Summer before my senior year of high school I decided I really wanted to be a champion. I wanted to win, I wanted to be that athlete that always got articles in the newspapers and medals at every meet. That summer I trained the hardest I ever have in my whole life. Every morning I would wake up at 6:00 am to run 8 miles, or do a workout. On the weekends I would do a long run, my longest being 15 miles. I was totaling at least 50 miles each week and each day I would train by myself. Quietly hoping to come in that fall and be great. The first race of my cross country season I ran a 5k in a PR of 20:45. After that things went downhill. I got plantar fasciitis and struggled to simply walk around school. When I would run, my body was constantly fatigued and my foot would be in so much pain. I consistently ran around a 22-23 minute in all my 5ks and was placing no where even close to the top girls. I felt like my entire world was falling down around me. I gave up so much for this, I made so many sacrifices in every aspect of my life, especial socially, and it just wasn’t paying off. As indoor track started the plantar fasciitis went away but the fatigue in my body worsened. I hoped to break my PR of 12:02 in the 3200, but that season I struggled to break 13 minutes, only doing so a couple times. As I went into indoor track, I decided to see a doctor. Something wasn’t right. Sure enough I was anemic due to an iron deficiency. I started taking iron pills and my times got faster and faster and I got stronger and stronger. The picture shown above is me after I won my first race ever. That’s all I ever wanted… all of the passion, dedication, hard work, the early mornings of my pushing myself to run 6 mile repeats on the track alone, the nights of saying no to hanging out with my friends so I could get my sleep, finally it all paid off. It’s silly, I won the 1600 at a small meet with only a few teams running a 5:48 (pretty bad I know) but the whole feeling of winning was something I had always wanted. I couldn’t help but break down into tears after finishing. I am now in my freshman year of college and ran a 5k this season in 18:45. I go to a D2 school and came in hoping I would be top 7, but I am the 3rd place runner on my team right now. I have become a stronger and faster runner. I am proud of myself for continuing to dream even when it was hard. Things seemed hopeless, but you should never ever give up. It may take some time, sometimes years, for your hard work to pay off, but it will. This, right here, is why I run. I want the feeling of winning again and I am so determined to do it. I have 4 years in college to make it happen, and I know I can.An edit to this: I ended my cross country season as an all american, placing 35th at d2 nationals. So far this indoor track season I have ran a 9:58 3k, 5:08 mile, and 17:28 5k. It’s amazing what can happen if you just believe!
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