried The Stick’s Original Roller Massager. While this one has the same basic idea, it’s basically a bunch of hard plastic beads that hurt a lot more than the foam on Pro-Tec’s Roller Massager above. My friend likes it; I don’t prefer it. I guess it’s personal preference, and maybe you’d get used to the way it hurts after a while, but that is not the thing for me.



I’m not trying to sound like a saleslady or anything, a girl I know uses a rolling pin (like the wooden kind you’d use in the kitchen) to roll out her muscles, and it works just as well for her! If you’re sore, there’s a seemingly endless supply of ideas out there to help you! I hope you try out the roller massager though, because it has worked wonders for me and I’m sure it will do the same for you!

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My New 800 Meter PR!!!!

We had our first track meet of the season two days ago on Tuesday! It was our one and only indoor meet that our team is going to this season. Indoor meets are great because you don’t freeze like you would out in this winter weather, and you don’t have things like wind or rain or snow working against you. However, the air is awfully dry and leaves you coughing for a few days at least, and the track is shorter so you have to run more laps and it can throw you off mentally during a race.

But back to my meet – I only ran the 4×800 meter relay, and I ran the first leg. Our team finished second out of 10ish varsity teams in a time of 10 minutes flat. AND I GOT A PR (Personal Record)!!!!!! ūüôā At the first meet of the season!! I am THRILLED!!! I ran a 2:35 flat according to one coach, and a 2:34.64 according to the other. I think I’m supposed to go with the 2:35 time, but even then, that’s more than two seconds faster than my best time last year in track! Yes, I feel like I should have done better. Yes, I think I could have stayed back a little during the first 700 meters instead of fighting for first then dying in the last 100 and letting a bunch of girls pass me because I had nothing left to give. Yes, I wish I wasn’t the slowest leg of my 4×8 team, but hey, I was only three and four seconds behind the second and third leg girls. I have room for improvement. I’m not done yet. It would’ve been nice to be the fastest girl out there, but I’m not there just to beat everyone else, but to beat my own personal previous race times. I’m confident that if I can get a PR on the first meet of the season, I’d better be able to keep getting more PR’s and hopefully (cross my fingers and pray!) I’ll be able to get into the lower 2:20’s and I’ll make it to the state meet in May! One meet down, many more to go, and many more opportunities for improvement!


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??


My Pre-Race Routine

I set my new PR by a second on Tuesday with a 15:28, and my team took 1st again!:) I still can’t wrap my mind around how much improvement there’s been within my team and how fast our times are getting! Our top 4 girls ran under 15 minutes again, and the next two were about 30 seconds behind me. I’m so pumped for state and our next few meets leading up to it! I can’t believe how fast this season is going by though, since state is in only four weeks!

I think that the preparation and warm up before a race is crucial. If my pre-race routine goes as expected, then the race will hopefully go as expected as well. I try to drink plenty of water throughout the day before and the day of my race. I eat a granola bar or pb&j sandwich at least half an hour before our warmup. We start our warm up an hour before the race. It depends on the course and the weather, but we usually jog most of the 2.5 mile course to get our muscles warm and loose. We do dynamic stretches such as low skips with arm circles, butt-kicks, high-knee jogging, and then some static stretching.

One thing that I like make a part of my pre-race routine is to massage my muscles with a foam roller stick. There are several kinds of muscle roller sticks that are sold in running stores, but my favorite is a blue one with foam, so its not as hard as the ones made of plastic beads. They can work wonders and are really helpful in loosening tight or sore muscles.

When it’s finally around 15 minutes until the start of the race, I put on my uniform and my racing spikes. We do some build-ups at the start line, where you begin jogging, gradually build up to full speed, hold it for a few seconds, then slow down gradually again. Our team huddles up and forms what we call a spike circle. One or more of us will give a motivational talk and we encourage each other before whispering our team mascot, “Cougars,” together and continue with a few more buildups. Some teams have louder, more obvious (and sometimes obnoxious)¬†team cheers before they start, but personally, I prefer ours. I like to think of it like we’re sneaky with our cheer, so we’re gonna sneak up behind you and beat you when you least expect it!

When our routine is messed up for any reason, it kind of shakes my confidence and focus a little. I like to keep things the same each time, because if it helped me run fast last week, it will hopefully do the same this week! Getting into a routine that works for you is one way to make sure your race works for you too!

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Meet results from thursday!! and looking forward to my meet this week!!

I ran a 16:05 and¬†missed my goal time of 15:45 at my cross country meet!!:(¬†I’m still happy enough about my time though, and I think my coach is pretty pleased with me too. I got 18th¬†place overall and¬†my¬†team finished 1st again, which¬†I’m¬†super¬†excited about. We’re 4 and 0!!¬†I know that I could have done better, so I’m glad there will definitely be a second chance for me to improve my times this week at my meet on Thursday!

Looking back now, I think I did a decent job of getting out in a good spot in the race, and my second mile wasn’t too much slower than the 1st mile. I think my second mile was in 6:35ish while my first mile was in 6:15ish, which is a lot smaller difference from last week when I ran 6:02ish for the 1st mile and 6:55ish for the second! I’d say I’m improving a bit there! But I didn’t run the last 800 meters nearly as fast as I did last week. I ran it this week in 3:15, where my last 800 last week was in 2:56! If only I could run the first two miles this upcoming thursday like I just did this past Thursday, then get my last 800 up to speed, I think I’ll be right up there ready for a new PR!!

Unfortunately, the course we’re running at this Thursday is my least favorite of all of them. It’s at a soccer complex, so it’s pretty windy. The finish is uphill, right over the top of the hill, just so you can’t see it. I like to know when I’m about to finish so that I can pick up my pace and give it all I’ve got left at the very end, but it’s extremely hard to do that with this course we’re running at this week, since once you can see the finish, you only have maybe 50 feet left to run. I’m hoping that I get a chance to scope out the finish, or at least look a¬†map,¬†this time before my race so I can get an idea in my head of when I need to start picking up my speed. My team can’t afford to have a less-than-best race from any of us, so we all need to take advantage of the course and know how to run it. I also dislike how you have to run sideways across a hill for part of the race because it hurts my ankles and is no fun. I’ve sprained my ankles numerous times, so they tend to get sore pretty easily. I’m hoping that it won’t be too bad this year and that my ankles will be able to put up a strong enough fight on those hills!

It also helps to run the tangents. We try to run in a straight line from one curve to the next in order to cut out useless steps in between. The only time I wouldn’t recommend this technique is when the course is crowded or you’re trying to get around someone in front of you, because you could get cut off and have to stop while the other person goes around the corner, which would be counter-productive.

Well, one more race down, plenty more to go this cross country season! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

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Julie Yip-Williams

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