Being a part of a team is an amazing privilege. It is a rare but fulfilling experience to work alongside other women towards a common goal. Whether you are on a high school team where whoever shows up on day one is your teammate, you are a collegiate athlete who has the rare opportunity to “pick” your teammates in the recruiting process, or you are on a post-collegiate racing team — you may find yourself in a situation where your coach asks you to “race with your teammates.”
About a week ago, I was stretching by my parked car before a run on my favorite local path when I saw a young girl, maybe nine or ten years old, get out of a car with her dad. I overheard their conversation as she was stretching while her dad unloaded his bike.
She looked at him and said, “I hope you can bike fast because I am a really fast runner.”
Her confidence was beaming and she started running down the trail ahead of her dad, calling for him to catch up.
I started my run about five minutes later and saw her about a half mile down the trail. I made eye contact with her dad and I couldn’t stop smiling — her innocence and youthful love of running seems so rare for girls her age, and you could tell that he was so proud of his little girl.
I go to that path at least once a week and this was the first time I saw a young girl exercising. Why is that? Read more >>
Strides are relaxed and controlled bursts of speed ranging anywhere from 60 meters to 200 meters, or 20-35 seconds. They can be used in variety of ways to enhance your training. The goal of a stride is to maintain good running form, while accelerating into a hard effort (85% – 95% of max). Strides are NOT a race and you should not be straining to complete them; instead, you should focus on running fast while relaxed.
Many runners don’t think to incorporate strides into their training, but strides are a great way to introduce faster speed workouts. Plus, distance running can be monotonous and can leave you feeling stale after long periods of training. Incorporating strides will stress your body in a new way and will strengthen your fast-twitch muscle fibers without breaking you down.
Looking back on my college running career, I can pinpoint many tangible advantages of playing sports at the collegiate level. It helped pay for my education. I traveled to new places and ran myself into the best shape of my life.
However as I look back on my experience, it was the intangible advantages that collegiate athletics gave me that really enhanced my life. I developed a hard work ethic, built mental toughness, but, most importantly, formed lifelong relationships with mentors and friends.
While some locker rooms, weight rooms and track complexes are nicer and flashier than others, at the Division I level, most universities have roughly the same facilities. The main difference between any two programs in the NCAA that can make or break your college athletic experience is in the relationships with your coaches and teammates. It’s these relationships that will help you reach your full potential.
Recently, I discovered rabbit. A friend of mine was gushing about the brand’s running apparel and its co-founder, Jill Deering. Another running apparel brand? But I took a look for myself, and I decided that I had to talk to her.
The company kicked of its KickStarter campaign in 2015 and has grown tremendously since. They have products in running specialty stores across the country and launched an ambassador program along with a team of sponsored elites.
Jill was gracious enough to take some time out of her very busy schedule — besides working on rabbit, she’s a lawyer and competitive marathoner — to share her runtrepreneur experience with me and you!
To be honest, this week was rough. I haven’t had an injury that took me out of running for more than 2 days in a row since I had a stress fracture in September 2013 and then this week happened. On Monday morning I went out for my normal 13-15 mile run before work and something in my foot started to bother me pretty bad. At about 4 miles into the run, I got a weird tightness/pain around my peroneal tendon but the stubborn person I am continued to run another 11 miles on it.
By mile 12, I had to stop and try to stretch it out but nothing was helping so I jogged home and figured I had some tendonitis in my peroneal. I stopped by our athletic training room on my way to the office and grabbed some ice hoping that would do the trick. It didn’t bother me much during the day but I knew that my afternoon double would have to be scratched and I planned on cross training on Tuesday to be safe. There was a dull pain/ache that woke me up in the middle of the night and it was painful to walk down stairs but just walking normal wasn’t painful.
On Wednesday, my coach and I decided to give running a try by testing it for 10 minutes since I was supposed to race the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday. That “test” was a mega fail as every single step hurt and nothing was loosening up. I stopped by the training room again and the head athletic trainer gave me some bad news–after doing a few tests, he told me that he didn’t think it was tendonitis but he thought that it was a stress reaction or fracture in my fibula. To be honest, my heart stopped for a split second and he proceeded to tell me that the fibula is only 10% weight bearing so people normally don’t feel anything when they are running until it is really bad.
On Thursday, I went to the doctor (hoping for an MRI) but instead I got an X-ray, which showed something small but not a fracture, and a referral for an MRI. The bad news was that I couldn’t get an MRI appointment for 12 days!! However, I know that my body and bone needs rest and even if it’s only a stress reaction, I need to take a minimum of 2-3 weeks off. Read more >>
Outdoor track is finally here and even though the week was hectic with lots of traveling (21 hours on a bus), it was great to get the season rolling! I left on Thursday morning for Raleigh Relays in NC so I knew that Thursday – Saturday I would have to be flexible with my training but I was feeling pretty motivated this week so that helped a lot. I had one workout planned for Wednesday and then the rest of the week was going to be just mileage since 21 hours on a bus over 3.5 days would be a killer along with coaching at a track meet for 2 long days.
Sunday: Ran with the UT women at the tow path for just about 2 hours. It was a stressful morning… I got pulled over for speeding (in my car, not running) for the first time EVER. The police officer seemed very confused when he asked where I was going and responded “a long run”. He was nice though and let me off with a warning 🙂 After a glorious afternoon nap, I did a double at Wildwood by myself. Total: 22 miles (16/6)
Monday: Ran from my apartment to Savage, did a loop with Linh and then ran home. Took it conservative and felt decent. After work, I went for a run in Old Orchard neighborhoods which I’ve never really done before. It was nice to mix it up! Total: 21 miles (14.5/6.5)
Tuesday: Ran with Paprika in the morning after I had 6:30am workouts at the track. Workouts went well so that always makes my Tuesday morning runs better. Time flew by with Paprika since we had a ton to talk about. In the afternoon after work, I went for another easy run with Linh. Total: 18.66 miles (12/6.66)
Wednesday: Workout day with Paprika!! The workout was 6 sets of 1.5 miles @5:50 pace and 0.5 mile jog recovery—it was amazing to have someone to workout with. Paprika and I just got in a groove and knocked it all out–after the first one, we just went through the mile of each set anywhere from 5:44-5:48. It felt so effortless and amazing. I wish she wouldn’t move to Denver 🙁 I usually try to take in some caffeine before longer workouts like this so today I tried RunGum for the first time… it wasn’t too bad!! In the afternoon, I did an EASY double at Wildwood while the team had a medium aerobic run. Total: 23.4 miles (16.7/6.7)
Thursday: Started my run at 4:50am since our bus was leaving campus at 7am for Raleigh, NC. It was dark the entire time so I felt like I was running super fast for some reason. After a wonderful 10 hour bus ride, I ran another hour with the girls from our hotel. I actually felt better than I was expecting!! Total: 14.4 (6.4/8)
Friday: First event of the day is at 9:45am and the last event goes until 10:40pm tonight so I had to start my run early since it was going to be a LONG day at the track. Got up at 5:30ish and started my run around 5:50am–I ran 40 minutes by myself and then met up with Nina who was doing her 10 minutes shakeout at 6:30am. Total: 10 miles
Saturday: I took the team to the Great American Tobacco Trail for their long run. It was a beautiful morning to run and the trail was super nice. Two years ago we went to Umstead Park and that was way to hilly post-race. Shoutout to one of my freshmen who ran her longest long run ever, 15.2 miles!!! Total: 16.3 miles
Weekly Total: 126 miles
This past week was a well-needed week of mileage and just running. On Sunday, Paprika and I landed in Detroit after the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, FL to find my car with a flat tire in the airport parking garage. I had scheduled a morning flight on purpose so that I could get a solid afternoon run in but that was quickly scratched once I had to drive back to Toledo and find someone to patch my tire before the snow storm hit. Sometimes an unplanned day off is exactly what you need both mentally and physically.
Sunday: Unplanned day off 🙂 Travel day back from Jacksonville and then spent the day getting my car fixed.
Monday: Daylight savings has officially kicked my butt and I accidentally turned my alarm off instead of snoozing it. Luckily, I woke up at 8:23am (I normally wake up around 7:15am without an alarm so that makes sense) and made it to Savage Arena by 9am to meet Linh for a run. Did an easy morning 10 miles–my right IT band/glut was tight so I need to roll it out ASAP! Met up with Paprika in the afternoon for my double at Wildwood. It was great to have someone to run with on both runs today!! Total: 20 miles
Tuesday: Ran from my apartment to Savage Arena to meet Linh for 6 miles and then ran home. IT band felt better than yesterday but I can tell it is still irritated. The snow was slightly frustrating which didn’t help my IT band but hopefully it will melt soon! In the afternoon, I jumped in a few cool downs since my athletes were working out. Total: 20 miles
Wednesday: Recruiting days are always long so I knew that I had to take advantage of my morning run. The snow was basically gone and I ran with Linh from Savage Arena. I felt a ton better today and my IT band didn’t bother me at all! After spending the afternoon with a recruit, I bribed myself with Piada to do my evening double. I didn’t start until about 7pm but I talked to my dad on the phone while I ran 6 miles so it wasn’t so bad. Total: 18 miles
Thursday: Woke up early to get 10 miles in before day 2 of recruiting. Nothing special–just an average day on the bike path. In the afternoon I ran with the women on the team and the weather was beautiful. My feet bothered me (I’m breaking in a new pair of running shoes)–I ran 3 days in the new shoes without any issues so I was surprised they bothered me so much today. Total: 19.5
Friday: Well after letting my toes and hands unthaw from timing morning workouts, Paprika ran with Linh and I from Savage. We sneakily tricked him into running 12 miles rather than 6 miles–he can thank us later. Total: 12 miles
Saturday: Ran at Wildwood with the team. I got there about 40 minutes before our scheduled practice to get some extra minutes in before the team arrived. Overall, it was a relaxing day at Wildwood. Total: 14.5
Total Weekly Mileage: 105 miles
The first time I heard the term “fartlek” was when a college coach called me during the recruiting process my senior year of high school. To be honest, at that time I was a typical high school girl and that word made me giggle. I probably thought, Fartlek? What a stupid sounding workout. Why not just do some intervals on the track?
Now I know so much better. The workout with the stupid sounding name is a valuable one to have in the training arsenal for all runners, no matter your level. Read more >>
Race Week!!! This week was my first road race of the spring 2017 season and I couldn’t wait to escape the Ohio winter for some Florida sunshine! The plan was to take a down week in mileage since I have been up over 105 for about 8 weeks now–no double runs, just single runs with one workout on Tuesday.
3/5– Slept in and eventually went to Oak Openings with Will for an easy run. I did the first half on some single track trails (with Will who decided to be a one stepper today…not cool) but then went to a nicer loop for the second half. Just did an easy 92 minutes in the beautiful sunshine and called it about 12.3 miles.
3/6– Woke up super early to make an airport run and then fell asleep for another 2 hours (I was home by 6am). Waited until the afternoon to run and met up with Linh at Wildwood. I did 6 miles alone, 6 miles with Linh and then 2.3 miles by myself.
3/7–Workout day–woke up to some major wind (25mph with gusts up to 40 mph) so I waited until about 11am to workout. I did a 3 mile warmup, 2×200 at 38, 2 miles at 11:11, mile at 5:17, 2 x 1k at 3:16 and 3:15 and ended with a really bad 400. This workout just felt forced–not a lot of pop in my step and I felt like I was working hard–could be the wind or could just be the training. Total mileage of 14 miles
3/8–Easy run of 11.7 miles at Wildwood with the team.
3/9–Travel day!!! Woke up at 4am for my flight and then ran with Rochelle and some other ladies in Jacksonville. Ended up running with 88 minutes and it was so nice to meet some new people.
3/10–Pre race day–easy 65 minutes with a few strides.
3/11-Race day–Rough. Just felt off a mile into the race. My plan was to go out conservative because in the past, the race has gone out super fast and people fade pretty hard. I wanted to run about 17:20-17:30 for the first 2 5k’s and then try to really race the last 5k. Emma and I went out in 17:30 and we were already WAY off anyone and I wasn’t worried because I figured people would fade once we got through 10k. From 5k to 10k we worked really well together and caught a few people and by 10k moved up to about 26th. Once we hit 10k, I tried to pick it up but I felt like I wasn’t catching people or making progress…and then the Green Monster hit me at like 7.5 miles. The Green Monster is a bridge that has a 4% grade for 0.7 miles and let me tell ya, it was rough. I threw a tiny pity party for myself about halfway up but then I caught a girl so I snapped myself out of it. Once I hit the top, I tried to really use the downhill for the last mile. In the last 5k, I passed 6 women and didn’t get passed by any (except a lot of guys) so I am happy about that.
Despite a rough race, the experience was AMAZING. Honestly, it was the most fun I have ever had at a road race and I met so many amazing people. I met women at all different stages of their running career and it was great to meet some other Saltines. I ate an amazing post-race burger, took a beautiful river cruise, indulged in some Kilwin’s ice cream and formed some new friendships that I have a feeling will be a part of me for a very long time.
High schoolers, do you know what you need to know about running in college? What can you do during your high school years to make you more desirable for your college’s team? Any chance you might score a scholarship?
As a former DI runner and now a DI college cross country and track coach, I have watched hundreds of young women go through the NCAA recruiting process, which can be both scary and overwhelming. I have outlined a few tips to help make you a more marketable potential student-athlete (PSA) at the collegiate level! Read more >>
Sunday 2/26– First day off in about 8 weeks. To be honest, it was 100% unplanned and I was actually supposed to do a workout. Woke up not feeling good and I am recruiting all day the the Michigan HS State Track Meet so I walked to Panera from my hotel and drank some coffee rather than going for my run. I felt guilty for about 2 hours and then I realized that rest is okay.
Monday 2/27– Morning Workout—3 mile warmup, 8 mile tempo @6:00-6:05 pace, 7 mile cool down. I am so happy that I waited an extra day for this workout! The tempo felt pretty relaxed but I didn’t feel super light on my feet (I did it in my Kayanos rather than training flats). I came back in the afternoon (about 6.5 hours later) and did a 3 mile warmup, 8×300 @ 53 w/3 min rest, 3 mile cool down. The 300s felt really good today—felt in control and relaxed which is key during these. I tried to focus on good form and quick feet.
Tuesday 2/28– It was COLD at 6am workouts so I decided to run on the treadmill rather than going back outside. I told myself that I needed to run at least 4 miles and ended up running an easy 8 miles. I came back in the afternoon for a 10 mile run on the bike path with Linh.
Wednesday 3/1– Long run day 🙂 The 25 mph winds did not make for a fun long run but I got the mileage in. I ran from work out to Wildwood Metropark where I met the team and then ran back to work. It was a nice way to break up the long run (despite my GPS getting messed up in Wildwood).
Thursday 3/2– An easy 10 miles in the morning at Wildwood by myself. It was pretty relaxing and I ran easy. I went back to Wildwood with the team in the afternoon and ran another 8 miles with them. I felt better in the afternoon for sure.
Friday 3/3– Today was a mega mental struggle. It was cold and I was feeling unmotivated so I started with 4.5 miles on the treadmill and then ran with Linh in Fetterman (indoor turf training facility) for another 45 minutes to call today a little over 10 miles. I wanted to stop about 30 times and eventually took my watch off at 20 minutes since I was going nuts. Everything just ached today.
Saturday 3/4– Workout Day! It is very rare for someone to be at a workout with me (I haven’t had someone watch a workout since June 2015) but since Will was in town, he came out to the track and gave me splits which was a HUGE help since I was nervous about this workout.
Split Goals: Actual Splits:
2k: 6:50 (82/400) 4m/b 6:51
Mi: 5:20 (80/400) 3m/b 5:17
1200: 3:54 (78/400) 3m/b 3:52
800: 2:32 (76/400) 3m/b 2:32
600: 1:51 (74/400) 3m/b 1:51
400: 70 2m/b 71.5
200: ??? 34.1
It’s hard to explain how I felt on this workout—My legs weren’t sore but they didn’t feel fresh or have a lot of pop…everything felt just a tiny bit forced. If I would have been out on the track by myself, I probably would have fallen off the paces after the 1200 so it was really good to have some accountability.
Total Weekly Mileage: 107
This past week was BUSY! I ran my first track race in 2.5 years on Saturday (2/18) and then it was the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships on February 24-25 so I was traveling for a few days with the team (my real life job responsibilities).
I had a down week in mileage last week so I was focusing on rebuilding my mileage to about 110-120 miles; I always give myself a range when planning mileage since my job can be unpredictable when we are traveling.
Sunday 2/19: I ran with the team at the Tow Path—the women racing went easy, no faster than 7:00/mile, and the women not racing were doing a progressive long run. My hamstring was a bit sore from the race yesterday but other than that, my body felt pretty good. I ran with Natalie who had a 2 hours long run—we stayed pretty consistent during the first hour and then progressed down to 6:30s by the end. I got in 17.5 miles in the 2 hours—I was planning on doubling but I was pretty tired in the afternoon so I decided to skip it.
Monday 2/20: The weather was BEAUTIFUL in the morning and I met my boss Linh to run. I ran 4 miles before meeting him, 6 miles with Linh and then ran another 2 miles by myself. I averaged 7:25/mile. In the afternoon, I went out for a second run—I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. My GPS doesn’t work well in the trails so I just ran for time (60 min—8 miles).
Tuesday 2/21: I had morning workouts at 6:30am and then afternoon workouts at 4:15pm so I decided to long run from 1pm-3:30pm. It was my longest run since the marathon in December—overall I felt pretty good but made sure to keep it chill. I did 20 miles in 2:24—the first 14 miles I ran on my own and then Linh ran the last 6 miles with me.
Wednesday 2/22: 12.5 miles in the morning and the plan was to run another 10 miles in the afternoon with the ladies at practice. However, I got to the afternoon run and felt very off. I was fine through about 35-40 minutes but then I cut it short at 52 minutes. I packed breakfast and lunch to eat at work and when I do that, I usually don’t eat enough throughout the day. It has also been unseasonably warm and dehydration could have played a part in the off afternoon run.
Thursday 2/23: Travel Day for MAC!!
UFFDA. Today was mile breakdown day–which I’ve done a handful of times but it was made harder today by dropping the jog rest from 7:00/mile pace to 6:40/mile pace. Goals were as follows: 5:20 (6:40), 2:36 (3:20), 2:34 (6:40), 4×400 @ 76 w/90 standing rest (6:40), 4×400 @ 74 w/90 standing rest. The only thing I hit on pace was the rest…
5:27 (6:28), 2:42 (3:15), 2:41 (6:33), 4 @76 (6:25) 4@ 75-76
Friday 2/24: Ran from the hotel early in the morning before the meet. Overall it was a solid run—took it pretty chill and didn’t wear my GPS on purpose. Ran for 80 minutes so I’m calling it 10.7 miles. I probably started at 7:50 and got down to about 7:10 pace. Today was also Day 1 of the conference championships!! We had a stellar performance in the 5k with two of our ladies crushing it to earn big team points. I think they made me cry a little when they crossed the
Saturday 2/25: I actually slept in until 7:45am since the meet didn’t start very early. I logged 10 miles around the hotel. Didn’t take a GPS—just ran for time.
Total Mileage: 114 miles
Hello, Salty Readers! I am thrilled to be joining this strong and fierce group of women in the Salty community. I am currently chasing down PRs in the road racing world and work a full-time job at the University of Toledo where I coach cross country and track and field.
I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and was always very active. Since we lived in a rural town, there wasn’t much to do other than play outside until the sun went down. My dad was in the military so when he trained for physical training tests, I would join him on his two to three mile runs on a small trail in town. That is where I discovered my love for running; I felt free and on top of the world! Read more >>
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