Life of a College Runner: Training

Hello all! This marks the second intense week of training this season. Coach cancelled our meet on Saturday, so we’re training through the week. It’s going to be another week full of hard workouts that will push me back into shape. I hope you enjoy reading this!

Monday

3 miles, 22:50 (7:40/mile)

I’m back to doubles! This morning it was a pretty small group, just me, Paul, Austin, and Mason. We were going pretty fast for me that early in the morning, but I hung on. After the run, I had to hurry inside so that I could register for classes for next year. It made me kind of sad to think it was the last time I’d be doing that. But it’s just crazy that I only have one year left. I’m going to try to continue doing this blog until the very end.

Afternoon: 6 miles, 46:55 (7:50)

We ran out and back on Ink Road, and we were sub-8:00 pace the whole time. I got to talk to Erin quite a bit, which was really nice. She’s one of my best friends on this team, and she’s also in a creative writing class right now, which makes conversation even better. After the run, we did 6 hill sprints and hurdle step-overs. Then Coach had us go get the barriers for steeple practice!!! We borrowed the cart from the athletic trainers and put them on the back. It took quite a while, especially since one of them we grabbed was the start barrier, which is longer than the rest. It’s the barrier that goes right after the start/finish line, so it’s longer because we’re usually still pretty crowded at that point of the race. Anyway, then we got to do 6 hurdling and 6 stepping over the barrier. I felt a lot better about my jumps today than last week. I got a little better at stepping by the end, but I’m still not great at it. Zoe and I practiced together, and the men who are doing it are Brady, Evan Mills, and Luke, who is a freshman. I think it’s going to be a great year.

Tuesday

8 miles

Today was a workout. We split into long-distance and mid-distance, with mid-distance doing some fast 400’s and 100’s. Us long-distance runners did some cruise miles and a few 200’s. I was with just Miranda, and we were to go 7:00 for 4 miles. I had to do one hurdle per lap. We ran 6:55, 6:57, and 6:58 for the first three. Unfortunately, Miranda had to stop after three because her knee was hurting really bad. It started hurting during the first one, but she battled through two more. For my last one on my own, I ran 6:59, so still under my time. The hurdles didn’t feel too bad, and I actually had quite a few good ones. The 200’s were tough. I did 4 at around 41 seconds average, with a 200 m jog in between. To finish it out, I only had half a mile to cool down. I think today was a good success overall.

Wednesday

6 miles, 49:00 (8:14)

Coach wanted us to take it pretty easy today, so we went slower than normal. It did feel good to rest my legs. We did my favorite easy run route, country-Lisbon, the Lisbon part first. I think it was a well-deserved day of rest. It was lovely outside too. Today the high was around 60 degrees, so we are all feeling great. It’s finally shorts and t-shirts weather!! Afterward, we did hurdle step-overs and some plank exercises.

Thursday

3 miles, 23:10 (7:43/mile)

It was just Paul and I this morning. We talked a lot about racing, and we told the stories of the best races of our lives. I got to hear about his 5k at Indoor Conference, since I was in Rome at the time. It was a really nice morning run.

Afternoon: 6 miles, 49:30 (8:20/mile)

We ran out and back on Willow Creek. To make it more bearable and shake it up a little, we went left on the dirt road instead of continuing on Henik up that huge hill. We twisted and turned around the dirt road for a bit, which was really fun. Katie and I fell back the last mile. Once we hit the hill going back up to Highway, 30 my legs felt like lead. We did 6 hill sprints on Summit, and we did bands and a med ball routine once we got back.

Friday

7 miles

Today was another workout! We ran out to Ink Road and did a tempo run from there to Abbe Hills to Springville and back to the track to finish it out. Zoe, Katie, and I ran together. Our pace was supposed to be 7:25 for four miles, but we ran 7:09, 7:21, 7:19, and 7:06 for an average of 7:14. I feel like I’m in shape! The tempo run felt great, and it didn’t feel that hard. When we ran down the hill to the track, the wind was in our faces, some raindrops were hitting my face, and I smiled because I knew this is what it feels like to be alive. The hardest part came after the tempo. We had to do an 800 at around mile race pace. I was supposed to hit 2:45, which is three seconds slower than my 800 PR. It hurt, every single meter of it, but I scraped by in 2:58. It didn’t feel good to be that slow and still wheezing, but I know I can get better. That really hard rep helped me get better. Each little piece of the puzzle is important.

Saturday

10 miles, 1:22:40 (8:16/mile)

Roller coaster. The name strikes fear and dread into the hearts of everyone on the team. Just kidding, but it is the hilliest and perhaps most challenging long run route we have. I know it’s a hard route, but I was ready. Dom, Marissa, Zoe, Katie, and I were all going 10 miles. The first 4 miles are always the hardest, going out on Mt. Vernon Rd to Abbe Hills, where the biggest hills are. But I made it through that with little trouble. When mile 6 hit, we were going mostly uphill, and I was struggling to keep up. I finally dropped off the group at around mile 7. I ran the last 3 by myself. It was a real mental battle. I don’t blame my group at all for keeping on. I would have done the same thing. But that didn’t make it any easier for me to keep running. If anything, it made it much harder, now that I was by myself. The last mile was the worst. I just couldn’t seem to move my legs any faster. It felt like I was running through peanut butter. Well, the highlight is I made it through, and I wasn’t going that slow. I just want to get better. I really want to be back where I was. And I know that’s going to take time, hard work, and patience, so I’m trying to stay patient.

This week was a great week of training, and though I am thoroughly sore, I feel like I’ve made progress. Last night, I was reading through my training log from last year to see how I compare to back then. I really shouldn’t have done that. Not that I’m slower than I was at this point last year (but I think I am), I just know it’s really important for me to focus on the now, focus on what I am doing today and tomorrow and next week. I’m trying not to dwell on last year. I know that at this point last year, I felt like I was behind and that I was slower than I was my freshman year. The great news is I’ve got about 6 weeks left until the conference meet! So there’s still lots of time for me to improve.

Thanks for reading!

— Morgan

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