Today marks the end of my (pseudo) cross season. While I had initially planned on possibly running in Vancouver at XC Nationals, I’m happy I didn’t considering how sloppy the course looked. Sure, some might call that “being a coward”, but I’d rather call it “picking my battles and not being a dumbass.” I have my strengths, and running through shin deep mud for 10 kms definitely isn’t one of them. Sitting in my living room watching the stream with Reid, Anthony, and Jacob was infinitely more pleasant. Shout out to Barry for running just hard enough to win me a free copy of Transcend! I dislike you a little bit less now.
Over the past week, we’ve finalized our plans to go to Austin in January. I’ll be down there for three weeks to escape the winter a bit. It’ll be nice to get onto an outdoor track for some workouts instead of running endless laps indoors in Guelph. I’m also getting to the point where my body desperately needs some color for fear of blinding my teammates. Some sun will be much appreciated. We rented a super nice four bedroom house right next to some trails, and its even got a hot tub on the patio. The bad news though is that because I’m a newbie in the club, I’ll have last pick at a bed, and I’ll most likely end up sharing the bunkbed room with Nixon, Jacob and Barry. It’ll be a fun game to see how long it takes for us to make Barry sleep in the living room. You can only handle hearing about Idaho potatoes for so long before you do something violent.
After a super inconsistent first two months in Guelph, I was finally able to string together four good weeks of training in November. Three weeks in the 70’s, and then capped off the month last week with 85 miles. I’m also finally getting better at longer tempo’s, and even felt smooth running some fast 200’s at the end of last Wednesdays workout. For the first time since February, I’m running back to back pain-free days and I’m super excited about the indoor season. I have no concrete race plans yet- the only thing I know for sure is that I want to be back at Notre Dame for the Meyo mile.
Lastly, there was a really good article in the Star last week (link) about the financial struggle that many Olympic athletes face so they can represent their country. It talks about how many semi-professionals (a category I’d place myself into) have to work part-time to make ends meet, and lists some of the necessary expenses we incur to chase our dreams. Personally, I’ve worked 15-20 hours a week at Sears throughout the fall, and have been saving as much of it as I can so I can train in Austin and Flagstaff this winter and spring. While I think it’s good to make people aware of the lack of financial assistance in many Olympic sports, I really get frustrated when athletes outwardly complain about how “unfair” and “broken” the system is. Nobody forced us down this career path. I decided to run post-collegiately well aware that I’d be living frugally for the next few years of my life. I also completely understand that unless I’m running fast enough to consistently compete at the international level, I’m not getting enough exposure to make a big contract with a shoe company worthwhile. Sure, sometimes I wish I could afford a more luxurious apartment, or own a dog, or start a family- but for now, I’m content with doing what I can to keep the dream alive. Besides, when I run fast this summer and get a chance to represent my country, at home, in front of friends and family at the Pan Ams game, it’ll make it all worthwhile.