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

Plantar Fasciitis = Plain Frustration

Our conference meet was on this past Monday. I was supposed to run the 4x800m, open 800m, and the 4x400m. I ended up running the 4×800 and half of the open 800, hobbling and limping the second half of the open 800m, and finding a substitute for my 4x400m.

I started out the day with a bit of pain in my arch. I’d been having mild arch problems for the past couple weeks but it went away when I ran and I didn’t think too much of it. But then I did a long run on Sunday, for an hour at a moderate pace, about 8 minute miles. My arch started hurting a bit more after that and my hips hurt a bit too, but once again, I thought I could just push through it, rub it out, and I’d be fine. But my body had other ideas.

I ran my leg of the 4×800 in 2:29, not my best but pretty darn close. I was happy enough. My team ended up finishing first and getting a team PR in 9:41, so I was even happier!

During cool down and the warmup for my second 800 though, my arch would start hurting much worse than before. I told my coach about it and she just recommended that I tried to stay off it as long as I could before my race and that I keep my regular running shoes on for as long as possible, rather than my spikes. She recommended icing it and taking advil later. I know it’s hard to tell, but in retrospect, I wish I just would have scratched that race.

I started out okay in the first hundred meters before my arch started aching…then as I started the second lap it started getting worse…and popping…and by the last 200, I couldn’t even run on my toes anymore without it popping and hurting like crap. I limped all the way down the home stretch and still managed to place 5th in 2:36.94. Not bad for being hurt, I guess. But what made it suck even more was the girl at the end who tried to be nice. I was obviously in pain and she goes, “It’s okay, everybody has a bad race sometimes.” Maybe it wasn’t intentionally mean. But I kinda wanted to slap her. That wasn’t a bad race. That was me shooting myself in the foot and still running on it. That was me get my foot eaten by a ravenous lion, bear, and shark at the same time and still finishing it out…even though I probably shouldn’t have. That was part of me dying on the track, not because of my crappy time, but because I knew that I just did something really really really bad that I shouldn’t have and that may jeopardize the rest of this season. I’ve apparently got plantar fasciitis and I just made it way worse.

I could hardly walk all night after my race or especially the this morning. As the day went by, it loosened up a bit but I was still kinda hobbling around the halls all day. I went to see my school trainer before practice and hoped that it would help to just tape it up. Nope. It made it feel a bit better when I was just walking around, but I didn’t even get a hundred meters into my warmup before I had to stop. I went back inside and ended up on the elliptical for forty minutes, then iced it and stretched until practice was over.

Plantar Fasciitis sucks. A lot. Especially this late in the season, when it’s beautiful outside and all I want to do is run, and the state qualifying meet is tomorrow and the state meet is next week already!

Hopefully ice, advil, and prayer will at least get me through the next two weeks!


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!!!!!!!! 🙂 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!


If only…

If only….

If only I would have run .62 seconds faster. If only I would have someone to run against, someone to push me other than my own willpower. If only I would have stayed focused. If only I would have realized how much I would regret not running faster, not pushing myself as much as I know I could’ve. If only we could qualify! If only wishing and wanting and hoping and praying would help!

My 4×8 team ran a 9:52.65 at Tuesday’s meet. We are .61 seconds away from qualifying for the Drake Relays. We’re seventeenth place and they only take the top 16! I know that I could’ve and should’ve run faster, and now I’m just beating myself up for it. I know I shouldn’t be. But I want to qualify SO badly that I can’t stop thinking about it and regretting it. I ran a 2:32. I’ve run a 2:30 before! I should’ve been able to do it again! I should’ve kicked it in sooner, rather than just at the very end. And there’s a pretty good chance that our meet is going to be cancelled today for the weather, and today is the last day to qualify. If we weren’t so so close to qualifying, I wouldn’t feel so bad about it. It’s the fact that we’re so close yet so very far away that gets to me. It’s that tiny deep down regret for not running two more fast steps. My best friend is qualified to run the 3000m. I’m hoping I’ll be able to go watch her run, but it’s not at all the same as being able to run myself.

I don’t think I could find the words to express how badly I want this. I would do just about anything for this, if we could qualify. Plus our fastest 800m runner is graduating this year, so we won’t have her to run with us next year and our chances of qualifying are much lower. This is a once in a lifetime experience!

But I guess that even if our meet tonight isn’t cancelled, there’s no promises that we will be able to pull a faster time, especially with this crappy rainy weather. I guess it would just make me feel better if I could take out all my frustration on the track, if I could just get one more chance.

Dear God, let us qualify!

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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!! 🙂 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!! 🙂

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 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)!!!!!! 🙂 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!


Resistance bands, my new love!

So track season is one week down, and we have so many more left! But that’s a good thing 🙂 The first week hasn’t been too hard – we’ve had three aerobic-paced 4-5 mile days, a time trial 1600m on Wednesday, and we ran a bit faster and shorter today – 3.25 to 3.5 miles in 23:33. I ran a 6:15 for my 1600 Wednesday, which isn’t ideal, but I’m happy enough, especially for the beginning of the season. I think that I could do better if I had another chance, just because it’s hard to remember how to run fast and still pace myself since it’s been so long since my last race. I’m mostly just glad that I didn’t get nearly as out of shape as last year! I think I’ve got a decent base and I just gotta go from here!


We ran our 10 minute warmup, did our dynamic stretching, then ran 30 minutes at aerobic pace on the trail (somewhere around 8:15ish/mile pace, give or take around 10 seconds). It started snowing on the way back, which was pretty cool (literally!). Then we did some abs and worked with resistance bands!

Now abs and a resistance band workout may not sound like that much fun, but it really was! It burned and made me sore today, but it was great just because it was new, and I rarely mix things up in my own workouts as much as I should. Our distance coach brought prizes for whoever could hold a plank for the longest since it was Valentine’s Day. Our head track coach and cross country coach did it with us too, and that was another very good reason to stick it out longer to beat him…which I did, by the way!:) in the end, I tied with two other girls, and our coach let us stop after 3 minutes or so. I got one of these:)

M&M Valentine Candy Fan, 12 count

A Candy Fan!!! Super cute 🙂

We did some work with resistance bands too, which was quite exciting because I’ve never tried them before! I love them! We did some of the exercises shown in the video below, like the walks and the squats. It’s a great workout for your glutes! Maybe I’m weird, but I love the sore feeling I get after a hard workout. Kinda like the “No Pain, No Gain” mentality, it makes me feel like I really worked hard and that I’m getting stronger. Go ahead and give some of these workouts a shot, maybe you’ll have as much fun with them as I did!

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Guess what?????? Track season started today!!!! And the first practice was great, and I’m completely looking forward to the rest of the season! To be honest, I was a little scared and dreading the start of the season….but once I was standing there with all the girls, waiting for practice to start, that all changed. I was, and am, pumped for this season. My motivation and drive that I’ve been missing all winter have all come back with a rush. I so badly want to be that varsity runner and to qualify for state! There’s a long season ahead of us. Today was only the first day, and if I want to get through this week, through this month, and come out at the front of the pack, I need to work my butt off. Yes, recovery days are very important, but I can’t become complacent or let myself get worn out. I need to stay strong, take good care of my health, get enough sleep, keep my stress levels down, stay on top of my schoolwork, and make sure that I am eating and drinking the right things to keep me at the top of my game. If I want to run in college, I need to make the most of this season this year so coaches will see my effort and my abilities! I wanna show my coaches, my teammates, my opponents, and everyone else that I am strong and fast and I won’t give up. I think that consistency is one of my strong points and I need to keep it that way. I need to run consistent or consistently faster times all season. I listed some of my goals on My Goals Page that I intend to keep this season. I know that I didn’t keep my goals over the winter like I wanted to – I didn’t run nearly as much as I wanted to, I didn’t do all the ab workouts that I wanted to, I didn’t keep myself in tip-top shape like I wanted to. But I think that I did succeed in keeping myself relatively in shape, and I know that I’m at least in considerably better shape now than I was at the beginning of the track season last year. We’re supposed to have a mile time trial on Wednesday – I’ll keep you posted on how I do! I’m planning on going all out and hopefully I won’t be too disappointed with my first time of the season!

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Horizontal Running

I absolutely love the movie Pitch Perfect. Its hilarious and aca-awesome!! 😉 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! 😉

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

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Julie Yip-Williams

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