Graybill looks to cap stellar career
This past offseason has been a little different for Penn State University senior distance runner Lindsey Graybill, a member of both the cross country and track and field teams at the school and a 2009 graduate of Emmaus High School.
Graybill - who suffered a knee injury in June - had to change her offseason workouts a bit in preparation for the upcoming cross country season, which will begin on August 31 at the Lock Haven Dolan Duals.
"I've been doing a lot of cross-training and extra strength exercises for different muscle groups that might've been weaker than others," said Graybill. "After years of running you're working the same muscles so I needed to kind of balance it out."
That workout includes about 75-90 minutes per day of a combination of workouts, including biking, elliptical and swimming. She also attends a local gym a few times of week as part of her training.
And when the team reports to school on Tuesday August 21, Graybill believes she'll be back to her old training ways.
"But if I were in running condition - which hopefully on Monday I will be good enough to pick up my training and start to train like normal again - my normal run is about 55 minutes," said Graybill. "And I would try to reach around 55-60 miles a week."
During the outdoor track and field season, Graybill gets to run in her favorite event, the 3K steeplechase, which isn't ran at the high school level.
"It's more of an adventure race," said Graybill. "It's not just the typical running in circles and even-paced laps. It's more aggressive.
"I feel like you're constantly being forced to be actively racing the people around you. You don't get in a rhythm. It's more of a battle. I like it."
Last season Graybill set a personal record time of 10:20.33 in the steeplechase at the NCAA First Round. She finished 21st overall in the event, and her personal best ranks fifth in PSU history.
While falling just outside the top 12 runners that advanced in the steeplechase at the NCAA First Round, Graybill will look to crack that list next season with a chance at moving on.
"That would be my big main goal this year," said Graybill. "Because that would be just an awesome way to top out my senior year; all the work I've done and everything [and] just going to that next level. I think that would be really exciting."
Heading into her high school years at Emmaus, Graybill never had any prior experience with running, but decided that she wanted to try something new. And now here she is at the collegiate level.
"I think it's a lot different [at the collegiate level]," said Graybill. "Going into college I was a little intimidated because the girls on my team were crazy good. Actually the one girl on my team, going in as a freshman, she was in the Olympics and made it to the final round of the track and field part of the Olympics. So it's just an idea of how good some of the girls were.
"It's just a totally different race. Everyone you race against is really good so you have to find another gear to race when you race. It wasn't the same as high school at all."
Along her high school and collegiate journey, Graybill has produced a wide range of accomplishments in both sports, ranging from 2007 when the Hornets won the state cross county title when she was a sophomore, to her personal record time in steeplechase last season.
"I'm pleased with where I've been; I guess where I've come so far along with track and cross country in college," said Graybill. "And having Coach [Beth Alford-]Sullivan, she's definitely one to push you to your very best, and I appreciate it from her."