Ella Breidenstine is a 3rd year architecture student and participates in Division I Cross Country and Track.

I’ve enjoyed running ever since my dad first introduced me to the sport. In high school, I was number one on the team and ranked fairly high in our conference. I found in the transition to college that I’m definitely not in the same position: I’m probably sixth or seventh on the team. I was able to temper my expectations, but I find that I’m still improving my time, getting faster, and feeling better; that is a success in itself.

We have one practice in the morning and another following studio. Time management is the number one challenge for me because I practice about twenty hours a week and that doesn’t even include getting to practice, eating well, and sleep - we are supposed to get 8-10 hours of sleep each night, which is possible! Plus, you can get really tired when you have to run seven miles before you start your classes for the day.

I run the 5K and will be running the 10K for track this spring. Our practices entail a lot of running, but we also have a lot of cross training. Even though I’m not particularly the best at swimming, it’s still nice to break it up a little bit! The program is focused on making sure we stay healthy as we continue not just through the season, but throughout our years here.

We race every two weeks for cross country. We also race every two weeks for track, but sometimes there is another one in the middle; there are times we race three weeks in a row. Track has been a huge time commitment away from class, but my professors have been really understanding with makeup work. When we’re traveling, there is a lot of free time at the hotel between races. Most people can do their homework, but for me it’s a bit different since I’m not at my studio desk. I’ve found a way around it and I’m able to work on the computer as well as in my sketchbook. As for my other classes, assignments have lined up conveniently with my travel schedule so I’m not missing too much when I leave.

I love architecture and running, so I definitely want to continue both. Being able to start out my freshman year and getting used to the routine early on in college has made it easier. Having the opportunity to travel for meets and races in different places has been amazing. My time commitment to architecture is similar to the one I have with athletics. There is a parallel between my interests and even though they take up a lot of my time I’ve been able to manage them well.