Well my last post (in October) started with an apology for it having been a month between posts, so I suppose now I shouldn’t even bother trying to apologize for the many month gap here. I hope no one has been holding their breathe for updates from me, as you are surely seeing spots by now if you are. Overall, really not too much has happened though. Lets break it down a bit to make my life easier.
Academics: First semester finished out well overall. Things got a bit hectic at the end as they always do, but I was able to pull off a 4.0 for my first semester of Graduate School, so I can’t complain at all. This semester is shaping up to be a bit busier from the get go with a staggering 9 credits this semester (still can’t get used to not having class all day long)! Physiology of Exercise and Statistical Methods for Human Performance only meet on Monday and Tuesday nights, but have work to keep me going throughout the week. I am also enrolled in an online Methods of Coaching class which gives me plenty of reading and reflecting to do during any down time I am able to find during my days. Overall they are going well so far though, and there have already been a few papers and not so short “short assignments” to keep me busy. The real fun begins next week with my first Physiology of Exercise exam!
Running: The biggest reason I never updated my blog at the end of last season was due to the fact that my races significantly dropped off after my Fort Hays big PR. I did end up having the awesome opportunity of repping the ASU singlet at our conference championship meet, but the 8000′ of elevation was not as kind to my legs as the 2000′ that I excelled in at Kansas two weeks prior. The story was the same for me at conference and the regional meet in Denver two weeks later, where I struggled personally, however the Adams State men pulled off narrow victories in both the RMAC and South Central Region meets. My dream of competing at the national level in XC was dashed, however our Men dominated the muddy field to handily take the NCAA Division II National Title. After a short week off to recover from XC it was finally onto track. I battled some knee pain through the end of December and heading into January, and strained a hamstring trying to run fast in the 10 degree Tamworth weather while I was home, but otherwise have had some quality training heading into this indoor season (although I do not have any eligibility left).
After some very solid workouts at sea level while visiting my old UMD team I was feeling good and ready to roll, however elevation hit me hard again as soon as I got back to Alamosa. It took a few weeks, but I am finally getting back into elevation shape and hitting some solid workouts up here again. Last weekend was my first mile of the season, and even though it was at the highest collegiate track in the world (yes, the world), I felt confident going in. Not even a 15 second conversion could help as the open race that I was in went out in 39s for the first 200 and was a fairly pedestrian 2:25 high through 800m. I ended up finishing in 4:42 (converts to 4:27 and change at sea level), which was not quite what I wanted, but at least I was able to somewhat finish hard even though I did not feel great. A year ago I had my breakthrough 4:11 performance anchoring our SR DMR team, and I honestly feel like I am in better shape than I was then, however at this point I don’t think racing at elevation will allow me to run anything too fast until I get better used to it. A home meet next weekend is next on the horizon, so hopefully I will be able to be in a competitive heat and finally run a time closer to what I know I am capable of.
Work: Work is pretty much the same old. Still doing tutoring of all varieties and running Intramurals. Tutoring puts my math and physics skills to a test daily, and makes me realize how much of those classes I have already forgotten. That’s about it for work.
Life and Stuff: I am still alive, so that is a good sign! Still just learning, running, living, and eating. Lets be honest though, mostly eating. I am slacking on food pictures this time around (sorry Mallory!), but have started using cookbooks so stuff is getting pretty fancy! Stir fry is always a favorite still, but so far have also been utilizing the crock pot more, with cheesy chicken last week and chili last night! I think I am still a long ways away from catching up to my mothers cooking prowess, but I am trying! It was very nice to be able to go home for a couple weeks and see everyone over the holidays. Family holidays are something you take for granted often, but moving across the country and missing them made me realize how special every opportunity to see those you love really are. While I was left alone all day during the week I was able to visit my grandparents to hang out, help out, and play some serious cribbage! I have to admit I did get skunked by my grandmother, but from what I hear the cribbage gene comes from her side of the family, so I should have expected that from her!
Not many of my friends from HS still live in MWV, but I saw those who still do, and spent New Years in Boston with others who now live there, so it was nice to see them as well. I was also able to spend 5 days down in Dartmouth to hang out and train with my UMass track friends, which is always a wonderful experience. Training out here with one of the best teams in the country is an awesome experience, but it is always good to go back and run again with the friends, teammates, and coaches who made me into the athlete I am today. Another great part of my time on the East Coast was me smartening up and asking out the girl I have liked for over a year now. Lucy and I got close at the end of my last year at UMD, but with me coming out here it was a scary time to get too attached. 5 months and 2000 miles between us didn’t change the feelings we had for each other, so I have entered the world of long distance dating! She has already booked a trip out here to explore Colorado for spring break, so the wait isn’t too long until I get to see her again.
Other than all that I am still pretty busy between class, work, and running. A few new hobbies I have picked up (or re-picked up really) are rubik’s cubes and learning to program. I have always enjoyed playing with the rubik’s cube, but have picked it up again recently and slowly getting faster and faster at it. Programming is something I have always wanted to do and have tried to pick up a few times, and this time it is programming apps for Android that peaked my interest. I have a lot to learn and not a lot of free time to learn it, but this is something I have always wanted to learn, so hopefully before long I will be advertising my own apps on this blog too!
So I really hope it is not another 4 months before I update this, and if it is keep bothering me and I will get to it eventually!