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Holly McCamant: Getting over different kind of running illness

It’s funny how when you try something and aren’t good at it, you stick with it. Three years ago, I tried long distance running and wasn’t too successful.

However, because I stuck with working hard, that lack of success has changed. I now can run way more than one and a half miles without walking because of my now built up endurance.

Of course, even if you work your butt off on something, there’s always the unfortunate possibility that you can get sick.

Last time I wrote about running, I wrote about how I learned a lot from my unsuccessful track season. As I wrote, I was still sick. Even though I wasn’t aware of it then, I still had about a week and a half to endure. The whole sickness lasted about three weeks.

The sickness itself didn’t have any terrible symptoms. In the beginning, I had to carry around a ridiculous amount of tissues and missed only two days of school. No, if I didn’t run, the sickness wouldn’t have caused me any problems.

The horrible thing the sickness did was kill my endurance and made doing my favorite thing a nightmare. The illness kept me from running for about three weeks, with the exception of the Sub Section meet. I had to run that, but I really should not have. My symptoms got way worse and prevented me from running longer.

Any runner knows that you feel out of shape from not running three days in a row. Well, try three weeks.

After track, I had most of my muscle strength, but all the cardio exercises I loved to do were suddenly super challenging. I used to hop for a minute and a half multiple times with no problem in the weekly Garrett Malstrom workouts on Fridays for morning weight lifting. 

While was sick, I got faint from doing the same line hops in intervals of 30 seconds in Speed and Strength.

I think the worst part was that I had to sit out for most of the cardio part of Speed and Strength when I have a pretty strong reputation at my school for loving to run. I was so mad, but this setback taught me a lot.

I now how have more sympathy for the people who have trouble during workouts. I made a promise to myself that I have repeated over and over in my head: promise yourself that you will come out as the stronger one. I did not want that sickness to slow me down.

I kept that promise and now am doing pretty good. Hill workouts are now a weekly occurrence, and I survived hard nine mile runs in the very hilly Vergas Trails (thanks for that one, Dad!).

Then at the Turkey Trot, I got a surprise. There was a really fast girl who my dad thought was from Perham at first. At the end of the race, he pointed her out to me, telling she was going to be a cross country runner for Frazee this year.

It turns out that I did recognize that girl. I remembered her as the super fast sixth grader who was in the cross country camp last year who I lent my sweatshirt to.

I didn’t recognize her, because even though Megan is in seventh grade, she acts, looks and runs like she’s my age. She’s just as serious as I am about running, and she also happens to be really nice.

We’re both really excited about our new coach. He’s mapped out all of the practices for us. We also have a few more girls on our team that are really fast, and with them, the people at our Section might be just a little more than surprised when Frazee shows up with a full team with fast, experienced, girls.

Three years ago I could have never pictured having such a strong girls’ team. Back then, hardly anyone was serious and I didn’t even know what intervals were. I’m pretty sure that past seventh grader I was is still proud that she ran one and a half miles without walking.