Monday, December 9, 2013

A Return From Too Long of a Hiatus

Wow has this fall flown by! I took a break from blogging once the NCAA cross country season got under way to be able to put all of my time and attention towards my first season as a full-time coach.
Coaching the Mean Green Men and Women in cross country this fall was amazing! The program made some huge improvements and I am very excited for the upcoming Track & Field seasons.

A few of the highlights:
I had the pleasure of working with our great Conference USA staff organizing the first Championships of the newly re-aligned Conference USA for the 2013-14 Academic Year. The University of North Texas hosted 15 Women's teams and 13 Men's teams on our home cross country course on November 2, 2013. 

The Men took 2nd in The First Conference USA Championship of the 2013-14 Academic Year
Six Men earned All Conference Honors (Four 2nd Team & Two 3rd Team)
The Women finished 3rd at The Conference USA Championship

Jo Adams and Charlotte Wilson both earned 1st Team All-Conference Honors 

Both the Men & Women program's posted their highest team finish in 10 years at The NCAA South Central Regional Championship
The Men were 6th
The Women finished 9th with Jo Adams earning All-Region Honors

As far as my own running is concerned this fall saw my own running take a bit of a hiatus as well. After having to take a month off this summer for my heel to recover I spent this fall doing regular runs with my ladies as well as long runs. I also hopped in a few make-up workout sessions with a few of the ladies; which I always enjoy motivating them while running beside them (I usually ride my bike along for big team workout sessions).
Even though I took a break from training full-time I still had the pleasure of toeing the line at some great events in the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

I ran in August with my friend and North Texas Assistant Swim Coach Brittany at The Around The Mound 5k

Both of us with our "winner's cups" (Brittany won her age group!)
Had a great time with my now fiancĂ© Ryan running the Santa Fe 5k on a Thursday evening in Dallas along with some friends. Felt great this day and was happy to run 18:04 without any specific workouts in my training.
Always fun when Ryan & I race together (& both win!)

Enjoyed my first Overall Race victory at the Depot Day 10 Miler in Gainesville, TX located north of DFW area; this race was just 2 days after the Santa Fe 5k. Lead from the gun and loved that the course was two 5 mile loops and I felt great this day!
Felt awesome this day running my Half Marathon PR pace for a solo 10 Miler

I also ran the DRC Half (The day after the C-USA XC Championships). This was my most painful half yet as I went out way too aggressively for the lack of shape I was in and paid the price the 2nd half of the race (especially the last 4 miles that I crawled). But as always it was great to see some of my new DFW Running friends there and meet a fellow Saucony Hurricane.

One of my new Dallas running friends Roxana
Most recently I took on my longest race (and longest run EVER!) at The Big D 30k. I felt like I did at the 10 Miler and really started to click away the 2nd half as we worked our way back around White Rock Lake in Dallas (I also was smart and patient the first half unlike my dumb racing at the DRC Half. I even chatted with Ryan a bit on our way out in the 30k). I was able to claim the Overall Victory in 2:02.33. I was very happy with my sub 19:00min last 5k as the wind was cold and blowing at points with the temperature staying under 35 degrees!
My first run over 16miles and it was an 18.6 Mile race!

Now that I have settled into my position the plan is to have a bit of time to blog as well as get back to a bit more regular training.

I'm excited for my athletes to get fit over winter break and while they're at home training I will be racing each of the next four weekends. So stay tuned for updates! First up is the Shamrock Jingle Bell 5k in Dallas!

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