Life of a College Runner: End of Summer

Hey dear readers! So, first of all, to put an end to uncertainty, I found out on Wednesday morning that I am anemic. Basically my ferritin levels are really low and so is my hemoglobin. So that’s what has been making me dizzy, lightheaded, and tired. I’m now taking supplements to help with this, so I should be back to normal in a few weeks. Despite this, I’m going to train as hard as I can, especially since my season officially starts on Friday! I hope you enjoy this week!!

Monday

As you know, I didn’t run on Monday after having blood drawn.

Tuesday

The doctor called but didn’t give me that much information. I was told to take it easy. Not wanting to do any damage while still not knowing what was wrong, I went for a short two mile run in the morning. I felt really tired through the whole thing. I was trying to make myself feel better by running, but this time it just didn’t work.

Wednesday

So the doctor called and we got everything straightened out. I had my last night of work on Tuesday as well, so I’m all set to go back to school. I’m so excited to get back to campus and see everyone!! My favorite part of move-in day is giving everyone hugs. I just can’t wait!!!

Tonight I ran five miles on the trail. I felt pretty great, which is amazing considering how I felt yesterday. For a while I felt like I could run for hours. I went a little fast, but it was okay. I’m finally starting to feel alright about running again. My time tonight was 39:16, 7:51 per mile. It was a good night overall.

Thursday

Tonight felt even better than yesterday. My mom and I were running on the trails and we saw a bunch of kids riding bikes on our way out and back. She was going about half a mile less than me so she turned around sooner and was about a quarter of a mile ahead of me. Then, on our way back, one of the kids looked over his shoulder at my mom and then looked back at me and said, “Dude, she’s kicking your ass!”

My mom thought that was hilarious. I picked it up to 7:45 pace that mile. I think it’s pretty funny too, but I wanted to shout back at him, “Dude, I went farther!”

So my time tonight was 47:45, 7:57 per mile. Actually it was just my last mile that was over 8:00 pace. All the rest of them were well under 8:00 pace. I felt good. And I did bands afterward because my hips felt pretty sore.

Friday

For one last hurrah, my mom, dad, and I ran around Keystone this morning. It’s become a tradition now that every year we run together on move-in day. My freshman year I started bawling after the run. Now I just can’t wait to be back. Funny how time changes people. Anyway, we ran 4 miles together for a time of 33:40. I think we nearly killed my dad, who is slowly getting back into running and isn’t used to that pace anymore. But it was a fun time. Then afterwards I had to scramble to get everything packed and ready to go.

Saturday

Our first practice of the year!!! I am so glad to be back and I was ecstatic to see everyone yesterday. We went for an easy 6 mile run out and back on Standing Rock. I got to talk to one of our freshman girls, Miranda, for the first two miles, which was nice. I’m so excited to get to know our new teammates, both boys and girls. I firmly believe it’s going to be a great year.

It was so hot this morning. We had practice much later than usual, at 9:45. So it was pretty darn hot and humid by the time we started. To make matters worse, the route we ran was not very shaded. It took a lot out of us. Some people could barely finish the run. Marissa and I both felt pretty shaky afterward. We ran 50:40, 8:27 per mile.

After the run, we did two hill sprints up to Bowman-Carter, one of the residence halls. Coach has decided to build up to 8 hill sprints, which I think is a great way to loosen our legs up after the run and make us stronger while working on speed. We did 2 today and 6 regular strides on the track. It felt pretty good overall.

This afternoon, I ran my first double back with the team. We have a larger group to start out the year, with Caleb, Austin, Mason, Brady, Henry, Gabe, Paul, and Evan Mills. I was super excited! We ran really easy this afternoon; it was so hot but our route was pretty heavily-shaded so it didn’t feel as bad as this morning. We picked it up to 7:37 our last mile, but it actually felt pretty good. Our time was 24:39, 8:07 for three miles.

Tonight we volunteered at a race, which was really fun to do. I was at a water station for the 7 mile Dam Backpocket race. My parents have done this race in the past. It runs from the dam to a brewery and it looked mostly downhill. Sometimes it’s fun to be on the other side of races, instead of running them. It offers a new perspective anyway.

Sunday

This morning we had our first steady run. A steady run is not quite a tempo run. It’s a little more than medium effort, Coach likes to say a 6 out of 10. Today my group was Marissa, Erin, Dom, and one of our freshmen, Emma. Coach Karly also ran with us. We ran out and back on Ink Road, but we only did 5 miles. I was expecting to do 6. We stayed with the team until the halfway and then split off into our groups. It felt really good. I’m not sure if it was a 6 out of 10 effort, but it was good. Steady runs are usually pretty hard for me because it’s difficult to switch paces like that, and go from 8:20 pace to 7:20 pace, which was our goal for today. After the first mile it wasn’t so hard, but I like getting into a groove and staying there.

We ended up doing 7:18 pace for both of our steady miles. I did a mile cool-down afterward. This might be vain of me to say, but I’m currently the highest-mileage woman on the team. And I know the highest mileage isn’t always the best or fastest, but I’m super proud of that! I have worked really hard to get where I am, regardless of obstacles this summer, and it makes me happy to say that I run the farthest. I’m not sure how long it will stay that way, but that’s the way it is right now.

After the run, we did hurdle step-overs and that was it. It felt nice to be done with practice so early compared to yesterday. This afternoon, I’m cross training and not running, so I won’t really have anything to report there.

I am so excited to see how this season goes. And I thank you for embarking on this journey with me. I’m really glad to share it with you.

See you next week!

— Morgan

Teacher, Runner, Reader, and Writer. Destined for great things, I think.