I wake up to the soothing sound of a harp playing…but than my brain registers that this is my roommate’s (also my teammate) alarm. I know that I have about 3 seconds to find my own before it’s much less pleasant sound goes off -crickets and frogs and some kind of music to accompany the critter noise. Nope, too late-there it goes. I become functional within seconds and find the dismiss button as fast as possible. Then my feet hit the ground and I force my body to wake up. My roommate lays in bed for another 5 minutes or so…she likes to take her time waking up. I change into my running clothes, sweats on top for the cold,crisp morning fall air, throw up my main of hair into a ponytail or bun, and brush my teeth within 10 minutes. I’ve got it down to a science now, trust me. My roommate is ready to go at about the same time and we’re out the door at 5:45 a.m.
We stop at our other teammates’ door on the way to the Rice Center and knock to make sure they’re awake and so we can walk over together where we meet for our 6:00 a.m. practice. Few words are spoken on the way over, most of us our in like what I like to refer to as a ‘zombie-like’ state. The cold air wakes us up though, and we are quickly to the Rice Center, then punching in the code to enter the locker room where we put our bags, ID’s, phones, water bottles, etc in our lockers. We walk over to the court where both the guys’ team and girls’ team meet up like we have since the season started. We wait until exactly 6:00 a.m. and hope everyone shows up on time…otherwise it means extra push-ups after running.
Our coach goes over race details for the next upcoming meet, or her thoughts/concerns for a previous meet, as well as what we will be doing that day. Mon. and Wed. are workout days, and Tues. and Thur. are always a lighter run or distance run, leaving Friday for our pre-meet route (this is a week for when our meet is on a Saturday, which it typically is). Then we’re out the doors and running. It’s cold at first, but refreshing in my opinion and once we get going, most of us warm right up. When we’re back from our run, we do our strides and cool down exercises, as well as core and push ups. We usually finish around 7:30-7:45 a.m. Perfect timing for those who need to make it to an 8:00 a.m. class.
Back from my run, I am now feeling energized and refreshed as I head to my dorm with some of my teammates. I either have an 8:00 a.m or afternoon first class depending on the day. I quickly make sure to get in a bowl of oatmeal because it keeps me full until lunch on most occasions and change into clean clothes if there’s no showering time. As a cross country runner, you have to except the fact there will definitely not always be time, so you squeeze it in somewhere else throughout the day. On the days we get done very early, I can actually have some chill time with my roommate while we eat before heading off to class. After class I either head back to my room to take a quick shower before lunch, next class, or for work.
At lunch I linger for a long time with my teammates-we are probably professionals at lingering. On days I have a 1:30 p.m. class, I normally stay and leave right from the cafeteria for my class. If I’m stressed about an exam, I’ll usually study during lunch as well as in the morning when I have no class. After class it’s either straight to the chiropractor or before my next class, or a stretch of time before a night class. On my awesome days, aka Thursdays and Fridays that only have an 8:00 a.m, I make sure to make use of my free time, either cleaning (which I secretly enjoy) or studying/finishing assignments. These are the days that my roommate has nothing going on after dinner as well, so this is when I might take a breather and hang out with her and/or other teammates and friends. It’s a nice break after almost completing a busy week. Around 10:00 p.m my roommate and I slowly wrap up our studying or whatever else we may be doing and wind down for bed by getting our stuff together for morning practice or whatnot. It doesn’t always work out this well of course, we have both had our fair share of having to stay up later to study for an important exam the next day or finish a project. She will go to the other room or to the lounge to finish up so that I can sleep. Unlike me however, she has no problem passing out with the light on when I’m up studying and even encourages me not to pack up and go somewhere else, although I still do to make sure she’s sleeping better. Most nights though, we are able to both get to sleep by our goal time-10:30 p.m. to be ready for waking up at 5:30 a.m and doing it all over again. Well there you have it-a typical day in the life of a BenU student/athlete!