Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I never really thought it would happen to me. Or so quickly, anyway.
I haven't run in thirteen days. That's the longest period of time I have ever gone without running in the past five years. I have been a runner for a long time now; before I even ran competitively as I do now, it has just been something in my life for a very long time. But now I can't.
Injury, as word has it. I've run through pain before, a nasty pair of double shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and additional aches and pains that comes and go in the life of a runner. That being said, I can run through pain and hurt. But not this.
It came on near a month ago now, starting as small pain beneath my knee while I run, but growing into massive pain I can't even describe. It's to the point now where I am all limpy gimpy while even walking, and going up/down stairs is a nightmare. Well, not a nightmare, but it just takes a really long time because I have to do them one step at a time on my good leg, because the pressure it puts on my other leg is too extreme.

Because of all of this, I missed the first track meet, and will most likely be missing the second as well. But the good news is that I'm seeing a doctor tomorrow, and so I will hopefully be getting some answers. Because not only is it screwing over my collegiate race career, its interfering with my daily activities.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm back!

Lots of things in life take time and effort. Work. School. Running. Relationships. Blogging. And because the first four items are higher on my list of priorities, the whole blogging part has fallen to the bottom. Which is okay. But with a new year, and track season approaching, I figured I would try to get back on documenting my running career.

I haven't by any means stopped running since February 26. But I'm also by no means in the mood to type a long recap as to what has gone on the past ten months. So here is a brief recap instead:

  • Lots of running. Lots of miles. During the first half of the summer I was going roughly 70 miles a week. It decreased after my trip to Haiti, which was okay with the approaching cross country season. 
  • I can say that I have gone for a run in Haiti. That was cool. Given, it was in the compound I was staying at, and therefor I just ran a mile loop over and over. But it's still a great memory. 
  • During outdoor track season, I broke 19 minutes! I ended the season with a time of 18:48.
  • I ran the Riverbank 25k, and made the 2-hour club! I ended with a finishing time of 1:51:28
  • I had a crappy cross country season. Which is okay. Or so I tell myself, because saying it's not okay is not going to change anything at all. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Indoor Track Has Come and Gone

Wow, that kind of flew by. My first ever indoor track season. Heck, my first ever track season. Going in I was rather uneasy. That is, it felt so foreign to me. Was there rules of which I was unaware? Would it be difficult? Would I even compare to my competition? Would meets become boring?

The answer to all of these: no. And yes. Well, I suppose some yes, and some no. That is, Yes, there was rules I needed to learn, and training is difficult, but the best kind of difficult. I would in fact compare with my competition, but meets would not become boring. The first two months of my year (wow, it's crazy to think that we're two months into the year already. That's 2/12. or 1/6. Only 10 more months until Christmas! Okay, back to the recap) were filled with a meet nearly every weekend. The first one took place on January 16. I was completely nervous. And to add to my nerves, I was seated first for my race! (that is, the odds were on me to win, and I was given bib #1. Don't worry, I didn't know what that meant either, so when Casey told me my seat I was clueless. Just one of those things I had to learn, haha). Anyway, I raced the 3k, and lead it for 10 of of the 15 laps, and finished second with a time of 11:08. And not only that, but it earned me 3rd on the university's 3k record board! That was a complete shock, and not a bad way to start the season. That is, it definitely got me pumped up.

The next meet took place in Ohio, making it an over night meet which was fun. It was two days long. On the first day I raced the 5k, and broke the schools record! As well as slammed my PR. I finished in 19:08 (my previous PR was 19:42). This performance got me named Female Athlete of the Week at DU, which was kind of cool (and by kind of, I mean a complete surprise which made me rather happy:).

Day two I raced the mile. And hated it. Utterly hated it. It was too quick for my legs, haha. I finished in 5:40. And to put in perspective how not fabulous I did, the following week, on my meet on January 31, I raced the 3k and my first mile was also 5:40. The exact same. And I had so far to go yet. Therefor, my my race should've been faster, but it wasn't. So yeah, my meet on the 31st I made a new 3k PR, and broke 11 minutes! My new PR became 10:54.
The following week on Febuary 7, I ran the 5k and PRd/broke my school record with a time of 19:00. Nineteen flat. I, at first, was overjoyed. Though, I did become kind of disappointed soon thereafter, knowing that had I just been 1/100th of a second quicker I would've hit the 18 zone... But so it goes.
The next week I was back at the 3k. I didn't do too shabby, though not fantastically amazing either. I made a PR with a time of 10:51, which moved me up on the university record board from third to second. I was one second shy of breaking it, but so it goes. Improvement is improvement, no matter how small.

Last week I had my final meet. It was bittersweet, for I've greatly come to love indoor track. I raced the 5k, with secret hopes of making another PR, and maybe even qualify for nationals, because I was 25 seconds away. Though that is great, it wasn't impossible. So I entered the meet with great expectations and aspirations. Only one thing... Due to an unforeseen injury which occurred the week prior (yes, at the meet on the 14th) I was no longer in prime shape. I had to spend two days on the bike rather than run (which broke my 230 day running streak, by the way). So yeah, with an owie foot, my I was also entering the meet kind of scared. Well, not scared but nervous, because I had no idea how it would go. I really really wanted to run fast, but wasn't sure if I could. I was more nervous for this race than any race before.

And so I ran. And I ran. For 25 laps I ran. And then, I finished. 19:03. In tears I finished.
I was... Kind of sad, haha. Knowing I have the ability to do better, but it didn't happen. I was blessed to have an encouraging team mate at the finish line able to give me a hug remind me there's still outdoor to come! And then my [quite amazing] coach came and gave me a few encouraging words too. He told me he was proud of me, and that I raced well "especially after the week I had."

Needless to say, I have loved the experience I have had during the indoor season. Generally my training has consisted of speed workouts two days a week, 7 mile run on 4-5 days a week (depending on whether or not there was a meet), and a long run (10-13 miles) on Sunday. I love to run. So much. I hate it too, but generally I love it. And I take it for granted. I never realize how blessed I am to do it until it is threatened. I would go crazy if it was taken away from me, but injury could plague at any time and do just that.

In closing, it's crazy to see how far i've come. With the training, pushing, and encouragement of my coach, team, family, and friends, I have chipped nearly two minutes off of my 5k time in 6 months. As for now, I'm taking it one day at a time, because I hate making assumptions. That is, how this upcoming running season will come about. But let's just say that i'm entering it very eager to see how it goes.

"It's time to see what I can do to test the limits and breakthrough."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The adventures of Brenna: The runner.

I run daily. Sometimes my runs are dull. Sometimes my runs are normal. But sometimes something out of the ordinary happens. This was one of those times. 

I was running in town (as opposed to at home). I was on a trail, and saw some cross the path about 1/4 a mile ahead of me from a parking lot to a neighborhood. When I reached the point they had passed in front of me, I saw them in the driveway of a house near the trail. It was about four guys, the age being younger than 40. Maybe in 30s. Maybe in 20s. Couldn't say for sure, because I didn't want to stare. 

Though, I did see them watch me as I passed. I then turned off of the trail onto the road (or more accurately, the side walk on next to the road). I didn't go 50 yards, when I hear noises behind me. It was the guys. I began to get paranoid, thinking they were following me. And I think they were (though I wasn't at all scared, because there was a constant flow of cars passing). I turned a corner. They did too. But I ran faster. So they never caught me. And then I crossed the road. I lost them. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

The love/hate relationship, and what to wear when.

I am a runner, and so I run. Or do I run so I am a runner? I'm not sure it matters either way.
People ask me why I run. To be honest, that's a difficult question to answer. Running is the biggest love-hate relationship. Because I do not always love running. In fact, I often abhor and dread it. Especially in the winter. Because although the cool, crisp air in my lungs is one of the most refreshing and wonderful feelings I have ever had, it is still winter. Meaning, there is either ice or snow on the ground (or both) which makes it completely difficult to run, and therefor must run slower. And it is cold, so therefor it's uncomfortable, and I must wear, no joke, a whopping 5 pounds more of clothes. Which is uncomfortable, and makes me go slower. Also, choosing what to wear is quite difficult. Especially when I'm already cold before I go out, and so of course I'll want to pile on a lot, but if I do too much I'll get hot. And hate the run. So I pretty much try to follow this rule of thumb when I run:

But yeah, choosing clothes is tricky sometimes. And I'm good at dilly-dallying pre-run. That is, when I'm running at home (as opposed to school), I can take a good 45-minutes to get ready. I just begin to over-analyze what is about to happen. Thoughts begin to cycle through my head: 

"I'm going to run and I'm going to be running for X amount of time. When I begin, that is only minute number one and I still will have X to go."

 "What if I hurt. What if it's a super crappy run."

 "What if I haven't waited long enough since I ate and I will feel like I'm going to explode, but I can't explode because I'm only three miles in and have three to go."

"Ahh, this is going to suck."

"I could be doing so many other things in the time it takes to run"

I then realistically ponder that last question. That is, what would I actually do if I was not running? More often than not, the answer is not much. For when I enter my run, it is after I had been studying all day and so I'm taking a break. I could look for things to do on Pinterest, but chances are that is as far as it would go. Truth be told, surfing the web is what I would end up doing. Or baking cookies. 

And so I run. And it happens. And I never regret it. I end it feeling accomplished. I get a runners high where I'm super happy and everything is awesome. And I feel all "I love running it's so good I should have kept running!" Until I crash and tomorrows tangle begins. 

"I'm going to have to run. Again."

Happy Running!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Because I'm a runner.

Yeah so I totally have become a running critic. That is, when I pass someone while driving, I totally analyze their run, making sure to check their stride, pace, whether they are listening to music, their shoe brand, their apparel, whether they look like they're enjoying it, etc. If they're doing great, I whisper to myself "oh, good job buddy" or some such phrase.