Did I Pack My Running Shoes?- Claudia L.

I don’t want to bore you about my runs at the trail when there was ideal weather, I was perfectly hydrated, and felt no sense of lethargy. Let me tell you, those runs don’t exist. I want to expose all of my struggles: lack of motivation and finding somewhere to run while traveling. I am writing from the comfort of my own home, but I have an accumulation of stories about my summer training throughout the month of June to now.

   The first week of summer, my father took me to California. Just like any father-daughter relationship, he is very over-protective.

“Dad, can I go running tomorrow morning?”

“Yeah, there should be a treadmill in the fitness center.”

“Well, what about outside of the hotel?”

“You get kidnapped and then how?”

My training in California consisted of going to the fitness center of different hotels with my grandpa. We would have a limited amount of time because we had an itinerary that usually started at 7:30 a.m. The alarm clocks were set at 5:30 which gives me almost an hour of running and an hour to change and eat. However, our days didn’t end until midnight. My family that lives in Cali didn’t get off from work till about 9pm. We would meet them for dinner (keep in mind L.A traffic), spend time at their house, and head back home. My grandma would turn on all the lights, blow dry her hair, and yell, “Don’t be lazy honey!,” when I promised her that I would run in the morning.

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   When I arrived back home from Cali, I had two days to rest and pack for my trip to Notre Dame. I was going with my youth program at my church in a van and Suburbans. A 20-hour drive. However, our trip to Indiana was split into two days. Our first stop, Oklahoma. They allowed me to run on my own, but I realized the night before we left Oklahoma that my running shoes were in my main luggage in the van (we packed a backpack with clothes and essentials that we needed on our way to Indiana so we didn’t have to maneuver each suitcase back and forth.) We were attempting to get to our destination as soon as possible. That mean bathroom, stretching, and food breaks were to be kept to a minimum. That’s right. Fast food all the way. I’ve probably eaten Micky D’s entire menu and I also had the opportunity to try Taco Bell for the first time. Yes, there were many emergency bathroom breaks. After sitting in the car for eight hours and eating junk, I knew running was going to feel awful, but I also knew that NOT running would make my body feel 100 times worse. Next stop, Chicago. We stayed at a shrine that had many hills and sacred areas. The mom in the group did not want me to run alone. Maxi, a soccer player from LASA was forced by his mom to go running with me. We were leaving at 6 a.m. the next day. I didn’t care. I needed to run.

“I’ll meet you at 4:30, Maxi.”

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Once we arrived at Notre Dame, the intro of the conference mentioned a running trail around two lakes; it was time. My mentor from church didn’t want me to go alone, but luckily my cousin found a bike that she could rent for s $1 for every 30 minutes. I am very thankful that my cousin woke up before the sun came out just so I can run.

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From Indiana, I went to Louisiana. As soon as my mom and I heard whistling as we walked down New Orleans, I knew she wasn’t going to let me run. We’re back to the treadmill.

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Every time I would enter my miles, I would check up on my teammate’s progress and feel insecure about my summer training. Most of the previous varsity members are in Gilbert’s Gazelles which gives you motivation to attend since, for one, you paid money for it and two, you have teammates that are counting on you to show up. Annoying thoughts like these would bombard my summer training, but I have to keep in mind that to take it easy and just run; wherever and whenever that may be.

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