I went home last week for Christmas, and it’s always a nice change of pace hanging out with my family and childhood friends for a bit. While my parents are ultra supportive of my running, I can tell they still get a little annoyed when I sit around all day between runs, watching TV or playing games on my phone. My mom also doesn’t really understand why I need to run so far every day. She’ll ask me as soon as I walk in the door how far that run was, how fast I was running, and thinks i’ll get injured from even the easiest of easy runs. It’s also fun hanging out with my high school friends. They know me primarily as a mediocre hockey and soccer player who for some strange reason needs to run 10 miles before I can meet them at the bar that night. Nonetheless, these guys are my biggest supporters and it’s always fun getting to see them again.
December was yet another month of solid workouts without any major interruptions. I’ll admit it, for most of the fall, I was so out of shape that I would NOT have even made the varsity top 7, which really took a toll on the ego. All due respect to the collegiate guys- they work extremely hard and it was amazing to see them do so well this fall- but it was
somewhat really embarrassing getting my ass handed to me by 3:5x 1500 guys that my high school self would have had an easier time beating in workouts. However, I plugged away, slowly built my mileage, and two months later I’m now back contributing in workouts and feeling like my old self again. I’m four weeks away from my first indoor race, and couldn’t be happier with my progress so far.
It’s easy for me to point to all the negative things that happened in 2014. I re-injured my achilles, I caught the mumps, and then I was in the hospital for a week with brain swelling. I didn’t qualify for the Commonwealth games like I had hoped, I failed at picking up any major sponsorships, and it was the first time in 10 years that I didn’t set a personal best in the 1500m. Despite these things, I still had a pretty amazing year. Winning the Meyo mile for the third time and breaking the school record in front of family and friends was something I’ll never forget. I helped set the school record in the distance medley, and then anchored that team to win the schools first ACC conference championship. I got a spot in a super high-class mile at the Drake relays, and while I didn’t perform like I wanted to, I still got my feet wet in some high end racing. Running took me to Guadeloupe, it took me back to Moncton, then to Vancouver, and then to Europe. I didn’t race, but got to see Belgium, and Amsterdam, and Paris. I attended an old teammates wedding, and I celebrated the retirement of my old coach. Then, I made the decision to move to Guelph and join Speed River, a team that’s been nothing but supportive of my comeback even when I was a fat, slow, shell of a runner that I was at the start of the year.
Looking back on the year, it’s made me really appreciate the position I’ve been put in. I get to train with some of my closest friends and do what I love every single day. Pursuing one’s dream is a luxury and a privilege that so many people aren’t ever able to do. Speed River’s given me the chance to push myself for the next two years and really see what I can accomplish in running. While I came short of just about every goal I set for myself in 2014, it’s made me hungry and encouraged me to set ambitious goals for 2015. I want to make that Pan Am team, I want to make that World Championship team, and I’m excited about the many other opportunities that running will surely create for me in the new year.
Here’s a short video I made on an easy run around my town. I took the editing about as seriously as I did my run for that day, so don’t expect much. I’ll be making some better videos, and plan on filming a workout or two while we’re down in Austin over the next few weeks.