|Me & Pezz in Oregon!|
The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I hit rock bottom, cried to my friends, found a home, and am now hiding out in the mountains (quite literally hiding, the only thing I see consistently is the urban trail).
The good: I finally know what I want. After arriving in Flagstaff I asked myself if I could have everything my way, what would that entail? My answer: 1. training partners, 2. a home, 3. sponsorship, 4. a great coach. The first 3 are pretty straight-forward, but what is a great coach? I reviewed my training and races from the past year to see what worked, what didn’t work, and what I can improve on for next year (the Olympic year!!). When I say “reviewed” I mean weeks of researching, not just my own training, but the training of every good coach I know of that there is documentation on. I’ll be honest, I’ve always been a running geek, but this was a whole new level. I even mapped out phases of the coming year (culminating at the Olympic Trials) and what particular training I thought would be most beneficial at that time. My conclusion: Ryan Cole (my coach) knows what he’s talking about. Some people can coach themselves, but not me. I like understanding why I am doing certain workouts, but I have not mastered the gift of holding myself back, nor do I think I know enough to perfect the art of a peak or specificity of training. In the future my coach will either be Ryan Cole or someone who has similar training methods.
The bad: After not qualifying for USA’s and losing the boyfriend that grounded me to Arizona I started questioning the decision I made a year ago – to live thousands of miles away from my family & everything that feels like home. On top of being an emotional wreck, I was homeless. The past 6 weeks have been spent hopping from couch/futon/beds of kind friends and, before that, haven’t had a lease since last April. For years I have been the queen of rolling with the punches and taking life as it comes. Whenever I’ve been asked where I’m going to live next I’d reply with “wherever life takes me.” Thankfully, I’m growing up – it’s time to find a home!
The new: I offered to spend another month couch-surfing by taking over Pezz’s room & rent while she was away for the month of July (so she didn’t lose out on paying for a place she wasn’t living in). To my surprise I have found the most amazing place to live (that girl deserves more credit)! I live with my landlord, a woman my mother’s age, and another tenant, a man, again, my mother’s age, and I absolutely love them. I have quickly become part of the family – we eat together, play with the grandkids, go on walks – I’ve even been invited to her family reunion! I have officially found the family I was looking for 🙂
I will be spending the rest of the summer hiding in the mountains, putting in good training and living the good life. I’m also looking into joining a different post-collegiate distance group. The year with Sun Elite has been great, but the group still has a lot to figure out – sponsorship, agents, travel, structure, location. While I wish that would all magically be taken care of, realistically I need to see what my options are, put on my thinking cap & decide what is best for my future. I’ll keep you posted!