Road To The NCAA's with Andrea Keklak

Andrea Keklak is currently a Graduate Student at Georgetown University pursuing a Masters in PR and communications. Prior to her arrival at Georgetown, Andrea was a standout runner for Lincoln-Sudbury High School from 2007-2011. Over the course of four years, Keklak won six All-State individual titles and clocked in superb PRs of 2:06 in the 800, 2:47 in the 1000, and 4:49 in the mile. As the championship season begins to ramp up for Andrea and the Hoyas, she will be sharing her journey to NCAAs with MileSplit Massachusetts. We're excited to share a glance inside the life of an outstanding collegiate runner and we hope you follow along!

Last Saturday, Andrea Keklak and her Georgetown squad headed to Mason, Ohio for the 2015 Big East Championship. The Lady Hoyas were looking to defend their Big East title from 2014, but it certainly wouldn't be an easy task due to the presence of US#6 Providence. In the end, Andrea would lead the team with her strong 19:58 performance and 5th place finish. The Hoyas would have two other runners in the Top 10 and all five in the Top 25, to finish a respectable 2nd behind Providence (26) with 54 points. Andrea will be off this upcoming weekend, but back in action on November 13th for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship in Princeton, NJ ( Andrea Keklak's Profile )

Hi everyone,

My name is Andrea Keklak. I ran for Lincoln-Sudbury during high school now I'm in my senior year of eligibility at Georgetown University.

I'll be writing a series of blog posts for MileSplit about college running, Georgetown's program, and what it's like to compete in the NCAA. I'm so excited that I get the chance to share my experience. (Hopefully at least a few of you will be interested in reading about it.)

For my first post, I was thinking about what kinds of questions I get the most from high-school athletes, and occasionally, non-runners.

One of the most common is "So, what does a typical day look like for you?"

(When I answer, the high schoolers look excited. The non-runners look terrified.)

As a way of answering this question, I put together (with valuable insight from a few teammates) a timeline of a typical morning workout at Georgetown.


"A Morning in the Life of a Georgetown Cross Country Runner"

Day: Tuesday.

Location: Track House.

6:00 am: The alarm goes off. Half-asleep, you reach around on the floor until you locate your phone to shut it off. Suddenly it hits you that today is a workout day.

6:03 am: In a sheer act of will, you reluctantly remove the covers from your body, stand up, and stumble downstairs. At the kitchen table, you find your teammates already awake. Cups of coffee, bananas, and open jars of peanut butter rest on the table.

6:20 am: You finish eating and realize you're leaving for practice in ten minutes. You begin throwing strange items (rope, lacrosse ball, roll-y stick thing) into your backpack.

6:25 am: Back upstairs, you consult your handy weather app and choose appropriate running attire. You sigh when you realize that your outfit will not be nearly as color-coordinated as Samantha Nadel's.

6:30 am: Your roommates throw open the door, and together, you begin the glorious walk to practice, illuminated by a magnificent sunrise breaking over the eastern edge of campus.

Just kidding. Daylight Savings Time hasn't switched over yet and it's still pitch black. The group treks to McDonough Gymnasium by streetlight.

6:45 am: Made it to McDonough! You pull out your rope and begin Active Isolated Stretching, a fancy name for a strange-looking stretch routine.

7:00 am: Coach Mike walks into the lobby and suddenly everyone goes quiet. He smiles reassuringly, and reads off the workout for the day: a 6 mile sub-threshold run on the canal path.

(Sub-threshold: a fancy name for "tempo run.")

7:01 am: Your stomach begins to hurt. You tell your stomach to shut it.

7:15 am: The team begins the warm-up down to the canal path, quickly overtaking a lone jogger.

Jogger appears discouraged as horde of female runners easily breeze by him. Tries to keep up for 30 seconds and begins hyperventilating.

7:35 am: After drills and a few strides, everyone assembles in their workout groups down on the canal path. Coach Mike delivers some last-minute words of inspiration. You feel flutters of courage inside you.

7:40 am: The workout begins! Someone at the front has taken the words of inspiration too much to heart and is going approximately 5 minute mile pace. Someone else with a GPS watch (thankfully) reminds them to slow down.

7:58 am: Three miles in, and now your group gets to turn around! You've got this.

8:01 am: Meh, I didn't realize how long three miles was.

8:04 am: Someone in your group yells out that you've only got two miles to go. Your stomach is hurting but your heart is hopeful.

8:10 am: One-mile-to-go-one-mile-to-go-one-mile-to-go!!!

8:16 am: Your whole group crosses the finish line together! You did it! Everyone high-fives. You remember why you love cross country.

8:45 am: Back at McDonough, you do some hip exercises and then hit the showers. They aren't particularly warm but you don't care. You just killed it!

9:30 am: You arrive to class, and the first thing your teacher does is make a snarky comment about how all you "college students" probably just rolled out of bed five minutes ago. You shoot him the side-eye.

Secretly, though, you feel a special kind of pride in yourself. Because you've already done more in one morning than most of these kids will do all day. And because you get to be part of the best and most badass group on campus: The Georgetown Women's Cross Country Team.