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July 22, 2019

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Cedar City,UT,

Member Since:

Jun 21, 2011



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

800m- 2:23

1 Mile- 5:12


XC 3 mile-17:55

XC 5k- 19:00

XC 6k- 22:25

Local 5k- 18:42

Local 10k- 41:31

Local 15k- 1:03:55

6th place in 3200m at State 2015 (UT)

60% (5 miles)- 32:32 (6:30 average)

80% (3 miles)- 18:52 (6:17 average)

16x400s- 82.0 average

20x400s- 82.6 average

Road Race- 23:30 (3.9 miles/6:02 average)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Relax and enjoy running

Get up to 45-50 miles/week

9+ mile run

Run a sub-19:30 5k again

Long-Term Running Goals:

18:45 or under 5k

14+ mile run

Run a half marathon

Run a marathon


I ran for Southern Utah University for almost 3 years, but recently decided to step away from the competitive environment of the NCAA to focus on improving my mental health. I also served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Independence, Missouri.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 59.74 Year: 723.12
Adidas Distancestar Spikes Lifetime Miles: 3.00
Adidas Boston 7 Lifetime Miles: 207.14
Total Distance

Well, I’ve officially hit my lowest. I talked to coach this morning, I’d been holding out the hope that he’d be lenient with me since I’m injured but nope. Basically I have to finish the progression run on August 16 or I have to train on my own until December, then can come back and basically try out again. Coach said I’d still be part of the team but... nope I really wouldn’t be. The only difference from being completely on my own is that I still would have access to the training room and athletic trainers. I’m just having a really hard time believing that I can finish the progression run, it already was going to be hard had I not gotten injured. I’ve never finished it before and it’s a tough one. Yeah I’ve never just given up like this before... and I haven’t given up I think I just need time to think and remotivate myself, to try to believe in myself again.

I don’t know if I should start running and increasing my miles, pushing through the pain while knowing I’m going to have to stop again eventually, probably mid-season but at least I’d be able to run with the team, or if I should accept it for what it is and allow myself to heal, risking not being fit enough to finish... if I ran I could get some faster workouts in and be able to feel what paces felt like. It’s different on the bike because it’s all effort based so I won’t have that confidence that I can run fast if I’m only biking and running like 3-5 miles. The progression run is 7.75 miles. I just don’t know what to do.  

I also really need to look at my life and figure it out, I don’t know what I should do... at this point I’m wondering why I’m still at SUU. If I get cut, I mean I’ll be here for another year because of my scholarship, but next year I wouldn’t have one, unless I miraculously recover from this injury and have a stellar year this next year. So... why am I here? And what do I want to do with my life? I‘m not too sure about my career anymore either. Time to figure things out.

Ended up running 5.25 miles at 7:24 average

Adidas Boston 6 IV Miles: 5.25
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
From Burt on Mon, Jul 09, 2018 at 12:55:40 from

Wow. I don't know you, but I can't read your name without saying , "Sarah, blam!" I hope you figure it out. Sounds like you need to do some serious praying. You got this!

From Russ on Mon, Jul 09, 2018 at 13:46:55 from

Sarah, I don't know you but just read your last two entries, and I wanted to weigh in my support. You got this, whatever "this" is. From my experience in life, which has been a fair bit (I'm 45 with 4 kids), in my lowest times those closest to me always say "it will all work out". I wholeheartedly believe that, even when I'm down and I don't feel like that's true. Whatever decisions you make now, as you stated, you'll look back on this and realize how much grit and determination you have. Because I don't know you I won't share any advice on what I think you should do, but I will strongly recommend you share these thoughts and feelings with one or multiple people closest to you: parents, siblings, best friends, parents of friends, those you look up to, a college advisor/ counselor/ favorite professor. Those who know you well will be able to help you see where you are, how far you've come, and help you decide where you want to go. You're in a tough spot, but also an enviable one, having no debt and another year with a scholarship. I have no doubt you'll figure this out and be a smashing success now and in the future. - All the best, Russ

From Sarah! on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 00:39:07 from

Burt- thank you for your words of encouragement! I sure did need to do a lot of praying, and now Iím pretty sure Iíve got almost everything figured out and am feeling a lot better :) so thanks again!

Russ- thank you for your advice, I did end up calling my mom and it helped a lot. And I think what you said is true- it will all work out in the end. Iíve realized that if Iím giving my all and things with the team end up not working out, something else will in one way or another, so Iím not as stressed about it anymore. And youíre right, I am in a good spot, Iím very grateful for what I have :) thank you for pointing that out. And thanks again to you both for being so encouraging! I really appreciate it.

From Russ on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 10:18:21 from

Great to hear Sarah! I wish you the best as you recover and continue in your studies. And also, psychology students are the best; we're smarter than everyone else and we know why they do the things they do... ;) LOL!

From Jason D on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 23:32:53 from

I just read this as a follow up to your other post. Do you have former coaches or coaches here on FRB you might be comfortable contacting? They might be helpful.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 17:18:43 from

Consider this a blessing. A typical pitfall of a collegiate runner is that he never learns to train on his own. So 2-3 years after graduation his fitness disappears, life swallows him, and he never recovers. Being cut from the team gives you a chance to learn to train on your own. This skill will allow you to remain fit and competitive for years after college.

Training-wise, I would recommend just running easy for as many miles as your injuries will permit you. Be consistent. Remember that 8:00, even 9:00, and sometimes even 10:00 for a runner of your levels is still a decent training pace that could allow you to improve if you run frequently enough for long enough. So if slower pace allows you to run significantly longer, slow it down. Overtime the injuries heal, but most of the fitness is still there, sometimes you are even more fit because you have not been wearing your body out with unnecessary speed. So then you do a few workouts to remember how to run fast, and you have a breakthrough.

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 17:26:52 from

So I looked at your recent races, and my thoughts are - low iron. Either that, or something else health-related that severely impacts endurance. The speed is still there, but the endurance is just gone - even for something as short as the mile. Have you had an iron test recently? How are your diet and sleep? How are you managing the stress of being in college?

From Sarah! on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 20:28:58 from

Jason- unfortunately I donít, but I really appreciate your help and advice! Thank you so much! I think I will definitely listen to my body and let it heal so as not to develop a chronic issue like you said in your first comment.

Sasha- you know, that would make sense. Iíve had that exact thought regarding training before, in high school I was running longer and slower miles and was seeing a lot more success than I am now. Iíd basically given up on that view though because when I tried telling my coach that my freshman year he just said I needed to adjust to the training program, said to trust the program and Iíll see improvement eventually. That with everyone heís coached thus far theyíve all seen significant improvement, which is true. And I do believe in Coachís approach of training, our whole team is running really, really well right now. Excepting me and a couple other slower, injured folk.

But I do wonder if I would respond better to longer and slower miles. I think I might, but hadnít really considered trying it out because my coach requires us to run 7:15-7:45 pace on our slow days, no slower. Heís also been very adamant about staying together as a pack, which typically makes our pace quicker because of our faster girls. And itís not average pace either, we canít drop below 7:45 pace ever even on hills. Iíve asked him if I could slow it down in the past and he just said on some days if I really felt like I needed to run slow I could, but it couldnít be every 50% run (our easy days). I really struggled to hit 50% pace my freshman year, but this year it finally feels easy. My runs recently have been 7:15-7:30ish, never dropping below 7:45 pace and I havenít been trying it just happens. Thatís just the pace Iím used to now I guess, and even when I tell myself to purposefully slow it down I end up only slowing down to like 7:45 average. I canít seem to allow myself to run 8:00 or slower because itís been hounded into me to never drop below 7:45.

But I wonder if my body is different and canít handle that kind of training as well as others can. My teammate Maddy, one of our fastest runners, knows that she canít run farther than 8 miles and has to run fast. Thatís what sheís learned about herself, what helps her achieve the most improvement. And she is definitely one of coachís favorite athletes, I kind of feel like since sheís been seeing so much success Coach believes itíll work for everyone. Itís working for Angie, Sharlie, Julieta, Morgan, and Madison too, plus a few others, and really well for the guys team too. All have seen significant improvement.

Coach says heíll adjust the training for athletes based off of what they can handle, and itís true. He allows us to choose how far we run, Angie gets up to 16 miles a day while Maddy only stays at 8. I think Sharlie and Julieta are around 10 a day but Iím not certain. But he wonít negotiate pace, only if itís once in a blue moon and after a hard week or something.

Coach has told me that Iím one of the athletes that has him scratching his head. He says I was running so well in high school and Iím one of the only athletes that hasnít adjusted to his program, that hasnít seen significant improvement. Itís been discouraging because I want to be, Iíve been working as hard as I can, and yet I just canít seem to match what I was running in high school. I thought maybe itís because I havenít had many chances to race, but I donít know if thatís it. I personally think itís the change in training, but I canít tell coach that anymore because heíll just say, as he has a thousand times, that itís not the program I just need to adjust.

But maybe this will be a blessing. Maybe I can finally attempt running longer and slower, and then come back in December and see how things go. Iím not sure if I should though because come December Iíll still have to run 50% pace in workouts if I do run fast enough in the progression run or 6 minute test or whatever secondary try-out coach has planned. And if I slow it down for a few months my body wonít be used to that pace anymore, so coach will see it as me not being fast enough and might cut my scholarship anyway.

But I also know Iíve seen limited amounts of improvement with faster runs. Even if I continue with the faster runs, I doubt Iíll see much improvement. Iíll still always struggle to be fast enough. Maybe it wouldnít hurt to try long and slow and just give up trying to be fast enough for the time being, get a solid block of training in that I know works for my body and come back in December hopefully running faster than I have been. I donít know. Iíll think it out. With what Iíve said what would you suggest?

As for low iron, itís possible. I havenít had it tested recently, but my freshman year I got tested twice and it was 33 and then I think 50 after Iíd been pounding the iron. Iíll start taking iron supplements and see if it helps. But I havenít had the low iron symptoms youíd expect to see like feeling tired all the time or incredibly drained after only 1-2 miles into a workout.

My diet could be better, most of what I eat comes from carbs and dairy. Iíve recently tried introducing more protein and eating more fruits and veggies.

The last two weeks or so my sleep schedule hasnít been the greatest, but throughout the school year and first half of the summer I was sleeping well at 8ish hours a day. Iíll get back on track for that :)

From Sarah! on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 22:02:59 from

Haha, after reading through a second time Iím realizing you meant for recovery from injury. I think thatís smart, I might try it. I think youíre right and I probably would be able to handle more miles if I ran slower, in regard to my femur. However, the problem still remains that my coach will expect me to run 7:45 or faster, averaging out around 7:30. Maybe if itís for recovery from injury heíd understand.

Do you have any advice on training itself, not just as it relates to recovering from injury? I could try talking with coach again and suggest I try something different for a while, completing the faster workouts like 60% and 80% runs and intervals/pickups on pace but taking the warmups/cool downs slower and then run slow and long instead of sticking to pace on 50% runs. And see what he thinks. At this point he might not care haha, maybe heíd be willing to let me try anything because I feel like heís given up on me, no longer believes Iíll amount to anything. And if you have no idea, no worries. Iím all ears for anything and everything any experienced runners can tell me :)

From Sasha Pachev on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 22:37:35 from

Given your history, I think more long slow mileage may be a good idea even if you are healthy. Some people can get away with pushing the easy runs, but in my opinion it is not worth it. You do get some benefits from a faster pace, but if you happen to be injury-prone or have relatively weak adrenal glands, whatever benefits it offers are outweighed by the damage. Instead, save the energy to push in races and speed workouts, and compensate for the slower pace by running longer. Even for a more resilient runner, I think the habit of running at safe speeds on an easy run is a good one. First, there is no playing with fire, you stay away from the edge. Second, there will likely come a time as the runner gets older that some of that resilience will be gone, but if the runner has gotten used to pushing the easy run the habit will still be there resulting in injuries and/or overtraining. Perhaps this is one of the main the reasons so many collegiate runners find themselves in the runner's dump a few years after college.

From xcnatestate on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 09:12:56 from

I know the weight that and injury can have on a runner, but I also know the strength that runners have. I have no doubt that if you keep doing your best to heal up and make sure you do some intense visualizing you'll do a lot better than you could imagine in you progression run. Good Luck!

From Holt on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 12:43:52 from

being careful what I say since as a hs coach I donít want to upset a college coach and harm any chance one of my kids has at college...

SLOW DOWN and allow your body to recover. Everyone needs recovery, even the best of the best.

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