I realize I've really slacked off on the writing lately. I had a pretty disappointing end to my collegiate career, finishing 19th in steeple at NCAAs and having to drop out of a 3k in Boston one week later. Both of those races put me in a pretty big funk and I just wasn't in the mood to write about them for a long time. But I have a lot to be thankful for... I was a member of a national championship cross country team, I lowered my steeple school record by 21 seconds this season, and I was able to compete at the NCAA championships. And I was fortunate to spend 4 years surrounded by exceptionally talented teammates who were really more of a family and coaches like Nicole who never stopped believing in me and pushing me to be my best. As much as I was ready to graduate and get out of there, leaving these people with whom I've spent so much time these past 4 years was really difficult but I don't think it will really hit me until September rolls around and I'm not headed back to Middlebury.
So, what's next for me? Like last summer, the plan was to spend a block of time training in Flagstaff, hoping to get maximum altitude benefit. I was originally to stay here 9 weeks before moving out to Boston for the year. However, after getting back here it became clear really quickly that I couldn't leave. I love everything about this place. Flagstaff is home and I have a running family here. Now I'm planning on staying here and training full-time for at least the next year and we'll see where that gets me. For the time being, I just have to take things one day at a time. Altitude can be very humbling and I learned last year that there will be days when my body just won't want to cooperate. I just need to be patient. My short-term goals are building up a decent mileage base and finding both somewhere to live and some sort of job. Eventually, I'll be putting together a fall race schedule, but I'm going to wait and see where my fitness is and what opportunities are out there. But for right now, I'm just going to take life as it comes and enjoy the ride.