I am Sydnee Over and my goal is to be the best 800-meter runner in the NCAA while continuing my education at The University of Connecticut. I’m a former Connecticut high school All-American track runner from Windsor seeking to renew myself after two flat years at Florida State. I returned home to UConn to work with Coach J.J. Clark and one of the best middle distance training groups in the country. I’m trying to gain back my mojo and win a lot of races along the way. This experimental blog at MySportsResults.com is an opportunity to share with you some of my insights about attaining goals as well as the people I meet along the way.
This weekend will mark my third track and field meet as a UConn Husky. Surprisingly it was not as weird as I would have previously anticipated wearing the navy and white over the garnet and gold. Thankfully, navy looks good on me but then again navy looks good on everyone. Good job UConn! Now that I am back in Connecticut, I have quickly realized that running here in my home state is nothing like how it was before.
Quick background about me: I ran cross country and outdoor track in high school for Windsor. I took the wonderful liberty of skipping indoor track and playing basketball instead. I went to Florida State University for my first two years in college. Unfortunately, my running there was not going as well as I had hoped and even though I managed to pop out a 3.5 second PR at the end of last year, my coach left the university and I knew I needed a change. Florida State is home to some of my best memories and friends. I have no regrets about going there at all. However, if your training isn’t going so well and one of the best 800m coaches in the country ends up at UConn and wants to work with you, you leave the beautiful sunshine and trek back up to the cold you tried to escape from.
So now, here I am at UConn about to compete in my first race as a Husky. For some reason my coach had the brilliant idea of putting me on the 1200 leg in the DMR. This was the first time, other than cross-country, that I had ever ran a race longer than 800 meters. I’m going to spare you the details of this race, but just know that it was very, very, long. My legs literally stopped working about 900 meters into the race and the last 300 was a long drawn out feeling reminiscent to running waist deep in molasses. My face looked like meme of Chrissy Teigen crying when John Legend and Common won the Golden Globe last year. Please feel free to look that up for reference. I’m pretty sure a few tears fell from my eyes and I was lucky enough to pass it off as sweat. Needless to say, the 1200m distance is not a race for me.
Last weekend my coach went a different route and put me in the 600 much more up my alley. However, a strange thing happened to me in that race that was a definite revelation in my career. My game plan in the race was to tuck behind the leader and outkick her in the end. I have always been a kicker and as long as I am in good striking distance, it usually works. Nevertheless, at the bell lap, the leader started to pull away a little bit and I did not go with her. I let her go and it was not until the race ended that I realized I had too much left over. I was mad and perplexed. The old Sydnee would never let that happen. In the past, I would have killed myself in races to make sure no one beat me, or if I were going to lose I would have left every last bit of myself on the track. So why was I now fine with letting the leader pull away? It was then that I realized how much I have changed as a runner compared to when I was in high school. My first two years at my previous school were not very good. My heart and soul is with Florida State and I love it so much but I needed to leave because it was not benefiting me athletically. I was running poorly and becoming content with that effort. After two years of bad training my mentality changed from a “you will only beat me unless you kill me” runner to a “let’s make it around the track and hope for the best” runner.
All runners have things they need to work on. This is strange territory for me because I never would have though that my attitude would be what is holding me back. I hate looking bad and I hate losing. I am obnoxiously competitive. Honestly, I will break your wrist during a game of Uno. The kids I babysit never find me when we play hide and seek. I do not mess around. It is strange to think of how much Florida State changed me as a runner. I knew physically I had softened but I did not realize I had changed mentally as well. That 600m race last weekend was a definite turning point for me. So now, for the remainder of the season, I will be working to get my competitive fire back. A complacent runner does not win races. A complacent runner will not help me achieve my goals. Winners are passionate, strong willed and a little bit cocky. Winners will fight with all they have to outkick competitors from the bell lap to the finish line. Winners believe in themselves 100 percent and trust that no matter what that they are the best. I have to start to change my attitude sometime and now is the time to begin!
I am Sydnee Over and I will be the best 800m runner in the NCAA.