Proper Timing

Heartbreak is typically the term used for the ending of a long term relationship. Emotional trauma, wine emojis, Ben and Jerry’s. Reminiscing on the great times and all of the amazing things that relationship gave to you. Having moments of doubt, sometimes severe. Wondering if things could have gone differently. Needing your friends and family for support, and sometimes guidance, and sometimes just validation that everything is turning out exactly how it should.

A few weeks ago, I ended my nine year relationship with diving. There were tears, and long conversations, and two bottles of wine vanished from my apartment in one weekend, but it was a peaceful decision. It was the right decision, at the right time, for the right reasons. Like several months ago, when I expressed no need to justify my continued training, I don’t feel any strong urge to justify retirement besides stating that it was time. It was/is a decision I feel good about it. I gained everything I was going to gain from this sport, and even if I didn’t accomplish every goal I set out for myself I ended up growing in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Every perceived failure turned into a greater life lesson than achievement ever could- something that only hindsight shows. Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly proud of my accomplishments. I recognize the impact not only being a Division One athlete can have, and being a Big Ten athlete is something I will always take pride in.

Sport has shaped me in to the person I am today. Sport has influenced every major life decision I have ever made, and shaped the character I have become. Few experiences in my life will impact me the same way diving has- from the personal and professional relationships gained, the physical and emotional strength, and the limits we pushed along the way.

On a lighter note- retirement is awesome. It is not what I expected it to be- I expected to feel a little more lost and a lot more confused, but I suppose that just credits that it was time to move on. I still work out nearly every day, promising to lift with my training partner until the US Olympic Team Trials while starting to RUN.

I am slow, and I have next to nothing for an endurance base, but we all start somewhere and this is my start line with no finish line in sight. I have been told multiple times as a diver to not run for longer than ten seconds at a time, as to not take anything away from my fast twitch muscles fibers. I have trained with girls who ran anyways as a way to keep their weight down (I may have been one of them some days, but never bought in to that mentality much). I have exercised induced asthma and last time I ran a 10km I cried. It’s exciting to be a beginner, and I’m looking forward to the process of improving over time.

In a sense, this post is a cliched nod to “when one door closes another door opens”, but I don’t like to think about it like that. This post is a lot less “crying over a break-up” and more “celebrating over a promotion”. I am excited, I am happy, and I am perfectly okay with the process that has led me to this point.




River Run 10K Recap

It’s Wednesday! Which was the day I said I would post my River Run Recap! It’s 11pm at night…but it’s still Wednesday. Nothing says second semester senior in the second last week of classes (specific, I know) like procrastinating everything…including blog posts, showers, and cleaning…

Anyways! To recap- I had no expectations going into the 10K. I wanted to finish, have a good time, not totally embarrass myself. And you know what I learned? I SHOULD have expectations! I should hold myself to a higher standard, because I was prepared and I wasn’t going to die and I had set really low expectations for myself because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised, and should have been more confident setting goals!

56:34 was my official time for the event. I wanted to finish between an 1:00 and 1:10! That pace equals out to about a 9:12 per mile pace…faster than my five miler in training!

Alarm went off at 7am for the race to start at 9am! Coffee, banana, and small portion of overnight oats was perfect fuel. It was supposed to be rainy and cold so I had a horrendous time deciding what to wear- I was running a race. Who cares what I wear. I should have thrown on anything! We made it out the door and to the Start Line, and of course my running partner has to pee and I’m missing a safety pin and we basically lose our warm up time. We jog over the mass at the start line, listen to the national anthem, and we’re off!

We joked that we could use the first mile as a warm up anyways. Which would have been fine, until my right foot got pins and needles for the last two miles of the race. Something to do with my butt muscles being too tight and nerves and such- apparently I needed to do some lunges! The first 5K felt like a breeze- the neighborhood was super pretty, people were cheering us on from their porches, and the miles melted away!

And big shock…it didn’t rain. It wasn’t even cold. It was funny though to see the different runners- some in tank tops and shorts and others in full length leggings and head warmers. So what’s a girl to do? Sprint to the car and strip off layers of course! Thankfully we were parked right along the road and were able to strip a layer off without too much trouble :)

The second half of the race was definitely more difficult. AKA- hills. At this point I had been running the WHOLE time, and when we reached 5, 5.5 miles, and I was super excited to have run further than I had in years! But what did we find at mile 5.5? The mother of all hills. Seriously, this thing was five times the distance of that hill during the Warrior Challenge where the guy behind me puked. David is telling me to lean forward, we pass a couple walkers, and we’re almost at the top! Which is when I begin to cry a little. I thought I couldn’t breathe. I thought I couldn’t keep going. I thought my lungs were going to explode and there was no way I could take a single. other. step.

So I stood there. I was NOT going to walk. I cried for about the three seconds, and I kept running.

I caught my breath back over the crest of the hill, and David kept me distracted chatting away. By the end of mile 6 I felt like I was cruising again, and finished the race with a smile on my face!

So what’s next? Well that’s it for races I have scheduled this spring/summer! My running confidence has shot way up after completing those two races. So what now? A new squat max? A yoga challenge? I think I’d love to sign up for a 5K and run it for time…let’s get competitive about this now!

That 5 Miler

So in my 10K “Training” post I was DETERMINED to run five miles the next day in order to “prepare” for my 10k this weekend. 6am rolled around and I got out of bed right away, but surprise surprise I moved way too slow getting my stuff together. It turned into “well if I leave right now I could do 3 miles” “If I leave right now I could skip class and make 5 miles” “If I leave right now I can sprint a mile and that’s basically the same thing right?” Gah! I agonize. That determination remained though so after a couple classes and two practices, I skipped the 4pm hot tub social and hopped on the treadmill! Wet bun from the pool and all! (No swimsuit though, I did manage five minutes to put on a sports bra) I even wrestling another team mate to come with me and I scored a treadmill next to an elliptical for her. Score. Low and behold, 50 minutes later…

Time, distance, calories, pace. I wanted so badly to hit 5 miles in under 50 minutes, as my average pace including a two min walking warm up was always just above a ten minute mile. To get FIVE miles under a 10 minute pace was a huge accomplishment for me! This was just what I needed for the weekend. It was such a confidence boost to set a running goal and achieve it with the 10K on the horizon. I walked at 3.5 to warm up, and then started running at 6.2. I gradually increased my speed throughout the whole run till I finished the last three minutes on 6.8! To get through the whole workout with no walking breaks and negative splits felt awesome!

Despite the sense of accomplishment, the run was still a toughie. It was a struggle to start out. I’ve never been one for running mantras or mantras at all, but I just had to keep repeated to myself “your legs are not tired.” Even though they were, in fact, slightly fatigued. Could have been the four hours of diving that day, or the four hours of diving the day before combined with dead-lifting reps at 160lbs. Maybe had an impact.

The run also taught me the power of music. It was around the 28 minute mark when the “I’m bored” and “just walk for a minute” thoughts popped in, but thanks to my Songza app Britney Spears jumped in with a perfectly timed “Work B*tch” to get me through the slump.

The last 2 things I learned in those 51 minutes is that it IS possible to run with my practice schedule. It’s not a morning or bust kinda thing, but a find time kinda running routine. I’m always reluctant to run after two diving practices, but you know what? I can. Also, those hard-core runners are right. The first few miles are the hardest. It’s always a theory I’ve rejected due the fact that I only ever run a couple miles at a time, but the rumors are true! There is a threshold, and your body will settle into the run!

Wish me luck tomorrow folks! David and I are bib numbers #149 and #150. No pic of the bids though, I know the River Run is no Boston Marathon but I’m not risking anyone stealing the photo!

10km Training?

In four days, I will be running my first 10km race in about six years. I figured since I’ve only written a few times about running, I’d create a little something to let you all know how training (“training”) has been going! It’s been unique- to say the least.

So how I have been getting ready for the River Run 10km?

  • Run 4.5 miles 4 weeks before the event. Feel really good about it (Warrior Challenge anyone??)
  • Run two ish times per week after that
  • …for about 3 miles each go round
  • Get REALLY REALLY sick. Get such a good cold you get winded walking to class too fast, and you can’t walk up stairs without hacking up a lung. Live off of tea and drugs.
  • Don’t run for 9 days straight.
  • Get really bad blisters from playing soccer in flats over Easter (like so bad they bleed later. tmi?)
  • Check the weather obsessively. Then check your closet to make sure you have at least five options for race morning (rain? Really Iowa?)
  • Three days before your race (aka, tomorrow morning), plan on running five miles.
  • Eat boatloads of pasta. You can call it carb-loading
  • Take Saturday as your rest day. Because the previous non-running days you had the plague- that doesn’t count as rest.
  • Plan on max-testing your weights the week before. Nothing like a little mental challenge running on dead legs.
  • Just to add a little anxiety, wait on max-testing your squat till the Monday after your race. I am attempting 200lbs, stay tuned.

Cross your fingers and pray for nice weather! Any last minute race advice would be much appreciated. I’ll be stocking my house with coffee and bananas for the weekend, but that’s actually nothing new.

Note, I do actually feel fine about it, but it’s definitely unorthodox training! I’d recommend following a real, concrete, training plan!

Warrior Challenge

Hello hello! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! Yesterday the weather was an absolutely perfect shorts and a t-shirt kinda day, and today it rained constantly. Awesome. You win some you lose some, and I will take any summer-ish day I can get!

So as you know two weeks ago I ran the 2014 UIVA Warrior Challenge! It was a 4.3 mile obstacle course, and I had a total BLAST! The reason it took so long for me to write this post is I was waiting for the race photos to go up…and waiting…and waiting. When the photos were finally posted, I’m not going to lie I was a little disappointed. They had photographers all over the race course but only really posted photos from the Finish Line and the first obstacle for about half the participants. Here’s what I scored with the watermark still on of course- I do not own this photo!

David is currently training for a Tough Mudder and easily could have whooped my butt along with plenty of other people’s butts on the run, but he stayed and ran with me the whole time! What a guy. I only ever really run recreational 3 miles or so at a time, so the thought of running 4.3 miles was a little daunting but not absurd. And thanks to David’s encouraging and perfect weather, I ran the WHOLE thing! I didn’t have to walk or stop at all! I normally take a walking break during my 30 minute treadmill session even, so for me that was a big deal.

The race included obstacles like a stair climb at Kinnick Stadium, running through tires, doing over/unders with hurdles, army crawling, 250m sandbag carrying (yup, even ran that), a hill climb, and my personal favorite was climbing a cargo net over a school bus. The volunteers were fantastic. At every water water and at the hill climb they were cheering, giving high fives, and had awesome signs. One sign we laughed at early on was “Ten bucks you hurl by the end.” Not so funny when the guy behind me actually did after the hill climb…

Also not lying- the last half mile felt ROUGH. Right after the hill climb we just had to run it in, and I was moving at an absolute snails pace! (Have I mentioned how great David is to run with?) Of course in the finish line photo I look happy as heck and don’t look like I’m dying, so I’ll take it! Overall the race wasn’t as hard as I had built it up to be, and the obstacles were just enough to keep us on our toes! Of course, we had to refuel after the run with Iowa City’s Wig and Pen deep dish pizza! (Because hey! We deserved it)

All in all, I would do the race over again 100 times. I had so much fun. It was SUCH a confidence booster too knowing that I can run 4.3 miles without stopping- I’ve been getting outside more with my twice weekly runs and they’ve felt EASIER knowing that I am perfectly capable of that. Even this past weekend with David, we ran 3.5 miles and I knew I wouldn’t have to walk a section! I can’t wait to register for the 2015 Warrior Challenge, and might just have to see if there’s obstacle course races in the fall I can get my hands on :)

Back At It {Fitness}

Spring may be my favorite time of year to workout. It’s really the only time of year I get to “work out” per say as opposed to “training.” Training means the pre-season, dual meet season, and championship season that revolves 100% around diving, while working out means I get to do more cardio and cross training in addition to weights, dryland, and diving. I don’t like saying I have an “off-season,” although one could say this is it. I don’t like to think of any certain time as an “off” time, just different times of the year involve different fitness goals! It’s a nice balance- I simply would not be able to focus on diving all 12 months and 52 weeks of the year. I would go insane. And I really really love to cross training- something you guys will be reading about plenty this spring season!

Last week and continuing into this week my body has been overdosed with cardio, and it has felt soooo good! I love to sweat, and it’s such a mental release. I’m not really supposed to run during the diving season, slow twitch endurance muscles fibers and all that not being too valuable in a power/jumping sport, but I’ve always loved running (in a seasonal, recreational way- I’ve never been the running to shout from the roof tops about why running in winter is good for you and I’m a big fan of the treadmill). I’ve even got three great reasons to love running right now

1. New kicks, like my (pink?!) ASICS Gels! I’ve run in ASICS for a couple years now and when I finally bit the bullet and bought new shoes, I was reassured by the salesmen at Sport Chek “stick with what you know you love.”

2. The Warrior Challenge, through the University of Iowa Veteran’s Association! This 4 mile race is held on the University of Iowa’s campus March 30th (in ten days! Eek!) and includes obstacles like low crawls, stair climbs at Kinnick Stadium, a tunnel dash, a cargo climb, and many more and no I don’t know what those all mean. Should be a blast anyways- it’s my first registered race in a lotta years and my first obstacle race!

3. The River Run. Another University of Iowa race, this student-organized race is held April 27th this year, and yes, I am running the 10km. I have run a couple 10km in the past but it’s probably been like six years since my last one? I’m nervous but excited, and having that sort of dead line gives me motivation to hit the streets (or the treadmill!) a lot more frequently over the next month or so!

Other things I want to incorporate while we officially go into spring is more CONSISTENCY in my yoga practice (hot yoga if I can afford it), of course a stricter running schedule, I’d love to review a spin class, and of course get back in the pool and the weight room. There is no off-season folks! Happy Spring Break!