Written by Complied by Ashley Schrader/Daily Vidette Reporter
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 20:03
Like most of the Illinois State cross-country runners, sophomore Aisha Praught’s middle name could definitely be “Busy.” As one of the Redbirds’ top five returning runners, Praught is used to being a student-athlete. For someone who juggles a full class schedule and running 40 miles a week, every day is somewhat of a challenge, yet Praught still manages to keep her priorities straight.
What is a typical week like for you in cross-country?
We start out the week with a 6 a.m. run. I have class during the day and then we have practice again at 3:30 p.m. We have two hard workout days a week and then we have agility drills and weight circuit things. After practice we usually grab dinner together in the dinning centers. Then I’ll do whatever homework I feel like doing and after I’ll go to bed, and repeat it all over again. We usually have meets on Fridays and we have practice on Saturday at 7:30 a.m., where we do a long run. Sunday is the only day we don’t have practice, so we are on our own running.
What is it like juggling cross-country with school work?
Sometimes it gets hard because after a practice you’re tired and all you want to do is sit down and watch TV, but you have to do your homework. And it’s hard to travel on the weekends when you have a big test coming up, but it’s well worth it.
How do you manage your time?
I try and get as much sleep as possible, get homework done during the day, and use a planner. I’m not super organized though, I’m probably just like every other student. I just roll with the punches and find a way to get things done.
What is a Friday race like in terms of preparation?
We will usually leave on Thursday, depending on the size of the meet, or early Friday. The faculty is so awesome with that, though. They let you make stuff up and take tests early and you can get notes from other people. Sometimes professors will let the coach administer the test while we are traveling, which is nice. It all works out pretty well.
What are the pros of being so busy and being in cross-country?
Everyone on the team is really close friends and that makes going to practice fun. I obviously enjoy running a lot and it’s really rewarding. Even when we have those tough days, it’s still team fellowship and when we succeed everyone is happy.
What are the cons of being so busy and being in cross-country?
The only con I can think of is that we run all year round, and sometimes we just want a break. Cross-country isn’t that bad, but track is the longest season and it’s easy to get in a rut.
What is the toughest thing to handle as a runner?
Racing is hard mentally and you really need to prepare yourself. The hardest part is accepting a bad race and going into the next one in a positive mindset.