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The Real Illinois – Entry 11

After the longest break in The Real Illinois History, we are now back. This will be the 11th entry and the first in-semester updates from two of our correspondents. Today, Henry and Jackie provide quick up-to-dates of their scholastic and athletic journeys of the last few weeks. Unfortunately, there will be no additional contributor after them today, but hopefully readers will still find interest from other columns and editorials. But first up is Henry Wolf.

Henry Wolf

It has been a while since I’ve last written. There is a lot to update on. Coming back to school, I kind of wish I was still working at HDR.

            I guess I’ll start with school. This semester I am taking only 14 hours, but there are two lab sections that are extra time consuming. My courses are CEE 300 and 380 (Behavior of Materials and Geotechnical Engineering), TAM 335 (Fluid Dynamics) and CLCV 231 (Development of Ancient Cities). So far I like them all pretty well and they have all thrust a heavy workload on me from the start. My favorite so far is probably Geotechnical Engineering, soil classification and mechanics is pretty cool stuff, plus there are no labs. I expect to learn a lot about writing lab reports and to finish up my core Civil coursework this semester.

Running has sort of been a disaster since I came back. My first two weeks I did around 60 miles and had some pretty good workouts. I felt fast, strong and fit. Then the Illini Challenge, our season rust-buster happened. I ran 6k in 21:50, which was roughly at my threshold workout pace and slower than my freshman year time. The field went out fast and even though I was several seconds fast through the first mile I was in DFL. I tried to pick it up around 2k, but after a decent move I hit the wall and started struggling to even maintain pace.

If a bad race wasn’t enough, I had dead legs and a nagging quad/groin injury bothering me as well. As I normally do, I ran through the discomfort, but unfortunately this didn’t go away, instead getting worse. After trudging through 2.5 at 8:10 pace last Wednesday I decided to take some time off and try to heal up. This meant that I had to skip last Friday’s race at Eastern Illinois, which is normally a fast race. I really think that I could have run around 28:00 if I was able to run, but talk is cheap.

I’ve been cross-training the past few days, swimming a mile then aqua-jogging for easy days and stationary biking for long runs. Zach’s been a bit banged up too, so I had some company on my long bike ride Sunday. Fortunately, I went to our campus free physical therapy and had one of the best experiences with a trainer ever. He seemed to find the source of my problem and gave me a list of things that will fix me up quick. Normally people just tell me to take time off and rest. I’ll do what he says and I’m seeing him again Thursday where he’ll hopefully give me the go-ahead to run.

The Engineering Employment EXPO is coming up rapidly. It is next week from Monday to Wednesday and I have been doing a lot of work making sure that everything is good to go at the fair. We have 259 companies registered to attend, which is about a 40% growth from last year. We got a Daily Illini article, our campus newspaper, so check it out here if you want. Hopefully everything runs smoothly for us next week and all our hard work and preparation pays off.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Just so you know, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have released some new B-sides from their album I’m With You. Even though Josh Klinghoffer is playing guitar they are pretty good. John (Frusciante) also released an avant garde electro-snyth-pop EP called Letur-Lefr. I promise you’ve never heard anything like it.


Jackie Newell

I am now a week and a half into my Junior of college. I honestly cannot believe how fast time goes by, sometimes I still feel like a Freshmen. My class schedule is proving to be a challenge but nothing that I can’t handle.. yet. I am taking a lot more science classes including Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Integrative Biology, but I am finding the material really interesting! As nerdy as this sounds, I really enjoy figuring out why things happen the way that they do. I am also enrolled in Country Western Dance, so to my Illinois comrades, prepare for some Texas Two-Step!

Jackie and friends

In my last entry I mentioned that being a captain forced me to make some tough decisions concerning things like goals and alcohol. We decided as a team to focus on becoming the best TUXC ever and gain a really positive reputation on campus. To do this we are going to win meets, NOT get in trouble for stupid pranks, and refrain from breaking the ice baths again. Last year we had a dry season and I absolutely despised it. This year we are just preaching self-responsibility, and hoping that as the season winds down the team will take their training seriously on the weekends. I don’t think that drinking a couple beers effects performance anymore than eating a piece of cheesecake does, but getting blacked out can definitely set an athlete off course. I personally decided to have my own dry season because I want to give this season everything that I have… its only 11 weeks of saying “no.” It also helps that my friends are very supportive of my decision and some are in a dry season of their own for soccer. I don’t think I could make such a tough commitment without them.

Balancing school and running this year has also proved to be a challenge. My team has practice at 6:30am and 5:30pm. In the mornings we run and in the afternoon we aqua jog or run and then do light core-work. I like the routine, but it is all time consuming. However, every minute spent pounding the pavement or in the pool will be worth it when we win Regionals. While it is still two months away, the thought of a Regional Championship is always in the back of my mind. Our main competition is Emory University, Rhodes, and Centre College. My teammates and I are just trying to keep our focus and determination until that meet. I know we can win, we just need to close our 1-5 gap. While these teams have defeated us in the past, my team is older and has more depth than ever before.

This past Friday Trinity had its first meet. Two of our top girls were injured so I finished 3rd on the team, and 7th overall. It was a really great first race though, I managed to stay competitive and keep my eyes up the whole time! I know I’m having a good race when I am “racing” instead of just running to finish. My team also competed really well and one of our girl’s got 1st. The meet was a really great preview for the rest of the season, our next meet is in two weeks in Houston Texas at Rice University. Bring it on!


It is good to see that Jackie is doing well and her commitment to the team and its wellbeing is very impressive. As for Henry, finding a trainer who knows his stuff seems like it should be a good omen for him. He has worked too hard this summer (as everyone has read) for this to hold him back for too long. In two weeks, Andrew and I will provide our updates which will include our escapades from the first two meets (including quite a barnburner at Eastern Illinois).

But for now, enjoy some interesting articles:

If you are into politics, you have probably heard about Paul Ryan’s miss-step about his marathon time. This miscue is getting a ton of airplay and here is an abcnews article about it:

If you are lacking sleep, here could be a reason why:

If you have the time available or you are Adam Sukienniek, you will probably get a kick out of this video talking about the leading causes of death in today’s society:


That’s all for now. I am hoping for a contributor to come out of the woodwork for next week, but until then:

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier


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