When I created this website, I promised myself I would publish at least once a week– coinciding with the deadlines I had to meet for my Multimedia Storytelling course. However, as I was browsing the internet recently, I realized that it’s been almost a month since my last post.
During this blogging drought, I settled into a new city, new house and new job. Changing my lifestyle in this short period of time has pushed running–and maintaining a running-centric blog–into my mind’s dustiest corners.
Moreover, a dip in passion during the summer is common–especially for collegiate athletes. Fall is cross country. Winter is indoor track. Spring is outdoor track. But in the summer, the three-season racing period comes to a dramatic halt; instead of completing workouts and competing in exciting meets, athletes slowly build up mileage and strength. Working towards a goal becomes difficult when results are months away; thankfully Jesus and my teammates–key sources of motivation–aren’t far. So, I asked the latter what struggles and strategies they’ve come across during summer training:
“The hardest part of summer training for me right now is [being patient] because I’m still slowly progressing into running from an injury. But the thing that motivates me is probably thinking about the people who I’m doing it for!” — Callin Naddy, freshman
“The hardest part of summer training for me is definitely self-motivation and time management. On busy days it’s hard to find the time, and on not busy days I can’t force myself to get up and get it done in the morning when it’s not too hot or dark. What does motivate me and get me out there to run in the heat and the dark is the teammates I’m running for and the great season we can have.” — Rachel Rairdon, junior
“The hardest part about summer training is understanding your fitness doesn’t start up where you left off at the end of the track season; however, early morning runs with my teammates and slow easy runs where you can just enjoy running keep me motivated.” — Meg Schenk, junior
“It’s always a confidence booster knowing that we are all training for the same team! I also do not have anyone to run with, so that’s challenging for me. My high school team meets every morning at 6:15, but most mornings I nanny starting at 6:30, so I’m doing most workouts in the afternoon. I am excited to have lots of running buddies in a few months. I try to keep the end goal in mind, so that is what motivates me. I love love racing so I want to do all that I can for this team!” — Megan Means, freshman
“The hardest part about summer training is having to do it alone and trying to fit runs in around vacations and family plans and activities. What motivates me is finally being back with the team and wanting to be the best that I can be for everyone else.” — Rebekah Rairdon, junior
“The hardest part of training the last two summers has been coming back from injury. It’s hard to find purpose and confidence when it seems like nothing is going right and you don’t know when/if it will. To make it worse, you don’t have a team to run beside you. However, everyday I get to run, as much as I think I don’t like it, I’m always excited about the potential for the run to finally be good. And even after the bad runs, the ones that make me wonder why I’m still trying, I find myself trying again, hoping the next one is going to be “the run,” the one that feels natural and almost effortless. I’m really thankful to be apart of a team that doesn’t only value success, but passion as well. Knowing that I’m apart of a group that cares more about me as a person rather than me as a time is extremely motivating, regardless of how far away we all are.” — Elizabeth Yoder, sophomore
“I think the hardest thing about summer training is the monotonous routine of it! There’s no challenging workouts or races to break it up until the end of the summer/start of the season. It’s easy to get bored and unmotivated if you lose focus. But it’s also inspiring knowing all of us are training in different states for each other! It also makes it so much easier to get out there when you have coaches who’re checking in on you/the team and who truly care!” — Julia Lee, freshman
“It’s been hard for me to be motivated to train this summer because I’m still trying to get over the injury I had in the spring. I haven’t been able to run yet, so it’s difficult to see how each week I’m falling more and more behind. I had serious thoughts about giving up my fifth year because I’ve been in a cycle of trying to get back to where I’m capable of but then having an injury take that opportunity away. However, what motivated me to go forward with my decision to compete for a fifth year was my true passion of running that I have, despite all the heartbreak it has caused, and the teammates I’ve grown so close to. It took me a while to open up and connect with everyone, and now I can’t imagine leaving them! I’m also motivated to cross train to prove to myself that giving up is never the right answer!” — Leah Seivert, senior
“The hardest part for me right now is the worry that I’m going to re-injure myself somehow and trying to take it slow enough that I don’t. This is the first summer in two years that I haven’t been banned from running because of injury. I am so pumped to get going, but it’s hard to control that so that I don’t do too much too soon. As for my motivation, it’s definitely knowing that I have a new team waiting for me at the end of the summer and there are going to be so many running buddies! At my old school, typically training runs were me alone trying my best to keep up with the slower varsity guys because there weren’t that many girls out. I’m so excited to learn from the veteran runners who know so much.” — Mariah Haight, freshman