Cross-Country Regionals

The last hurrah ft. a 9-hour bus ride

Knowing that Friday marks my last meet of this year makes me wish time would slow down a little.

I often think about what my life would be like if Hailey had chose to go to a different school. If I went on an official recruit trip, I wonder if I would’ve ended up at Bonaventure…. Mmmm probably not. But thank God I ended up here and thank God Hailey did too.

After Hunter transferred, I didn’t know what life would be like. I was so used to having her around all the time. We were basically attached to the hip, so this year was definitely a huge adjustment for us all.

Going back to pre-season, all I could think about was how weird sophomore year would be without her. Who would I eat trail mix and peanut butter with at 2 a.m.?!?!? Who would fill the third spot on long, easy runs??!

It’s starting to sound like we’re some married couple… we’re not.  We’re just crazies who adore each other’s company.

As my season dwindles down, I’ve started thinking about how great next semester will be when we’re out of season. We won’t have to constantly stress about managing meets and practices with having a social life and going to class.

Already this year has been eventful. I don’t know where I would be or what I would do without the people I’ve become close with here. Honestly, I’m just excited to see what else this year has in store for us.

(At approximately 12:24 p.m. Friday, my sophomore cross-country season will be over…wtf)

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)

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My Halloween

Waking up this morning, I knew that this would be my last 5K of the season. How scary. Even scarier to think that today would be my second to last race of the year. How??!!!??

Throughout the season, all of us have gone through hardships. Whether it’s recovering from an injury, getting injured, or just feeling dead tired. A-10s is the race where you have to leave behind all the negativity and just run your heart out. I think we all did that today.

The Bonaventure men’s cross-country team beat VCU by 1 point, not placing last in the conference. I would say that’s an accomplishment, even if it may only be one point. When you run against fast and talented runners, it’s hard to race when no one is around you. Running alone is mentally hard, but they all persevered through it.

As for the women’s team, we ran smart. Sure maybe not everyone PR’d or raced as well as they had hoped, but we stayed relatively close to one another. We pushed each other and raced competitively. Racing against the fastest runners in our conference is scary and intimidating, especially for those first timers, but you can’t focus on that. Only focus on running to your fullest potential and you’ll be fine. I think we all did that, so no one should be disappointed.

Within the first 200 meters, I heard my best friend mumble “hey girl” to me and I basically died. As I said before, running against your best friend may be the weirdest feeling, and needless to say, it was.

For the first mile, Hunter, Hailey and I ran in a pack, and God it felt like I was in a movie or something. I don’t remember the last time that happened ESPECIALLY IN A RACE. We unintentionally formed a triangle.

triad race

When you race collegiately, you keep those memories forever. For me, today is one of them. I got to run beside my best friends in possibly the best running conditions you can ask for. I got to see Hunter—someone I haven’t seen since August, and I ended my last 5K with a PR. It can’t get much better than that.

Today is a great day to be a Bonnie.

A10s 2015

(Shout out to my parents once again for driving 10 hours to see me run for 30 seconds…. Ya’ll are awesome!!!!)

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This is it

This is it.  This is what we’ve all been training for.  This is what we drove 10 hours on a bus for.  Tomorrow is the day where all of our hard work pays off.  Tomorrow is the day where when the gun goes off, it’s every man for himself.  Not only should we focus on getting PRs, but beating every person who’s ahead of us… Every. Single. Girl.

Atlantic 10 Championships.

As my second season of collegiate cross-country comes to an end, I think about how great this season has been.  Having been through two major injuries within the last year–including one of which happened over the summer–I have made a great comeback.  Sure, I wish I was maybe a little farther along, but hey, my turn out could’ve been way worse.

Yeah, it kind of sucks not being able to celebrate Halloween with my fellow Bonnie friends, but at least I’m accomplishing something.

My best friend transferred to George Mason (also in the A-10s conference) early in the summer, and I could kill her because things just aren’t the same.  I could go on forever about how strong our bond is, but I’ll save it for another time.

For the last half hour though, we thought we were staying at the same hotel.  Nope, same hotel just different area.

I don’t know about you, but racing against your best friend is weird to think about, but even more weird to see her in a different uniform.

Here goes nothin.’

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Picture taken at A-10s last year in Pittsburg, PA. GO BONNIES!! 

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The Things I Think About While Running

I’ve been asked both by non-runners and runners what I think about while running. Trust me, thinking isn’t hard at all. I used to think it was impractical to recall the list of things I’ve thought about because it includes literally everything you can imagine.  Here’s a list of some of the many things I think about while running:

What a beautiful day to run

This sucks

My hips are tight. I’m stiff. I can’t feel my fingers. Why is she stomping her feet so loud?!

Well, 800 meters is two laps around a track… So the first lap doesn’t count and the second doesn’t count sooo basically, it’s like I’m not even running

HOW HAS IT ONLY BEEN THREE MINUTES??!!

God damn it. This hill is such a bitch!!

Great, my watch died

Maybe if I look depressed, Coach will change the workout 

Wow, that was fast

I’m not going to check my watch until I get to that tree

What’s for dinner?

Hey, look! Another jogger

If I were to have a heart attack, who would find my body?

Why do I run? It’s so hard

Sorry car, but I’m not moving out of the way

She totally doesn’t run.. look at her awful form. Her arms are flopping around everywhere. Who do she think she is?!

Come on, Nicolette run faster

It’s so hot out, I need water

Should I inform these walkers that I’m coming up behind them, or should I stomp my feet really loud so they know I’m trying to pass them? Ehh I won’t say anything. (Surprise)

This puddle doesn’t look that deep, so I thought… 

I’m almost home. I need to sprint the last half mile

I probably shouldn’t have eaten 15 minutes beforehand.. oh well

Mother Effer..

What do you think about while running?

 

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It’s not a true XC race without a little mud

There’s nothing that sucks more than being at a cross-country meet in the freezing cold, not to mention it was a muddy, rainy, windy and miserable day.  Correction:  nothing sucks more than sitting in wet clothes.

We drove 5 hours to Lehigh University in PA to race at the Paul Short Run, with over 40 schools from the East Coast.

How the day went:

Oct. 2

7:00 a.m. A ten-minute “shake out” run in the hotel’s parking lot… I’m sure the cars going by thought we were crazy or something because who runs around in circles in a parking lot?  Only Bonaventure XC.

7:10 a.m. Well, someone asked if we were a volleyball team, so that’s pretty much how breakfast went.

8:30 a.m. Getting a text from coach saying I have 30 seconds to get downstairs before the bus leaves isn’t quite ideal.

9:00 a.m. We arrived at the course, and it was a TORRENTIAL RAINSTORM. It was muddy everywhere, so the fact that I washed my sneakers before coming was a complete waste.

10:15 a.m. Four runners from the team ran in the Women’s Open. I envied every one of them for getting their race out of the way because they could now eat pumpkin spice cookies with a carmel kiss in the middle.

12:15 p.m. Men’s College Brown Race. From afar, it looked like a herd of animals running from how fast the people in that race were going.

1:00 p.m. Finally, the top 7 ran after waiting a long, painful 5 hours.  By then, the course was so wet and muddy that it could’ve made a great slip and slide. Maybe next time.

2:30 p.m. The bus departed and we were on our way home.  I’ve never, ever wanted to get off a bus so badly in my life….  Needless to say, I got to reword myself with a hot shower when I got back to campus.

(A quick shoutout to my parents and sister for driving hours to come watch me race for about 40 seconds).

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Picture was taken after the first meet of the season.

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Why I run

The question I often get from people is this: Why do you run? To tell you the truth, I run because it’s hard. It takes a lot of guts to run—to be able to get up every morning even when you don’t feel like it. It takes a lot of motivation, too. Sometimes I feel like staying in bed, but I know that if I do, someone is one step ahead of me. Or sometimes I wish I could sleep in, but I know someone else out there is working harder than me. The reason why I run is because it feels natural to me. Unlike any other sport, there are no time-outs or half times. Running is all legs. We don’t stop until the race is over. That’s why it’s so mentally grueling.

I started running at a very young age, which lead me to running competitively. As you can imagine, I was pretty underdeveloped. I had no hips, had not gone through puberty, and I did not feel lactic acid. That’s why I ran so fast. I felt as though I was always under a lot of pressure trying to please my coaches and my family. It began to be a lot to handle for someone my age.

Due to several injuries, I struggled with my mentality, and it is still something I struggle with today. Coming back from injuries is hard, but what is even harder is gaining that strength back just to get injured again. Within the last year, I obtained two major injuries–a quad tear and severe shin splints. I felt like I was in one of those nightmares where you are in a race, and your legs physically cannot move. During that time, that nightmare became a reality for me.

They say that running is 90% mental and the rest is physical. It’s that mental aspect of it all that makes running so tough. You can be in the best physical shape of your life, but if your mind isn’t positive, it’s game over. As you run, your body will tell you to stop running, and that you can’t take anymore, but a strong mind will tell you to handle the pain with strategy.

From all the years I’ve been running, I’ve learned that no matter where you are in your career, you’re going to get hurt. You just have to be patient. I’ve learned that injuries teach you a valuable lesson—to appreciate every moment you have. I’ve learned that it’s a mental battle trying to come back after being injured repeatedly, and most of the time the battle is with myself. I’ve learned that whenever I have bad races or bad practices, to not get discouraged. I’ve learned to remember that everyday you get stronger and are better than you were the previous day. Lastly, I’ve learned that injuries bother you when you aren’t working, but when the gun goes off, you no longer feel anything.

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