Saturday, September 29, 2012

Willamette Invitational, Sep 29th.

I got home from Salem about an hour ago, and I’m beat, mentally and physically. 
The Willamette Invite was today. I love this course. I ran it so fast last year.
This year, I had high hopes coming into it. I was so excited about this course. This was going to be the weekend that I jumped. That I got top ten. That I PR’d.
I have been killing it in workouts. I have so much more energy in races than I used to. I have so much more to give.

BUT WHY DO I NOT PERFORM I can’t answer that question.
I can’t tell you why I spent almost the entirety of today’s race completely chilling. Why I run my mile repeats in practice faster than I ran my mile splits today. Why I barely even competed. And why I ran 40 seconds slower than I did at this race last year.

I should be faster. Physically, I’m way stronger.
But mentally something’s off.

I can’t figure out what that is. All I know is that I spent a lot of the bus ride back very upset. And I asked my coach (who was being way too nice) why he wasn’t made at me… because I am mad at myself.

But here’s the thing about being an athlete. You have to have short-term memory. I have to forget about today… or at least not let it get me down more than it already has.
I let myself be upset for a while. I cried, mentally replayed the race over and over, and ate a McFlurry and gazillion spoonfuls of peanut butter for dinner.

Now it’s time to get my act together. Because Monday we have another hard practice that will lead to another race that will eventually lead to Conference.
And even though I’m not showing it in my races… I want to win. I deserve to. And I’m no quitter. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tea and Cookies

I started missing England a lot last night.

Here's how it happened.

I practically went straight from biology class to go and lift (just arms and core) before practice, because I wouldn't have time afterwards.

Then I went straight from practice (after quickly grabbing something to eat) to a three hour creative writing class. I love creative writing class, so I didn't really mind at all.

Immediately after that, I went to our first CCF (Campus Christian Fellowship) club meeting. I still hadn't showered at this point... :) We met at a local coffee shop, got to know one another, talked about some goals for the year, and had a Bible study.

And while I was there I sipped on Yogi Bedtime tea....

So I started thinking about England and the weeks I spent there.

I started missing our nightly ritual of having tea and a "biscuit" (cookie) before bed.

I started longing for the pleasant atmosphere there.

And craving the beauty of autums leaves scattered on lush grash outside of old cathedrals and on cobblestone roads.....

Maybe it's because I have been so tired lately? Not in a bad way, necessarily... but it doesn't seem to matter how much sleep I get (I make sure I get 8-9 hours every night).... My body still feels tired. I'm sure it's the long, exhausting workouts combined with all of the thinking that my brain is constantly doing. My knee is killing me (tendonitis I'm told), and I feel like an old person :)

To summarize, last night it sounded so lovely just to slip away to England for a night and sip on hot tea and have an English biscuit and relax with my favorite English family.

Life really is good though. I'm getting into the swing of everything here. I have been meeting tons of people on my campus. I'm in and out of meetings, classes, and practices, but I'm enjoying it!

Tonight is the year's first big event for the students, and I get to speak like three times on behalf of three different clubs/teams... once for government, once for CCF, and then for cross country.

I guess I like being involved!!!

As promised, a few pictures from this past weekend's race in Spokane. More to come!!!

Post Race = sport's bra cooldown :)

I love these crazy girls!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

XC Spokane Meet and Other Rambles

To finish off my Sunday night, I though I would post a quick update on my race this weekend in Spokane!!! I have races the next three weekends, which means I am a busy running traveling bee for awhile. The charter bus rides, restaurants, hotels, and races are so fun, but they are also exhausting. Sunday definitely becomes a recovery day for catching up on homework, cleaning, maybe church, and grocery shopping (more on that later). 

We left early Friday morning and drove the long drive to Spokane, which is never all that bad when you have loads of crazy funny teammates to talk to and movies to watch. 

We ran the course when we arrived, and I was blown away to find out that it was the SAME course I ran my second cross country race EVER. When I was just a little baby freshman, and I lived in Northern Idaho!!!  I could hardly believe it, but all the memories came flooding back. 

After eating at some fancy pasta restaurant for dinner (I may be the only runner ever who doesn't like pasta), I spent the rest of the evening being lame in my hotel room thinking about my race in the morning. I was anxious, excited, and didn't feel like going to the mall across the street with some of my other teammates. My roommates chilled with me, though, so I didn't feel so lame. 


I got 24th out of 154. I should be happy, right???

Well, I would be. But it was too easy. What I mean is, I enjoyed the race because I wasn't hurting. I had way more energy than I laid down. I finished with way too much left. My time wasn't fantastic. Not even close to my PR. I settled a lot. It makes me wonder what place l could have gotten if I had really raced. I don't understand why it is so easy to push myself to the absolute max in practice, but in a race I can barely get myself out of my comfort zone?? I'll figure it out though; its still early in the season.

But some positives....

I love this course. Rolling hills, golf course style (even though its a park). Its perfect for momentum and for my love of running downhill and my bouncy step. And this will be our championship course!!! This baby has potential to be fast!!!!

I passed a lot of people- as opposed to getting passed. I started off in the top five, slowly fell during the first mile... but then made my way back up in mile 3. In the last 400 meters, 
I passed and held off about 5 girls. 

The weather was perfect. Hot, but not too hot. I love it that way. 

My team did well. And I need them to do well. 
We need to pack it like a lunch box if we want to win NWAACCS!

I got home late last night, checked out a local church this morning with some kids from my school, and have been doing mundane tasks like cleaning and homework. 

And grocery shopping. 

Which I HATE. 

I spend hours picking things up that I want (like cereal, frosted animal cookies, salad). Then I go back again and put them back. I think "I don't need cereal, I have oatmeal." "Salad is spendy. I already have broccoli." "Frosted animal cookies aren't healthy. Put those back." It's nuts. I hate it. I'm so stingy and convince myself not to buy things I need, like bread. 
So it looks like I'll be making another trip to the grocery store!!!

In other news, my dad is in Mexico this week with a team from my church. Please pray for him!!!

We took lots of pictures this weekend, but they are on other people's cameras. I'll get them up here when I get them. I'm quite aware all my blogs have been endless words and no pictures...
I'm sorry about that... I'm a writer, not a photographer. I can't help it :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Catching Up

I think this school year is off to a great start.

I moved in to my "apartment" on Sunday night. It is an all girls' house, even a sorority of sorts, without the crazy party aspect. There are not that many girls that live here right now, but the ones that do are all so sweet! The kitchen is fully stocked with appliances and silverwear and even spices and vanilla and things of that sort. It will make my life SO much easier than living in the dorms. And I have always wanted to live in a sorority. I don't know why everyone is always saying how hard it is to get a long with girls. I love girls! And I hang out with guys too. But honestly, lets just all get along!

My favorite thing about this house is that it used to be a home for the nuns that started the hospital here!! So much praying has gone on inside these walls. The peace of God is totally here. How cool is that?

Yesterday (Monday) I had an early morning. I don't have classes on Monday, but I had to work the Campus Fair from 7:30 to about 1:30. I helped plan it, and I had to work our Student Leadership Booth. It was tiring, but I loved talking to people and meeting people. And I met a girl who is here from Denmark on exchange (and I totally want to reach out to her, because after Paris I know what it's like!!).

I had practice at three. It will be right at the hottest point of the day now, and some people on my team almost had a heat stroke yesterday! It was a 60 minute tempo run on a beautiful (for around here) and hilly back road. We sprinted the hills, recovered on the downhills.

I love this workout, and I had done it before. So I was excited to get going. I got to try out wearing a heart monitor that my coach lent me, so that was way cool. For those who don't know, it basically tells you what percentage of effort you are exerting.

And I was really happy, because I ran most of the workout with the fast guys. Not even the slow guys. Now, they definitely KILLED me on the hills. Like, they would finish at least 50 feet ahead.... I really suck at hills. :) But I would catch up to them on the recovery because I recover quickly, and they only finished the workout about 150 m ahead of me!!!

I love my xc team. I really like my friends here. And I had a super relaxing morning after 9 and 1/2 hours of sleep. So I'm feeling really positive :)

Off to class. College Bio.
Don't have a book yet. Oops... :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ten Goals Starting Tomorrow

I always get really overwhelmed before new beginnings. 
I wish my thoughts would slow down a little. 

I'm moving tonight, and school starts tomorrow. 
Since I got home from church this morning, I have done nothing but pack. 

I absolutely hate packing!!! Luckily I'm just moving an hour away and not across the country. That would be so much work. 

There are a lot of unknowns about this next year in front of me, and to be honest that kind of scares me. 
But I am truly believe that this is going to be a blessed year. 

I came up with some goals for this year, and I thought that I would share them. 

1. Spend time with God every day: Reading the Bible, praying while I drive, blasting worship music and just chilling in His presence, whatever. Just seeking Him.

2. Save my student loan money as much as possible (in a separate bank account) so I can start paying it back right away. 

3. Break 18 minutes in the 5k and run 36 minutes in the 10k.

4. Pray about/decide on a school to transfer to after I get my AA. 

5. Be a giver/generous!: I want to just bless the socks off of people. 

6. Stress less and pray more; Learn to go with the flow!

7. Have fun/develop relationships with friends

8. Stop bad habits: i.e. nail biting....

9. Go to church as often as possible, even if I am exhausted. It's always worth it and I never regret it! I feel so refreshed after. 

10. Take care of myself: This is the BIG one. I have to make sure I get enough sleep, eat enough/healthy, drink enough water, have enough down time... if I don't take care of myself mentally and physically  there is no way I am going to be able to do it all this year. 

And that's all for now! New adventures await... 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back to School Again

School starts in 2 days. 

2 days! And I move tomorrow. Into a girls dormitory/sorority/apartment/house that I barely know anything about. 

I have yet to pack. 
I don't have all my books. 
I have barely any back to school clothes. 

Suppose I'm not very prepared... :) 

But who can blame me when the last few weeks have been so busy? 

I did manage to hit up Cost-co, aka Magic Land today with my mom for some bulk groceries to stock up on. I'll still have to pick up a few items, but staples like Almond Butter (I go through buckets) and humus and quinoa and dried fruit are crossed off the list. Too bad I can't just live off of those things. Groceries are expensive!!!

I really should start packing right now. Or at least doing laundry.

Actually, I really should shower right now...

I got up bright and early this morning to drive the hour long drive to practice, and we ran a lovely 12 miles through the rolling hills of Ontario. Needless to say I'm very dirty, but I am too lazy to shower!

I also don't want to pack. I hate packing. I want to go on pinterest, and read my book. And I want to go shopping for back to school clothes. And I want to enjoy my last Saturday night before school starts. 

I don't know how I feel about it starting. Truthfully, I feel like my life will actually get a little less stressful, because I won't be doing a 2 hour commute every day. But I will miss living at home, and seeing my parents and my sister, and not having to buy my own groceries... :)

But I am excited to be near my friends. To get to know my team better. The xc girl's night we had on Thursday night was a total blast. The girls are so funny. We ate our weight in chocolate fondue and candy corn and gossiped around a bonfire. I can tell we are all going to be super close. 

Here's to a new year. Let's see what it brings me!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Went The Extra Mile

Literally... today in practice.

Mile repeats were on the agenda.

And no one was really feeling them.

For one, it was so cold this morning. What? Where did summer go? Oh yeah, it's the middle of September. Oh yeah, my college just starts really late so it's not really summer anymore. I could curl up into a ball and cry.

Yes, there are great things about fall. Tights, boots, scarves... pretty leaves, hot tea, pumpkin spice lattees. Holidays.

If I were a normal person that could curl up on the couch with a book and a mug of hot cocoa when it was cold outside, I would be all for the fall/winter seasons.

But for athletes, the cold sucks.
At least for me. I do SO much better in the heat. My body just functions better. But I'm also a baby. And I found out today that there will probably be snow at xc championships this year...

Anyway, back to practice.

So no one was really feeling it. We were all tired. It's been a hard week. And we had a late night practice last night. So an early morning practice

My coach moved me up to run with a slower boys pack, and I was ready and excited to show my stuff. I usually run with them,
 so I knew I could do it for mile repeats.

Or not. The first mile felt miserable. My legs were led.
I think I was just too cold.

But every mile I got a little faster. A little better.

And then, when I was scheduled to be finished, I made the mistake of mentioning that to my coach. "They get better as I go.
I almost think another one would be faster."

So he "gave me the option" of doing another one. And as if I have the ability to not do one. I'm way too much of an overachiever for that. So I went the extra mile :) And it was faster! And I actually could have done more.

The more warmed up I get, the better I get. The longer I go, the better I seem to feel. I must really be a distance runner.

On a completely unrelated note, I have been receiving so many compliments from the professor's here about the speech I did Tuesday. It feels so good to know that I actually inspired people!

This week is just as busy as ever, but I have enjoyed a tiny bit of downtime to read my book and catch up on blogging! Tonight my girl's team is getting together for a sleepover. Gotta love team bonding :)

School starts in FOUR days! I officially move to Ontario in three days. Crazy.

Catch up with you soon!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The [President's] Speech

Today was a productive day!

And one of those days where you are jumping from one activity to the other so quickly that your brain doesn't have time to catch up!

First thing this morning, bright and early, I made a speech in front of 200 or so faculty, administration, and staff at my college.

I was the follow up to the legitimate college president's speech, and after the Student Leadership Team was introduced, I was free to wow the audience will my impressive speaking skills ;)

Reality is, I have no idea how I actually performed.
All I know is that I loved it. I loved every minute of it. I love speaking in front of people. And I love being able to speak on what I'm passionate about. To inspire people. To ignite something in the hearts of the listeners.

I still have a lot to learn about public speaking, but I think today was a good step for me. I wrote my first legitimate speech, and I'd say it was a success.

IMMEDIATELY after I was done, I rushed to the gym to change and caught up with my cross country team for practice. They were already halfway through a workout (my coach knew the situation beforehand and was totally okay with it, but I almost bawled my eyes out when I found out I would have to be late for practice... because, let's be honest, I'm a total overachiever.)

Anyway, I jumped right into the workout and followed it with some extra running and intense lifting to make up for the stuff I missed.

Then I worked ALL day. On projects. On the campus fair. On interviewing people. I sent emails. I helped people on my team with stuff. All while still in my sweaty practice clothes.

Classy, I know.

I'm exhausted! But I feel accomplished.
My brain is full, but I can still function.
I have a lot to do, but I'm blessed with the ability to pursue all these goals.

Tonight I am going to a dinner with the Student Leadership Team at one of the Dean's house. I brushed out my haired, drenched myself in perfume, and threw on some jeans. Hopefully no one will figure out that I haven't showered ;)

A toute a l'heure!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Speaking of sweat.... 

My first cross country race of the season was on Saturday.
And we all sweat buckets, because collegiate women were scheduled right in the middle of the day. 
It was only a 4k. 
And I can't say that it was successful, to be honest. I went out fast and confident. Then exhaustion hit hard. Then I stopped racing, and I just stayed comfortable. 

I don't know why, but I ALWAYS do this. I guess I still have a lot to learn about racing. 

On paper, I did alright. I was in the top third of a very competitive race. But what bothers me was my mindset. Instead of simply running faster when I was not doing very well, I started wishing the race was over.... thinking up what I would say to people to explain why I didn't do well....
 letting myself be convince that I am not fast... 
and blaming it on all the crap that's gone on with me and running this summer. 

When I finished, I wanted nothing more than to be bummed in myself and go sulk somewhere. But here's the thing... 

WHY? What's the point? So the race didn't go how I expected. It was the first race of the season. We started practice 2 weeks late this year. My body is still going through some changes with my new resting/fueling plan. And it was a 4k (which is almost two short for me..)

Plus, I didn't have time to worry about myself. 
I have a whole team full of girls who really needed encouragement. 

So I didn't sweat it. I just took it for what it was and moved on. This was just a season opener, and in no way does it have to be any indication of what the rest of the season will look like. What matters the most is how I inspire the girls on my team to be better. And if I'm sulking I can't do that. 

Of course, I'm still competitive. I haven't really stopped thinking about this race this whole weekend. But I'm not gonna sweat the small stuff. I'm going to focus on the big picture. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Racing Rambles

Tomorrow is the first race of my second season of college cross country.

But I'm not really nervous.
Not really at all.
More excited.

A lot of things have changed since last year. And I am a different person and athlete.

I think differently. I fuel differently. I run differently.

I'd like to say I run with more guts.
I am stronger, mentally and physically, that I was last year.

And most importantly, I realize that how I do in tomorrow's race doesn't really matter.

Yes, I will race to the best of my ability. But I don't need to worry about doing badly. Because who determines what "badly" means anyway?

The biggest difference between myself in high school and myself now is that I am not motivated by fear. I don't race hard because I'm fearful of failing.

I race hard because it's fun. Because I have been given a talent. Because I have been given a drive.

And because there is no better feeling than realizing I gave everything out there. (I wouldn't really know actually, because I have yet to collapse across a finish line, but I'm planning on it).

Cross Country is so hard core.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Une Belle Melange

Today was one of those days that I can't help but feel content about.

Though I began the day feeling a little weighed down, everything just.... worked out today.

I feel accomplished.
And amazed at how faithful God is to get me through every day completely unscathed :)

Despite all the busy details, planning, and craziness of the day, I feel relaxed.

I had a killer practice, and I'm so excited for what the season holds.
      AND I always get this incredible runners high after interval workouts that turns me into a crazy 
      person, but it's so much fun!

The kick off of Student Government Training Week went.... okay.
      DESPITE the fact that I had to be late because of practice, and, since I am leading it, a lot of details
      fell through.... its funny to me how people are so bad at communication and are not responsible! No
      matter how hard you try, as the leader of any group/organization, you have to be flexible, because
      working with other people requires it. 

I get some downtime now.
      WHICH is something that doesn't come often these days. 

To end this "belle melange" or "beautiful mess" of thoughts, I would like to list a few things I am thankful for. Because being thankful is by far one of the most important things to be :)

I'm thankful for the fact that all of my financial needs are ALWAYS met. Whether that be through student loans, scholarships, my parents slipping me a twenty, or a friend treating me to lunch, I am so beyond blessed. 

I'm thankful for my little sister, Liberty, and all of the time we have gotten to spend together lately. She makes life so much more fun. We do art, watch movies, bake cookies... whatever. And it's always a good time. But we can also just sit there and do absolutely NOTHING and feel comfortable together. Best friend forever. 

I'm thankful for holiday weekends. Which means that Sunday nights can be spent eating TCBY with friends and not worrying about anything the next day. 

I'm thankful that, even though I felt incredibly stressed last night, I have a family to watch movies with and a sister to play basketball with in an attempt to relieve stress. 

I'm thankful that I don't have to do anything for God to love me. I just have to be. 

I have a million more reasons to be thankful, really. But I'll just write those for now!!! I'm off to enjoy some reading or family time or whatever floats my boat this evening :)

What are you thankful for???

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Learning to Lead

Being a deep thinker sometimes makes things a little complicated. 
Sometimes it sends me down into a spiral of thoughts that I can't break free of. 
Sometimes it causes me to revel in insecurities and worries and questions. 

But most of the time it leads to some great realizations and revelations. 
It helps me understand the world, other people, and myself a little better. 

I had a lot my plate this weekend, and I also did a great deal of thinking. 

My college's fall Student Leadership Team training retreat always takes place over Labor Day weekend, and as this year's president, I was responsible for planning, organizing, and partially leading the retreat. We had lots of playtime, and we even got to spend Friday whitewater rafting! The other parts of the retreat we spent in training sessions and doing team building exercises. 

I would say that overall, the weekend was a success. I got up at the crack of dawn before anyone had even begun to wake up on Saturday to get in about eleven miles of running. I had to do it because it was on my training schedule, and I am in season now 
so I'm not about to deviate from what my coach tells me. 

But I also wanted to do it, so I could prove to myself that I can do it all. I can be in President of my school and organize all these events and lead a government team AND be a killer runner AND stay healthy AND do all of my classes AND most importantly be a good friend, sister, daughter... 

I realize that a lot of this blog lately has been me pouring my heart out about how on earth I'm supposed to balance everything, but that is because that is what I think about a lot of the time. 

But that is not meant to be the point of THIS blog. This blog is dedicated to what I have been learning about leadership. Because I'm being placed in a lot of positions of leadership this year. I am all of a sudden a leader on my team, and my coach is always having me lead drills and core and things as such. I like it, but I don't want to be overbearing. 

I don't want people to resent me if I end up "coaching" too much. 

I have never been a "captain". I have never really had a leadership role. I suppose I'm a leader by nature, but not in the sense that I am loud and decisive and people follow me. 

I suppose I lead by being an inspirer. A friend. A light. A good example. 

It's the same with government. I never asked to be President. It just sort of happened. And I'm insecure because I have never been in such an intense leadership position before. It's a lot of pressure. 

But I don't have to be someone who is super decisive or organized. I don't have to be someone who cracks down on people. That's not my style. I have to be myself. And I want to lead by inspiring. 

Even so, I have A LOT to learn about leadership. About being confident. About managing a team and delegating and working with tons of different people with different opinions and problems. 

And I'll be okay. I'll learn. 

For now, I'm going to enjoy Labor Day, which I have COMPLETELY OFF!!!! Except for the 60 minute run I have to do (no practice tomorrow), I have absolutely no plans! 
Next week will be crazy, so got to live it up!!!