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.

 

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.

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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.

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.

 

 

Rants, Running

Things that bother me

Sometimes ya just gotta let things out.  I promise you’ll feel a lot better.  Hopefully some of these things bother you just as much as they bother me.. If not, then I’m sorry you can stop reading now.

Going too fast on easy runs

Compulsively checking your GPS watch

Watching boys eat 6 plates of food and still be in shape

Waiting 10 million hours for the waiter to bring out hot bread

When the milk from the dispenser at the Hickey comes out WATERY

Green bananas

That itch you can’t scratch

People who are all up in your business (plzzzzz stop)

When all the showers are taken

When you realize the washer is broken AFTER putting your clothes in, and there’s nothing you can do about it because the door is locked

Accidentally running in the rain with freshly washed sneakers because you didn’t know it was raining, and it’s too late to go back and switch (And the whole time you’re just pissed)

Getting woken up from the garbage truck outside my dorm window

When the janitor’s phones goes off to Kim Possible’s SMS text tone (WHO ARE YOU TEXTING AT 6:30 A.M.?!?!??!)

Cheesy Instagram captions 

Tweets that read, “OMG it’s snowing!!!!” and “We all know it’s snowing, you don’t need to tweet about it.”

Being called NICOLE (And no it’s not short for Nicolette)