Monthly Archives: August 2013

Monsoon Season

All week the deep gray clouds set the dramatic back drop for our afternoon workouts. Gloomy and ominous, the air was especially humid yesterday as we warmed up for a hill circuit around a local park with gravel trails, tall pine trees and thousands of yellow wildflowers. We are sweating by the time we finish the two-mile warm up. As we change our shoes from trainers to flats, our coach tells us to prepare for the most challenging workout since outdoor track season.

Wildflower

We completed five reps of a hill circuit that left us exhausted, as promised. I won’t bore you with the details of the workout itself. But the post-workout “high” came from the pride of crushing such an intense workout. I love climbing into the van with my teammates to head home from a challenging practice, blasting the radio. Showering and lounging in bed with Pandora afterwards seems like much-deserved reward.Yellowstone

I’m in no hurry for monsoon season to end. Running in the rain feels like playing at recess :) You would never know that my shoes were brand-new one week ago, but cross country shoes just aren’t meant to be white!

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Happy Healthy Home

My two years of shared-bedrooms are over and gone. (Sharing isn’t natural for us only-children!) Over the summer, I took to Pinterest to plan out my own room in my new apartment. I hopped on the Chevron bandwagon and got some sunflowers & picture frames to brighten up the place. I wasn’t expecting so much space and white walls to fill though! My 4″x6″ pictures take up barely any space on the walls! So I plan on replacing them with some 8″x10″ pictures and adding these little frames to my nightstands. :) happy room! (stronglikemycoffee.com)

At the beginning of the week, I didn’t look forward to returning to my apartment. It was empty and quiet, it didn’t feel like mine, and I missed my home. Living by myself is not something that appeals to me, so even just a temporary few days was hard. Slowly over the week I got more comfortable, especially knowing that my roommates were coming soon and my parents would be back with the rest of my stuff.

Your living situation can affect your mood. If you come home to a place with bare walls, a dirty floor, dark lighting or no reminders of home then you can become sad and detached. Oppositely, a room that fills you with energy, reflects your personality and has a homey-quality with the addition of some personal accents can brighten your mood and make you feel more comfortable.

My room is reflective of the mood I want to be in: bright and happy. After a day of classes, cross country workouts and studying I want to be able to relax and feel comfortable. This apartment is an anti-stress zone: Sunflowers are gorgeous and candles smell amazing. Music is relaxing. We’ve got plenty of fruit, fresh air, good views of the pine trees, friends right next door. And Ellie, my stuffed elephant since 1993. :)

Yellow room (stronglikemycoffee.com)Third time around, we are professional at the whole moving-in process, and my room was set up pretty smoothly. Thanks to rubber-maid bins, 3M tape and command hooks :) Yesterday the student-athletes of our school worked 4-hour shifts at the freshman residence halls to unload cars and help any first-timer parents figure out how on-campus living works. Adding to the chaos was some on-and-off rain. Thanks Mama Nature!

After the madness of Freshman Move In Day  my teammates and I got together to cook dinner and check out the Welcome Back concert on one of the grassy lawns on campus.

Concert night (stronglikemycoffee.com)

I really only cared about seeing The Maine. I’ve seen them three times now…once in 2009 when they opened for Cobra Starship and Boys Like Girls. Then again last summer at a show they headlined in SoCal. Fun fact! The singer John’s little brother moved into our school yesterday!

The Maine (2012)

The Maine Concert, 2012

It’s currently raining, has been since I woke up. I love it. We run rain or shine, so at 7am I threw on my white running hat and embraced the weather for our team long run. We headed out on some trails for a 12-miler, jumping over plenty of puddles until our shoes were so drenched we just ran through them.

Fortunately my new “happy healthy” home had a coffee pot waiting for me post-run. ;)

Cross Country Season Begins

Summer training came to a close and I do not miss running by myself in the dark hours of the morning one bit. At the beginning of the week I moved into my apartment at school to reunite with 22 teammates! Before any cross country shenanigans, I had to load up my stuff for the 6-hour drive and set up my new apartment! My three roommates wouldn’t be up for a few more days so my mom stayed one night with me while I settled in.

Moving Day! (stronglikemycoffee.com)

This week I have been so happy because I feel really proud to be a part of this cross country team. You don’t know how motivating it is to be surrounded by girls and guys with the same goals and commitment to running…it’s inspiring! All these people worked hard over the summer running hundreds and hundreds of miles as well. Freshman year I “red-shirted” (did not compete) because of a pre-existing hip injury. Sophomore year I also did not compete because of my surgery. This was the first year that I was cleared by the athletic trainers to begin practice on Day 1 and I wanted to scream HALLELUJAH! Being deprived of two years of cross country makes me so appreciative of every activity we have planned.

First Day of Practice! (stronglikemycoffee

Yesterday morning was a glorious hour-long run on the trails (how I missed them!) with a team – no iPod necessary. We also got our “gear” of shoes, shirts, accessories, & backpacks. It felt like Christmas! We didn’t waste any time getting back into the weight room with our strength coach who began teaching us Olympic Lifts. Maybe this will give me the extra boost I need to conquer my pull-up challenge ;)

Home Sweet Home!

Home Sweet Home!

Thank goodness our team has plenty of activities to keep us busy – I’m not too fond of living by myself. I’ve been texting my roommates through out the week, and I can’t wait for them to move in. The team is together most of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner & dessert, team pictures, community service, NCAA paperwork, yadda yadda), but when we go home I really dislike going to an empty apartment. Thankfully my week by myself is coming to a close; it’s pretty creepy walking down the hall in the dark with out anybody around. I unlock & relock my door in record time! I also think feeling lonely is my weakness because when I’m a little anxious or homesick I constantly find myself in the kitchen snacking on Kashi crackers and cereal. It’s my unhealthy habit!

Aside from all of that though, I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to be back at school. It is a complete 180 from this time last year when I was on the sidelines.  Bring on the hills, mud, rain, sweat, and competition! It’s going to be a GREAT season! :)

 

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