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Pictured: Kayla Rivers at the 2019 Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Georgia

Photo courtesy of the author

Diary Of A Runner: From Practice To State Championship

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I am writing about me as a runner and my experience with running over the years. I know there are others out there that may have a similar experience as me or may become inspired after reading about my story. So let’s just get right into this.

Learning The Basics

Here is a picture of me at practice during XC (cross country)!!!

The first time I was introduced to running was when I was in the 6th grade and attended Woodward Academy. As a member of Girls on the Run, I learned the basics on how to breathe and run and also how to value my body. I knew I wanted to do a sport, I just never really knew which one. At my previous schools, they did not have sports. The schools focused more on learning about different cultures than anything else. So after getting used to my surroundings and making friends, I joined the Cross Country (XC) team.

We would practice for hours and I would have lots of fun. As time progressed, I started to grow a love for running. Ever since then I have been running and making my mile times better. I started off running an 8-10 minute mile and I got it down to a 6-7 minute mile which is really good. But when COVID-19 hit, it stopped me from running as consistently as I used to, so when I started to run again it would hurt my body. I became out of breath faster than I usually would. After finally being able to get back to running like I used to, I realized that it has never felt better.

Here is a picture of me and the Girls on The Run Team!!!

 

 

Training

So, ever since the age of 12, I have been running and I have loved it. I mean I would say so myself that I am pretty good at running. I have attended a State meet and got 15th place, which is really good for me. Then I also do the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July with my family, which is 6.2 miles. Also I must brag I was letter B which is the second highest letter/qualifying group you can get. The highest letter is A which means you are an elite runner, so I was right behind this. Now, I know it seems long to you but it’s not actually that long. I have done the Road Race for three years and I plan on doing it this year as well.

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Here is a picture of my mom, dad, and I after running/walking the 6.2 miles of the Peachtree Road Race.

Now, you are probably wondering how in the world do I do this and how do I train.? So I am going to tell you.

So usually, the key to being an amazing runner starts with your health. My health was not always the best. I used to eat half a bagel for lunch and then go out there and burn off tons of energy which is really bad. Then, it started to affect my body and I saw that months later. My heart would start to ache and it would feel like it skipped beats which affected my breathing. Anyways, like I was saying before, it all starts with your health, so if your health is not good, then it could hinder you as a runner. Some other things I do to train is I wake up around 6 a.m. to go running at 8 a.m.. Now I know this sounds unrealistic but I call this some dedication right here. For the past few weeks, I have been running with my school XC team during the summer to help me get back into shape so that I will be ready for the season when it starts in August. In other words, I don’t do much to train, but one thing for sure is that I make sure I am also staying hydrated and eating the best I can and also consistently running as well.

Here is a picture of my medal I won at the State Championship!!

Staying Motivated Through the Highs and Lows

Some highs I have had is that I have been able to meet so many people throughout my journey of running. I have made friends from school mates who I ran with and I have also met some folks at different conventions I’ve had. Another high of my running is mad shoe game. Ever since, I try to purchase the latest shoes, such as the 270s, the Jordans, and many other Nike shoes. Another high is being able to run with my family. Like I previously said, I run the Peachtree Road Race with them and being able to do that is so much fun and we make so many great memories. Some of the lows I have had in running is that I don’t always feel like running. Some days I’m like, yeah I feel like running today and other days I just want to lay in bed and do nothing but relax. Some other lows I’ve had is losing races. I remember when I competed in a race and ended up coming in last place. I was so disappointed in myself and very embarrassed. I felt defeated because my whole team and family witnessed that. But years later, I have learned from my wrongdoings and now I know what to do differently so that doesn’t happen again.

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Here are my Jordans from my shoe game!!!

The amount of motivation and support I get from my family is amazing. My dad, mom, and two sisters, London and Chloe, have encouraged me to keep going and to never give up. They have never left my side and I am forever grateful for that. I probably wouldn’t have started to run again this year if it wasn’t for the support of my family. I may have even encouraged them to get outside and exercise because now my dad has been going outside to walk everyday since March of 2021 and has lost 30 pounds which is AMAZING!!! Woo hoo!!! It is only up from here!!! Nonetheless, thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my years of running and I hope I have inspired you to get out as well!!!

Here is a picture of my family

So, we have come to the conclusion of the diary of me as a runner. I have talked about my experience, my training, my highs and lows, and my motivation. I hope you as a reader got some inspiration from this to go outside and do what you do best, whether it’s running, walking, skipping or any other form of exercise. I hope you felt like I took you along my journey of running.


I want to thank VOX Media for this wonderful opportunity of being able to publish my first ever paper of journalism. I have learned so much from the program and for that I thank you. Last but not least, my sisters and I have a Youtube channel called Three Sisters for Life. We would love for you to subscribe and share this with others. You can keep up with me and maybe even continue to follow my running journey!! Now go out there and make the world great!!!!!!

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