Hello once again, and greetings from Knoxville. It’s been a while since I’ve written a journal for you guys, so with this I’m going to update everyone on what I’ve been up to since Footlocker, my college journey, and thoughts leading up to my next race, NIN.
Footlocker was probably the single greatest experience of my life. So naturally I was in post-Footlocker depression, I missed my friends, and I missed being treated like a king. I took about 10-11 days off. The first 4 days I spent my time limping around because I was still sore from the Footlocker football game. During my breaks I basically do things that I usually can’t do when I’m in season. For instance, I played a lot of basketball and football. I can’t do this during the season because I’m scared I will get hurt, and when I play I usually twist my ankle or bust a knee. Breaks are nice, but I usually want to start running after about 4 or 5 days off. I just can’t stand not running; I just feel like a big scrub when I don’t do it. So sometimes I’ll go for a couple of bike rides. I don’t swim because....I can’t.
After about 10-11 days off I started out slowly. Christmas came, and Christmas went. I’d say my favorite gift was the North Face jacket I got. During the rest of Christmas break I went down to my second home, Nashville, and hung out with Sean Keveren for about 5 days. I celebrated New Year’s by shooting fireworks at stuff with Ford Bell and Paul Stewart. I tried to ride Mary Cumbee’s horse, but I couldn’t actually get on the horse so it was a bust. As for the training, it went about as well as it could. I basically did base mileage, and started doing tempos about 3 weeks after I started.
After Footlocker I had basically narrowed my choices down to four colleges: Tennessee, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin. We decided it would be best to take my visits in the month of January because I wouldn’t have to deal with the stress during cross country season, which ended up being a great idea. As it turned out, I scheduled 4 visits in a row. I took my first visit to Tennessee on Friday. January 10th. I had a great time hanging out with some of my best friends like Mike Spooner (host), Stuart Chandler, Chris Kane, and Ryan Beabout. The second visit was to Oklahoma State. It was exciting flying by myself the first time, even though I had a 3 hour delay in Chicago. I got to meet some great people while I was down there. So big shout out to Kyle Butler, Kyle Gibson, and Mike Miller who were on the visit with me. I also got to run with German (yes THE German) for 8 miles on the great dirt roads of Oklahoma. My third and final visit was to the University of Kentucky (I ended up canceling the Wisconsin visit). Kentucky was the only visit that I was by myself with one other recruit. Kentucky was great; I really felt like I got to bond with the team more than the other schools. I also really like Coach John Mortimer.
After 3 visits in a row, I was whipped. I was the most tired I’d been in a while. As a result, I got sick for 2-3 days and had to take that time off from running. The next 2 weeks suffered from that too, I was just tired. During this week or so I really thought about where I wanted to go for the next 4 years of my life. After a lot of thinking I signed with the University of Kentucky! I am pumped for what is to come and what I can do there. I really just wanted something new: a new experience, a new place. Kentucky fit the bill in every way. I loved every part about it. Coach Mort was one of the first coaches that started looking at me, and I really felt that he truly cared about me as a person even though I was at his school. That and the passion he has about his athletes and his training really drew me in. I am excited about what is to come, and believe that I can develop into a great runner there.
This Sunday I’ll be running the Nike Indoor Championships in Boston. My goal is top 5 in the 2 mile race. To be honest I really don’t know what to expect. After I got sick my training got a lot better. I started improving the times I was suppose to hit in workouts, and felt good doing it. My first indoor race of the season I ran a 9:15 2 mile. Although it was a PR, I personally thought I had a better race in me. I ended up doing all the work in an attempt to run fast. In the end I got out-kicked by Zach Wills of OH. A great race on his part, he ran a perfect race and deserves the win. Also congrats to Clint and John Sharpe, who placed 3rd and 6th in the race. With that, workouts have been going as well as they can for where I am at this point in the season. Obviously I’m not looking to peak at this race, so I haven’t done any speed work and have been on the track only once. So we’ll see what happens. I’ve never been to Boston, and I can’t wait to go. I’m also looking forward to seeing all my Footlocker friends.