Guest Post: Swimming, running, and a balancing act

2 Apr

Today I am going to Zumba, catching up on homework, and enjoying some rest and relaxation. I will be back tomorrow with my workout schedule for the week (completing one of my goals for April). In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful guest post from Hollie:

Hi everyone, my name is Hollie and I blog at lolzthatswimandrun.

I’m a college student majoring in math and education, with a minor in education.  I also am a member of my college’s cross country and swim teams.  I love both of them, but believe me, when there is that month of overlap between the two seasons-you better hide from me.  I transform into Hollie ultra planner and have no time for a social life.

Anywho-I have been following Emily’s blog for a while now.  I am more of a lurker then anything else.  I read so many different blogs but don’t always comment. Do you have a habit of doing that too?

I started swimming long before I would ever consider myself a runner.  In fact, I started swimming when I was about 8 years old.  My mom signed me up for swim team since I was always begging her to take me to the pool and long story short, I didn’t have too many friends.  I was living in England at the time, but swimming is essentially the same everywhere, minus the fact that they swim in metered pools versus yards in the states.

I loved swimming, but until high school I was never really good at any one particular stroke or event.  I actually wasn’t good at all.  I was short and pudgy and did not have the qualities of a good swimmer (think Michael Phelps!).  Then in high school, everything changed. My coach decided one day, out of the blue, that she would throw me into the 500 yard freestyle.  I actually (surprising myself, coach and teammates) did well.

From that swim meet in high school my sophomore year, I became a distance swimmer.  That single meet molded me into the distance swimmer that I am today.  I continued to swim the 500 throughout my sophomore year, although I was also swimming the 100 butterfly (because at the time it was my favorite event).

At the end of sophomore year I competed in a huge regional swim meet and I ended up tearing a muscle in my shoulder. I had to take an entire year off of swimming, but that is another story that you can read here.

After spending an entire year kicking at practice while my team praciced, I got back into swimming junior year.  Although I was never as fast or good at swimming after my injury, I enjoyed myself just as much  and learned a lot about myself mentally.  It caused me to realize that there is a life outside of swimming and influenced my college choice, making the decision not to swim at the collegiate level.

However, about a month into college, my roommate dragged me to the swim team meeting for our college varsity and I easily made the team.  I haven’t looked back since, nor do I want to.  I have made some of my best friends on the swim team and couldn’t even imagine going to school and not being a part of something so great.

But how does swimming relate to running?

I just celebrated my one year running anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day, and it is a funny story of how I got into it. Last St. Patrick’s Day (2010), I signed up for a 5k because I needed more long sleeve t-shirts; it was a free road race if you were a student.

Needless to say, the 24 minutes that I ran the 5k in changed my life forever. Now I absolutely love running.  I had been exposed to running from my marathon running father and my track team brothers, so it’s not like running was nonexistent in my life.  I had run a few 5ks before, and done a few slow jogs, when the gym was closed, around the neighborhood, but I just did it to stay active.  That single race, however, caused me to fall in love with running.  Something new, something foreign, and it all just clicked.

I ran cross country this season for my school. Cross country lit the spark in my eyes that had been dwindling during swimming.  I looked forward to every race, every tempo run, every slow and easy jog.

There was a period from October until November where the seasons overlapped.  Being a varsity athlete in two cardio sports at the same time isn’t always the most enjoyable thing (unless you’re me).  I was running just over 50 miles a week and swimming 12 hours a week.  Needless to say, I was eating like it’s my job.

In case you were wondering, this was all on top of balancing school and studying.  A lot of people at school thought I was nutzo. How in the world could I manage a math major, education major (I maintained over a 3.0), running and swimming, with time for anything?  Looking back, I was extremely organized, and had a plan all the time.  I also had my priorities straight: schooling, then athletics, then whatever else.  I treated running and swimming like a class like I had signed up for, however, I had told both coaches if I ever wasn’t mentally there, or my body was too tired, I was taking a day off; both respectfully agreed.

I have no regrets and I look forward to competing in both sports again.  Thanks for taking the time to read my story and if you have any questions or need running/swimming advice, feel free to email me at

Question for you:

What do you make time for, that others might not understand?

Thanks to Emily for allowing me to guest post and hopefully she can get the last bits of her degree done and move on to a great writing career.  🙂

Thank you, Hollie!



One Response to “Guest Post: Swimming, running, and a balancing act”

  1. Ali (Student On A Health Craze) April 3, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Great guest post!

    I always make time for running and dance. As you said, education comes first, but running and dance are a close second. Short of an emergency (or injury), I try not to miss either, and my body feels worse off if I do miss out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: