- September 16, 2021
After years of playing soccer, Ava Baldauf — a rising junior at West Orange High — has set her sights on the running course as a member of the school’s cross-country and track teams. Although she just started running last year, Baldauf has continued to best her own record and has become a top runner on the girls team.
I used to play competitive soccer for a really long time, but when I got into high school, we went on a road race 5K with with my brother, and that was when I first started running. After that, I just decided I wanted to do it in high school.
It started off just for fun, but once I got a training plan (from) my coach, it got hard to get started — just running every single day. And I found other people like my friends — whenever I go out on runs with them, it’s just so much easier then when I’m by myself.
The most challenging thing is probably just getting up and doing it every single day. Some days, I wake up and I’m just so tired — I just want to keep sleeping — but I know I have to get up and run. My favorite part is whenever I actually go out and run, I feel stress-free — it’s really nice.
I’ve learned you need to really feel yourself to be able to run well. You have to always have good meals to give you the energy to actually go out and run, and sleep too. You have to put the right food into you.
I actually love it, because I always know someone. He was there first, so I already knew everyone once I joined the team. It was nice; I liked it.
Probably just to push through it, because running is very painful sometimes during races, and to just keep going.
I think I like cross-country the best — I like longer distances. Though since I didn’t get to do much track, I can’t say for sure yet, but I’m pretty sure I like cross-country better.
It was kind of discouraging, because we would always meet all the time, and then everything stopped and we weren’t allowed to meet as a team anymore. We had to run on our own all the time, and then we ended up taking a break for two weeks off of running. Everything is better now.
Time-wise, I think I want to try and go under 19:15, because we did a time trial a few weeks ago — before we took a two-week break — and I got 19:45.
I love cooking right now — I find so many recipes on Pinterest, and it’s just so much fun making a whole bunch of different meals.