Dedicated student half-marathoner relieves stress through running

While many view running as a dreadful, tiresome activity, sophomore Michaela Omecinsky views it in a much different light. Running has been Omecinsky’s passion since she made the modified cross country team in eighth grade. Over the past year or so, Omecinsky made a goal to start training for half marathons and has since run 11 5Ks and three half marathons. As an accounting and political science double major, Omecinsky’s hard-working, driven personality is seen in both her running and studying habits. After joining the modified cross country team in middle school, Omecinsky chose to pursue running in high school as well. Her potential was quickly recognized when she started running varsity as only a sophomore. While she does not run competitively anymore, it continues to be a part of Omecinsky’s daily life.

“[Running] gives me a break from school—school is stressful and I feel like your mind tires out so much,” Omecinsky said. “After sitting all day, getting up to run allows me to get rid of my full energy and clear my head.”

Many runners use the sport as a natural de-stressor, similar to Omecinsky. Omecinsky, however, has a more structured training plan vital to doing well in her races.

“During the week, I run three to four miles a day, depending on my course load,” Omecinsky said. “Four days between Monday and Friday, I run three to four miles. Sundays are my long run days when I add a mile each week starting at three. The week before my half marathons, I get up to 12 miles because I want the first time I run 13.1 to be the day of the race.”

One of the three half marathons Omecinsky has completed was the Geneseo Oak Tree Half Marathon on Sept. 6 2015. Omecinsky noted that it was a memorable race for her due to the grueling conditions.

“The race was insanely hilly,” she said. “There was a huge hill at mile 10 that was very difficult. It was also a very hot day, so that race was the most difficult one I’ve run because of the heat and the hills.”

Geneseo is an excellent place to train for long distance running because of the diverse topography of the land. The entire campus is uphill, giving runners a chance to train on more difficult conditions.

“I love to run up Center Street and around Byrne Dairy and then back to Main Street,” Omecinsky said. “When I want to challenge myself, I run up “cardio hill,” which is the long, steep hill between Lauderdale Center for Student Health and Counseling and Newton Lecture Hall.”

Omecinsky continues to set even more goals for herself after reaching her half marathon ones. By 2017, she plans to finish a full marathon.

“My goal is to run a full marathon by my 21st birthday,” she said. “I’ve started looking into them for March or April of next year. I want to run my first marathon outside of New York near a body of water—I’m interested in Lake Placid, Maine or Connecticut.”

Omecinsky noted that after her first full marathon, she plans to make it a recurring event. She even has a bucket list of marathons she wishes to complete one day—which is no ordinary feat.

“There’s one in Disney World called the Princess Half Marathon that I really want to do. There’s also one in Kentucky called Run the Blue Grass where you end up running a lap around the Kentucky Derby horse track, which I thought was really cool,” she said. “Lastly, I want to do the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon. The money for the race goes to St. Jude’s Research Hospital and they play country music the entire way.”

Omecinsky’s lifelong passion for running continues to benefit her in many different ways. Her goal-oriented, dedicated work ethic and personality shine through in everything she does.