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.
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.
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 ;)
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! :)