Running, Uncategorized

Being insecure (about everything)

Some of us hate what we see when looking in the mirror, whether it’s our nose or legs or smile.  Whatever it may be, we all have our insecurities.

I don’t look in the mirror to check myself out.  I look in the mirror constantly to see if I look fatter than I did 5 minutes ago.

I’m obsessed with working out.

I can’t follow super models or fitness people on Instagram.  It’s hard for me to see people running when I’m not.  I go absolutely insane when I have to take time off from running because I can’t enjoy food the same way.  When that happens after season, I’m a total nightmare.

Running is the only thing that keeps me sane.

I used to be a chubby-ish child growing up until I picked up running.  One summer, I had a bad case of the stomach bug and lost 13 pounds.  After that, I became obsessed with my appearance and I didn’t want to gain the weight back.  I started to eat cautiously and exercise a lot more.

That’s when I became super insecure.

I’m convinced that I’ve gone through so many injuries throughout my running career because I overwork myself.  I run too many miles, I stay on the elliptical for too long, or I’m doing too much physical activity in one day, and I don’t think my body can’t handle it.

I’m totally obsessed with burning calories.

 

college, Uncategorized

And that’s a wrap

They really aren’t kidding when they say college goes by fast……

Yesterday marked the last day of me being a junior in college, and honestly I’m so relieved.  Not the fact that I have one more year left, but having nothing to do.  This semester was the worst semester I’ve ever had–subpar classes, track, suite mate problems, feeling like a piece of shit and the list goes on…. I’ve never been more excited to go home and recharge my batteries.

 

 

 

Running, Uncategorized

Feelings toward SBU’s first track program since the ’30s

Honestly, I don’t even know how to feel towards track.  After running 6 seasons of BOTH indoor and outdoor on top of 6 seasons of cross country in high school, I definitely have mixed feelings.

What stood out about St. Bonaventure was how we were only a cross country team, and in the spring would run 1 or 2 meets for practice.  I liked how I wouldn’t strain/ burn out my body by running all year round.  Now, we are considered an A10 track team, which scares me.

Pros

  • Having more money
  • **Easier transition into summer training**
  • Not getting fat

And the Cons…

  • St. Bonaventure: 1,900 students. All other A10 schools: 10,000+ students
  • Western New York weather sucks

Running is considered an individual sport as well as a team sport.  Doing well individually is what makes our team as a whole score better.  My coach always tells me that it doesn’t matter how you place amongst all the other runners, but to only focus on improving yourself. But for me, I care about everything.

I do care how I place amongst other runners.  I do care if I place not as well as I had hoped. I do care if my time is off. I do care if we as a team finish last. And I do care what other people think.

If I run bad, everyone will think I’m slow

My biggest worry is that: If I run bad, everyone will think I’m slow.

Earlier in the week, I met with a sports pyschologist because running stresses me out. How could running be my passion AND make me so stressed out to the point where I feel like crying/ puking??? It’s because I care so much.  I’m a perfectionist.  I expect to run well every time, to PR every time, to feel good every time… In reality, no one can have good days all the time.  I’m slowly learning that it’s OK to not run well every time, to PR every time and to feel good every time.  I’m learning to except my failures because in the end everything will work out.

I spend so much energy trying to fight off my inner demons inside my head when I run that I exert so much negative energy.  It sucks.  No matter how hard I try, I always find myself stressing out.  The only way to better myself is to be calm and stay positive.

I think how lucky I am to be able to run at a D1 level because not many people have that opportunity.

IMG_1561

 

 

 

st bonaventure, Uncategorized

Living in a boring town

To tell you the truth, I never pictured myself living in Western New York, especially Olean, a town where almost nothing ever happens outside St. Bonaventure. Growing up, my dad used to brag about how great of a school it is.  The partying, the athletics, the people, the camaraderie-everything.  Still, I wanted nothing to do with it.

My dad encouraged me to go on a tour and I finally agreed to it.  From Albany, N.Y. to Olean is about 5 hours and the whole way I bitched about how boring the car ride was.  For most of the drive I questioned whether or not there’s even civilization because all I saw was acres of unused land.

I’m not coming here

I don’t like it

There’s no one on campus. Why is there no one on campus? 

Over and over again, I thought to myself how St. Bonaventure wasn’t the school for me, and that I went on a tour to make my dad happy.  Boy was I wrong.

As it turned out, St. Bonaventure is the school for me.  I love it and I couldn’t imagine how different my college experience would be if I went elsewhere.  My dad was right about everything.  All these years, I refused to believe how great of a school St. Bonaventure is.

Despite the town of Olean/Allegany being so boring with absolutely nothing to do, St. Bonaventure has changed me.  I always wanted to go far away to college because I wanted to experience an environment different from Albany and meet people different from the people I went to high school with.  While there’s not much diversity at Bonas, I’ve met people who are very different from me, and that was exactly what I wanted when I decided to go to school 5 hours away from my hometown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

journalism, Uncategorized

What I learned from Denny’s class

stressed out clipart

Well…… I’ve learned a lot.  When I say a lot, I mean I learned a shit ton, more than I expected to.  But most importantly, I learned to understand Denny’s work ethic and apply it to the real world.  After all, that’s why he teaches the way he does.

I decided to torture myself by enrolling in the second part of his news reporting class.  Anddddddd I basically cried the second I walked into his newsroom on Jan. 21.

But I’m glad I suffered through his 75-minute class twice a week.

I learned that in life, you need to be pushed far past your limits.  That’s exactly what Denny does.  He pushes every single one of his students.  He rips apart their writing.  No, he destroys their writing only because he cares.  You need people to be critical of your work or you’ll never succeed.

Some people say (a lot of people say) that going to a small school is just like high school, where you see the same people every day.  While that may be true, there are perks of going to a small school.

You aren’t treated like another face in the crowd.  You aren’t a nobody either.

Here at St. Bonaventure, professors actually take the time to know you and care about what you do outside the classroom.  The first thing Denny asks me when I go to his office is usually something running related–like how stupid I am for running when I have a strained achilles (update:  I’m healthy now!!) Or how I should rest or I’ll never improve.  The same thing applies to writing.  In order to be a successful writer, you need to work just as hard as you would if you trained for a 5K.

 

 

Running

Prepare yourself

Back in September, I received these text messages from three different people:

The other day we did 5 miles of tempo and

I literally thought about running into traffic

and getting hit by a car so I didn’t have

to keep going.

Literally I feel like I’m going to die everyday. 

We don’t do any sort of warm up, which is 

rough. I also sobbed the other day during our

hill workout–it wasn’t a fun time. I was just

running around campus crying.

Why tf do we run?

Welcome to college running!!!!

In high school, I used to dread going to practice every day, knowing that we would have a meet coming up or have a “hard” workout later.

I hated being surrounded by all of my negative teammates because I was feeding into their negativity:  hating running

Yes, I hated running in high school.

Running in college was something I never saw myself doing until my senior year.  As a senior, I was so unaware of the potential problems that might happen being a freshman Division I cross-country runner.

Feeling like a total outcast amongst all the other teammates, not feeling welcomed, adjusting to a different running system, not having my dog on my bed, etc.

Those were some of the problems I didn’t know were going to happen my first season (well, other than the fact that I wouldn’t be waking up to my dog next to me, but that’s beside the point).

I didn’t even realize the differences from high school running to college running would be so noticeable, until my first week of pre-season where I considered amputating my legs (still consider it at times).

I came from a team where we weren’t running a lot of miles, goofing off happened regularly and nobody took running seriously, with exception of a few people.

Everything from coaching, to training and to racing at a much higher level of intensity, was something I didn’t take into consideration until now.

I used to think it was shitty that my old coach had us run low mileage.  I thought because of only running 15-20 miles a week, we were at such a disadvantage when we would race against teams like Saratoga or Shenendehowa.

But after hearing about how girls I once ran against in high school no longer run in college anymore because a) they burned out b) they quit or c) they grew to hate running, I’m glad he trained us the way he did.

As you can see, college running is a lot different and more intense than high school running.  However, I find it to be much more rewarding.

If there’s one thing I learned from being on a team it’s realizing that it isn’t about being apart of a really fast team.  It’s about creating and maintaining friendships with people because at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

Uncategorized

Nobody likes a sore loser… Yes, I’m referring to you, Mary

If you recall the 1984 Summer Olympics, shit went down between Mary Decker and Zola Budd.  For those who don’t know who they are, here’s a quick background.

Mary Decker:  Constantly talking about the gold medal she didn’t win.  As a child, she raced against runners who were twice her age, and no one could top her strong and powerful kick to the finish.  She’s a former American elite runner and world champion in the 1500 and 3000 meters.  Some say she’s one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Zola Budd:  The South African girl who never wore shoes, literally.  Her running style was very unusual in that she only trained and raced barefoot.  At 17, she broke the women’s 5K record with the time of 15:01:83, among other records.  Even though she lived South Africa, she ran for Great Britain in the Olympics, and had said in an interview that she wishes she never took part.

In the 3000m final, Decker set the pace. Halfway through the race, the pace slowed down and Budd took the lead.  Decker then took a wide turn to pass Budd to get back in the inside.

Since all the other runners ran closely in a pack, Decker and Budd kept tripping on each other’s feet.  Unfortunately, Decker tripped on Budd, lost her balance, and went down.

I remember watching a documentary on ESPN on these two gifted runners.    When Mary Decker went down, it sounded like everyone in the crowd booed Zola Budd for something that could’ve happened to anyone with how close in distance they were of each other.

I get really rattled when I think about the terrible attitude Decker had.  From being carried off the track in tears, to completely ignoring everyone around her, to freaking out in press conferences.  Years after her fall, she’s still super bitter about it.  I think after watching her actions that day, among other days, made me dislike her as a person immensely.   I really can’t stand prima donnas.

Maybe she would’ve won, maybe not.  Life’s too short to be salty all the time.

To this day, Decker and Budd are still not on good terms primarily because Decker doesn’t believe she was ever in the wrong; therefore, she never felt the need to apologize.

Decker was Budd’s idol up until the 1984 Olympics.

decker budd fall

 

Running

If the Tarahumara run barefoot, then I should too

tarahumara

“I can’t prove this, but I believe when my runners train barefoot, they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.”   – Vin Lananna, Director of Track and Field  for the University of Oregon and seven-time NCAA coach of the Year

“Shoes do no more for the foot than a hat does for the brain.” – Dr. Mercer Rang, the legandary orthopedic surgeon and researcher in pediatric development

Last summer, I read the book called, “Born to Run,” by Christopher McDougall, and it’s safe to say that his book game me a completely different outlook on running.  Here’s why:

I became so intrigued by the lifestyle of the Tarahumara that I started to hardcore research them.  Nobody knows who they are unless they’ve read McDougall’s best-selling book.

A quick background:  The Tarahumara is a Native American tribe located in northwestern Mexico and are known for their incredible long-distance ability (When I say long-distance, I mean they run reeeaaalllly long distances, averaging about 100-200 miles over the course of one or two days).

Rarámuri means “runners on foot” or “those who run fast.”  They run through tough country canyon to communicate with members within the village.  That being said, how come they don’t get injured?  How can they run so fast and so far?

In Born to Run, McGougall argues in favor of endurance running and barefoot running based off his experience with the Tarahumara.  For years, I’ve thought that the secret to injury-free running is based off of wearing the proper shoe. It’s not, nor is it from stretching or running high mileage.

It’s pure skill.  It’s primarily about technique and strategy.

Why haven’t I heard this before?  Throughout my running career, I’ve been told to believe it’s all about the shoe you wear.  Every running magazine will tell you that–it’ll preach endlessly and stress the importance of wearing the proper footwear.

So how do the Tarahumara do it?!  They run ultra-marathons on rocky trail paths, wearing nothing but handmade sandals (I’m sure you can imagine what that may look like).  The famous Caballo Blanco, a.k.a. the White Horse, is the central character in Born to Run, and started the Copper Canyon ultra-marathon.  So how did their legs hold up from running barefoot?

Well, statistics show that running barefoot can strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot–more so than a shoe can, regardless of inserts or orthotics.  It also improves balance while promoting a healthy and natural running style.

Landing on the heel can cause breaking in every stride.  By removing the heel lift in almost all shoes, runners will learn to land on the forefoot rather than the heel.

Give barefoot running a try, and you may be surprised with the results.

(Information found on chrismcdougall.com) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running, Uncategorized

What elite runners eat

elite runners

I often wonder this:  Do runners need to be on special diets in order to increase performance?

Some say we should be vegetarians, others say we should be Paleo, while others say we should be gluten-free or stick to a low-carb diet (<— HOW???!!)

I find myself struggling to decide what my diet should be when I’m in training mode…. Well actually, I find myself struggling in general.

I went on the Internet and searched what elite runners’ diets are and I found this:

Molly Huddle calls her diet “the typical American diet.” In high school, she ate cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and meat and potatoes for dinner.  This diet fueled her enough to place fourth at her high school cross country championships, and a national high school record in the 2 mile with the time of 10:01.

In college, Huddle ate cereal and bagels with peanut butter, among other things and rarely ate salad.  This diet fueled her for nine All-American sectionals and second at the 2006 NCAA 5k Championships.

As a professional, Huddle’s diet consists of whole-grain pancakes, sandwiches for lunch, and meats with vegetables and a salad.  This fueled her to nine national championships and two American records in the 5k.

Now this diet doesn’t work for everyone because we reject and accept different foods.  However, I highly respect the fact that Molly Huddle eats pancakes for breakfast.

Kenyan runners are the best in the world and they have been for years.  I’ve always wondered what they ate because their bodies are so lean, so how can they be so fast and talented?  Well, this is what I found:

Kenyans eat a lot of ugali (cornmeal porridge), sukuma wiki (collared greens), ndengu (stewed mung beans, whatever that is), and chapati (which is like water-based dough.. similar to what tortillas are made out of).  Kenyans also stock up on starchy foods.

*Remember that dieting like an elite doesn’t necessarily mean limiting your food options much like the different groups of elite runners do.  Instead, it means “emulating their key dietary habits.”

(Information found on Competitor.com)

Running, Uncategorized

But do I really need a break?

It’s been a week since cross-country ended and I officially feel old.  Before I know it, I’ll be racing my very last collegiate race ever.  Don’t rush it, Nicolette.

I think one of the hardest things for a runner to do is take time off from running.  Sure I complain and stay stuff like, “why do I run. I hate it,” or “someone chop off my legs.”  But in reality, I love to run, and it really sucks taking a break.

The problem I have is that i HATE taking time off.  That’s one of the reasons why I hate Sundays because it’s normally a rest day.  I sometimes (never) listen to my body when it tells me I need a break, and I realized that when I experienced and injury last winter and another in the spring.

Boy was I pissed.

Now that I’ve been healthy for three months, I just need to be smart and take care of my body.  Knowing me, I probably won’t listen and do something stupid.

…..Well, I hope not.